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So many problems with the Roam!

  • 26 April 2021
  • 57 replies
  • 8132 views

Userlevel 2

We received our Roam last week and have had endless problems with it, which haven’t been solved by Sonos Customer Services.

Initially, it wouldn’t connect to our existing Sonos system at all. Then when it did, the speaker didn’t work properly - it was really tinny with no bass, and when we tried to change the volume there was an awful scratching noise.

We eventually managed to play music normally - but the it cuts out every 3-5 minutes!! On the Sonos app it still says music is playing, and the buttons on the Roam don’t work.

This happens whether it’s on Bluetooth or wifi. Other problems include not being able to turn it off, and the buttons sporadically not working at all.

We spent 45 minutes on hold to CS, and then 2.5 hours chatting with a very nice but ultimately unhelpful technician who remote-accessed our router settings and tried everything he could to get it working. This resulted in us having no internet…. because he changed our router to modem mode, which meant nothing else connected to the router worked! He then told us to call our ISP - even though it’s clearly a problem with the Roam and not our wifi network.

We’ve had no problems with our other Sonos speakers. But although I am loathe to call CS again but I’m going to have to to return this obviously faulty item. Sort it out Sonos!

Are these common problems or is it just us? How do you get Sonos to acknowledge that something is faulty?

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Best answer by James L. 27 April 2021, 12:01

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Userlevel 2

Update on this - Sonos acknowledged that there’s a fault and agreed to replace the Roam. We got our replacement this morning and it worked straight out of the box - no problem connecting, system sounds working, no problem with the top buttons, plays continuously, super responsive.

Sooooo if you’re having problems with your Roam, you might have got a faulty one like us...

Userlevel 1

I have also had a nightmare experience with Roam and Sonos. 
•first roam failed right out of the box. After wading through Sonos extremely customer unfriendly CRS phone tree (I want to talk to a person!!) for 20 minutes, I then spent another 30 minutes with a tech who tried everything including a factory reset before pronouncing it DOA. I could a) ship it back and wait 5 weeks for a replacement or b) buy a replacement, have it shipped ASAP, and get my $184.00 back when they received my first one back. 
•I chose b) thinking this would be the most efficient path. Credit card billed another $184, new roam arrived, setup no problem, worked great for 3 days, then roam 2 fails, S2 app sez I need an update. OK, update process fails twice. I decide to wait overnight before diving back into customer service hell. Update works third time yay! Only now the unit is completely malfunctioning - unit turns off within 30 seconds, randomly changes Spotify music selection mid-song, turns on (solid white light) without me touching it. Factory reset failed. Clearly ANOTHER malfunctioning unit. 
•so now it’s been 14 business days since I returned the first unit, still no refund. I decide to call. All I want now is my money back on the first unit before I return the second unit (I don’t trust Sonos customer service to handle two simultaneous refunds). I get handed off to 4 different people! No one can help me. I’m on the phone an hour. Last guy says be patient your refund should arrive today. Nope. 
•to summarize, I paid for 2 roams, neither worked, and have not been refunded although one has been returned. I’m done with Sonos all I want is my money back. BTW, I have Bose and UE2 Bluetooth speakers that work fine on my network so don’t go there. 

Userlevel 1

The best message to send Sonos is a returned product.  That’s what I did with the Roam.  That hits them right in the pocket.  Maybe then they will realize that lowering product quality to improve the bottom line won’t work.

Hi @hanajohnson878,

 

I can assure you that the issues you mentioned are not common, nor should they be expected. I’ve asked that your open case with our support team get escalated to a senior agent. You should receive a response from them in the next day or so.

Sounds like they gave you an open box device. The Bluetooth function can not be used until such point as the Roam has been set up on the Sonos software. 

I’d highly recommend that you do a factory reset of that device, before attempting to add it back to your existing Sonos system. 

I’m having so many problems, just like you. My Roam is basically an overpriced paper weight. What a frustrating product!  At least yours connected.  About to throw this thing into the ocean. Stick with a more traditional Bluetooth brand (JBL, Bose) for portability, SONOS has some work to do. 

Userlevel 1

I love my Sonos speakers, all 5 of them, which is why I purchased the Roam.  Well, that was a mistake!  I wasted hours yesterday trying to get the damn thing to connect to my WiFi and Bluetooth - NEITHER would work!!  I have a free crappy little Coors Lite Bluetooth speaker that connected in 5 seconds.  No excuse for you guys!  Especially since you already have experience with the all-too-expensive Move speaker.  The unit is being shipped back today for refund. 

