On Tuesday, Sonos launches its latest product called Sonos Roam, which The edge set out in detail a few days ago. Now I can share a little more about new features debuting first on the small, loudspeaker that is everywhere.
My previous report set out the core specifications of the Sonos Roam. The portable speaker is 6.5 centimeters long and weighs about a kilogram and offers up to 10 hours of battery life at a charge. Like the Move, it will support voice commands for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Sonos plans to sell it for $ 169, and the Roam will ship in April.
But now to the new things:
The Sonos Roam features automatic Trueplay.
Like the more expensive, larger Move, Sonos builds its Auto Trueplay audio tuning feature right into the Roam. The speaker will use its built-in microphones to calibrate the performance based on its surrounding environment. This can make a significant difference in reverberating rooms.
You can play songs via Bluetooth on your entire Sonos system.
Sonos designed the Roam to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at the same time (with the Move you had to choose one or the other). By connecting to both at the same time, you can play a song from your phone or other device near the Roam via Bluetooth, and the music can be played in the rest of your Sonos multi-room system.
With “Sound Swap” you can transfer music from the Roam to another Sonos speaker.
Another new feature exclusive to the Roam is what Sonos will call Sound Swap. If you hold down the play / hold button, the Roam sends the music it is currently playing to the nearby Sonos speaker. I do not know the full details on this, but I think it uses Bluetooth Low Energy to find out which speaker is the closest.
The Roam is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance.
This means that it is dust resistant and waterproof in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This puts the Roam on par with the popular UE Wonderboom speaker.
No, you can not use it as a surround speaker for the Sonos Arc of Beam.
The Roam cannot be used as part of a Sonos home setup. This is not entirely surprising, as was also the case with the Move. If you are looking for cheap environments for a beam or arch, you are best off staying the One SL or the Ikea Symphonic book rack speakers.
The photo at the top of this story is another new image that makes for an easy size comparison between the Roam and the larger, more expensive Sonos Move. And this is what the optional wireless charger looks like:
The biggest question I can not answer is how this thing sounds. Can Sonos make his good sound record with a speaker as well? I’m optimistic that the answer will be yes – but do not expect miracles.
Automatic Trueplay can help the Roam distinguish itself from many of the Bluetooth speakers it will compete with. A UE Tree or JBL Charge always sounds the same no matter where you place it. But if the Roam can remarkably adapt to its environment, it will be a distinction. And that Sound Swap trick probably sounds like it would be useful for an ultimate Sonos headphone …
We discuss on March 9 any other news that Sonos should share. In case there are still some surprises on the way.