Move or roam as surround speakers


Userlevel 4
Badge

Dear all, just a quick suggestion: wouldn’t it be possible to use roam or move speakers as surround spekers for 5.1 systems? Taht would give even greater flexibility and eliminate the need to find a plug in the right location. Usually, you don’t see a picture or a 5.1 program longer than the 10 hours of autonomy of those products, and the design would become cleaner without any wire!

 

Is there any technical questio that prevents this? Are you planning to solve it out at some point?

James L. 1 year ago

Hi @Fran1969, welcome to the community.

 

Move and Roam are not designed to be used as part of a home theater setup. They were designed to move, either indoors or outside the home - and away from where your home theater set-up is. You can of course group them to play in sync with other products in your system, including your home cinema setup, though they wouldn’t be used as dedicated rear speakers. I understand that the size and portability of Roam and Move would be ideal in a surround setup, and I’ll be happy to forward your feedback on to our product team for consideration :slight_smile:

View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

85 replies

Operationally this would become tedious. One would need to remove the MOVE/ROAM’s from the surround setup prior to taking them to another location. Actually, MOVE/ROAM would not be visible in the controller as individual speakers while they were part of a surround ‘Room’.  

If the reason to use MOVE/ROAM as surrounds is to be fully wireless, this would become tedious also because of the need to charge the battery operated speakers. I predict that at some point the charging task will become so onerous that the charger wires will be dangled somewhere anyway.

If the reason to use MOVE/ROAM as surrounds is to be fully wireless, this would become tedious also because of the need to charge the battery operated speakers. I predict that at some point the charging task will become so onerous that the charger wires will be dangled somewhere anyway.

 

If it were me, I likely leave the speakers plugged in, but that’s because my room layout allows for that.  If it did not though, I image it would be a case where I leave them charging in a convenient place, and only set them up when I am sitting down to watch a movie, which could get annoying.  People are comfortable using a TV normally and rolling down a projector screen for movies, so perhaps this is not much different.

Personally, I think there is a market for a ‘normal’ Sonos speaker in the same form factor and speaker quality of the Roam, without all the bells and whistles.  Remove the battery, BT features, and voice assistant (maybe) and you have a speaker that works well as surrounds or in small rooms like bathrooms.  Keep the USB plug for power and a customer can plug into a wall outlet or separate USB power bank if they want to have it be wireless. Price could probably drop to around $120, slightly more than ikea bookshelf, and do well.

Userlevel 1

Out of curiosity, would people still want this feature if setup as surround speakers meant that you had to turn off just about every other feature?  For example, if it meant that you could not use bluetooth mode, no auto trueplay, no voice assistant, etc,  and the speaker would not function unless both speakers were currently on and with 5Ghz range of the Arc/Beam/Amp that’s connected to the TV?  In other words, it would act just like any sonos surround speaker, except this runs off batteries rather than directly wired for power.

 

 

 

My thinking is that If there was the optional functionality to connect as surround speakers,  then while connected as surround,  the other functionalities would be superfluous.
if I was able to brief the design team, I would suggest that The must-have is to be able to easily (like the Sonos One) connect and disconnect from the surround system , and when disconnected to automatically operate as a roaming speaker (or pair of roaming speakers) with the standard functionality of the roam.

the battery power easily may not lasts through the full Hobbit - LOTR series , but then neither would I. But it would be great to be able to set up for a great film party without worrying about the power cables.

there may be limitations in the chip sets or space, and it is highly likely  I will not understand the technological barriers to creating this option and dropping it in with a system upgrade.  

+1 to everything said above, got mine today and very disappointed that it can’t be used as a surround. @melvimbe i’d trade any functionality to have the option to set this as a surround. (‘Surround mode’ toggle? 😏)

+1 to everything said above, got mine today and very disappointed that it can’t be used as a surround. @melvimbe i’d trade any functionality to have the option to set this as a surround. (‘Surround mode’ toggle? 😏)

You can’t just instantly ‘toggle’.  There is a reconfiguration to be done for the surrounds to be bonded to the main HT speaker.  The bonded connection uses direct routing (i.e. peer-to-peer) for communication between the HT speaker and surrounds, and the Move or Roam are not designed to do direct routing.  

