Let’s face it, Bluetooth speakers have revolutionized how we listen to music, and it’s fantastic. No cables, no hassles, just pure and unadulterated wireless listening pleasure. The only issue we have is choosing the right Bluetooth speaker that fits our budget, expectations, and requirements. And, because there are so many wireless speaker products out there, it can be a potential minefield.
That’s why I have written this in-depth Sonos Roam review so that you know what you are getting for your cash. Not many electrical device manufacturers, especially in the stereo-sphere, can match the likes of Sony, Pioneer, and Panasonic. But Sonos is a great value-for-money brand that still makes exceptional products.
So, let’s take a look at what this speaker is all about and see if it lives up to all the hype.
- Sonos Roam Bluetooth Speaker – The Basics
- Is the Design Any Good?
- Connection and Control Options
- How Can I Connect My Device?
- What About Battery Life?
- What Are the Sonos Roam Key Features?
- How Does it Sound?
- Sonos Roam Review – Pros and Cons
- In the Market for Bluetooth Speakers?
- Sonos Roam Review – Conclusion
Sonos Roam Bluetooth Speaker – The Basics
The Sonos Roam is widely regarded as one of the most rugged portable smart speakers in this price range. If you can buy a better Bluetooth speaker of this quality for less than $170, then bully for you because the choice is limited. And, if you happen to already have a Sonos sound system, this is the perfect addition to take your sound out to the patio or garden without sacrificing audio quality.
Sonos have been a major player in the smart speaker and Hi-Fi equipment industry for a hot minute. That’s because their products are of the highest quality at an affordable price. That was my initial impression of Sonos, and using this speaker did nothing to dispel the idea. Furthermore, it just solidified that option in my eyes.
The speaker has loads of things going for it, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and built-in support for voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With its lightweight design and easy-to-use controls, the first impression I had was great. It’s also important to remember that I opted for the deal where you get two speakers, although you can also opt to buy a single speaker as well.
Is the Design Any Good?
First things first, I love the rounded triangular design that is super-lightweight at only 429kg. The IP67 rating means you can use it by the pool or even on the beach. And the compact design makes it a cinch to carry about in your bag without even realizing it’s there.
It can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes, and it still works. It can handle bumps, scratches, and even minor falls with relative ease due to its robustness. And, at only 17cm tall, you have something small but powerful, and you can’t ask for more than that.
Connection and Control Options
One thing I immediately noticed is that the speaker comes with a USB-C charging cable but not a power adapter. Please, bear that in mind, so you are not disappointed. However, the device is compatible with a standard selection of adapters, such as QI wireless chargers.
Word around the campfire is that Sonos is planning to launch a charging base where the speaker can be magnetically attached. So, that’s something to look forward to. In effect, the USB connection port is the only physical port on the device. Although that might seem a bit limiting, it’s a very good thing because there are fewer fiddly bits to break.
One thing I really like is the control options on the device that are easy to access and even easier to use. The simple controls layout includes a button for play/pause, and microphone and volume functions. Aside from that, you can use the Sonos App to control everything else.
How Can I Connect My Device?
The Sonos Roam speaker supports several connection options. The 5.0 Bluetooth connectivity supports codecs such as SBC and ACC. But that might not be so great if you are an Android user, although it’s not a massive issue. If you already have lots of saved FLAC files in your library, you should be okay.
But please bear in mind that there is no support for a Bluetooth multi-point. And you also don’t get any AUX ports, but in reality, most smaller speakers don’t offer this option today.
What About Battery Life?
One of the major gripes I have with standard Bluetooth speakers is their lack of battery life. That’s a big deal-breaker in my eyes. You can currently get ten hours of continuous play from the battery after a full charge at medium volume levels, so Sonos claims. When I used the speaker on constant playback, peaking at about 75dB, I got five to six hours of continuous play, so take that as you will.
I suppose it makes a massive difference depending on how loud you play your music and how long you need it to last. But, in all honesty, portable speakers like this that have battery lives between five and ten hours are pretty thin on the ground in this price range. The battery life is one of the top features of the Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker.
What Are the Sonos Roam Key Features?
The Sono app is one of the best Sonos Roam speaker features. In regards to these types of apps, this one is pretty much unmatched and unbeatable in terms of its usability. It’s very easy to use, although the setup can be a bit complicated for some people. Aside from that, it comes equipped with lots of features like the Trueplay tuning function and its aforementioned compatibility with online voice assistants.
You can pretty much fine-tune everything via the app, such as the EQ, mic levels, overall quality, and even balance it to match your surroundings, whatever they are. If you do not have access to the internet, you can always connect via Bluetooth or Airplay 2 by holding down the Roam button to see the connection options.
How Does it Sound?
It sounds fantastic for such a small and compact speaker, even though the driver tech is quite simple. This device has just a single tweeter and a large oval-shaped mid/bass woofer, which are essentially powered by separate H-class digital amps.
There are no special whistles or bells. This is simply a mono speaker, unless you buy two, of course. But the best thing is that it can handle super-bass-heavy music genres with ease and sound great while doing so. In other words, it’s one of the best bass-sounding Bluetooth speakers you can buy. And, if the bass is a bit heavy for you, balance up the bass and treble on the Sonos app.
When I turned up the speaker to full volume…
The hi-hats stayed crisp and didn’t cut too deeply, so that’s a good thing. It might not be a perfect crystal clear high-end, but it’s more than good enough for a speaker in this price range. The bass is punchy and doesn’t mess up the mix, as the low-end and mid-ranges are easily the best part of the sound.
Compact speakers like the Sonos Roam usually sound boxed in, but not this model. And that was a very pleasant surprise from my corner. Overall, the sound quality and precision acoustics are very good. So, it’s fair to say it’s a great-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker.
Sonos Roam Review – Pros and Cons
- Durable and rugged IP67 rating.
- Waterproof for up to 30 minutes.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Small and portable.
- Simple built-in controls.
- Excellent sound quality.
- Compatible with the Sonos app.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
- Good value for money.
- Potentially difficult Sonos app setup.
- Only has AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs.
- EQ only works on the app.
In the Market for Bluetooth Speakers?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers With Radio, the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Alarm Clocks, the Best Waterproof Speakers, and the Best Sonos Speakers you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Tailgate Speakers, the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, and the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Light Show currently on the market.
Sonos Roam Review – Conclusion
This review proves that Sonos excels in making good value-for-money compact and portable Bluetooth speakers that sound great. For this price range, you won’t find many better devices.
The only drawbacks are the limited Bluetooth codec options and the complicated Sonos app setup. But I am sure you can figure the latter out in under ten minutes if that’s an issue. However, you won’t be able to do much about the former.
If you already have a Sonos sound ecosystem at home…
It only makes sense to buy these high-quality portable Bluetooth speakers to complement it. You can then take your sound out to the garden, and it will be like an extension of your system.
The speaker is so lightweight and compact that you can take it almost anywhere, and it takes up minimal space. Is it the perfect Bluetooth speaker? Not at all, but if you can find something as good for the same price, you’ll be fortunate.
Until next time, happy listening.