Sonos Roam Review: Portable Powerhouse

The first new Sonos speaker of the yr is the company’s smallest and smartest but. Here’s our complete Sonos Roam assessment.

The Roam is a actually transportable Bluetooth speaker that also works over Wi-Fi in the house as a part of a much broader Sonos machine. It follows the Sonos Move, which was once the company’s first Bluetooth speaker. But the Move’s 3kg weight and ponderous dimension imply it’s now not the very best factor to remove from the house and lawn.

Well, the Roam fixes that downside and brings different options to the desk, reminiscent of wi-fi charging, making this speaker extra available. It places Sonos in additional direct pageant with the likes of Bose, Sony and UE.

Design & Build

In the arena of Sonos, the Roam is tiny. It’s simply 1/sixth the dimensions of its giant brother, the Move, status at 168mm tall and weighing most effective 430g.

Sonos Roam buttons

The Roam doesn’t have to face on its finish, however that is the orientation that makes essentially the most sense. It takes up much less house and the buttons are at the finish so it’s so much more uncomplicated to make use of them. Furthermore, the wi-fi charging is at the reverse finish – I’ll speak about this extra later.

Its triangular form with rounded corners strikes a chord in my memory of the lovely Kef Muo and I like the way in which you’ll be able to see, if the sunshine is just right sufficient, the honeycomb construction in the back of the outer mesh.

It was once firstly to be had in the standard choices of Shadow Black and Lunar White however Sonos now gives the Roam in 3 different colors at no additional value: Olive, Sunset and Wave.

Roam new colours

The rubbery ends are grippy and concave to keep away from unintentional button pushes and the buttons are conventional quite than touch-sensitive. One additional button at the again is for energy and manually switching to Bluetooth.

As the Roam lacks the standard sign up for button discovered on different Sonos audio system, the setup procedure is a bit other. It takes longer, however the app guides you thru it no downside.

Sonos Roam setup

The LED subsequent to the microphone signifies its standing however there are two additional LEDs at the entrance, making issues a bit complicated. The one via the Sonos emblem is a standing mild for connection, mute and mistakes whilst the only on the different finish is devoted to energy and fee.

The form makes it simple and relaxed to select up and must assist it keep away from rolling over in case you put it on its facet. There also are 4 little rubber ft for this orientation. Sonos has advanced the sturdiness in comparison to the Move, upping the IP score from IP56 to IP67.

That’s as prime as many flagship telephones and method it’s absolutely dust-proof and may also be submerged in 1m of water for as much as half-hour. The Roam is pool party-ready.

Sound Quality & Features

Inside the Roam is a ‘customized racetrack’ mid-range driving force, together with a tweeter. These are powered via two Class-H amps and as standard, Sonos doesn’t state specifications like a frequency vary or identical. 

The vital factor is that the Roam sounds nice, providing a lot better sound high quality than you’d be expecting for a speaker of its dimension.  

Sonos Roam side

Like the Move, the Roam options computerized Trueplay so it’ll retune itself each time you progress it. It’ll even do that on Bluetooth. As discussed previous, you’ll be able to position it upright or on its facet relying on the place you’re the use of it. 

The quantity of heat, wealthy bass the Roam is in a position to generating is astonishing and it’ll fill a mean UK lounge with out breaking 50% quantity stage. It’s additionally respectable outside, projecting properly, even though the Move is extra suited to this, particularly in case you’re having a large occasion. 

While the bass does fairly dominate, the mid-range remains to be true to shape and there’s sufficient top-end treble to stay issues well-rounded. 

Sonos Roam design

Things do get a bit muddled while you truly push the amount stage up however I will be able to’t say I’ve ever examined a speaker this dimension that doesn’t have the similar downside. It’s not going you’ll want to push it past about 70% anyway, the place it nonetheless sounds nice. 

If you don’t in finding that the Roam fits the tune or different audio you’re enjoying thru it, you’ll be able to at all times modify the bass and treble ranges within the Sonos app. 

There’s a brand new characteristic known as Sound Swap. When you’re at house (and produce other Sonos audio system), you’ll be able to long-press the play button at the Roam and the tune will robotically switch to the closest speaker. You too can do the opposite and pull it from a speaker in case you’re, as an example, heading out into the lawn. 

It works really well and feels a bit magical, even though there is usually a slight lengthen for the tune to transport. 

