Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker

Asia's Tech News Daily

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker

Sonos entered the Indian speaker market earlier this year with a flurry of products. The American brand that achieved great success in a span of a little under 20 years is known for its high-quality speakers that offer multi-device setups better than anyone else. But they are mostly premium. With Sonos Roam, the company took an educated step where the price would justify the features of this portable speaker more than any other model.

Sonos Roam was launched in India for Rs 19,999, a price that is high-end and appealing to only a small section of speaker enthusiasts. The high price tag is a result of something that you may have never experienced before on a speaker sold in India before Sonos came. I am talking about Sonos’ magical multi-room audio setup and the ability to play music from anything anywhere you want. Sonos Roam uses Wi-Fi to let you play music from anywhere in your house, and that is the ease your next speaker needs to bring.

The price of around Rs 20,000 is a big ask for Sonos, even with all the premium features, because it goes against brands like Sony, JBL, Bose, Marshall, and Ultimate Ears that are more popular in India. So, can Sonos Roam be your next premium portable speaker? Let us find out.

Sonos Roam review: Elegant design

Portable speakers usually follow the cylindrical design that makes speakers rollable, something people like to play around with. But Sonos Roam takes a detour.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

On a body that is 6.61-inches tall, the Sonos Roam brings a geometric triangle with curved edges. And unlike some cylinder-like speakers, this does not belt out audio from all sides but two. That is because one side is where the charging port and power button are, and it also doubles as the underbody for when you place the speaker horizontally. You can also place the speaker vertically but make sure the controls stay on top.

Sonos Roam comes in black and white colours, but I prefer the former, which is also what I have reviewed. Sonos has gone with its standard precision-drilled hole design on the speaker, and if you take a closer look, you can see the hexagon pattern on the speaker. That is an immaculate attention to detail, so well done, Sonos. The speaker is also not heavy and perfect for picnics, trips, and anywhere inside your home.

By anywhere, I also mean a bathroom where you can shower while listening to your favourite music or settle in a bathtub listening to soulful tracks. You do not have to worry about water splashes, thanks to IP67 water and dust resistance, which the company claims can allow the speaker to survive up to 30 minutes in three-feet deep water. That also means poolside entertainment from the Sonos Roam, but remember, the speaker does not float.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

Silicone padding on the two horizontal ends makes the speaker sturdy, which is why it barely even got a scuff when I accidentally dropped the speaker on the floor once. I think a lanyard would have been better. Otherwise, holding the speaker is easy and comfortable.

Sonos Roam review: Easy controls and impressive connectivity

Just like any other portable speaker, the Sonos Roam, too, has a play/pause button, a next button, a previous button, and, obviously, a power button. These buttons are encased under silicone padding, which is a lot better than plastic buttons that, over time, get their paint worn off. The buttons are not that tactile, but pressing them feels oddly satisfactory. These are also different from capacitive buttons that you find on other Sonos speakers, so clearly, there is a trade-off here, but a reasonable one.

There is also a fifth button on the speaker. It serves many purposes. First, it will turn the microphone off when you do not want Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to listen to you all the time. The second purpose is to enable or disable Trueplay, which I will talk about a bit later. Finally, it is good to know that you have your privacy under your control.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

On the underbody of the Sonos Roam are the power button and the USB-C port. You will find the bundled USB-C to USB-A cable a bit interesting. That is because the USB-C end has a special angle to avoid the wire getting in the way no matter how you place the speaker. The Sonos Roam also supports wireless charging from a compatible Qi charger, but it is a bit slower than the wired one. There is also a magnetic charger that Sonos sells separately, but I could not get a chance to test that. Sonos said the battery takes about two hours on a wireless charger to go from 0 to 50 per cent compared to one hour on cable charging.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

Using Wi-Fi, you can control Roam using the Sonos app that is available on both Android and iOS. This app lets you play music from partner services such as Spotify and Apple Music from within the app, given you have their paid subscriptions. The app has features like an equaliser, alarm clock, software update, and multi-device pairing, all of which work fine. However, if you lose Wi-Fi connection either on your phone or your speaker, all these settings become available. I wish Bluetooth pairing would also have offered these accessibility options.

Sonos Roam supports both Chromecast and AirPlay, so no matter if you have an Android phone or an iPhone, you will be able to play music over a Wi-Fi connection. I barely had a problem with this setup unless I tried AirPlay on my MacBook. While I was happy I could play music on both my MacBook’s speakers and Sonos Roam, the wireless connection was spotty. I also noticed delayed audio response sometimes, but that would become normal on its own. Maybe the next software update will fix this, but then you have Bluetooth as the safest fallback.

