Hardware News

Meet Sonos Roam, the ultra-portable smart speaker

Meet Sonos Roam, the ultra-portable smart speaker
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
  • Community Manager
  • 86 replies

We’re happy to introduce you all to Sonos Roam, the ultra-portable smart speaker built to deliver great sound at home and on any adventure. Fully connected to your Sonos system on WiFi at home and automatically switching to Bluetooth when you’re on the go, Roam’s powerful, adaptable sound defies expectations for a speaker of its size. Effortless set-up and control and new smart features make it easier than ever to enjoy music and more from anywhere. Weighing less than a pound (450g), Roam’s elegant yet durable design is perfect for your home, the backyard, and wherever you go.

Get to know Sonos Roam

A simultaneous connection to both WiFi and Bluetooth makes streaming wherever you are seamless. When you’re listening at home Roam connects to your system and streams on WiFi, and when you leave it intuitively switches to Bluetooth and automatically re-pairs with your mobile device.

With an all-new feature called Sound Swap, you can hold the play/pause button on the speaker to switch the music to the nearest speaker on your system, making it easy to move music from room-to-room.

Sonos Roam (left) and Sonos Move (right)

Seamless connectivity also unlocks Bluetooth streaming for your entire system, with the Sonos app allowing you to group any of your Sonos speakers to Roam when streaming with Bluetooth. Roam works with more than 100 streaming services, including Sonos Radio, and is easily controlled with the Sonos app, your voice with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2, or directly from your favorite music service app.

Roam was created to deliver an incredible sound experience no matter where you are. Like all Sonos products, Roam was tuned by industry leaders across music and film to ensure the speaker reproduces content exactly how the creator intended. A carefully designed acoustic architecture delivers rich, detailed sound with the clarity, depth, and fullness you’d expect from a larger speaker.

Automatic Trueplay is now available when streaming via Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi, and means Roam is always tuned for the best listening experience in any environment.

Available in shadow black or lunar white, Roam’s tactile triangular shape and soft profile is comfortable to pick up and looks great inside the home. Combining elegance and durability, Roam is dust proof and fully waterproof with a rigorously tested IP67 rating, and features silicone end caps and physical buttons to protect against drops or bumps.

Roam is ready for any adventure with up to 10 hours of continuous playback on a single charge and up to 10 days of battery life when not in use.

To recharge, Roam connects to a custom magnetic wireless charger from Sonos sold separately, any Qi wireless charger, or with the USB-C cable included in the box.

 

Sonos Roam

Roam’s compact size will fit into any bag or the smallest corner of your living space. Listeners can place Roam vertically for a smaller footprint or horizontally to provide added stability on uneven surfaces outdoors. Even the packaging leaves a light footprint, with a structure that is made of 100% sustainably-sourced paper, minimizes the use of inks, and includes no single-use plastics. 

Roam is available starting April 20 for $169, €179, £159, NOK1799, SEK1999, DKK1349. You can pre-order today on sonos.com.


364 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Hey everyone, 

 

I thought I’d try to answer all the questions in this thread so far. Let us know if you have any other questions, and we’ll try our best to answer them!