Sonos Roam outdoor

More and extra Bluetooth audio system are getting ‘good’ within the sense that they make stronger virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Note that that is restricted to while you’re on Wi-Fi, even though, as are such things as creating a stereo pair in case you get two Roams. 

The exception is that Siri works when the use of AirPlay 2 nevertheless it’s a disgrace you’ll be able to’t use your phone’s information connection for virtual assistants and even hands-free calls. This is conceivable for the reason that B&O Beosound A1 (2d-gen) can do each. 

It just about is going with out announcing however simply in case, the Roam can’t be used as rear encompass audio system with a Sonos soundbar. Nor can it’s used with a Sub. 

Battery Life & Charging 

Despite being such a lot smaller than the Move and having a battery part the capability (18Wh), Sonos has nonetheless controlled to supply as much as 10 hours of battery lifestyles from the Roam; that’s just one hour not up to its larger brother.

Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker

In my trying out, you’ll be able to get the marketed 10 hours however the battery stage isn’t at all times a just right indicator of lifespan. After a few hours of utilization, the battery had dropped to 90% (suggesting 20 hours), then after 3 hours it was once all the way down to 80%. 

While you’ll get a just right quantity of playtime, opponents do be offering so much longer, with some lasting greater than two times as many hours. 

When it involves charging, the Roam doesn’t include a base just like the Move. Instead, it has a USB-C port at the again with as much as 15W charging. Only a cable is equipped within the field. 

Sonos Roam USB-C

For the primary time on a Sonos speaker, there’s wi-fi charging. You can use it with any Qi-certified instrument or get the reliable Roam Wireless Charger which is IP54 and snaps on with magnets. 

I haven’t examined it, nevertheless it’ll be truly helpful in case you don’t have already got a appropriate wi-fi charger. It’s a little dear at £44/US$49 making an allowance for it gives 0-50% fee in two hours, so a inexpensive one in your table/bedside desk that’ll even be just right in your phone may well be a more sensible choice. 

Find a wi-fi charger right here and find out about how we check audio.

Sonos Roam in-hand


The Sonos Roam is priced at £179 or US$179 which means that it’s so much inexpensive than the £399/US$399 Move. It was once the most cost effective Sonos speaker at release however a worth hike in September 2021 method it is the similar value because the One SL. 

You should buy it from Sonos or John Lewis in the United Kingdom. The reliable retailer gives a two-pack however with out a bargain. 

In the Bluetooth speaker marketplace, it sits in between opponents such because the £129 Marshall Emberton and B&O Beosound A1 (2d-gen) at £200. It fits £179 Bose SoundHyperlink Revolve II.

It’s an excellent value level making an allowance for that is way over only a Bluetooth speaker. You can take a look at our best possible Bluetooth audio system chart to peer the way it stacks up in opposition to opponents. 

Sonos Roam shelf


Overall, Sonos has executed a super activity with the Roam via providing one thing way more compact and less expensive than the Move.

Even as a directly Bluetooth speaker it fares properly in opposition to opponents on design, value and sound high quality. 

However, you are going to want to use the Roam on Wi-Fi at house as properly to completely benefit from it. And preferably with different Sonos audio system, too.

In this example, it is the maximum well-rounded and flexible speaker I’ve ever examined. You may arguably fill your home with Roams plugged into affordable chargers to create an reasonably priced Sonos multi-room setup.

It’s fashionable, compact and has a suave multi-orientation design that is additionally IP67. Add such things as wi-fi charging and Sonos unique options like Sound Swap and it may do greater than opponents.

Really, the one court cases I’ve relate to battery lifestyles, most effective as a result of opponents last more, and the way in which Bluetooth is proscribed to streaming regardless of the opportunity of doing extra – like the use of it for calls or your phone’s virtual assistant.


Sonos Roam: Specs

  • 2x Class-H virtual amplifiers
  • 1x mid-woofer
  • 1x tweeter
  • Quad-core 1.4GHz A-53 processor
  • Dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Apple AirPlay 2 (iOS 11.4 and better)
  • 18Wh battery, 10 hours in step with fee
  • USB-C port 15W (for charging)
  • Wireless charging (Qi-certified)
  • Far box mic array
  • Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
  • 5x buttons – playback, quantity up, quantity down, mic, energy/Bluetooth
  • 3x LED
  • IP67
  • 168 x 62 x 60mm
  • 430g
  • Shadow Black, Lunar White

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