Hands-On With the New Sonos Roam Speaker

Sonos in March introduced a new portable smart speaker called the Sonos Roam, which is priced at $169, making it the most affordable Sonos speaker to date. We were able to check out the Sonos Roam to see if it's worth the asking price and how it compares to other portable speakers on the market.


At just under a pound, the Sonos Roam is lightweight and able to be taken anywhere, from the living room to the pool to the park. It's not ultra small, but it is smaller than a water bottle, which makes it easy to transport. The Sonos Roam offers IP67 water and dust resistance, so it can survive splashes of water and even a dunk if it accidentally falls into a pool. Depending on how you're using it, the speaker can be set upright or laid on its side thanks to the triangular design.

Design wise, it fits in with other Sonos speakers and it will be immediately familiar to those in the Sonos ecosystem. Though it's light, it has a premium feel, and you can get it in black or white.

Sonos says there are two Class-H amplifiers inside, along with one custom racetrack mid-woofer, one tweeter, and a high-efficiency motor. There are built-in beamforming microphones, and an adjustable EQ. When it comes to sound, the Sonos Roam is fantastic for its size. The Roam is a bit larger in size than the HomePod mini because of its design, and that comes across in the sound quality. Audio quality is always subjective and it's not going to match higher-end larger speakers, but it offers the sound that you expect from a premium Sonos product.

An Automatic Trueplay feature allows the Roam to adapt the sound based on the environment that it's in and the music that's playing. The microphones detect what song is playing and then adjust the EQ based on the surroundings for a balanced sound profile.

Sonos is known for its WiFi-connected speakers, and the Roam works like many other Sonos speaker options, but it also supports Bluetooth. When at home, the speaker connects to WiFi and can be used as a standard Sonos speaker, but when out of WiFi range, it pairs to an iPhone over Bluetooth. For those in the Apple ecosystem, the Sonos Roam supports AirPlay 2, which is rare for a portable speaker. With ‌AirPlay‌ 2, the Sonos Roam can be paired up with other ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled speakers in the home for easy multi-room audio, and it also makes it easy to play songs to the device from an ‌iPhone‌.

There are physical controls and a Sonos app for controlling music, plus the speaker also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The battery in the Sonos Roam lasts for up to 10 hours and it can be charged over USB-C or wirelessly using any Qi-based charger. Sonos eventually plans to make a dedicated charging cradle for the Roam, but it's not yet available.

Two of the Sonos Roams can be paired together to create a stereo pair, and it is also able to interface with other Sonos speakers. Sonos supports more than 100 streaming services, including Apple Music, so you can also stream direct from ‌Apple Music‌ using the Sonos app.

If you're in the Sonos ecosystem already or want a portable ‌AirPlay‌ 2 speaker experience, you're not going to be disappointed with the Sonos Roam even at its $169 price point because of the build quality and the impressive sound from a small speaker. There are few other ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled portable speakers on the market and because of the portability and Bluetooth/WiFi switching functionality, the Sonos Roam is more versatile than Apple's own ‌HomePod mini‌, which must be plugged in to function.

Sonos plans to begin selling the Sonos Roam on April 20, and it is available for pre-order for $169 ahead of that date.

Tag: Sonos

Top Rated Comments

Spanther Avatar
11 months ago
This isn't a new or unique thought, and it's not going to change anything, but I'm sharing it anyway:

I super duper hate these ridiculous YouTube thumbnail formats with grown ups making shocked faces.

EDIT: lol, they updated the thumbnail image to be slightly less doofy than the original.

EDIT 2: they updated the image yet again and went full emoji. hyperbolic "mind-blowing sound" remains, while article has 2 throw-away sentences about the sound being what "you expect from a premium Sonos product." Mind blowing!
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoshuaBru Avatar
11 months ago

This isn't a new or unique thought, and it's not going to change anything, but I'm sharing it anyway:

I super duper hate these ridiculous YouTube thumbnail formats with grown ups making shocked faces.
I agree 100p. They’re so tacky and juvenile. If you need to make yourself look like an ******* in order to get people to click your videos you should find another hobby.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
11 months ago

This isn't a new or unique thought, and it's not going to change anything, but I'm sharing it anyway:

I super duper hate these ridiculous YouTube thumbnail formats with grown ups making shocked faces.

