When Sonos entered the portable speaker arena with the Move it was a bit questionable but in the end was a smart one and turned into one of my favorite speakers from them. Only issue is while the Move pushes out dynamic sound it’s also rather heavy and large. Here is where we enter the Roam. Smaller and lighter but is it any good?
A more portable Move
Putting the Roam up against the Sonos Move you can automatically see the huge contrasts in size. For starters, the Sonos Roam is their lightest at under 1lb (0.95). It is designed to be easily gripped with one hand with its triangular shape.
It features Sonos distinct mesh grill with the Sonos emblem right on it. On the top of the speaker is buttons for volume, play, and mic controls. On the back is a USB-C port for charging and power button.
Roam is rated IP67 which makes it water and dust resistant. I have dunked it in water, taken it in the shower, dropped it on various occasions, and it has held up and kept on ticking over the past few months. With the Roam you can have it standing straight up or lay on its side. No matter how much this speaker thumps it won’t move out of place. Thanks in part to the rubberized material on the top, bottom, and sides.
Sonos Roam comes with a USB Charging Cable.
Setup / Features
Like the Move, you have the option(s) to set it up via Bluetooth or wireless to your Sonos network. Going the Sonos network route is pulling up the app, adding the speaker and going thru the steps. It was connected in a matter of moments besides some firmware updates. If you want to toggle to Bluetooth just hold the power button for two secs and the light will change from white to blue. Grab your smartphone and go thru the usual Bluetooth synching.
You can also pair this speaker with voice assistants, but I rarely used it and they only work in Wi-Fi mode anyway. As with any of the other Sonos speakers you can pair them with any others in your network.
Surprisingly, this little speaker is loaded with two amps, a tweeter, and a midwoofer. It makes a sweet recipe for one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers out there especially at its size. It can get loud enough to fill a room without any distortion. But its what you expect from Sonos. You are getting clarity via the vocals, just enough bass and everything is sensible.
I found myself using the Sonos Roam more in the house taking it either in the kitchen or bathroom. I would mostly pair it with the Sonos Beam 2 while I was cooking. I have taken it outside and love that is so small to carry around.
Only gripe I may have with the Sonos Roam is it never seems to go off completely. Even turning it off it never truly is. Since I watch TV a good deal which has the Beam 2 hooked up, that automatically activates the Sonos network and thus the Roam. I have found myself charging it a good amount or checking its battery status. I gather I didn’t have this issue with the Move since it has its own charging cradle. Now I could get one for the Roam which is an additional $50. I just wish when powered off it wouldnt come back on until I toggled it back on. But i also get it needs to be ready and accessible to Sonos all the time.
Easily one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers. It has such a clean audio profile its hard to see any issues. It can take a licking in durability testing and has held its own over the past few months. Only problem I have is it not completely being powered off at times, I can understand why but should still give you the option.
Sonos Roam is available for $179.99 and now comes in five colors. There is also the Sonos Roam SL which is $20 less but eliminates voice controls.