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When Sonos first started making the Move portable speaker, we didn’t expect the company to aim a little harder with its new Sonos Roam, which launched earlier this year.
The Roam is a compact, portable speaker with an impressive laundry list, at least on paper. For starters, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity lets you stream your favorite tunes when you’re out and about, over Wi-Fi while you’re at home, and as part of your Sonos multi-room system. You connect seamlessly. If you have one. Rugged in design and seemingly capable of punishing outdoors, it’s IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. Other features include wireless charging (optional), support for Apple Airplay 2, and Roam with support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as a smart speaker.
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As portable speakers go, the Roam is clearly packed with specs, which makes the asking price of S$299 (when it first launched) a reasonable ask.
Historically, Sonos hasn’t been too enthusiastic about offering its products in different colors, and the Roam is no different. It is available in two reliable colors, Shadow Black and Lunar White. As you can see, our review unit was the original version. Sonos retains the classic beauty of a versatile speaker with hundreds of tiny holes. At the same time, the Roam is shaped a bit like a triangular tube, allowing it to spread out more and more sound when placed horizontally. It seems that despite bypassing the speaker grill, the Roam doesn’t project sound in all directions.
Size-wise, the Roam isn’t much bigger (or heavier) than a small water bottle, and the closest thing that comes to mind for size is an inch sandwich from Subway. Weighing in at 430 grams, it’s lightweight and can be easily thrown into your backpack or strapped to your bike to get your tunes while riding Park Connector Networks in Singapore.
Sonos points out that the Roam is the first speaker in its line to be IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. While the description says the Roam is rated to survive up to 30 minutes of submersion in water up to a meter deep, in practice it shouldn’t be a problem using it in the bathroom, and if you want a pool or lake Sometimes at sea, there is little concern about our harm, a bottle leaks in your bag, water splashes nearby or even on the nearby sand.
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While the device fits comfortably in the hand, the speaker’s metal grill can become slippery if wet. Both ends of the speaker come with rubber caps that give the Roam a minimal feel. Of course, while there may be an occasional crash or three, steel bars are prone to chips, scratches, and dents.
Underneath one of the rubber caps are the Roam control buttons. Touch buttons are easy to touch and operate. The usual play/pause buttons and track repeat controls are provided. The end caps are designed so you can hold the Roam up on either end without worrying about accidentally pressing the buttons.
There’s also an extra button to activate (or mute) the built-in microphones used by Sonos to bring the power of the voice assistant to Rome, whether Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa is your preference (which you can set with the app. ). The microphones pick up voice commands correctly, but the functionality of the phones is not there, which is good to use in situations like this, because we spend a lot of time with motion commands limited by the available power.
On the Roam’s body (see photo below), you’ll find a power button and a USB-C port for charging. The cool thing is that Sonos has designed the USB-C angle so that even if you choose Roam, it won’t get in the way. Interestingly, Roam comes with support for wireless charging as well as support for the Qi standard. While the Roam doesn’t come with a wireless charger out of the box (you only get a USB-A to USB-C cable), you can buy one separately for S$79 that electrically attaches to the Roam at the right angles. will be to charge
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Alternatively, if you have a Qi-compatible charger, simply insert the right end of the speaker into the charging port, check the status LED on Roam until it turns green, and you’re good to go. Naturally, wireless charging won’t be as fast as using a cable, so if you’re looking to roam for a day, make sure you plan accordingly.
Sonos estimates the Rom’s standby battery life to be around 10 hours. We’ve used the Loop several times a week from home to the pool without charging, but as always, your mileage may vary depending on how much you use it.
First of all, apart from our editors Kenny and Vijay, the rest of the team are not exactly sound-friendly. However, when using the Sonos Roam indoors, I found its bass response to be impressive for a small speaker, while the highs were remarkably bright. It’s not a music-friendly classroom speaker, but it produces fun and interesting sound both indoors and outdoors.
The Roam produces clearer and bigger sound than its size suggests, though it obviously doesn’t play well with my Sonos-enabled Ikea Symfonisk. This might not work for sharing music at small parties in your house or yard (for those with extra space), but it might be enough for sharing music with small groups or even in small study areas. One solution to this problem is to be able to run a pair of Roam units as a stereo pair. However, this feature only works when you’re using Wi-Fi, and doesn’t work on Bluetooth when you’re out and about.
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Speaking of Bluetooth connectivity, assuming you’ve set up your Roam correctly using the Sonos app, the speaker will automatically switch to your smartphone when you’re out of range of your home Wi-Fi network. Connects.
Wi-Fi-dependent features like streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music won’t be available when you’re away from your home network, but streaming music over Bluetooth works just fine. Sonos systems are generally designed to work with your home Wi-Fi, so you’ll find that roaming on other Wi-Fi networks like your hotel, Airbnb, or friend’s place can be a pain. In these cases, it is better to use it as a Bluetooth speaker.
Roam’s audio capabilities are brought to you by a mid-woofer and a single tweeter. These are powered by dual class H amplifiers. You can adjust Roam’s bass and treble settings with the Sonos app, but unfortunately you don’t get anything like a five-band equalizer for fine-tuning.
To make things easier for the end user, a feature we really like about the Roam is its automatic TruePlay feature (which works for music streamed over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) that moves the speaker’s functionality around using the built-in device. he does. Speakers As the “Auto” section indicates, if you use Roam for example and go outside, the speaker will be adjusted automatically. In this case, Roam uses its built-in accelerometer to detect motion and then adjusts TruePlay settings automatically. If you are not a fan of this article, it can be closed.
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Another new feature worth noting is the Sound Switch, which streams audio from your Roam to the nearest Sonos speaker at the press of a play button. This feature does the opposite.
At the end of the day, the Roam is a portable speaker for personal use, and for relaxing, hanging out with small groups of friends and family. It looks great and the design and other features like Auto TruePlay clearly help to create a better audio experience for the user.
Features like stereo pairing, while cool, may not be useful if you already have Sonos-based sound systems in your home. You cannot use the Roam dock as surround speakers in your Sonos surround sound setup in your home theater.
That said, Roam works well
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