Back in 2019 Sonos released its first ‘portable’ speaker, the Move. Now the company has followed it up with the much lighter and cheaper Roam. Here’s what Australians needs to know.
When the Sonos Move was released a year and a half ago, its claim at portability was a strong one. While it could be unplugged and moved around, its 3kg made it cumbersome.
Despite Sonos’ claims, you really wouldn’t want to take it outdoors with you, unless it was your own backyard. And despite being an outdoor speaker, it only had an IP66 rating, which wasn’t ideal.
And then there was the price. At $649 it was quite the investment.
But clearly it didn’t take Sonos long to listen to customers and go back to the drawing board. Because the new Sonos Roam seems like it could very well live up to its name.
The Sonos Roam
The Sonos Roam is miniscule compared to its larger sibling, coming in at just 6.6 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches and weighing just 438g. In terms of aesthetics and size, it’s far more reminiscent of a UE Boom than other Sonos speakers that reside in the home.
It’s also far more robust this time around. It comes with an IP67 rating, meaning it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. We’re absolutely willing to test that if Sonos will let us.
In terms of sound it has a two class-H amplifiers, one custom mid-woofer, and one tweeter. Accoprding to Sonos the Roam will be heavy on the bass compared to say, the Sonos One.
Its in-built Automatic Trueplay tech is capable of adjusting the sound based on your environment, and as with previous Sonos it is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
A new feature coming to the Roam is Sound Swap. This lets the user to swap sound between Sonos speaker by holding down the play/pause button.
For example, you could be listening to something in the house on a Sonos One and then throw it to the Roam if you wanted to go chill outside after work.
However, at the present time there is a limitation in that the Roam is the only Sonos speaker that will be able to do that transfer. It’s unclear if that feature will be backwards compatible in the future.
In terms of connectivity the Roam will automatically connect to a known Wi-Fi network when its in range. Once you’re outside of that it will re-pair with your phone.
Sonos has added support for 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi, as well as AirPlay 2 compatibility. It will also be able to support Stereo if you’re on Wi-Fi.
On paper, the only slight disappointment is the battery life, which is the same as the Move – 10 hours of playback and up to 10 days in sleep mode.
On the bright side, it uses USB-C and is also compatible with Qi wireless chargers.
Australian price and release date
The Roam will cost $279 and will be available in Australia on April 20.