Sonos Roam Provides Music Lovers a Portable, Battery-Powered Smart Speaker

Weighing less than a pound, the $169 Sonos Roam battery-powered smart speaker features Sonos software, automatic Sonos Trueplay EQ, and the company’s new Sound Swap technology.

Sonos Roam Provides Music Lovers a Portable, Battery-Powered Smart Speaker

The Sonos Roam operates on Wi-Fi when at home, and it will automatically switch to Bluetooth once a user leaves their home.

Fulfilling the public’s desire for more robust portable audio solutions, Sonos has introduced its new Roam battery-powered smart loudspeaker.

Sonos says that its latest product weighs less than a pound, and when Roam owners are at home, the speaker operates on users’ Wi-Fi networks. When users leave their homes the company continues, the speaker automatically shifts to Bluetooth to allow people to listen to their favorite music at or away from home.

“We built Roam to give customers a way to bring the Sonos experience with them whenever they go,” states Patrick Spence, CEO, Sonos.

“It’s not only our smart and most versatile speaker, it’s also our most affordable. Roam provides the opportunity for millions of new customers to get started with Sonos, and [it] is the right product at the right time as we begin to gather again with friends and family.”

Sonos Roam Bundles Tons of Features

In addition to the smart speaker’s ability to automatically recognize and switch connection methods, including the ability to pair with users’ smart devices when in Bluetooth mode, the Roam offers Sonos’ Sound Swap.

Holding the speaker’s play/pause button, users can “throw” the music playing on the Roam to a nearby Sonos speaker when they are at home through the Sound Swap option.

Sonos states that its new smart speaker works with its app to allow users to perform functions such as grouping rooms, and it enables access to more than 100 streaming services, including the company’s Sonos Radio.

In addition to the ability to control the Sonos Roam through the app, users can also use voice commands through the setup of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Apple AirPlay 2 is also available to Apple users, and users can also stream directly from their favorite music service app.

“For a small, portable speaker, Roam sounds big and genuine. It doesn’t sound forced or artificial, and that’s a testament to its technical design,” comments Emily Lazar, Grammy award-winning mastering engineer and member of the Sonos Sound Board.

“It’s unique in its class because it actually performs like a finely tuned speaker, as opposed to a megaphone.”

Other proprietary features built into the new smart speaker include Sonos’ proprietary Trueplay automatic equalization technology.

Unlike other Sonos products that incorporate Trueplay, the Roam takes automatic equalization (EQ) a step further by monitoring the speaker’s surrounding environment to automatically adjust EQ settings regardless if the speaker is at home or somewhere on the road.

Casey Clemens, Director, Americas Commercial, Sonos, points out that users can also setup the Roam in pairs to create traditional stereo speakers. He notes that currently the speaker cannot be used as speakers within Sonos home theaters however.

The speaker also provides up to 10 days of battery life, and it is capable of charging through a magnetic connection to a charging station, as well as any Qi wireless charger or a USB-C cable, which comes with the product.

In addition, Sonos emphasizes the dust-proof IP67-rated speaker incorporates silicon end caps to support its ability to be held under 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The water-resistant capabilities of the speaker allow users the ability to safely listen to the Roam in locations such as the beach or poolside.

The Sonos Roam will be available on April 20 for $169 in a choice of either shadow black or lunar white finishes.

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob has also served as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In his personal time beyond his family, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


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