Clearly, there is a Quality Assurance problem and you need to get on it and recall the bad batches instead of letting your customers suffer and lose faith.  Stop selling defect products before Sonos goes the way of Sony.  Customers expect a quality product from you, not a headache!

As a side note, I’d suggest you add an ethernet port so we can at least connect to get any firmware updates before wasting time trying to connect to our WiFi.

Hi @hanajohnson878,

 

I can assure you that the issues you mentioned are not common, nor should they be expected. I’ve asked that your open case with our support team get escalated to a senior agent. You should receive a response from them in the next day or so.

We received our Roam last week and have had endless problems with it, which haven’t been solved by Sonos Customer Services.

Initially, it wouldn’t connect to our existing Sonos system at all. Then when it did, the speaker didn’t work properly - it was really tinny with no bass, and when we tried to change the volume there was an awful scratching noise.

We eventually managed to play music normally - but the it cuts out every 3-5 minutes!! On the Sonos app it still says music is playing, and the buttons on the Roam don’t work.

This happens whether it’s on Bluetooth or wifi. Other problems include not being able to turn it off, and the buttons sporadically not working at all.

We spent 45 minutes on hold to CS, and then 2.5 hours chatting with a very nice but ultimately unhelpful technician who remote-accessed our router settings and tried everything he could to get it working. This resulted in us having no internet…. because he changed our router to modem mode, which meant nothing else connected to the router worked! He then told us to call our ISP - even though it’s clearly a problem with the Roam and not our wifi network.

We’ve had no problems with our other Sonos speakers. But although I am loathe to call CS again but I’m going to have to to return this obviously faulty item. Sort it out Sonos!

Are these common problems or is it just us? How do you get Sonos to acknowledge that something is faulty?

 

I am also experiencing the same issues with my Roam. And it will reboot itself and then the battery light flashes Red.

I’m on the second call with support hopefully they will authorize a replacement.

I’m having similar problems with my new Sonos Roam. Very frustrating as it routinely won’t operate. On/Off button is also poorly engineered. Need help to fix, a refund or a replacement. 

@Sonos @ SonosStaff

I have had similar, albeit fewer issues, with my Sonos Roam products.

I purchased 2 units with the intent of using them in a smaller space as a stereo pair. 

Oddly, I had initial issues with the setup. No scratching or volume issues as listed above, but connectivity to my existing Sonos system was problematic. Sonos recognizes the new speakers in the mobile app, but fails to configure them properly (would not show up in the devices list, etc.).

Additionally, when set up as stereo pair, I noticed one of the speakers would intermittently stop playing. The device remained listed in the speaker list on the app. Furthermore, the app indicated that the device was playing/active. This issue seemed to move intermittently between the left AND right channels.  

I have also noticed issues with the power button and the speaker control buttons. They don’t seem to respond a well or as quickly as my other speakers. 

Lastly, I have these speakers set for auto Trueplay. I’m unsure if this feature is working. I’m not sure how to tell. Along these lines, the EQ setting is resetting to default (bass = 0, treble = 0) settings. 

Overall the experience has been mixed and mediocre.

I have checked wireless configurations, rebooted my router and wireless extenders (which are using a Gb/s backhaul connection to the main router), Sonos settings, and all of my other speakers. I have a number of other Sonos devices connected to my network. I uploaded support diagnostics; 289096592. 

When these s[peakers work, they work well. When they don’t it is very frustrating.

I have had very good experiences with my other Sonos products. I’m confident these issues will be resolved. thank you for your time and attention to these matters.

 

I too am having issues with Sonos Roam. It seems to work inside the house but when I take it in the garden it struggles to connect to WiFi. When it does connect it frequently disconnects. My phone has a decent wifi signal outside but there is no way of checking the signal on the roam. I connected via Bluetooth and it made no difference. 

I have a BT wifi mesh network which has been solid for years.

It annoys me that companies sell products that are not finished, and then fix them via software updates. It makes for a very bad customer experience.

We received our Roam last week and have had endless problems with it, which haven’t been solved by Sonos Customer Services.

Initially, it wouldn’t connect to our existing Sonos system at all. Then when it did, the speaker didn’t work properly - it was really tinny with no bass, and when we tried to change the volume there was an awful scratching noise.

We eventually managed to play music normally - but the it cuts out every 3-5 minutes!! On the Sonos app it still says music is playing, and the buttons on the Roam don’t work.

