Why I despise my Roam: (1) connectivity, (2) simplicity

  • 29 December 2022
  • 2 replies
  • 162 views

TL;DR - Roam is arguably the infuriating portable or bluetooth speaker I’ve used. 10/10 regret this purchase.

 

Context:

  • Had a home-wide Sonos setup (arc + surrounds + sub) + (2x fives + sub) + (2x ones) + (move to bring to the backyard / on trips where space isn’t a premium) before buying my Roam - so am very familiar with the ecosystem
  • Also have some Nests dotted around for voice control - again, very familiar with the wireless sound ecosystem
  • Needed to replace our ultra-portable bluetooth speaker (use cases where the Move is too cumbersome such as quick trips to the park or trips where flying is involved)
  • Purchased a Roam, charging pad, and case; set it up in a room that didn’t have a One/SL to be used on wireless mode but also available for bluetooth portability; works fine in wireless mode.

Challenges:

  • Immediately out of the box it didn’t work and needed to be replaced.
  • Connectivity - regularly have connectivity issues when switching from wireless to bluetooth. The single power / mode / pair button is the point of failure. Regularly find myself just simply unable to connect or to get the Roam to move to bluetooth mode or initiate pairing.
  • Simplicity - twice in the past year, while traveling, attempting to pair a phone has triggered the blinking orange light reset cycle. If I am traveling, I cannot re-configure my Roam to my existing Sonos network, therefore bricking the Roam when I need it most to just be a bluetooth music player. Independent bluetooth mode should be simple and should be able to bypass the in-app setup / configuration to an existing Sonos system.

What’s next:

  • For me: I’m replacing my Roam with a simpler bluetooth-first speaker; I actually hate my Roam speaker and am quick to let others know that it is simply a terrible product.
  • Fellow users: warning to stay away from the Roam until it is improrved. The physical user experience is just that bad.
  • Sonos: if you’re listening, two things would revolutionize this product: (1) add a bluetooth button, like you did to the Move; (2) allow the speaker to function in bluetooth mode even if not setup to an existing system.

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2 replies

This is my second Roam- the last was replaced under warranty. The instructions say to hold the power button until the speaker enters pairing mode, but mine just switches off after holding the button in for 5 seconds. It’s a terribly frustrating design. Sound quality is so good but the user interface is appallingly poor.

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