Sonos has a brand new speaker that begins transport later this month, and it’s a big departure from the corporate’s common choices in numerous methods. The all-new Sonos Roam is a compact, moveable speaker with a built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity — however nonetheless very a lot a Sonos system staff participant, with wifi streaming, multi-room function, voice assistant assist and surprisingly nice sound high quality.

The fundamentals

Priced at $179, the Sonos Roam is really diminutive, at simply over 6 inches, by roughly 2.5 inches for each top and depth. It weighs below a pound, and is offered in both a matte white or black end, which is par for the course for Sonos by way of colorways. Roam can also be IP67-rated, that means it’s successfully waterproof, with a resistance score of as much as 30 minutes at depths of as much as 1 meter (three.three ft).

Sonos has positioned the speaker’s management floor at one finish of the machine, together with a microphone button, quantity controls and a play/pause button. These are precise, tactile buttons, somewhat than touch-sensitive surfaces such as you’d discover on different Sonos audio system, which is sensible for a speaker designed for use on the go, and in situations the place contact controls would possibly get flummoxed by issues like rain and water.

The Roam additionally has an influence button on the again, subsequent to a USB-C port for charging. It additionally gives wi-fi charging, through a receiver discovered within the base of the speaker, which can be utilized with Sonos’ personal forthcoming magnetic charging adapter (offered individually), or with any normal Qi-powered wi-fi charger you need.

Along with wifi streaming, Sonos Roam can even connect with any machine through Bluetooth 5.zero. It additionally options AirPlay 2 for connecting to Apple units when on wifi, and it really works out of the field with Spotify Join. The built-in battery is rated for as much as 10 hours of playback on a full cost, in response to Sonos, and can even present as much as 10 days of its sleep-like standby mode.

Design and efficiency

That is the smallest speaker but launched by Sonos, and that’s positively a giant plus relating to this class of machine. The scale make it really feel like a barely taller can of Pink Bull, which ought to provide you with some sense of simply how moveable it’s. Not like Sonos’ first moveable speaker with a built-in battery, the Sonos Transfer, the Roam actually seems like one thing designed to be thrown in a bag and introduced with you wherever you occur to want it.

Regardless of its small measurement, the Sonos Roam gives spectacular sound — possible the perfect I’ve but encountered for a conveyable speaker on this measurement class. Inside, it manages to pack in twin amplifiers, one tweeter and a separate customized racetrack mid-woofer, which Sonos developed to assist ship each lows and mids with a faithfulness that usually escapes smaller audio system. The Roam additionally will get loads louder than you’d most likely count on it may, whereas maintaining audio high quality clear and freed from distortion on the identical time.

One of many keys to the Roam’s nice sound high quality is Sonos’ Computerized Trueplay tech, which tunes the audio to greatest go well with its environment actively and frequently. This function requires that the mic be enabled to work, however it’s properly price having on in most settings, and makes a giant distinction whereas streaming in each Bluetooth and wifi modes. This additionally helps the speaker alter when it’s switched from horizontal to vertical orientation, and it’s one of many most important causes that the Roam punches above its weight relative to different audio system on this measurement and value class.

The Roam can be a winner based mostly on audio high quality alone for the worth, however the additional Sonos system-specific options it boasts actually elevate it to a real class chief. These embody a standby mode that preserves battery whereas maintaining the Roam accessible to your system for wifi streaming through the Sonos app (helpful, and likewise elective since you possibly can maintain the ability button down for 5 seconds to actually energy off and protect your cost for even longer, which is nice for journey).

One in all Roam’s actually superb skills is a hand-off function that passes playback of no matter you’re utilizing it to hearken to on to the closest Sonos speaker in your system while you lengthy press the play/pause button. This works nearly like magic, and is a good speaker superpower for in the event you’re wandering round the home and the yard doing chores with the Roam in your pocket.

Backside line

Sonos waited a very long time to launch their first travel-friendly moveable speaker, however they clearly used that point correctly. The Sonos Roam is probably the most thoughtfully-designed, feature-rich and best-sounding moveable speaker you will get for below $200 (and higher than many costlier choices, at that). Even in the event you don’t have already got a Sonos system to make use of it with, it’s a simple selection in the event you’re out there for a conveyable, rugged Bluetooth speaker — and in the event you’re already a Sonos convert, the choice will get that a lot simpler.

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