I agree 100p. They’re so tacky and juvenile. If you need to make yourself look like an ******* in order to get people to click your videos you should find another hobby.
In Dan's defense, I sent this monstrosity to him as a… template…



Attachment Image
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H.E. Pennypacker Avatar
11 months ago
Sonos is hands down the best multi room audio system in the industry. If you haven’t got on board I’d highly recommend you do so.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spanther Avatar
11 months ago

and you as a grown-up should learn to ignore it...
Whoosh.

YouTube videos get ignored by not clicking on them. Cringey, played-out thumbnails now just make me think the opinions expressed in the videos are equally derivative and low-effort.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popple Avatar
11 months ago

Whoosh.

YouTube videos get ignored by not clicking on them. Cringey, played-out thumbnails now just make me think the opinions expressed in the videos are equally derivative and low-effort.


Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

HomePod With Screen and Arm FaceTime Feature 2

Gurman: Combined HomePod/Apple TV Device Remains in Early Development

Friday May 28, 2021 5:57 am PDT by
Apple's work on a new combined HomePod and Apple TV device is ongoing, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. As has been previously reported, Gurman reiterated that the new device will feature a built-in screen and a camera for FaceTime calls.As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in...
sonos roam iphone

Sonos Unveils Portable $169 Roam Speaker With AirPlay 2, Sound Swap, and More

Tuesday March 9, 2021 1:00 pm PST by
Sonos today introduced a new "ultra-portable" smart speaker called the Sonos Roam, designed for use at home and on the go. It's designed to be even more portable than the Sonos Move, competing with the likes of the Ultimate Ears Boom. Priced at $169 in the United States, the Sonos Roam is now the most affordable Sonos speaker available, and it is also the lightest at just under one pound....
dec 4 deals

Deals: Shop Discounts on Sonos, PhoneSoap Sanitizers, and Magic Keyboard for 12.9-Inch iPad Pro ($50 Off, New Low Price)

Friday December 4, 2020 7:06 am PST by
There are a few discounts going on today that could make for some solid presents over the holidays, including savings on smartphone sanitizers at Woot, Sonos speakers at Amazon, and the Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro at Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple music album cover art

Apple Music Beta for Android Confirms Lossless Audio Streaming in the Works

Friday May 14, 2021 11:40 am PDT by
Following a report that Apple could announce a brand new HiFi Apple Music tier as soon as Tuesday, May 18, new warnings within the music streaming services app on Android have confirmed that lossless audio is in the works. As reported by 9to5Google, the Apple Music beta for Android has multiple warnings within the app that inform users that streaming audio at lossless, another term often...
iPhone Hi Fi Apple Music Feature

Apple Music's New Spatial Audio Feature Launches Today

Monday June 7, 2021 10:43 am PDT by
Spatial Audio, powered by Dolby Atmos for Apple Music is officially launching today, Apple announced during its WWDC keynote. Announced earlier last month, Spatial Audio provides a more immersive music experience for Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost. Spatial Audio will initially be available to thousands of songs on Apple Music, with the selection growing more in the future. The ...
apple music android listen now

Apple Music for Android Reportedly Won't Support Dolby Atmos

Tuesday May 18, 2021 2:55 am PDT by
Apple Music on Android devices will not include Dolby Atmos support when Apple launches Spatial Audio on the streaming service in June. That's the claim from MySmartPrice, which says it received confirmation from Apple India that the sound technology would not be crossing the divide between Apple and Android ecosystems. For anyone confused by all the audio nomenclature that's been bandied...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
iPhone Hi Fi Apple Music Feature

Apple Music Gaining Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio in iOS 14.6, Not All Tracks Supported at Launch

Monday May 17, 2021 8:29 am PDT by
Apple Music's incoming Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio features will be available in June on devices running iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later, according to Apple. Apple said thousands of tracks will be available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost, with more added regularly. Already available on the AirPods Pro, Apple describes...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud General Feature

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...