There’s little debate that Sonos make some stunning speakers and their systems over all are without peer while being challenged at every corner. So when Sonos dips their rather large toe into the very crowded waters of the portable Bluetooth speaker it’s both fascinating and curious – thus bringing us to our first look review of the Sonos Roam.
This isn’t the first portable Sonos speaker – the Sonos Move is a $649 beast that allows you to take your music out the back, into another room or down to the park, switching to Bluetooth when you aren’t at home.
But the Sonos Roam takes that to a whole new level. This tiny little speaker would fit well alongside some of the most basic portable speakers, about the size of the JBL Flip – the biggest issue is it’s also more than $100 more than an equivalent Bluetooth speaker.
So, what do you get for that extra coin – over and above a stylish as hell Sonos logo up front?
Wireless Qi Charging as standard. Whack it on any Qi phone charger and it’s getting juice. With full battery, you’re looking at 10 hours of continuous playback.
There’s the crazy good Sonos tuned sound – the clarity here is exceptional, hearing and feeling the bass, in addition to crisp clarity across the range.
But in reality, you’re not buying this Sonos Roam as your Bluetooth speaker.
You’re buying the Sonos Roam because you own a range of Sonos speakers, and have them setup in a single room or multiple rooms enjoying all-round sound, a huge choice of music services, voice control and more.
And now you want to take that on the go.
Using the Sonos app you’re used to, you can search for music, find your playlists or albums and generally just do what you always do.
That’s who this is for. Pure and Simple.
If you’re not a Sonos owner, don’t buy the Sonos Roam. While the sound is spectacular, the JBL Flip, a Small Sony, several similar sized but cheaper speakers will give you the run-time and sound quality to the ear of 98% of listeners.
But, if you are a Sonos owner, damn this is a great portable expansion of your system.
While Trueplay is something Sonos claim as a huge deal for a speaker like this, my ears struggle to notice the difference, but when I press the button on the speaker in a new environment I can hear it change its sound profile to suit the room.
The fact the Sonos Roam is IP67 rated to be dust proof and fully waterproof is a big deal for Sonos owners. Take it to the beach, the pool wherever you want – it’s there for you.
Perhaps the real crowning glory of the Sonos Roam as an integrated part of your Sonos system is “Sound Swap”. Listen wherever you are, and when you walk into your home, switch the music over to the nearest speaker with the touch of a button. Genius. Moving music from room to room – easy.
Aside from the fact I can’t justify the speaker as an individual purchase, I 100% understand the role the Sonos Roam plays in the home of a Sonos System owner.
At $279 – the Sonos Roam is available in Australia from April 20.