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HomeReviewsSonos Roam review: A small portable speaker that gets it right

Sonos Roam review: A small portable speaker that gets it right

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HomeReviewsSonos Roam review: A small portable speaker that gets it right

Sonos Roam review: A small portable speaker that gets it right

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The Sonos Roam is a small, durable speaker that’ll survive a trip to the beach, while delivering  a powerful and clear sound. 

But the Roam goes further than that – it’s also packed with advanced features. The Roam allows for both WiFi and Bluetooth connections, it seamlessly integrates with the Sonos ecosystem, and Google Assistant and Alexa are baked-in too. 

It’s more expensive than the competition – but the advanced features make the extra investment worth it.

Pros

  • Good quality audio performance
  • Sleek design
  • Seamless integration with Sonos ecosystem
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Voice assistants built-in

Cons

  • Expensive

Price

The Sonos Roam costs $340. That’s on the expensive side for a small portable speaker, the UE Boom 3 costs $280, and the JBL Flip 6 costs $200.

Sonos Roam review

Design

At 168 mm (H) x 62 mm (W) x 60 mm (D), the Roam is small and light (430g).

I like how slick it looks. It boasts a familiar Sonos aesthetic and ventures away from the flashy designs of other portable speakers like the JBL Flip 6. 

Our review device had a plain black design with Sonos written in white on the front. It comes in three other colours, red, blue and olive, and they all look good. The Roam wouldn’t look out of place in a lounge or dining room.

The Roam is a rugged device that will survive a trip to the beach or an outdoor adventure. It has an IP67 resistance rating, protecting it from dust, sand and water. Sonos claims it will survive being submerged in up to 3ft of water for 30 minutes. I didn’t diligently test this, but can confirm it’ll survive a brief dunk in the kitchen sink without any issues.

The Roam is a triangular shape, which is handy as it lends itself well to placing the speaker on slopes or slants. The flat bottom provides a stable platform with two rubber feet so it won’t roll or move. 

This isn’t a 360° speaker like the UE Boom 3. The speaker grille is located on the front of the device. It means the sound isn’t equal from all angles. But the speaker is loud enough so you can still hear the audio clearly when standing behind or to the side of the Roam. 

The side of the device houses the touch controls. There are volume buttons, a microphone button for initialising your chosen voice assistant and a play/pause button which also doubles as the input for Sonos Sound Swap (more on this below). On the back of the device, there’s a power button and a USB-C port for charging. 

Sonos Roam review

Sound

For a small portable speaker, the Roam has very good audio capabilities. Inside the device are two amplifiers: a high-efficiency motor, a mid-woofer and a tweeter. The results are impressive. 

The Roam can produce a strong sound. The default sound setting was a tad bass-heavy, but the Sonos app comes with an effective equaliser that allowed me to get the sound exactly as I wanted. 

The Roam can get loud. Enough so that it will fill a small to medium-sized room with ease. At higher volumes, the sound gets a bit sharp, but it’s a cleaner sound than other portable speakers I’ve used at high volumes. 

There wasn’t a genre I tested that the Roam couldn’t comfortably handle. Whether it was the hip-hop track, Ooh LA LA by Run the Jewels, a more mellow, Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel, or a rock song like Party Hard by Andrew C.K, it all sounded good.

Features

The Roam supports both Bluetooth and WiFi connections. You can connect the Roam to your home WiFi to stream music. And for Apple users, it also supports Airplay 2.

I loved this. It meant I didn’t have to have my phone near the speaker to play music, and I could stream audio via multiple sources like my PC. This is a feature that the UE Boom 3 and the JBL Flip 6 don’t support, and it’s a feature that sets the Roam apart.

If you aren’t at home, the Roam supports Bluetooth 5. Switching between Bluetooth and WiFi was easy. The device knows when it’s in range of the home WiFi, and it automatically connects to it. 

The device supports nearly all streaming services like Spotify, Tidal and Deezer. It also supports Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can use voice commands to control your audio. This is only when the speaker is connected via WiFi, though. Voice assistants don’t work when connected via Bluetooth. 

Sonos’ “Automatic Trueplay” is also available. When the speaker is connected to WiFi, it will automatically adjust its sound to the environment it’s in. This felt a bit gimmicky. I didn’t notice much difference in sound quality when this was on. 

Sonos Roam review

The Sonos Ecosystem

If you’re already subscribed to the Sonos ecosystem (i.e. you have Sonos speakers in your house), you’ll be happy to know the Roam is compatible with all other Sonos speakers.

Multi-room audio is what makes Sonos great. It’s seamless and so easy that you’ll want to fill your house with Sonos devices. I know I did.

It’s all controlled via the Sonos app. You can create rooms and add speakers to them. This allows you to customise your setup on the fly. You can adjust the volume of each speaker individually or all the speakers as a group, you can play music from all speakers or individual speakers and a lot more.

I paired the Sonos Roam with the Sonos Ray and created a surround sound-like experience in my office. All I had to do was connect both speakers to my WiFi, and away I went. 

The Roam also supports Sonos Sound Swap, which allows you to swap audio between speakers. Holding the play button on the Roam, I could grab the audio playing on the Ray and play it through the Roam. Alternatively, I could play audio through the Roam and send it to the Ray. It’s very cool, and more impressively, it works flawlessly. 

Battery

Sonos claims the Roam has a 10-hour battery and will charge from 0-50% in around two hours. 

I found these claims to be accurate, however, battery time will change depending on how loud you play your music. 

Sonos Roam review

Verdict

The Sonos Roam is a portable speaker jam-packed with the latest and greatest features. Yes, it’s more expensive than the competition but what it allows you to do with your audio makes the extra investment worth it. 

WiFi connectivity is the standout here. Being able to connect the Roam to my WiFi in order to use voice assistants and stream my music from multiple sources was not only helpful, it was easy to set up and worked seamlessly. 

This is a small speaker that produces a powerful sound, the audio performance is very good. It will survive a trip outdoors and doesn’t look out of place indoors either. 

Compatible with the Sonos multi-room ecosystem, the Roam is easy to add to an already existing setup. If you’re a Sonos user, then this is the portable speaker you should buy. And even if you aren’t a Sonos user, you’re still going to love the Roam.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Price
Design
Performance
Functionality
Battery

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