The Roam is Sonos's first truly ultra-portable speaker — it's about the size of a bottle of water. It's also unique to all other portable Bluetooth speakers because, when not being used outside the home, it can also be integrated seamlessly into a multi-room system with other Sonos speakers. And that's really cool if you have other Sonos speakers in your house, which a lot of people do.
If you're in the market for a new ultra-portable speaker, and you're thinking about upgrading to the Roam, you likely have a lot of questions. We're here to answer them.
How does the Sonos Roam sound compared to a Sonos One?
The Roam sounds similar to a One or Play:1, but it doesn't get quite as loud. It's a good-sounding portable speaker, but it’s not going to blow you away. After all, sound requires size, and the Roam only has so much.
How is the Sonos Roam's battery life?
Good, not great.
Sonos rates the battery life of the Roam at 10 hours and it's the same over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. If the Roam is not connected to power and you stop playing music, it will go into a standby mode that Sonos; Sonos claims that it has enough battery to stay in this standby mode for up to ten days.
Is the Sonos Roam waterproof?
The Roam has IP67 rating, meaning you could drop it in one meter (three feet) of water for 30 minutes and it would still work just fine. (However, it won't float.) It's Sonos's most durable speaker ever.
How do you pair the Sonos Roam with other Sonos speakers?
The Roam appears in the Sonos app and can grouped in the same multi-room system with with your other Sonos speakers.
Can you pair two Sonos Roams together in stereo?
Yes, but only over Wi-Fi.
You can't configure two Roams in a stereo pair over Bluetooth, unfortunately, which is something several other portable Bluetooth speakers can do. You also can't configure a Roam in a stereo pair with any other Sonos speaker other than another Roam.
Can the Sonos Roam be integrated in home theater system?
It has pretty much the same functionality as the Move. Both cannot be configured as rear-channel speakers in a Sonos home theater system.
How the Sonos Roam switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?
It's very easy, but not as easy as Sonos originally promised.
When Sonos first announced the Roam, it promised automatic switching between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modes. Specifically, you were supposed to be able to pick up Roam while it was playing music over Wi-Fi, take it anywhere you wanted, and once it got out of Wi-Fi range it would connect to your smartphone over Bluetooth without stopping the music. That unfortunately doesn't happen.
When you go out of Wi-Fi range, the music stops and you have to press a button on the speaker to switch it Bluetooth mode. It will then automatically pair to your smartphone if it has connected previously.
Is the Sonos Roam microphone always on? How responsive is it to voice commands?
The microphone can be toggled on/off just as easily as on the One — there's a button on the top of the speaker. As for responsiveness, Google Assistant and Alexa voice commands are, again, just as responsive as on the One.
Does the Sonos Roam support wireless charging?
The Roam supports wireless charging but does not come with a wireless charging pad — you have to purchase it separately. Sonos sells a wireless charger for $49 that's specifically designed for Roam. The Roam will work with any Qi-compatible wireless charging pad, which is great for people who already have one.
How does the Sonos Roam sound compared to other portable Bluetooth speakers?
The Roam is a good sounding speaker, but I wouldn't buy it solely for its sound quality. This is because there are other portable Bluetooth speakers that basically sound just as good as the Roam, but are also way cheaper. For example, I have Sony SRS-XB23 ($98) and sounds basically just as good as the Roam. (The Roam has Automatic Trueplay so it get self-tune for the space it's in, but doesn't make a huge difference, especially if you're listening to it outside.
The reason to buy the Sonos Roam, in my opinion, is if you're also going to use around the house as smart speaker (with Google Assistant or Alexa), as well. Also, if you have Sonos speakers, the Roam is really a no brainer.