Portable speakers can leave a lot to be desired, if you are someone who likes to lose yourself in sound. This is true whether you’re trying to beat the music of nearby beachgoers or seek to hear your favorite podcast around the house while you’re doing chores. Sonos Roam meets more than those challenges, redefining what’s possible in a file portable speaker.
What it is and why we love it
The Roam features full audio; Thrilling bass and rich, clear tones whether you’re listening on the deck, on the dock, or in the depths of the woods. It’s also aesthetically pleasing, feels comfortable to hold, and at 6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches, it’s really portable. It’s capable of handling the use and abuse of being tossed around with your camping gear or keeping it in your boat hold. The speaker is water and dust resistant, IP67 rated and clocks in at less than a pound with a durable casing that can withstand accidental spills. For this review, I took it Boat Camping, backing it up on my tailgate to get ready for a day of the slopes in Killington Pike Park Parking lot.
Roam audio packs a punch because of what’s inside: Two Class H digital amplifiers tuned to the drivers and unique acoustic architecture of the tweeter, a tweeter for high frequency response, a midrange tweeter to drive mid-range frequencies that also maximizes the low-end output, and a far-field microphone array It uses advanced beamforming and multi-channel echo cancellation to activate the quick voice assistant and auto-tuning, and an 18Wh battery can power this speaker for up to 10 hours.
Lots of speakers lose bass when you’re outside. this, no. But it also has superior sound in the living room, family room, and kitchen. It also turned out to be excellent in a rental car with a broken radio. Bass as much as you want, play podcasts crisp and clear. Wherever you play music on Roam, it automatically adjusts itself according to your environment, whether you’re using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. So, when I host an outdoor movie on a big screen in my backyard and stream audio through the Roam, it’s more like being in a theater, not like being inside a tin can. There was no stress to hear the soundtrack.
To play music, you need Sonos . app, which pairs with streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, TuneIn, and Sonos Radio.
And if you already have a Sonos sound system at home, it connects and integrates. Once the speaker is paired with the app, the speakers are automatically paired when you bring the Roam indoors.
Roam’s form factor is as good as its sound. The baguette round speaker can be positioned on one side or one end, so it fits in most spaces, it’s unobtrusive whether it’s at home sitting at a coffee table or on a beach blanket.
The disadvantages of roaming are minimal. The controls are few and they are multifunctional, so there is a learning curve about how long you have to hold the buttons to get the unit to reset, pair, and throw the volume to a different speaker. The buttons on the Roam play, pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, replay tracks, turn the microphone on and off, and manually pair a Bluetooth device.
The Roam works with Google Assistant and Alexa. Send audio directly from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to Sonos using AirPlay 2, then ask Siri to turn up the volume or skip a song.
Roam comes with a USB-C charging cable. Sonos also sells a file magnetic charging baseAnd it’s a great option if you’re going to hook up this speaker at home.
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