Sonos Roam review
Now that the brand new Roam is in stores on April 20, there is another Sonos speaker to expand your music collection. This is the smallest, cheapest, and most portable device the audio company has ever built, but don’t think for a minute that the price and size mean that the quality we’ve come to expect from Sonos has been compromised. Express.co.uk has put the Roam to the test in recent weeks and we are seriously impressed. Right out of the box, it feels like one with the trusted Sonos speakers we’ve grown to love over the years, with a build quality that rivals any previous product.
It’s also incredibly easy to set up, and if you already own a Sonos kit, you can be up and running in the time it takes to launch a playlist on your phone.
Give the Roam a boost and it sounds pretty impressive. This portable speaker can easily fill a spacious room with rich and detailed sound. It’s certainly not the loudest or most bass-rich Sonos speaker, but due to its size, it offers a very decent audio punch.
To help create this mighty soundscape, Sonos has packed two Class H amplifiers, a tweeter and a custom racetrack mid-woofer into its case. There are also fully customizable EQ settings, so you can add more bass, treble or loudness to your tunes.
Sonos’ smart Trueplay tuning technology is also included, which intelligently adjusts the sound according to the speaker’s orientation and location.
This is important because the Roam can be placed upright or flat depending on where you place it. Even when you pick it up and move the Roam to a different room or position, the Trueplay will automatically start adjusting to its new environment, so you always get the best sound.
The Sonos Roam finally offers fans the ultimate in portability
We only used the Roam in our home office during the day before taking it to the kitchen at night, where it connects seamlessly with our Sonos One and Play: 5 to add even more immersive sound to the room.
That’s something we really like about the Roam because it’s so easy to pick up and move around your house or yard, while still connecting seamlessly with all your other Sonos kits – just like a large Sonos One.
Even the triangular design makes gripping easy and you never feel like it slips through your fingers.
As a Sonos speaker, it must of course be paired with your Wi-Fi to get the full multi-room experience, but the company is clearly aware that owners may also enjoy taking it to the park or beach with it. Once you move further afield, you can switch to a standard Bluetooth connection so you can play tunes straight from any phone or tablet.
Simple operation makes the Roam easy to use
The moment you walk back through the front door, the speaker immediately switches back to WiFi. It’s all smart stuff, but the audio quality and portability aren’t all you love because it’s so beautifully simple to use.
Because it’s battery-powered, the Roam will automatically go to sleep to save power, but launch the Sonos app and it’ll instantly come back to life without you having to touch a single button. It’s all so seamless and effortless that using it is an absolute joy and you’ll never find yourself having to press buttons or pair the device with your phone to get the party started.
The simple controls on the top also make it easy to pump up the volume or turn on / off Alexa and Google voice controls – yes, it’s fully compatible with these chatty assistants, meaning you can start playlists or set timers. without lifting a finger.
Other essential features include a water resistant design with an IPX 67 rating. That means he can not only take a dip in the pool, but is also protected from sand – that should give you peace of mind when you’re heading for your next summer vacation.
The Roam is water and sand resistant
It should also survive a lot of punishment, as Sonos says it’s designed to be drop resistant. We’ll have to take their word for it because luckily we didn’t drop our review unit during testing.
We don’t complain about the Roam very much, but one thing worth noting is the battery life. Unfortunately, you only get about 10 hours on a single charge. That’s probably enough for most days out … but it lags behind some of its similarly priced rivals, including the UE Boom, which can go on for another five hours after the Roam is shut down.
Sonos also only supplies a USB-C cable in the box, but no plug, which is a bit of a pain and can mean splashing out on an extra charging accessory. The Roam can charge wirelessly while Sonos sells its dock for £ 44. We put ours on a standard Qi charger and it seemed to work fine. If you have one of these around the house to top up your smartphone, you might want to try it and save yourself a few pounds.
Sonos Roam review
Sonos Roam Review: Final Verdict
IN FRONT OF: The great design makes it ultra portable • Good sound • Easy installation
AGAINST: Rivals beat 10 hours battery life • No plug in the box
There’s plenty to love about the Roam – and next to nothing to hate. This truly portable speaker is a great addition to any Sonos setup and seamlessly integrates with all of your existing Sonos products when in the house.
The design makes it easy to hold and the audio is good enough for some relaxing tunes in the bath, shed or your home office.
The fact that it’s fully Bluetooth compatible also means you can put it in your bag and use it just about anywhere. You don’t even have to worry about the UK weather as it is completely water resistant. And once you walk in the door again, you can use it to add some radiance to your existing speakers – that gives a real advantage over other Bluetooth speakers if you’ve already invested in Sonos kit.
Our only real complaint is the 10-hour battery, which feels a bit bland, especially when compared to some of its rivals, like Ultimate Ears’s. And if you don’t have a drawer full of USB-C charging plugs, you also have to add one to your shopping cart when you buy your Sonos Roam online, which is a bit annoying.
However, if you think 10 hours is easy enough for your needs and you already love the Sonos brand, then it’s really hard not to recommend the Roam. This is the portable speaker that many have been waiting for, and it really is as good as it sounds.
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