Sonos operates as an integrated system where speakers stay in constant touch.  The Roam and Move have been designed to connect and communicate only by WiFi, not SonosNet, and not by direct routing.  They are designed to be instantly removable without the system needing to reconfigure.  And this has to work for systems of thirty devices not just two.

But fundamentally this is about horses for courses.  Fixed speakers for surrounds. Portable speakers to be, well, portable.

Bought my pair today and was surprised to find they cannot be used as rear speakers, one would definately suppose so! 
 

Pls make it happen!

Userlevel 1

I’d buy another Roam if this were an option. I bought the first one to use outside on the deck - which it’s been great for. It would be really cool if I could also use them downstairs as rears for a surround setup. In our small room that serves as living, dining, and kitchen there’s really nowhere to put permanent rears that wouldn’t be an eyesore.

@Sonos - I’d buy another Roam now if I new this was on the product roadmap. Just can’t justify it until I know it’s planned for the current hardware. Also leaning towards a Beam gen 2 and Sub, this would push me over the edge.

I’d buy another Roam if this were an option. I bought the first one to use outside on the deck - which it’s been great for. It would be really cool if I could also use them downstairs as rears for a surround setup. In our small room that serves as living, dining, and kitchen there’s really nowhere to put permanent rears that wouldn’t be an eyesore.

@Sonos - I’d buy another Roam now if I new this was on the product roadmap. Just can’t justify it until I know it’s planned for the current hardware. Also leaning towards a Beam gen 2 and Sub, this would push me over the edge.

 

Sonos does not publish a product roadmap.  

For the price of Sonos products we should be able to fly them to the moon never mind using a feature which  could easily be implemented. Yes, you have speakers available for surround in the One SL however all Sonos speakers including the Roam should be able to link for 5.1, you have two main speakers available so why not have the Roam link up for surround?

 

Can't see the logic in having these as portable speakers only......

For the price of Sonos products we should be able to fly them to the moon never mind using a feature which  could easily be implemented. Yes, you have speakers available for surround in the One SL however all Sonos speakers including the Roam should be able to link for 5.1, you have two main speakers available so why not have the Roam link up for surround?

 

Can't see the logic in having these as portable speakers only......

 

How do you know it would be easy to implement?  if you’re assuming that it’s easy to implement, that may be why it doesn’t seem logical to you. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the feature.  I’m just can’t assume it’s easy to developed, would be easy to operate, and would actually satisfy complaints since you wouldn’t be able to easily use other features of the Roam, and perhaps wouldn’t bring in enough additional revenue to justify the cost.  Don’t know.  The fact that no other portable speaker can do this, as far as I know, doesn’t make me think it’s as plausible a feature as it may seem on the surface.  I don’t see the point in making assumptions that happen to fit the narrative, when you can just let it be known that it’s feature you would use and perhaps buy more products if it existed.

Mate.....c'mon..…

 

This is obviously a way to get sales for the 'one', with the R&D Sonos has available, adding software is not difficult.

Laugh. The engineers I work with would be happy to argue that point with you, and you also need to consider the electronic parts involved to make such a function work may not exist in these devices, a conscious choice to save manufacturing costs. 

The point is, however, making assumptions about Sonos’ business reasons is an unlikely story for success, unless you work within the organization, and have direct knowledge, one way or the other. 

I choose to believe that they’re not intent on ‘evil’ per se, and there must be valid reasons as to why they chose this path, beyond the rather simple ‘obvious way to get sales of the ‘one’ (sic)’ that you state. 

Mate.....c'mon..…

 

This is obviously a way to get sales for the 'one', with the R&D Sonos has available, adding software is not difficult.

 

If I had a nickel for every time a layman told this SE how easy a software change would be and was off by a country mile, I could buy half of New York City.   Stay in your lane, "mate". 🙄

adding software is not difficult.

