The Sonos Roam has been a long time coming from Sonos. It’s the company’s first “truly” portable wireless Bluetooth speaker. It was nearly 2 years ago that Sonos first launched the Sonos Move, their first portable Bluetooth speaker. The Sonos Move offers powerful sonics, and it’s designed to play both outside and inside, but it’s also big and heavy. The Sonos Roam, on the other hand, is small enough to be thrown into a backpack and can be easily toted around with you.
Like with the rest of the Sonos lineup, the design of the Roam is quite minimalist, and certainly unexciting as far as portable speakers go. That said, its minimalist design makes it easy to fit into just about any decor. And weighing in at less than a pound, it won’t weigh you down on the go.
The Sonos Roam is IP67 waterproof and drop resistant. Yes, you can take it with you to the pool – it can survive up to 30 minutes in three feet of water. It’s designed to rest either standing up vertically, or horizontally. When positioned, horizontally, the Roam “directs the sound upward in the direction of your ears for an even better listening experience”. At the top side of the Sonos Roam are a set of buttons for play/stop, to control volume, and a button to turn the mic on or off.
The Sonos Roam offers all the typical features you expect from the phenomenal Sonos ecosystem. That includes multiroom listening over wifi, AirPlay 2 support, and voice control with support for both Google Assistant and Alexa. Of course, because it’s a portable speaker, it supports Bluetooth connectivity too.
The Sonos Roam lasts for up to nearly 10 hours on a charge and it charges via USB-C, which is solid but not as good as many other competing portable Bluetooth speakers. But what we especially appreciate, and what makes it pretty unique, is that it supports wireless charging using any Qi-certified charger. Sonos offers an optional custom-designed Wireless Charger that uses magnets for quick attachment to the Roam. This wireless charger is unfortunately somewhat pricey, costing $49.
The Sonos Roam packs in two Class-H digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer. For its size, the Sonos Roam offers powerful sonics that can easily fill a room. Audio is pretty balanced but the speaker struggles a bit with bass-heavy songs. Overall, the Sonos Roam sounds very good, but it’s not the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker in its category.
If you’re not already a Sonos user, there are competing portable Bluetooth speakers that sound better. Likewise, if you’ve been considering trying out the Sonos ecosystem, the Sonos Roam is a great entry point. But if you’re already entrenched in the Sonos ecosystem, then the Sonos Roam is a no-brainer. This is the portable Bluetooth speaker that Sonos users have been waiting for. Not only does it seamlessly fit into the Sonos ecosystem, but it offers everything we want from a truly portable Bluetooth speaker – including everything from rugged ability, to voice assistant support and wireless charging. The Sonos Roam retails for $169.