Sonos Roam – the portable, powerful smart speaker

The Sonos Roam is the unassuming but powerful little cylinder of sound that has just been crowned ‘best Bluetooth speaker’ at the TechRadar choice awards 2021. Sonos call it the “smartest speaker we have ever built” and with the calibre and reputation of their audio products, that’s saying something. Meanwhile, GQ magazine calls it “the best sounding portable speaker”. So, what’s the big deal? Let’s find out what this thing can do.

It looks great

Combining outstanding performance with convenience and flexibility, the Roam truly delivers on all fronts. Available in Lunar white and Shadow black, it’s stylish, elegant and also discreet, and like all Sonos speakers it will blend easily into any home.

You can take it pretty much anywhere… 

But versatility is the real appeal here, and the sturdy resilience coupled with ergonomic lightweight design means it will also be a great companion on a camping trip, or day at the beach, or perhaps a hike through the Amazon rainforest? That’s right – urbane and adventurous, the Roam caters for wherever you would like it to be.

Standing upright, it creates glorious sound that fills the room, and the audio adapts so that this smart speaker can also be used lying horizontally on uneven surfaces, such as on the grass, or maybe the rocky ascent of a volcano – all without compromising the stunning quality of the sound.

A fine example of outdoorsy technology, this sophisticated machine will prove itself rugged when it needs to be. It’s dust and water resistant, and shock-absorbent too. It can even be submerged in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes. Sonos don’t specify hearing quality underwater, so not much point taking it snorkelling, but you certainly can drop it, roll it in a puddle… It sounds like you could even let the kids play catch with it in the rain! You probably won’t do that, but the guaranteed durability is always reassuring when taking a piece of hi-tech kit out into the world.

…for a surprisingly long time

It has a ten-hour battery life and automatic sleep mode to save power, so you might not take it to the Amazon, but maybe just the Everglades? You never know, you might want to listen to the Bob Dylan back catalogue while on holiday in monsoon season in Cuba. You might also want to use it to play the soundtrack for musical chairs and pass the parcel at a kids’ birthday barbecue on a sunny day. The waterproof feature will probably still be an advantage on this occasion too. 

Trueplay technology

The clarity and depth of sound belie the portable, diminutive nature of this superb speaker. The acoustics of Baby Shark won’t matter too much, but should you fancy a dramatic Pink Floyd instrumental sound backdrop for a hike in the Scottish Highlands, the Trueplay tuning technology means the Roam automatically and continuously adapts the audio to your surroundings and content, to optimise your listening experience. Like magic. You might not like Pink Floyd, or hiking, of the Scottish weather, but you will have to find a way to do it justice.

Hey Google!

We haven’t even reached the really good part yet. The Roam connects automatically to any Bluetooth-enabled device when you’re out, and to the WiFi network when you’re in. When connected to WiFi you unlock a whole extra set of features: the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built in, so you can listen to music, check the news, set an alarm, and lots more, all hands-free. With Airplay 2 you can ask Siri to control the music. Sonos also works with streaming services for music, podcasts, audiobooks, TV and films, and Sonos Radio provides access to more than 60,000 live stations from around the world.

Standalone or part of your system

The Roam works independently, and also with other Sonos speakers to provide multi-room listening, while Sound Swap allows you to send your music to another Sonos device at the touch of a button. Speaking of buttons, you can also manually play, pause, skip, repeat, turn off the microphone, and switch to Bluetooth.

You will need to download the Sonos S2 app to be guided through the easy set it up, and this allows you to browse your services, save favourites, set alarms, and discover new music on Sonos Radio. You can also adjust the bass, treble and loudness. Phew!

At £179 it definitely falls into the premium class of its category, but it’s the cheapest and smallest Sonos speaker available, boasting stellar sound and all the features you need, making it excellent value for the discerning audiophile and the most affordable product in the high-end Sonos range.

Any downsides? You will need a Spotify premium account to access the service via the Sonos Roam. And it doesn’t make a cup of tea either. Sorry about that, but Sonos are probably working on it for the next model. Meanwhile, the word you’re looking for is “nifty”. Not to oversell it (impossible?), but these are the devices that remind us we are now living in the future. 

If you’d like to know more about the Sonos Roam or any products in the Sonos range, here at Mediacoms we are proud to be a Sonos Approved Retailer, and act as a trusted partner to Sonos, with the specialist knowledge on how their brand works and the best set up for every scenario. We’d love to help you.

If you’d like to know more about the Sonos Roam or any products in the Sonos range, here at Mediacoms we are proud to be a Sonos Approved Retailer, and act as a trusted partner to Sonos, with the specialist knowledge on how their brand works and the best set up for every scenario. We’d love to help you.

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