This happens whether it’s on Bluetooth or wifi. Other problems include not being able to turn it off, and the buttons sporadically not working at all.

We spent 45 minutes on hold to CS, and then 2.5 hours chatting with a very nice but ultimately unhelpful technician who remote-accessed our router settings and tried everything he could to get it working. This resulted in us having no internet…. because he changed our router to modem mode, which meant nothing else connected to the router worked! He then told us to call our ISP - even though it’s clearly a problem with the Roam and not our wifi network.

We’ve had no problems with our other Sonos speakers. But although I am loathe to call CS again but I’m going to have to to return this obviously faulty item. Sort it out Sonos!

Are these common problems or is it just us? How do you get Sonos to acknowledge that something is faulty?

 

I am also experiencing the same issues with my Roam. And it will reboot itself and then the battery light flashes Red.

I’m on the second call with support hopefully they will authorize a replacement.

I’m having exactly the same problems….very frustrating. Return Roam to Sonos tomorrow. I hope my next unit is not defective.

I am having issues with toggling between pairing stereo with roam, then when put in ‘everywhere’ mode they drop off stereo and one of them disconnects?   Also, instructions for setup is not very clear.    Roam roll out was not done well.   Come on Sonos, we pay for excellence.  I have 12 sonos devices…. Don’t get me started on S1 vs S2!

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Hi @berniebaker, thanks for raising this with the Sonos Community.

After looking at your diagnostic, it seems that the left Roam is hanging on to a weak 5GHz connection, potentially causing your issues with audio dropping out. We’re looking in to an issue where the Roam should be reconnecting to the strongest AP after being moved but isn’t, and are hoping to have a fix for this in an upcoming update - in the meantime, when being moved around a location with multiple access points, we recommend fully rebooting the Roam to force it to connect to the strongest AP (Power off by holding the power button for 5 seconds, and then power back on again).

I don’t have the Roam or Move myself, but from what I’ve heard from colleagues who do have one, the Auto-Trueplay effect can be quite subtle.

Let us know if you have better performance from the Roams after fully rebooting :)

Agreed. I am on my second sonos roam. 

The first one never connected as bluetooth or to my system. I returned it to best buy. Best Buy then offer to order me a new one… so I figured it would give it a try.  The second one worked as a bluetooth speaker until i tried to connect to my home sonos system. Now it will not work on my system OR as a bluetooth speaker.  I am going to factory reset and give it one more try then i am DONE.

Thank you. I’ll leverage your suggestions and apply the update once it is published. 

I’ll keep you posted should I uncover additional issues.  

Sounds like they gave you an open box device. The Bluetooth function can not be used until such point as the Roam has been set up on the Sonos software. 

I’d highly recommend that you do a factory reset of that device, before attempting to add it back to your existing Sonos system. 

Seeing all the different posts and stories about the ROAM being defective, I have a hard time reconciling myself to some stupid comment posted about this obviously not being a product problem and  scores of users have no problems so it must be a “you” problem.

 

Mine is dead. Normal use for about a month. Was glitchy while it still functioned. But I lived with it. Now I begin my journey trying to get a refund… (and yes it’s past the 45 day period) I started with the “email our CEO direct” link. Very interested to see how that works out.

 

This topic is barely 2 pages long.  Want to know what a real problem looks like?  

A few years back there was an actual “widespread” problem with a single Sonos device, the Playbar, a rather expensive, relatively low sales item, and the problem only manifested itself with a certain brand of TV.  Even so, the main thread for that problem made it past 200 posts, and ended up being almost 10 pages, even though a fix was almost immediate. 

 

Another time the Playbar was found to be affected with all TV’s.  That thread hit 75 pages and over 1800 posts.  There was also a couple dozen or so other threads about the same problem.

 

So no, a few dozen or so posts does not mean a widespread problem.

My roam simply doesn’t make any sound (both music and chimes). I can see that a song is playing. Any idea what to do?

jgatie - this is one specific topic titled “So many problems with the Roam!”

 

Look for anything involving Roam Battery, Roam Dead, Roam Charging, and many more key words. There are pages of different issues and all go back to a lot of people buying the Roam and it’s defective.

 

Your other examples of crappy Sonos products makes me seriously consider my future plans for home entertainment electronics though. Appreciate that info.

 

Add up every post on the Roam and you still won’t get 75 pages and 1800 posts (not to mention the dozens of other threads about that Playbar problem).  And I guarantee you there are far more Roam owners than Playbar owners out there.  Fact is, the vast majority of Roam owners, including me, have no problems.  Otherwise, you’d see what you saw for the Playbar and then some.  

