Sonos is famously known for its multiroom connection, solid audio quality and packing a ton of great features that make music listening easy. The Roam effortlessly packs all of that Sonos quality into a sizable chunk meant to be thrown in your backpack and carried away from the safe confines of your four walls.
Sonos Roam review
Let’s just roam around
Design: Roam was built for the day
It’s Sonos’ first attempt at making a travel-friendly portable Bluetooth speaker. So apart from sounding great, which we will get to in a bit, it also manages to checklist a bunch of safety features. Its own safety that is! It’s rated for IP67 and is also waterproof up to three feet for 30 minutes. Sonos says it’s also drop-resistant and doesn’t allow dust to settle in through the grill. In short, the Roam is meant to roam the world.
This Toblerone-shaped speaker is actually quite dinky. It’s as tall as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra so portability is not an issue. It even charges using a USB Type-C cable so you don’t have to worry about any proprietary cable polluting your travel bag. And if you have a Qi wireless charger, the Roam can sit atop and charge wirelessly as well.
You can also spend a bit more to bag a wireless charger specially made for the Sonos Roam. The Roam’s base (when placed vertically) will snap magnetically in place but you’ll have to shell out ₹6,000 for that thing. Currently, the Sonos Roam wireless charger is available on the trysonos website.
The Sonos Roam is also designed thoughtfully. It can be placed vertically or on its sides, and for some reason either way feels natural. Unlike many outdoor Bluetooth speakers can only be placed either sideways or vertically. The buttons are only on the top (when placed vertically) but you won’t need to fiddle around as much if you have your smartphone next to you.
App and connection: More than you thought
To get started with the Sonos speaker you might have to dabble with the Sonos app. Once the setup is through, the speaker latches itself to your Wi-Fi network and lets you stream music from your Apple Music or Spotify playlist directly. You can even listen to a couple of British radio stations. And if you’re in the mood to add some brains into the thing, there’s an option to connect Google AI and Amazon Alexa.
There’s AirPlay 2 support as well which makes life with Apple devices monkey-easy. For Android devices, the Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi connection through the app is great as well. Although, the Wi-Fi connection only works with a Wi-Fi router so it’s more of an indoor feature for better streaming quality. Out in the wild, it’s the Bluetooth 5.0 and your smartphone against the world.
Audio: Clean as a whistle
The Sonos Roam can get really loud without creating a cacophony. Moderation by Florence + the Machine plays with zest and the Roam wastes no time in timing the energic vocals by Florence Welch. Moving over to the Haunted House and the Roam does justice to Florence Welch’s soothing yet powerful vocals. It’s clean and very natural sounding on the Roam, and not to mention hella loud for something so tiny!
Packing all of that tech in a palm-size grip has its limitations. On the Low by Burna Boy on the Roam lacks a wee-bit of that punchy bass that makes the song so much fun to dance along with. Although, it’s not muted. You can still hear the bass very clearly in Sweet Time by Raveena. The Roam is one of the cleanest sounding outdoor Bluetooth speakers.
The soundstage on the Roam is good too. It’s one of our favourite Bluetooth speakers currently. Simply because of how well each sound is given room to attack and decay. Zakir by Naalayak is almost pitch-perfect for such a small speaker. You can keep the Sonos Trueplay feature enabled that makes micro-adjustments depending on your environment. We took it to the loo to test the thing and it really does cancel out some of the reverb using the built-in microphones. For daily use, you might not see a massive shift in the audio quality but if you want, there’s an option to turn the thing off completely as well.
You might also need to turn on the Battery Saver mode in settings because without it the Roam simply sits and saps the battery when idle. It’s got a 10-hour battery life, maybe less if you don’t keep the Battery Saver mode on.
When it comes to sheer audio quality, the Roam is one of the finest sounding Bluetooth speakers out there. It’s got a lot of useful features that make this a truly desirable gadget. Although, if you’re typically spending all your waking hours outdoors, the Ultimate Ears and JBL Bluetooth speakers have better bass, battery life and a simpler multi-speaker setup.
It might not be built as rugged as the JBL and UE but it’s capable of taking a few nicks. If you’re tied into the Apple ecosystem and want something that doesn’t look like you grabbed it from a college student’s bag, the Sonos Roam looks and sounds more sophisticated than the competition.
Packs a lot of power and features for something so small, the Roam is meant for life inside and outside.