It’s just a few lines of code really. Getting the 0s and 1s in the correct order surely can’t take that much effort..

Mate.....c'mon..…

 

This is obviously a way to get sales for the 'one', with the R&D Sonos has available, adding software is not difficult.

 

That’s another poor assumption.  The Sonos Roam costs $180, while the Sonos One SL costs $200.   Perhaps they make more profit on the SL, but that conclusion is far from obvious.  And, you’re ignoring the fact that ikea speakers, including the $100 bookshelf speakers  can be used as rear surrounds.  If Sonos wanted to push Sonos One sales instead of Roam, why would they allow cheaper alternatives at all?  And of course, as has been pointed out several times in this thread, many people cannot plug in a speaker in the surround sound locations, and battery is the only option.  So those people don’t buy any surround speakers.

If you’re argument is that a customer wanted portable speakers and surround speakers and thus would just buy two Roams instead of 1-2 Roams and 2 Sonos One SLs...I think you’re underestimating how difficult it would be to manage all those features in a single device.  It sounds easy in theory, but in practice, I think it would be complicated and leave customers frustrated. 

Again, that’s not even considering whether the hardware is there,  the development costs for the feature, making changes to setup to accommodate ease of use, testing the feature to make sure it’s actually reliable, impacts on other features Sonos may be planning, etc.

 

I say all this knowing full well that Sonos could bring in the feature at the next release, and assuming it works reliably, I’d be happy to see it done.  I just don’t see that point of making blind assumptions that it’s all easy.  For one thing, if it was so easy, then the market would be full of portable wireless speakers that can act as rear surround speakers.

Userlevel 1

Same for me, a pair of fully wireless speakers like the roam would make a great set of surround speakers! 

Count me in. I bought a move thinking this would be possible. 

Just got my pair of Sonos Roam SLs today, very excited! I bought them mainly to use as desktop speakers for my home office, since Roam supports Bluetooth, I can finally use them with AirPlay for my Mac and Bluetooth for PC. I went in knowing the Roam cannot be used as surround speakers for home theatre setup, but…. once I actually held one in hand, I really hoped Sonos would make Roam part of a theatre setup, the compact size make them perfect for my small living room, and I assume the sound quality won’t be too bad either.

Just in case you are wondering. Yes, there is a SL version of the Roam, probably only for the Chinese market, since both Alexa and Google Assistance are not officially available in China, and surprisingly Sonos didn’t add any Chinese local voice assistant like Xiao Ai from Xiaomi which will do wonders for their sales in China. You do lose the TruePlay auto tuning with the SL version, which seems to be another missed oppotunity, Sonos can simply get rid of the Voice Assistants SW feature and Mic button but keep the microphones inside for the auto Trueplay. Btw, the SL Roam are retailed at 1699CNY in China which is 267USD…. maybe the SL stands for speechless for the pricing… :D

The ROAM speakers have a great form factor for a surround rear speaker. Wish Sonos consider releasing a set of affordable rear surround speakers that are mainly there to just be rear surrounds. That way, the speakers could be made a lot cheaper and may help boost sales of the arc and beam gen 2 when sold as a set or a pair that could be bought independently.
 

This is because the One SLs and the others in the SONOS arsenal, in my opinion, are just too big for tight spaces and designed to be primarily used as independent speakers but can ALSO function as surrounds and for someone who’s just looking to add a couple of speakers to complete their setup, it’s an expensive addition and one that’s difficult to justify at that price point.

If you are looking for inexpensive surrounds, look here:

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/symfonisk-wifi-bookshelf-speaker-black-00357561/

If you are looking for inexpensive surrounds, look here:

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/symfonisk-wifi-bookshelf-speaker-black-00357561/

 

I’m not a fan of how these look and have not bee impressed with the sound quality.  I would much rather have a pair of speakers with the Roams form factor and audio quality, with mics and batter removed for a slight discount than symfonisk bookshelf.

This would be fantastic.

Plus one

I wonder if the battery run time would be suitable for Binge Watching.

I thought I saw somebody say 10 hours for the roams… I have a move it’s 3-4 hours tops