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Sonos Roam Smart Speaker Review: Small In Size, Big In Sound

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

The Sonos Roam is the multi-room titans’ latest ultraportable smart speaker that aims to be the life of the party. From our testing, the speaker may be small, but it outputs really big sounds. The full-bodied sound is loud, it comes with tonnes of smart features, so let’s get right into the review, shall we? But first, let’s talk specs.

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

Sonos Roam – Specifications

CPUQuad-core 1.4GHz A-53
Memory1GB SDRAM
4GB NV
Voice AssistantGoogle Assistant
Amazon Alexa
ConnectivityDual-band Wi-Fi 5 / Bluetooth 5.0 / Apple AirPlay 2
Battery18Wh Battery
Qi Wireless Charging
USB Type-C Port, 15W 5V/3A
ResistanceIP67 Rating
DimensionsH x W x D
6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches
(168 x 62 x 60 mm)

Weight – 430g
ColoursShadow Black
Lunar White

Matte Finish
ButtonsPlay/Pause:
Press the play/pause button once to play, pause, or wake from sleep.

Skip/Replay:
Press the play/pause button twice to skip a track and three times to replay the previous track.

Volume:
Press the + button to increase the volume. Hold to ramp up volume. Press the – button to decrease the volume. Hold to ramp down the volume.

Microphone:
Press the microphone button to turn the microphones on and off. Press and hold to activate your voice assistant with push-to-talk whilst connected to WiFi.

Power:
Press the power button to sleep or power on. Press and hold for one second to connect to Bluetooth. Press and hold for five seconds to power off.
PriceSonos Roam – RM1,099
Sonos Roam Qi Wireless Charging Base – RM239

What’s In The Box?

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker
  • Sonos Roam Speaker
  • USB Type-C Cable (USB-A to USB-C)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Basic Protective Pouch

Design

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

The Sonos Roam is an ultraportable smart speaker that’s made for off-roading, deep-diving. Although it can be used at home or in your garden, it isn’t actually made for that. The speaker is made to be brought around with you on your adventures, no matter how hardcore they are. It measures about 17cm tall, and weighs a lightweight 430g. It also features an IP67 dust and water resistance rating, allowing it to be immersed in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

The Sonos Roam has a USB Type-C cable included, but not a charging adapter. But, good news is, it comes with Qi wireless charging so it does work with standard Qi wireless chargers. Sonos also did make a wireless charging base (RM239) specifically for the Roam, but it will only be launched later.

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

The Sonos Roam speaker can be oriented in both horizontal or landscape positions. The front has a mesh grille where the audio is output, with a rather big Sonos branding on the top, and a small notification LED on the bottom. On the rubberized back, there is the power on button, with a USB Type-C port. The controls are positioned on the top of the speaker – play/pause, volume up/down, microphone on/off. The sides of the speaker also has four small bumps for elevation, to protect the speaker’s casing from rough surfaces.

Setup

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

Setting up the Sonos Roam is actually a very easy process. Unbox it, turn the speakers on, and fire up the Sonos app. Once you’re in the app, it will automatically detect there is the Roam to connect to. Just tap on it, input your Wi-Fi password, and the speaker is ready to go once it’s fully connected to your network.

User Experience

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

During my time with the Sonos Roam, I have found it to be a great audio daily companion. Seeing how we’re still in a lockdown, we didn’t get to bring it with us to many places, but I did manage to bring it by the pool and a rooftop garden. It did get a little splash here and there, but that didn’t affect the music playback at all.

Seeing how the Sonos Roam is made for maximum portability, it cannot rely entirely on Wi-Fi alone for music streaming. That is why Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 is also onboard. So when you’re out of your Wi-Fi networking range, Bluetooth kicks in and gets audio data directly from your device. To connect via Bluetooth, simply press and hold the Roam’s power button, and wait for the device to pop-up in your Bluetooth settings.

The Sonos Roam also comes with voice assistants and Trueplay tuning. How Trueplay works is that it will use the built-in microphones to adjust the EQ automatically to suit the speaker’s surroundings. On top of that, you’re free to fine-tune the bass and treble levels yourself.

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Sonos Roam Smart Speaker Review: Small In Size, Big In Sound 23

The Sonos app works great with the Sonos Roam speaker, provided you’re in range of your Wi-Fi network. If you’re on the edge or at a location where the signal strength is spotty, the Sonos app may not work as well in controlling the speaker, making it slightly sluggish, especially when it comes to volume control.

Audio Quality

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

The Sonos Roam comprises of a single tweeter, and a large ovular mid/bass woofer, all powered by separate H-class digital amplifiers. Regardless of how you position the speaker, it offers great audio in any direction.

The speakers actually have great performance when it comes to detail and clarity. The highs are bright with minimal distortion, but when the volume is cranked to the maximum, it can sound a little too sharp and too loud. Sound isolation isn’t the best, but the speakers do provide a sufficient amount of punch to its bass weight. I find that the comfortable volume level to be sitting at would be at the 60% mark.

That being said, the bass can’t really be heard or felt when you’re a distance away from the speaker, and when it’s past the 70% volume mark. The mids are the star of the show, so the speaker excels when it plays music that involves a lot of vocals.

Battery Life

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

The battery life on the Sonos Roam is as expected. On Wi-Fi at 60% volume, I was able to get 9 hours and 12 minutes of music playback before it shut down on me. I’m sure if the music volume was toned down a little, the battery life would’ve been prolonged even more.

Conclusion

Sonos Roam Smart Ultraportable Speaker

Being a Sonos speaker, the Sonos Roam works well with the other Sonos speakers you have in your home. For RM1,099, you can pair it up with other speakers to have a multi-speaker setup. So if you’re already within the Sonos ecosystem, the Roam is a great addition for in and out of home usage.

However, if you’re new to Sonos, the Roam is also a great first speaker to start with. It isn’t restricted to the wall charger, and it has the signature Sonos sound and features to begin with.

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Sonos Roam Smart Speaker Review: Small In Size, Big In Sound 23
Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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