And one problem (the other was a Samsung fault) with one product that was fixed within a few days does not a "crappy" product make. 

I’m having similar problems with my new Sonos Roam. Very frustrating as it routinely won’t operate. On/Off button is also poorly engineered. Need help to fix, a refund or a replacement. 

It’s perhaps best for you to contact your local Sonos Customer Support/chat online to Staff via this LINK. HTH

I’m trying to reconcile your statement with the fact that thousands of folks, including Ken, are using the product without issue. The conclusion I come to is that Ken is correct, either you have network issues to resolve, or, and significantly less likely, that there is an actual problem with your individual device. 

There are some questionable decisions taken in my mind, and some small portion of users seem to be having issues with the difference between asleep and off, but there do appear to be many that continue to use the device without any problems.

Yep, as Bruce mentions the Wife and I have two Roams working perfectly here, and my Son and Daughter also have one each at their Homes. Each of our setups work fine on both the LAN and/or Bluetooth connections.

There’s ‘perhaps’ little doubt in its worldwide production/roll-out that some small percentage of Roam units may encounter a fault, but that can happen with every/any similar product and in that case a product exchange will clearly work and resolve the issue, but if the LAN environment is the problem and the stated system requirements are not met, then a product exchange is just not the answer. 

We all want things to work straight out the box, but sometimes that may not always be the case, especially as some features on a LAN maybe switched off ‘by default’ on some routers, or a user has altered a setting themselves on their network, or mobile device. 

However my own personal experience is these Roam portable speakers work just fine and I think some folk forget that these are multi-room wireless/bluetooth computerised networked speakers with lithium-ion powered batteries - they do far more than normal Bluetooth speakers and have the following outlined features (not an exhaustive list):

  • Waterproof 
  • Auto-Trueplay 
  • Apple Airplay 
  • Wireless Audio
  • Sound Swap
  • Bluetooth (with line-in/pass-through to WiFi audio)
  • Stereo pairing & grouping.
  • 10+ hour playback battery life
  • Built-in mic with voice assistant (Alexa/Google)
  • Available in Black/White colours
  • Wireless Qi/USB-C charging

These portable speakers will work for the ‘majority’ of folk straight out the box, but like any network devices you may have to switch on/off things that have been switched off/on, either by default. or by the user themselves… such as ‘multicasting’, as mentioned in the example in my previous post. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +6

Sonos claims it will work independently as a Bluetooth device or with your other Sonos speakers as part of your system.  This product does neither properly.  That is a product issue, not a setup issue.  My iPhone could not even connect with it as a simple Bluetooth speaker.  Lemons happen, this is one.  The Product Manager responsible for the Roam didn’t do his/her job, simple as that.

Like you I returned my Roam because it didn’t meet my expectations. 
 

But come on man one can’t take your personal experience and say they whole product is bad, this simply isn’t true and IMO not really helpful to discussion here. 
 

That said I encourage you to keep posting your experience with the Roam as it is as valid as the other few posters who rave about it. 

Perhaps if you’re invested in the Sonos ecosystem the value proposition is different, but as a first-time Sonos buyer it had the opposite of what I assumed was the intended effect of bringing in a new customer, and instead alienated one for life.

I’m sure Sonos is a decent brand all in all, it does obviously have it’s fierce promoters/defenders as evidenced every time one dares to question the QA. But this is a thread about the very real shortcomings of a specific product, not a general philosophical debate about the brand. 

My own experience very much mirrored the posts here. Just a huge time-suck of trying to get it configured, to connect, and then after it finally did - work consistently. It never did, so I returned it. Maybe other folks have endless time to devote to making gadgets work in their advertised, intended way but I simply don’t. Got my money back, but the time is lost forever.

One faulty product does not a crappy brand make, but based on my own experience with the Roam as a first Sonos product, I’ll never touch anything made by it. Pretty bad “halo effect” for the cheapest product in the lineup.

It didn’t help that the actual sound quality was mediocre at best. It was embarrassing putting it side by side with my buddy’s Bose 3 yr old Soundlink. (And I’m no Bose fanboi either!)

To be charitable, maybe a Roam II will be better but I definitely steer anyone in the market for a portable speaker away from this iteration.

Same. What a mess. Just wanted a good quality Bluetooth speaker. Always a hassle to get connected and usually give up. 

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