It’s honest to say Roam wasn’t inbuilt a day. Whereas Sonos doing issues in its personal time hasn’t dented the multi-room professional’s status, it’s nonetheless maybe slightly shocking that it has taken till 2021 to disclose the model’s first really moveable outside speaker.
The Sonos Roam is an off-roading, deep-diving speaker with dimensions and a function set to rival these from JBL and Final Ears. Given Sonos’s latest run of superb-sounding merchandise, one we will drop in our backpack and tackle a ramble has been highly-anticipated – particularly because the Move, the corporate’s first battery-powered speaker, was extra portly than moveable compared.
The Roam is probably the most reasonably priced Sonos speaker (for those who low cost these it designed in partnership with IKEA a couple of years in the past). It nonetheless isn’t what you’d describe as a funds speaker, tipping the scales at £159 ($169, AU$279), however any of its rivals costing lower than three figures will battle to match the Roam’s function set.
This isn’t only a Sonos-tuned and branded moveable unit; it’s absolutely immersed within the firm’s multi-room ecosystem, which is definitely the perfect round. Which means you should utilize it within the backyard and have your music enjoying in the home for when you want to shelter from the rain, or seize it and take the commentary with you to get one other beer whereas the footy is on.
As its identify suggests, the Roam wasn’t constructed for the house and even your backyard. The Move covers these bases, however this speaker is about straying additional out of your lounge, and in that sense, it might need been launched simply on the proper time.
Sonos Roam tech specs
Apple AirPlay 2 Sure
Dimensions (hwd) 16.eight x 6.2 x 6cm
At simply 17cm tall, it’s small and weighty (430g) sufficient to really feel strong with out weighing you down whereas on the transfer. The Roam doesn’t simply really feel powerful; it’s IP67 rated, that means full water and dirt resistance – it may be immersed in a single meter of water for as much as 30 minutes – and its built-in battery has the stamina for as much as 10 hours of playback from a single cost.
On that notice, the Roam comes with a USB-C charging cable – although not an influence adaptor – and is appropriate with commonplace Qi wi-fi chargers. Sonos can be launching its personal charging base, to which the speaker snaps magnetically.
That USB port is the one bodily connection, so there appears little hazard of being harmed throughout a reasonably tough and prepared life. There are controls for play/pause, quantity and microphone perform on one of many Roam’s rubbered ends, however in any other case all the pieces is managed by way of the Sonos app.
For anybody who hasn’t used the Sonos app earlier than: it’s merely the perfect on the market. It’s easy to make use of, and in addition to being important for set-up is the place you possibly can management a variety of options, akin to appropriate voice assistants and Trueplay tuning.
The latter, with assist from the built-in mic, tweaks the EQ mechanically relying on the speaker’s environment, although you may as well fine-tune bass and treble your self.
Given its nomadic ambitions, the Roam can not depend on wi-fi alone for its music streaming, so Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 are additionally on board. Connecting by way of Bluetooth is so simple as holding down the Roam’s energy button and ready for the Sonos to pop up in your out there units.
The motive force tech inside is pleasingly easy, in that Sonos has opted for only a single tweeter and, behind its insignia, a big ovular mid/bass woofer. These are powered by separate Class-H digital amplifiers, however there’s no try at any audio tips that might see the Roam fall flat on its face; that is easy mono designed to have an effect in any situation.
Impression is one thing it positively isn’t missing, not when it comes to confidence nor its daring presentation. Even from a standing begin, the Roam eats up a bass-heavy drill beat. As with all Sonos product, you possibly can tweak the EQ of the Roam, however that is naturally fairly a bass and mid-heavy presentation. Treble frequencies aren’t overly rolled off, however we’re positively on the simpler facet of listening.
That’s not essentially a foul factor when you think about how the Roam is likely to be used. There’s nothing worse than coarse hi-hats reducing via the chatter at a celebration when the speaker is turned up too loud. A transparent high-end can be even higher, however generally we will perceive enjoying issues a bit protected.
That bass weight is stored properly in verify, too, making certain some presence and punch with out muddying up the combo. Sonos is properly conscious that low finish is fascinating however the mids are the star of the present. So it transpires with the Roam. Deeper voices particularly could be lusciously full and are positioned properly sufficient ahead within the combine for this type of outside and occasion speaker.
Nonetheless, this can be a four-star evaluate, so what has gone incorrect for the Roam? Not a lot in any respect in isolation. For many individuals, this would be the superb speaker, match for goal. However we really feel Sonos may have stretched itself slightly extra in sure points of its audio efficiency.
Element and readability are two such areas. This speaker doesn’t significantly sound boxed in, however pit it in opposition to a few of the finest moveable audio system, which could have fewer options however offset that with a lighter price ticket, and the distinction is slightly disappointing.
Readability is an space by which Sonos typically excels, however we’re speaking a few noticeable step behind its rivals right here. Superior high-end articulation is one factor, however comparisons reveal textures and timbres could be significantly extra insightful all through the frequency vary.
A hearken to different moveable Bluetooth speakers round this worth additionally confirms that we might be anticipating extra when it comes to timing and dynamics. There’s loads of punch to the Roam’s efficiency, however it’s far much less expressive than the competitors right here, and may also appear fairly sluggish.
Will that matter to most individuals? Relying on when and the place you encounter the Sonos Roam, it in all probability gained’t. It simply means there may be higher all-round sound on the market – and there was for some whereas.
For a Sonos consumer, although, this can be a welcome addition to the household. It’s a field many purchasers have needed to be ticked for some time, and the Roam doesn’t typically disappoint. It might be higher, however we nonetheless prefer it loads.
- Sound 4
- Options 5
- Construct 5
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