Sonos Roam review: Good sound

The most important aspect of a speaker is its sound, and Sonos Roam is only a wee close to nailing it. Sonos has a good reputation for offering good sound on its speakers, but Roam is mostly about trade-offs. I cannot say the Sonos Roam is the best-sounding speaker for that price, but it is definitely the one to offer the cleanest sound. I have tried Sony XBS-range speakers before that come at around the same price, and they come off as mostly flat in terms of sound output, as compared to Roam, which retains some depth in sound.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

I tried a mix of songs on the Sonos Roam. I played the latest hits like Jugnu by Badshah, Hold No Grudge by Lorde, and a classic like Happy Together by The Turtles on the Roam. While the texture of the vocals is what amazed me, the bass is restricted in all music. You will feel a bassy sound in a song or music only if you keep the volume lower than 80 per cent. Loud music naturally rips off its richness and texture, and that is what you will hear if you crank up the volume to 100 per cent. In the Sonos app, there is a toggle to turn “Loudness” on and off, and choosing the former does not improve bass levels much. But let me tell you, Roam can get very loud. Like really loud. And that is impressive for a portable speaker, but I do not think I will use it as a party speaker.

Roam is more of a speaker. You will like to listen to music while sitting in peace or when sleeping. That is because of how good classical music and acoustics sound in it. The sound is not pitchy, which is why you will love listening to podcasts, too. I listened to Chalte Chalte from Pakeezah, and the instrumental sounded so good, I played the song on loop. The bass of the speaker is its weakest link, but it is a design fault. Some of its rivals can offer punchier bass but at the expense of clarity, so Roam does not lose the race here. Sonos’ Roam is a small speaker with high ambitions, and bass is what it sacrifices to fulfil them.

If you buy two Sonos Roam units, you can pair them together in a stereo setup using the app, but I could not get a chance to experience that. But remember, the cost of two Roam speakers is going to be almost the same as a high-end Dolby home theatre with 5.1-channel output, and, to me, the latter makes more sense.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

Stereo pairing is mostly for large and spacious rooms, so that is fine if you do not go with two units. A single Roam unit is enough to get as loud as you would ideally expect. Thanks to the Trueplay feature, Sonos Roam can make optimisations to the music and loudness according to the room. This feature needs an iPhone or iPad to work, so there is no way you can use it through an Android phone. But, to my dismay, I hardly felt any different with Trueplay turned on. I guess it would have worked better had my room been emptier than it was.

Remember I said Sonos Roam supports voice assistants, like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa? Do not count on that. That is because voice assistants on Sonos are not available in India yet. When you try to set up either Alexa or Google Assistant via the Sonos app, it will say the service is not available in my region. I am not sure why Sonos has not figured out integration with voice assistants yet, because they are clearly in demand. Just look at the sales of Amazon Echo and Google Nest speakers. This is a deal-breaker.

Sonos Roam review: Decent battery life

One of the things that put the Sonos Roam in somewhat a bad light is the battery life. I managed to squeeze out around 8-9 hours on a single charge with continuous music playback over Bluetooth. Using Wi-Fi or AirPlay reduces this to around 7-8 hours. That is a bit on the lower side for a portable speaker for its price. Sony can easily outlast Sonos as far as portable speakers at this price are concerned. There is a standby mode that is turned on by default, so when you stop playing music through the Sonos app or AirPlay or Bluetooth, the speaker will become inactive, but it will remain connected to Wi-Fi for easy wake-up. That consumes significant battery power.

Sonos Roam review: Premium, portable speaker
© Provided by India Today

Sonos Roam review: Should you buy it?

Sonos is a new luxury audio brand in India, but it is a reputed one in the US. So catching up with the premium customers here will take some time – especially amid the competition from brands like Sony, but Roam comes off as a step taken in the right direction.

At Rs 19,999, the Sonos Roam is a luxury speaker, even if it is one of the company’s cheapest ones. But do not look at it like that. Audio is a category where people like to splurge because the experience can never outmatch the price. And Sonos Roam will offer you premium audio, amazing hands-off connectivity, and wireless charging.

But Sonos Roam has some limitations, such as it cannot become your party speaker or let you order Alexa around. If those are not your concerns, Sonos Roam is a good option.

