The Sonos Roam is our pick for the world’s best portable speaker due to its great sound, durable design, superior connectivity features, and smart home control.
A bass-heavy audio performance makes it suitable for outdoor use, but an intelligent Automatic Switching feature makes it easy to use indoors as well – however, audiophiles may loathe the obnoxious low frequencies and rhythmic handling.
The Sonos Roam is the latest wireless speaker from the multi-room audio startup, and its CEO considers it “the smartest speaker we’ve ever created.”
Following in the footsteps of the Sonos Move, the Roam features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Allowing it to function as a portable speaker and as part of a larger multi-room Sonos system.
And with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, it also functions as a smart speaker.
At $179 / £149 / AU$299, it is the most economical entry point into the Sonos multi-room audio ecosystem to date.
Despite the (relatively) modest price, you are getting a great deal here.
The sleek design of the Sonos Roam makes it suitable for indoor use, while it’s durable, waterproof, and dustproof.
Long battery life makes it excellent for outdoor use.
It also includes support for Google Assistant and Alexa, allowing you to manage it with your voice and use it to control other smart devices.
If the idea of a Bluetooth speaker with built-in microphones makes you queasy.
Sonos has just released a version of the Roam that does not include them.
The Sonos Roam SL is also slightly less expensive than the Sonos One and Sonos One SL.
To make the transition between indoors and outdoors as easy as possible, the Sonos Roam is equipped with a variety of unique features.
The first of these new functions is Sound Swap; by simply holding down the play button.
The Sonos Roam will “throw” your audio to the nearest accessible Sonos speaker.
Automatic Switching between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connections allows you to stroll inside your home.
And the Sonos Roam, which was previously linked with your Bluetooth device.
Will automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network without the need to manually set it up and reconnect.
Auto TruePlay, was initially introduced with the Sonos Move.
Has been updated so that the Roam will automatically adjust its soundstage to your environment.
Regardless of whether you’re using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
All these flashy features would be useless if the Sonos Roam didn’t sound great.
However, we’re pleased to report that, despite its diminutive size, the Roam delivers a powerful sonic performance.
With surprisingly prominent bass, even if it lacks the rhythmic precision you’d expect from an audiophile speaker.
If you are among the audiophiles of the globe, you may find the bass to be a bit overpowering.
Nonetheless, these powerful low frequencies perform well outdoors, where there are no walls to reflect the sound.
The Sonos Roam is our vote for the best portable speaker of 2021 due to its class-leading connectivity features, robust sound, and excellent design.
However, in terms of audio quality, the Sonos One remains the best wireless speaker.
In any case, we believe that Sonos has accomplished its goal of creating the smartest Sonos speaker to date.
Strongly recommend purchasing it if you’re looking for a portable speaker that can fit in.
Your existing home audio system as quickly it can provide music around a campfire or on the beach.
What About Availability And Pricing?
The Sonos Roam is now available for purchase at $179 / £179 / AU$299; this is $20 / £20 / AU$20 higher than original launch price.
After Sonos announced a nearly company-wide price increase.
This makes it the least expensive Sonos speaker to date in the United States and the United Kingdom, undercutting the Sonos One SL, which costs $179 / £179 (AU$269 in Australia).
It’s also less expensive than Sonos’ first portable smart speaker, the Sonos Move, which costs $399 / £399 / AU$649 — a price that places that speaker squarely at the top of the Bluetooth speaker market, albeit it earns that price tag with its array of Sonos smarts and powerful audio.
The UE Boom 3, one of our favourite Bluetooth speakers, costs $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$199.95 but lacks the smart assistant capability of Sonos’ most recent product.
If you do not want your Sonos Roam to include voice assistant functionality, you can save money by purchasing the new Sonos Roam SL.
It is currently available for preorder for $159 / £159 / AU$269 (opens in new tab).
What About The Connectivity?
Despite its emphasis on mobility, the Roam is an integral part of the Sonos ecosystem, so you can use it as part of a larger multi-room audio setup or couple it with another speaker for stereo sound.
The Sonos Roam may be paired with other Sonos speakers by holding down the play/pause button.
Unfortunately, two Sonos Roams cannot be used as a pair of rear channels for a home theatre system.
The business attributes this to sync difficulties and the possibility of a directed soundtrack losing its focus if a speaker is not correctly positioned within a room.