Sonos Roam For Travel
Sono’s today announced their new portable speaker, the Roam. The Roam takes some of the best elements of the Sonos Move, last years portable offering, and shrinks it down to be an even more portable and travel friendly speaker. The goal for Sonos is to bring portable speakers into the Sonos ecosystem and make the Sonos app your one stop location for all your music needs. But there are a few catches when using it while traveling.
Sonos Roam Overview
The new Sonos Roam has all of the features you’d expect in a Sonos portable speaker. You could easily call it the Sonos Move’s baby brother. The Roam features Bluetooth connectivity when on the go and WiFi connectivity when used in the home. It’s IP67 water proof, which means it can be submerged up to 3 feet for 30 minutes.
One cool feature of the Roam is when on WIFi it can be combined with a second Roam to create a stereo pair. So if you are considering the Roam as an outdoor speaker it can be combined for a great stereo setup.
It features a claimed 10 hours of battery life, which should be plenty for a day at the pool, tailgate or picnic. Still, long battery life is pretty typical in the over $100 class of portable speakers and should be expected.
The Sonos Roam is pretty small. It’s about two hand lengths long. It’s larger than a Beats pill, but smaller than a JBL Charge. It should pack for trips pretty easily in an electronics bag or suitcase. It is probably a touch bulky for a carry on only flight, unless you are only going for one night and have extra room.
When on the go, you connect to the Sonos Roam via Bluetooth. You can control the speaker and play music like any other Bluetooth speaker or headset. In fact, if you didn’t’ know all Sonos speakers can operate as Bluetooth speakers. WiFi connectivity is the standard when connected to your home WiFi network. When it is on WiFi, it acts like every other Sonos speaker in the system.
The Sono’s Roam retails for $169 dollars, which is higher than many others in the segment but not excessively so.
Sonos Roam vs. Sonos Move
When we talked about the Sonos Move last year we liked the product but thought the large size and high price make it a tough product to recommend as a travel product. The Sonos Roam solves both of those problems. It’s cheaper ($169 vs. $399) and smaller, while retaining the Blueooth + WiFi connectivity, battery and weather proofing.
Sonos Roam On The Go
The Roam when traveling is a step up, if only for the lower price while maintaining it’s core features over the Sonos Move. The battery and water proofing are perfect for a quick overnight trip, day at the beach or other activity. Unless you need large scale sound, we feel the Sonos Roam is the better option for music on the go over the Sonos Move. Even if you do want big sound, two Sonos Roams are cheaper than a Sonos Move and can be paired for more room filling sound, at least while connected to WiFi.
Still, for those who want to use their Sonos when traveling without being tethered to a specific phone or device it doesn’t yet solve that problem. You’ll need to keep the device playing near the Roam to stay within range which keeps the music keeps flowing. The Sonos Roam still won’t easily hook into any other WiFi network.
It also is still a disappointment that the Roam (and similar Sonos Move) don’t act like Sonos speakers on the road without being on a WiFi network. Most features of the Sonos App don’t work over Bluetooth.
If you are digital nomader, RVer or even just want a device you take to an AirBnb or beach condo you’d still need to reconfigure the Sonos for each WiFi network unless you take another device like a travel router.
Sonos Roam Recap
The Sonos Roam arrives beginning April 20, 2021. It’s priced at $169 and is available for pre-order now.
More information: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/roam.html