ALSO READ | Realme GT 2 Pro with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset to launch in December ALSO READ | These transparent Apple AirPods and MacBook charger prototypes definitely need to be on market ALSO READ | Nokia 9 PureView will not get Android 11 but its users can upgrade to Nokia XR20 at half its price

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Boris Johnson ‘reinstates Tory leadership team to help save his premiership' amid party scandal

© PA Wire Boris Johnson is reportedly relying on the group who helped him triumph in the 2019 leadership contest – PA Boris Johnson has reportedly reinstated his Tory leadership ... Read more »

Albany needs to fix NY's broken bail laws as part of this year's ‘Big Ugly' budget deal

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie essentially says he wants to wait to see if many people are killed by defendants freed without bail before considering improvements. James Messerschmidt State budget negotiations ... Read more »

Who is ‘West Elm Caleb' and why do people on TikTok care about him?

This viral serial dater has women feeling mystified all over TikTok. Oh, what a tangled world wide web we weave. The story of “West Elm Caleb,” a serial ghoster on ... Read more »

Hochul's outrageous, anti-science scaremongering on kids and COVID

Christopher Sadowski “I find it phenomenally disappointing that people are willing to play politics with children’s lives,” Gov. Kathy Hochul preened Friday of resistance to her masking mandate for New ... Read more »

Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines primarily designed to prevent serious illness, death

Dr. Fauci and Senator Paul clash during COVID-19 Senate hearing See more videos What to watch next What life looks like on other side of the Omicron surge As Omicron ... Read more »

Pros and cons of the popular weight-loss app Noom

© Oscar Wong / Getty Images Pros and cons of the popular weight-loss app Noom Prices are accurate at the time of publication. The Noom app sets a daily calorie ... Read more »

'Forever chemical' blood levels near W.Va. National Guard base higher than US average

© iStock ‘Forever chemical’ blood levels near W.Va. National Guard base higher than US average Blood concentrations of a “forever chemical” for residents living near the Shepherd Field Air National ... Read more »

Economies need custom strategies to meet net-zero goals, experts say

No single programme or strategy is enough to meet the net-zero goals of different countries and businesses, with each having different circumstances, resource endowments and geography, industry experts have said. ... Read more »

Claudio Ranieri ready for battle as Watford in drop zone after Norwich defeat

Claudio Ranieri insisted he was not going anywhere after Watford suffered a heavy 3-0 home defeat to Norwich in the Premier League and maintained that he “never gives up”. Josh ... Read more »

Old friends Philippe Coutinho and Allan to meet again at Goodison

Old friends with sights fixed on a fresh start will reunite today on Merseyside. ‘He’s like a brother to me,’ Philippe Coutinho told Sportsmail when Allan signed for Everton in ... Read more »

Amazon facing formal complaint from labor board over worker firing

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The NLRB will issue a formal complaint against Amazon unless it settles a case with a fired worker The National Labor Relations ... Read more »

Kate Humble dishes up home-cooked heaven in our extract from her book

TOMATOES WITH STEAK AND WILD SALSA VERDE  © Provided by Daily Mail This will still be delicious if you only use bought herbs, but inspired by my friend Liz Knight, ... Read more »

Himpunan #TangkapAzamBaki: 5 jalan sekitar Bangsar dilencongkan

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Pihak polis tidak akan bertolak ansur dengan mana-mana pihak yang dikesan masih berdegil menganjurkan atau menyertai sebarang perhimpunan, menurut Amihizam Abdul Shukor. PETALING JAYA: ... Read more »

Rs 480-cr tax claim on Arcelor Mittal Nippon after SC ruling

© Provided by The Financial Express However, the judgment hasn’t dealt with the liability part. Upholding the Gujarat tax department’s levy of Rs 480 crore purchase tax on Arcelor Mittal ... Read more »

Govt looking at raising tax-free PF limit to r₹r5L

The government may double the limit for tax-free contributions in provident fund (PF) for all other salaried employees, to the same level as that for government servants, a maximum of ... Read more »

Hostage incident at Texas synagogue a terrorist act and hate crime: FBI

Biden calls Texas synagogue attack an ‘act of terror’ See more videos What to watch next UP NEXT The FBI said on Friday that it’s treating the recent hostage situation ... Read more »

Rolex 24: Blomqvist puts Meyer Shank Racing on top in FP2

© Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images #60 Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud Lapping the course in 1min34.351sec, Blomqvist eclipsed by over ... Read more »

NYC union boss trashes ‘rump’ retirees anxious over less-rebust Medicare plan

The Big Apple’s top organized labor official recently trash-talked retired municipal workers anxious about the city’s effort to switch their Medicare coverage — just days after it emerged that the ... Read more »

NATO members scramble to support Ukraine amid Russian threat

© Getty Images NATO members scramble to support Ukraine amid Russian threat The threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent NATO countries scrambling to provide military support to ... Read more »

