The New $169 Sonos Roam Takes Smart Streaming On the Road

A Sonos Roam speaker on a log, next to a mug.

Sonos is known for some of the best sounding multi-room speakers on the market. But if you want to leave the home and take your music with you the Sonos Move is a little too bulky for comfortable travel. Enter the Sonos Roam, the companies most affordable and smallest speaker yet. Pre-orders are open now, and the speaker will go on sale April 20th.

At the size of a small table lamp, the Sonos Move is portable in name only. Sure you can take it out to the patio, but you wouldn’t want to pack it in a bag. The Sonos Roam is much smaller, at 6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches and just under a pound. That makes it the smallest Sonos speaker to date. And at $169, it’s also the least expensive.

A Sonos Roam speaker strapped to a sling bag.

Size and cost aren’t the only improvements here. The Sonos Move can connect over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but not both. The Sonos Roam removes that restriction and lets you connect over both protocols simultaneous. When you’re home (or some place else you frequent) it will automatically connect to Wi-Fi, and when you’re on the go it’ll re-pair to your phone.

And naturally, since it’s a Sonos speaker, it supports whole-home audio and can connect to the other Sonos speakers in your home to play music, even when you’re playing audio to the Roam over Bluetooth. It uses “two Class-H amplifiers,” tweeters, and a “custom racetrack”
mid-woofer to produce sound, but we’ll have to give it a listen to know if it’s equal to other speakers in its size category.

A triangular shaped wireless charger.
The Qi Wireless puck attaches magnetically. Sonos

Since it’s a portable speaker, it comes packed with a battery that Sonos says will last “all day.” That amounts to ten hours of audio play time. When you’re not using it, it’ll last ten days before needing a recharge. You can charge it on any QI wireless charging puck, or over USB-C. Sonos plans to sell a Roam-specific wireless charger that attaches magnetically.

When your outside, the environment is the enemy of electronics, and the Roam should stand up to casual use. It’s rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, and Sonos says it can survive in three feet of water for 30 minutes.

The Roam doubles as an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker as well, thanks to built-in mics. And as with other Sonos speakers, it can use those microphones to tune its sound to the room or environment around it. It does introduce one new feature: Sound Swap. Press and hold the the play button and the Roam will find the closest Sonos speaker in your system and pass of music to it.

The Sonos Roam is up for pre-order today and will go on sale April 20th.