  • Does stereo pairing work on Bluetooth as well as WiFi?
    • No, though we realise it’s something our customers would like to see, so we’ll be looking into this in the future.
  • Does it work with any Qi compatible charger?
    • Yes!
  • If you long press play/pause on the Roam when it’s not playing music, will it join a group that’s currently playing music in your system?
    • ​​​​​​​Holding the Play/Pause button on Roam will activate the Sound Swap feature, which lets you push or pull sound to/from another player on your system. Holding the button near a player that’s playing music will pull the music to the Roam.
  • Will the Roam be able to perform the rear surround duties in a home theatre room?
    • ​​​​​​​No. Roam is designed to be used on the go and is unable to be used with the Sub or in Home Theater configurations.
  • What is the voltage/amps of the charger?  Can it be charged with a typical phone or tablet charging setup?
    • ​​​​​​​You can charge Roam with any 10W (5V/2.1A) USB power adapter. A 1.5A USB power adapter can work, but 2.1A is recommended. Charging via USB-C may have varying speeds depending on the wattage of the charger.
  • Are there wall mounts or other accessories, besides the charger, coming for the Roam?
    • Not right now, though we’re always looking to see what our users want, so let us know!
  • Are any of these new features applied to the Move?
    • ​​​​​​​Automatic Trueplay on Bluetooth is available on Move right now (S2 version 13.0+)! We’re looking into applying the other new features, such as Sound Swap, in the future but have no further information to share at this time.
  • Will you be able to ‘speaker swap’ from the Move to the nearest Sonos speaker? 
    • ​​​​​​​Check out this article to find out more about Sound Swap.
  • Will the Move be able to be in BT and WiFi concurrently?
    • ​​​​​​​No, this feature is exclusive to Roam.
  • Will the Move be able to auto Trueplay in BT mode, as the Roam does?
    • ​​​​​​​Yes!
  • Does Roam work with Sonos S1?
    • No, Roam is only compatible with Sonos S2.
  • Can the Roam safely be used as a shower radio daily?
    • ​​​​​​​Roam is IP67 rated, which means it can withstand being in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Roam would make an excellent bathroom/shower speaker, though you should make sure it’s 100% dry before charging as the charger is not water resistant.
  • Is the battery easily replaceable like Move?
    • ​​​​​​​In order to make Roam fully waterproof, we had to create a sealed architecture for the battery which means it is not customer replaceable. We are working on a factory replacement service, but have no further details to share today.
  • How long can I expect the battery to last when playing/sleep/powered off?
    • From a full charge, you can expect the following from Roam's battery under these conditions:

    • On and in use = 10 hours (temperature and device volume can impact the overall result)
    • On but not in use = 1 day
    • Sleep mode = 10 days
    • Off = 70 days
 
 
 
 
 
Userlevel 7
Badge +15

The is pretty standard stereo pairing functionality for Sonos.  It’s not meant to be something you can do on the fly as you’re suggesting.  It’s not just a matter of changing from mono to stereo, but all other speakers and smart home devices in your home knowing how to reference your speakers.  As well, I would expect to see your 2nd speaker show up in the room list as ‘living room 1’ or something similar, rather than having to re-add it to the system.  Been a while since I’ve split a stereo pair though, so perhaps I’m misremembering or things have changed.

 

I may have spoken too soon regarding stereo pairing with the Roam.  I have several different stereo pairs of other Sonos speakers, and the behavior has always been the same.  The pair is created through the app.  If one of the pair leaves the network for whatever reason, the remaining speakers acts alone in mono, maintaining the same Sonos room.  When the other speakers gets powered on, back on, the speaker pair is reformed.

That’s not been my experiece with the Roam. I create the stereo pair and everything is great.  When one of the pair is removed (powered off or put in bluetooth mode), the remaining speaker plays alone, as I expected.  However, when the other speaker is back and fully available, the speaker pair isn’t automatically reformed...I now see 2 separate Roam rooms. 

Not sure if this is the expected functionality of Roam speaker pairs or not, as I really need to play with it some more, but I don’t like it.  I don’t want to have to do the speaker pairing setup, although it’s easy, and I don’t like the implications to all the smart home controls I have in place.  it also seems like I’m losing the Sonos room name I chose every time this happens.

I do get the complication of this though, considering Bluetooth functionality.  I mean, when I put a speaker in Bluetooth mode (and still connected to WiFi) the speaker pair has to be split up, since you can’t do a speaker pair in Bluetooth mode. There wouldn’t be a way for a speaker to share it’s bluetooth connection with the rest of your speakers if it remained as speaker pair.   Even if you could do a speaker pair in bluetooth mode, basically have a pair operating as a single entity in all cases, I would guess people would not want to always bring both speakers while using them away from home,  so it creates problems there too.

Unless I’m missing something, which is entirely possible, this issue is going to really deter me from using these outside of my home.  I really like them as pair, plugged in and used like any other Sonos speaker, but don’t want all my settings messed up when I start switching modes on one of them.  If I really want to use bluetooth extensively, either away from the home or as a source for my Sonos system, then a single Roam is a better option.

