Discovering the world of Sonos acoustics was an exciting new experience for me. I heard many good things about the manufacturer, but until I got hold of the wonderful IKEA × Sonos lamp and the Sonos Move speaker, I had no idea how convenient things they are. I became a fan of systems with sound over Wi-Fi – it’s simple, convenient, and stable.
Now there will be one more device in the home: the Sonos Roam speaker, the company’s smallest and most mobile speaker. It combines all the advantages of a multi-room system while also working via Bluetooth. In addition, she is not afraid of water and dust – and in the summer, she just attracts to experiments. I want to go on picnics with musical accompaniment.
Small and Neat
The Sonos Roam can stand vertically and horizontally as you like. There are two colors to choose from black or white. Everything is extremely minimalistic and unobtrusive. The column easily merges with the interior. It does not stand out from other things and does not try to attract attention to itself. I like this style – simple and functional, albeit discreet. Its triangular shape also resembles delicious Toblerone chocolates.
The speaker case is plastic, the grill is metal, and the ends are made of rubberized material to stand confidently on the surface. But the column is also not afraid of falls: despite the absence of noticeable “brutal” design elements, it has shockproof properties.
Sonos Roam is small, weighs moderately, and is suitable for travel, and is mobile. There are no carrying handles or eyelets here – you can’t hang the Sonos Roam on a branch, look for a suitable stump during a picnic, or just lay the speaker on the ground. Another thing is that I never took my Sonos Move with a handle out of the house at all. Only occasionally, I move it from one room to another. But most often, the column is on the windowsill in the kitchen. And if the Sonos Move is mobile in quotes due to its large size and weight, then with the Sonos Roam, you can not part at all. The weight is moderate.
The Sonos Roam also has an IP67 waterproof rating – that is, it will withstand a half-hour dive to a half-meter depth. We know that anything can happen by the pool in the summer.
It’s great that they did not chase fashion and made physical music control keys. Therefore, there are no errors or accidental operations when the column is near water.
As with the more expensive Sonos devices, the Roam has built-in Trueplay to adapt the sound to the environment. Moreover, this works not only when connected via Wi-Fi, as in the Move column, but also via Bluetooth.
For a small speaker, the Sonos Roam turned out to be very vociferous; it is even scary to turn the volume to the maximum in the room. Like the Sonos Move, the younger Roam doesn’t play very cleanly at maximum volume. But this is already excessive volume – I can’t imagine why, in real use, turn on the sound to the fullest unless you want to arrange an audio attack on your neighbors.
As for specific tracks, the good old track with a straight kick Gesaffelstein – Opr sounds energetic, and bass, no less inspiring Tenebrax – Impulse 101 comes in. The column plays brightly bass, with clear vocals and clean stringed instruments – it is also good for classical music or jazz. The bass is moderate, I’m not a fan of the low end, but if you’re in the spirit of JBL-style audio tuning, the Flip 5 will be more enjoyable.
ITheSonos Roam has two class-H amps, one tweeter, and a midrange driver. In terms of dry performance, There is also a microphone. Still, it is used to activate Google or Amazon voice assistants and also helps to customize the sound depending on the situation. At the same time, you cannot use the speaker as a speakerphone.
It is no longer possible to surprise with a Bluetooth speaker, so Sonos went further. So far, there are no such small systems on sale with support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay 2. That is, you can send music from your phone to the speaker as it suits you. In a familiar Wi-Fi network at home or in the office, the sound will be broadcast over Wi-Fi, and if it is not there, then the sound goes over Bluetooth.
Moreover, the connection from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth and vice versa occurs automatically. The sound will not be interrupted if the speaker was previously paired via Bluetooth with the phone. It seems like a trifle, but in such pleasant things lies the joy of using a convenient thing.
The column does not work with domestic voice assistants, if desired, you can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The Sonos Roam has a sound transmission function: you need to bring the Roam to another Sonos device by holding down the play button, and then music will play on the second speaker. The reverse process also works: you can force Roam to play a track from a different speaker.
The Sonos S2 speaker setup app is useful, and I use it regularly. It combines popular music services, including Sonos’ own audio selections, to create a music hub. In addition to audio services like Yandex. Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and others, there is Sonos Radio – the list of radio stations is large, you can find something new.
Note that you will need to connect to a Wi-Fi network for the initial setup of the speaker. Then you can use the Bluetooth connection as well. This is what Sonos is all about.
The column is charged via USB Type-C, the connector is open and without a cap. There is no power adapter included. The box only contains a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable. Cable with L-shaped connector, so you can charge the speaker both horizontally and vertically.
And if the Sonos Move with the same USB Type-C does not charge at all via the Roam cable – in any case, I could not find a suitable power adapter, which infuriates, then the Sonos Roam has no problems with this. Almost any power supply is suitable – I tried about 10, and everything is in order. But the older Sonos Move, alas, is in trouble with this, as discussed in the thematic community.
A full charge takes one hour, and the Sonos Roam has a runtime of about ten hours. The column can automatically go to sleep when not in use. By the way, in the background, it discharges in the same way as the older brother of the Sonos Move: you leave the column fully charged in the morning, and in the evening of the next day, the power is at zero. Judging by comments users, the problem is not mine alone.
Operating time, according to Sonos, is up to 10 hours. According to my feelings, the column holds a charge for about 7 hours of continuous use, maybe 8 – everything depends on the volume level.
A pleasant bonus is a support for wireless Qi charging. To do this, you can use any standard charger or buy a Sonos triangular stand for the speaker.
The Sonos ROam is priced at €179.
I think it all comes down to your preferences. The Sonos Roam has many features and capabilities, but you have to pay for all this, and whether you need it or not – only you know.
You can say that this is a lot for such a small device and for the same money you can buy several JBL Flip 5. This is a fact.
In the case of the Sonos Roam, we get not just a mobile speaker but an add-on for a home system. There are many bells and whistles here: wireless charging, support for AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, various useful tricks, but I was not too fond of the situation with the self-discharge of the speaker in standby mode, the same trouble with the older model Sonos Move. The devices seem to be mobile, but in fact, you get chained to an outlet. I hope that this will still be corrected with future software updates.
In general, I really like Sonos’ approach to sound, but with mobile devices, unlike stationary systems, things are somehow not smooth. Time issues spoil the experience, and it’s not exactly the user experience you want.