Sonos is best known for speakers that permanently reside in your home. Whether it’s a soundbar that pairs with the TV or a smaller unit that can hide in a bookshelf, the devices are known as some of the best on the market. Two years ago, Sonos released a portable Bluetooth speaker called the Move.
That being said, the speaker was a bit too large to carry around and its $400 price tag put it out of range for many consumers.
Now, the company is trying again. It recently announced the Sonos Roam, a much smaller Bluetooth speaker that it claims is “the best-sounding ultraportable speaker ever made.”
While that’s a big claim to make, Sonos’ latest gadget does offer excellent performance within a compact, sleek package. It certainly gets the company closer to the portable speaker market than the Move did. It also doesn’t hurt that the Roam costs a fraction of the price at just $169.
There aren’t many places to bring a portable speaker right now. That won’t last forever, though. The Sonos Roam’s sleek design means that it will be ready to travel with you anywhere when the time comes. Even for a portable speaker, this one is small. It has a compact design that maximizes its performance all while keeping it smaller than the majority of Bluetooth speakers.
The hard plastic frame is sandwiched between two rubber caps. One end features buttons to control the volume, pause and play the music, and mute the speaker’s microphone. Unlike some of Sonos’ other speaker models, the Roam has physical buttons rather than touch controls to avoid accidental presses.
Interestingly, the speaker can sit either vertically or horizontally. Small “nubs” help you position it correctly if you opt for the latter. The speaker features smart tech that allows it to orient itself correctly and optimize its sound quality depending on how you set it down.
Inside its small frame, the Roam packs plenty of features that make it an attractive option. For instance, it has a 10-hour battery life. It can be recharged with either a USB-C cable or any Qi-compatible wireless charger. Sonos does sell a charging dock that goes with it, but you can also use your own wireless charger if you have one for your phone already.
As noted, the Roam is ready to accompany you on any adventure. That’s thanks to its IP67 waterproof rating. It can safely be submerged for up to 30 minutes in three feet of water. It also features drop and dust resistance.
As for connectivity, the Roam works via Wi-Fi and the Sonos app like the rest of the company’s speakers. It also supports AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and, of course, Bluetooth. You can even pair two Roam units to amplify the sound.
With summer right around the corner, Sonos’ Roam speaker looks like a great way to treat yourself for surviving a year through a global pandemic. The Roam is currently available for pre-order at a price of $169 on Sonos’ website. It will officially be available on April 20.