I really should have looked in here before I purchased the Roam

  • 2 December 2022
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Hi there,

Longstanding Sonos user having purchased his first ZP90 way back in 2010 ending up shortly thereafter with 3 of them in total before adding what was then called the S5, followed by Play 3, Play 1 and since adding a Move and just last week purchasing a Roam for use mainly as a portable speaker outside of the house.

I do recall being disappointed over the S1/S2 split and furore that surrounded it but I have mostly been satisfied with my Sonos despite losing some features over the years.

My system is obviously held at S1 level as it would cost in excess of £2,300 to upgrade to S2 and as I don’t have that kind of disposable income these days I have no option but to forego any new features and hold my system as is.

Annoying then that the S1 app keeps throwing up a banner at the top of the screen telling me the Sonos S2 app is now available and asking if I want to check compatibility. I’ve lost count of the number ot times I have declined but still the banner pops up - is there any way to turn it off for good?

Recently however I decided I needed a portable speaker that I could use away from the house, in a motorhome for example and without researching properly thought the Roam would be a no-brainer as it would (should?) also be compatible with my existing Sonos.

That’s when I stumbled across many posts here with S1/S2 incompatibility and a multitude of Roam issues and now I’m left wondering if maybe I should have bought a different brand entirely?

Short question; is it possible to setup the Roam using my existing S1 system & app to get it to function as a standalone speaker and maybe a portable device in the house (and if so how?) or will I not be able to set it up on an existing S1 system at all?

Not looking for fancy hand-off type features just a portable Bluetooth/AirPlay type speaker that might double as an extension of my existing system.

If it is incompatible (why Sonos?) then would purchasing a second Move give me the option of paring it with my existing Move to give me a stereo pair that I could use outside in the summer and the option to take one (or both) away from the house in the motorhome for example or will they be tied to staying within Wi-Fi/SonosNET range of the rest of the system?

Not having taken my Move away from the house as I use it exclusively for the garden area/hot tub would it even be suitable as a portable speaker that I could stream music to from my iPhone or other source in the motorhome for example?

The Roam is unopened and is still within its return period if it will not work as I hoped so all is not lost.

Appreciate the knowledge from you guys who know about such things as the more I read the more confused I seem to get…

Thanks & kind regards,


8 replies

Short answer. No, it is not possible to set up your Roam using the S1 app in any way, you must use the S2 app. 

Here is the S1/S2 compatibility guide.

In my opinion MOVE would be a better “fit” in your environment, but it is obviously more expensive and MOVE will not fit as easily into a backpack.

If you decide to go with ROAM, note that it is S2 only. As you setup ROAM, power down all of your S1 units and install the S2 controller.  You’ll then be able to switch between controllers, but the ROAM will not interact in any way with the S1 controller. You would be able to Bluetooth to ROAM.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Just curious, and totally unrelated to your problem, so feel free to not answer. What features did you lose over the years on S1?

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Thanks for taking the time to reply guys...based upon the above it seems like the much anticipated Roam is not for me then?

I wonder why Sonos couldn’t just give the option to ‘dumb it down’ to make it an easy fit into an existing S1 system for those longstanding customers who are firmly entrenched in the S1 camp?

You know keep us loyal, dangle the S2 cherry in front of us and make the sale.

I get that progress marches on and all that but to alienate yourself from sales does not make much sense to me although I guess they know their market much better than I do...although not in this case it would seem.

Ah well it was a nice idea why it lasted…

I already have a Roam I use mainly for the hot tub but also in the garden so I could just use that in the motorhome I guess.

Thanks & kind regards,


Userlevel 2
Badge +2

Just curious, and totally unrelated to your problem, so feel free to not answer. What features did you lose over the years on S1?

Happy to answer but please bear in mind this is my perception and may not be factually correct as I’m not a heavy user of Sonos despite buying my first one of seven devices over 12 years ago now, recommending them to friends of mine and even buying some as presents but from memory;

  1. Removed the lock screen controls on iPhone and Watch. These used to be really handy and are still present for things like Apple Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Spotify etc.
  2. Removed the Management setup and configuration functions from the desktop app so unable to setup or transfer a Sonos system, add a new device, create or separate stereo pairs, register players, setup a TV, enable parental controls, manage network settings, adjust line-in settings, opt in or out of beta programs, or change Sonos account passwords etc.
  3. Removed the physical volume & mute buttons along with the optical output from the Port.
  4. Killed their own Controller & Dock. I can understand devices such as these being obsoleted as far as support goes but maybe they could have still allowed them to work until they mechanically/electrically/physically died? This didn’t affect me though unlike the other reasons listed.

I was also disappointed with how some of these updates that took away functionality seemed to be forced upon me without being open and up front about what features they were taking away. Disingenuous at best...downright deceitful at worst IMHO.

Then there was the S1/S2 fiasco that was mismanaged from the outset. That caused a lot of upset and went a long way to discourage me from upgrading from S1 to S2 if that was how they were going to treat their customers. Well that and the fact that 6 of my 7 devices are S1 only so would have to spend @£2,300 just to move a perfectly working system from S1 to S2! I’m not in that league any more.

It still irks me that most times when I open the app I get a banner at the top of the screen telling me; ‘The Sonos S2 app is now available. Check compatibility No thanks...I already know the S2 app is available and that 6 out of my 7 devices are incompatible with S2. I don’t need to be reminded when all I want to do is fire up a Sonos device to play music!

I had a Playbar on demo when they first came out but their decision to omit the HDMI port was a dealbreaker for me unfortunately. I still have a brand new, boxed Playbar wall bracket kicking around in my loft somewhere.

Oh and while I’m on a roll Sonos should win a prize for the most drab, boring, unimaginative and uninspiring app icon out of the 200+ icons on my iPhone! 

I know it doesn’t sound like it but despite all of the above I still love my Sonos system and would have happily continued to buy into it as I tried to with the Playbar & Roam but it seems to me I am being actively discouraged from doing so...

Thanks & kind regards,


I have both S1/S2 systems which run happily side-by-side. If you are an Apple iOS (compatible) device owner, you can always use Airplay to play audio to either, or both, systems.

Anyhow I have a couple of Roams and love the little speaker - amazing sound from such a small device (and their sound goes to a much higher level when used as a stereo-pair).

I can’t find it at the moment, but there is an option to suppress those upgrade messages in S1. I managed to do this a while back.

And, I prefer to use the desktop controller and regret that it has “stalled”.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

I can follow Sonos’ reasons behind the split. I seem to remember lock screen controls relate to having other Airplay compatible devices around, so maybe more Apple-related than Sonos. I agree a setting up a system from my desktop would be still be nice, though I would nit  know a time I could have used it. My phone’s always near me. The only real case of mismanagement in my opinion was the bricking of upgraded equipment, but that only lasted a couple of weeks. After which Sonos reacted to pressure/public opinion.