Hi @melvimbe,

 

I’ve checked with our engineering team, and they’ve confirmed that this is expected behaviour. Roam Stereo Pairs can be relatively fragile and are more susceptible to be being broken than that of stereo pairs of other players. Additionally, Roam Stereo pairs don't automatically recreate after being broken.

There are three main reasons why a stereo pair of Roams can be broken:

  • If one targets a member of a Roam stereo pair via bluetooth it will break the pair
  • If one member of the Roam stereo pair is physically moved elsewhere it will break the pair
  • If one member of the Roam stereo pair runs out of battery it will break the stereo pair

It seems like you’re hitting point number 2 which explains what you’ve written above. Currently, when a Roam stereo pair is broken, it has to be manually recreated in app. I understand that’s not the experience you’re looking for, and I’ve fed this back to the Product Development team for future consideration. If you have any other questions let me know.

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Wanted to pre order Roam however despite PayPal being advertised apparently not for pre orders. You guys sure ain’t making this easy

 

 

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +10

Sounds very impressive considering it’s size, a welcome  replacement for my old Sony Bluetooth travel speaker.

 

Just need a case for it now, oh yeah…. and the ability to travel again 😎

Odd. Sonos has never sold, nor advertised, that as a feature for their networked home music speaker system. 

Seriously? I should now look if speaker with microphone will work in particular apps? I though I am buying speaker and microphone and they should do, what they are expected to do - hence work as a speaker and microphone. It should not matter if I am playing my favourite song or listening to zoom call. Yes, sound might not be super optimised for voice or music, but I can’t find any excuse why it shouldn’t work as a speaker or microphone. When it essentially is a speaker and microphone. Just quite expensive one (for what it is).

 

While I understand why the assumption is made, perhaps consider some of the potential complications.

  • Device is speaker with microphone
  • Device  can connect to phone via bluetooth
  • Device can connect to WiFi
  • Device can connect to bluetooth and WiFi at the same time.
  • Device can share (group) audio from bluetooth with other speakers in your network
  • Device uses microphone for voice assistant while on WiFi.
  • Device can continue to play bluetooth audio while responding to voice request (I tested to confirm)
  • Sonos app can play/pause bluetooth audio.  Does not need to be on same phone as bluetooth source (I tested to confirm)
  • Device uses microphone for auto trueplay in WiFi or bluetooth mode.
  • From what I’ve seen, when a device is enabled for bluetooth calling, the ‘receiving’ device (speaker) can be use for voice control in the sending device (phone)
  • Roam can be stereo paired while on WiFi, but not if it’s also connected via bluetooth.

Now, considering these features, do you see any problems when you add speaker phone to the mix?  The primary problem is that while you are on a call, someone in a different room can listen in to your call...without you knowing it.  They can also turn off the audio entirely.  The second issue is that it may get rather confusing when using voice assistant.  If on WiFi and Bluetooth, should the command be carried out by Roam or the device it's connected to via Bluetooth?  As far as auto trueplay, I’m not sure how that would work if Roam mic needs to pass audio back to your phone as well as process it for tuning.  Maybe tuning can be off during a phone, but not completely sure if the Roam can know that it’s currently on a phone call.

I’m not saying this issues can’t be worked around, or that Sonos can’t give options to turn off certain features if you want to enable speaker phone use. Just that perhaps it may not be as easy for the Roam to do speaker phone the way a bluetooth only speaker could.  Sonos also tries to keep things simple, and perhaps they felt it was better just to not implement speaker phone feature than add complication to an already complicated device

Userlevel 1

Does Roam work with Sonos S1?

Userlevel 7

Will the Move be able to auto Trueplay in BT mode, as the Roam does?

 

In the presentation, Giles Martin mentioned they will bring it to the Move too.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

It would be good if this could be used to Trueplay other Sonos speakers.

There couldn't be a more consistent and controller microphone I'd imagine.

Userlevel 2
Badge

How does the sound compare to other small speakers, eg. The echo Shows, and the Nest Hub? 

No comparison. This is unreal. The online YouTube reviews do sound no justice. I've 2 in stereo pair. Well impressed.

Userlevel 1

Hello,

Is the battery easily replaceable like Move?

Regards

Is there anyway to actually turn it off? I don’t mean Power Off as this just seems to hibernate it until you open the Sonos app.

At the moment my portable speaker has to be kept charging otherwise when I want to use it it’s run out of power because it wakes from it’s sleep state every time you open the app.

This is no good if you only want to use the speaker once or twice a week, am I missing something or is this a terrible bit of design that needs a firmware update?

Perhaps see the Roam’s Product tour in the Sonos App, it explains the difference between both ‘sleep’ and ‘power off’ modes and how to implement either state using its rear power button.

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

Recieved my pair of black speakers. Packed up the first speaker in my car outside the post office which complicated the setup att home. Speaker had cached the wifi networks 7km from out home. After a reboot it worked fine. In lower volumes the sound is better than a singled Move. Cranking up the volume and the Move crushes them obviously. All our Sonos speakers, be it Play 1, stereo paired 1, paired Ones, Play 5 gen 1 or gen 2 have all had similar sound volume at least first 70%. The Roam has sbout half the sound volume at similar setting. A bit disturbing. Otherwise great. I use an Ikea 5$ wireless charger. Works great

 

Userlevel 2
Badge

If the sound matches the look it will be a winner!

I see you can create stereo pair, is that WiFi only or can be done that also be done when Bluetooth away from home?

 

It seems logical to me.  I would expect that you need to stoop current playback before going into standby mode if currently grouped, or just power it off.  Actually, I guess I would expect it to not go in standby mode, just keep playing, if it’s currently grouped to an active stream of audio.  

On ungrouping though, I am not exactly sure that press and holding the play/pause button will group/ungroup the Roam, since the sound swap process also requires press and hold of the play/pause button.  Maybe it won’t do a sound swap if it is not near another player?  Not sure on that.

If you consider a quick-press of the Roam’s Play/Pause button as being the first ‘bleep’, that starts/stops the music playback. 

I then understand a longer press of its Play/Pause button (two ‘bleeps’) is used for grouping/ungrouping - which is exactly like a long-press (audio source-cycling) action thats on most other Sonos products.

...and then an even longer press (three ‘bleeps’) on Roam’s Play/Pause is used for the new ‘Sound Swap’ feature.

Hope that helps clarify the Roams button action for Play/Pause.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

My Roam arrived today and boy is this speaker impressive. 
 

Seems like there are a still a few bugs in the software (sound swap tone doesn’t auto drop the music volume to be audible//sound swap doesn’t work on Spotify direct properly) but aside from that is a beautiful bit of kit. 
 

Only disappointing part is that my BeoPlay A1 won’t get used now. 

I am so impressed with this speaker. Got my unit delivered yesterday and was a giddy little kid. I’ve used an OG JBL Charge for the past 7 years, fishing, biking, camping, picnics, beach trips, you name it, my Charge was with me. It has officially earned its retirement now with the Roam. 

It’s perfect for getting music down at the far end of our pool as well. I don’t have a Move to compare against, but I don’t need that much for my back yard, the patio speaks cover the bulk of it anyways, but it is nice to now have the capability to have the audio there if we want it there. 

 

Like BMF said, now, just need a good case for it. 

Userlevel 1

Feature set seems complete except for one that exists in competitor's products - the ability to group speakers over bluetooth (like PARTYUP on UE products or JBL Connect+). The Roam product page states that grouping can only be accomplished via WiFi. 

I hope that is not a hardware limitation and can possibly be enabled via software at some point. I pre-ordered two Roams and would love to have two or more of these bad boys working in concert wherever I decide to setup camp this summer!

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

  

 

Also, what happens with the Roam is connected via WiFi, playing streaming audio, but also connected via BT to your phone?  If you initiate audio on the phone, or maybe just receive a phone call, will the Roam automatically switch to BT audio, or does it need to manually be done?  If it’s automatic, will that cause you to ‘lose’ your WiFi stream. (I’m guess it’s manual for that reason)

Roam still has 2 distinct modes - WiFi and Bluetooth - and holding the power button down for 2 seconds lets you switch between them. The LED next to the Sonos logo will show you which mode you’re in (White for WiFi, Blue for Bluetooth). This means that if your Roam is in WiFi mode, it doesn’t establish a Bluetooth connection to your phone, so your music won’t be interrupted by anything happening on your phone. 

 

Thanks for the answers James!  So given the information above, what is the procedure sharing an BT audio stream with the rest of your Sonos system?  I’m going to guess that when you put it in BT mode while in WiFi range, you are still connected to the rest of your Sonos system.  So, put it in BT, start streaming to the Roam over BT, then go to the Sonos app and group the Roam with other Sonos rooms?

Spot on! Putting the Roam in Bluetooth mode while in range of WiFi will let you group products together through the Sonos app as long as the Roam has been attached to that system in WiFi mode at least once.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Anyone know the life expectancy of the battery? I recall reading somewhere that it wasn't replaceable so would be good to know how long it will last. 

Under decent operating conditions (used within standard operating temperatures and not completely drained every day) it should last a few years before any noticeable degradation in battery life. The battery is not user-serviceable, but we are working on a program to replace batteries at the end of their lifecycle.

Ok, so where are we on Roam production?   Are those factories churning them out now?Any chance the Roam shipping date will move up to before April 20th?

The goal is for customers to receive their Roams on April 20th. I can’t comment on how the production lines are working but if you’ve pre-ordered then there is a good chance you will receive your Roam on or slightly before April 20th (obviously dependent on external factors such as the pandemic and inclement weather).

To be clear, this isn’t a promise that you’ll receive your order on April 20th, since there are factors outside of Sonos’ control, but every effort is being made to ensure we meet those expectations. Our Sales team will be happy to clarify anything about this with you.

Badge

Impressive!

How’s its power compared to a One/SL/Play1? And its sound?

Does it work with any Qi charger?

I pair Roam with One SL in my pool area directly across from each other and i find the sound quality and power to be equal (at levels 30-60%, as to not tick off my neighbours). The test was to close my eyes and turn multiple times and try to decipher which was which. I couldn’t!  

I pair Roam with One SL in my pool area directly across from each other and i find the sound quality and power to be equal (at levels 30-60%, as to not tick off my neighbours). The test was to close my eyes and turn multiple times and try to decipher which was which. I couldn’t!  

 

In Sonos parlance, that is ‘grouping’.  Meaning you are grouping two rooms to play in sync.  ‘Pairing’ is when you semi-permanently link two like models together in a stereo pair, so one plays the left channel and the other the right channel of a stereo signal.  Then there is ‘bonding’  which is used to add a Sub or surrounds to a room.

Userlevel 4
Badge +8

Hi do you know if the Sono ROAM and Sonos One sound quality will be equivalent?

I will use it at home and also if I like the bluetooth capabilities I wouldn’t loose the quality of the sound.

 

 

Thanks

They definitely will not be equivalent.  Sonos One will be better as it is larger/heavier with different component parts (but it is also not intended to be a portable speaker).    If you do not intend to use it in the bathroom/shower or take out of the house, you should get a One. 

I have 4 Ones in my house, but will be buying a Roam for the bathroom.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

I got mine today. Sonos Roam black delivered in Denmark. It is really a beauty and sounds great!

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Ordered Apr 11 and arrived this morning. Plugged into an INIU WI-210 fast wireless charger plugged into a 2.4A USB port. So should charge at a 10W rate.

 

Sound is nice. As someone else mentioned the volume setting is higher than I would use for my Play One's. But this is a personal speaker rather than a room speaker. I did up the bass a bit on the Eq. I think when my second speaker arrives it should fill out the sound nicely. I have it by my computer work area. I will be getting it  in the shower. 

Reply