CBSE drops experts who set Sociology, English paper

© Provided by The Indian Express Two subject experts identified as being responsible for controversial questions in the CBSE’s Class 10 and 12 Term 1 examinations have been dropped from ... Read more »

Ex-CM Parsekar says will quit BJP, contest polls as Independent

© Provided by The Times of India PANAJI: Former Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, a BJP stalwart for three decades, announced that he would resign from the party and contest ... Read more »

Kanye West wants final approval on his Netflix documentary

© Bang Showbiz Kanye West has issued a demand to Netflix Kanye West has demanded final approval of his upcoming Netflix documentary. The 44-year-old rap star has taken to Instagram ... Read more »

Teenager charged with murder after 44-year-old man dies

A teenager has been charged with murder and grievous bodily harm following the death of a 44-year-old man in Buckinghamshire. Thames Valley Police said a 17-year-old boy from Milton Keynes ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi most popular global leader: Survey

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained the most popular global leader with an approval rating of 71%, according to a survey undertaken ... Read more »

Zoe Kravitz says filming amid COIVD was 'bizarre'

© Bang Showbiz Zoe Kravitz admits the shoot was bizarre Zoe Kravitz found shooting ‘The Batman’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic to be “a little bit sad”. The cast and crew ... Read more »

Panthers hire ex-Giants coach Ben McAdoo to be offensive coordinator

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Matt Rhule decided to go with NFL experience this time at offensive coordinator. The Panthers are hiring former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo to be ... Read more »

Knicks have turned Madison Square Garden into home-court disadvantage

The Knicks are losing the battles they can win and continuing to fight the ones they cannot. Their blowout loss to the Pelicans on Thursday was their third straight defeat. ... Read more »

Thomas Tuchel worried unvaccinated stars could be barred from Lille

Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea are facing ‘huge consequences’ if unvaccinated players cannot go to France for their Champions League tie at Lille but holds firm to his views on freedom ... Read more »

Which? reveals best broadband, TV and mobile deals

Brits who switched providers reported saving an average of £40 on mobile bills. Photo: PA Brits who “make a nuisance of themselves” by haggling for cheaper mobile and broadband deals ... Read more »

Paradise started as a gold mining town and now lies beneath a dam of the same name

© Provided by ABC Business Children from the town of Paradise wearing fancy dress in 1891. (Supplied: State Library of Queensland) One of Queensland’s most controversial structures, Paradise Dam, hides a ... Read more »

How to unlock Sucker for Love Chapter 3

© Provided by GamePur Each of Sucker for Love’s chapters gets you entangled in a (sometimes pretty one-sided) relationship with a different eldritch god. But to play the game’s third ... Read more »

5 Best Junglers in League of Legends Patch 12.2

The five best junglers in League of Legends Patch 12.2 are Shaco, Nunu & Willump, Trundle, Warwick and Diana. As new items were added to the new season, a few ... Read more »

Panthers to hire Ben McAdoo as OC over Scottie Montgomery

© Provided by Colts Wire The Carolina Panthers hired Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator over Indianapolis Colts running backs coach Scottie Montgomery on Friday. Montgomery was one of ... Read more »

Here's the real cost — in hard numbers — of those disastrous bail-‘reform' laws

Michelle Go was shoved to her death by alleged repeat offender Simon Martial at a subway platform in Times Square. J.C. Rice If the city’s crime rate in 2019 had ... Read more »

Ravens part ways with DC Don Martindale

© Provided by Ravens Wire The Baltimore Ravens shocked the NFL world on Friday afternoon as they released a statement saying that they parted ways with defensive coordinator Don Martindale ... Read more »

Johnny Depp to play controversial French King Louis in upcoming untitled historical drama

© Provided by Pinkvilla   Johnny Depp will play French King Louis XV in the next film produced by French helmer Maiwenn (“Polisse,” “Mon Roi”), which will begin filming this ... Read more »

Giants “Expected” To Interview 2 Candidates On Saturday

© Provided by The Spun Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll looks on. Now that they have their general manager in place, the New York Giants are apparently going to ... Read more »

Chamber’s invisible Trademark lineup on Bind is unavoidable

Chamber’s sharp fashion sense and tricks are just unfurling, and they’re tough to counter. This new Trademark hack on Bind is impossible to dodge. Valorant players are sharp enough to ... Read more »

Can You Kill a Klombo in Fortnite?

© Provided by DBLTAP In the most recent update of Fortnite, they added in Klombos, a large dinosaur creature that you can utilize in rotates and much more. Many players ... Read more »

NYPD cops shot in Harlem

Sources say at least two NYPD officers were shot in Harlem on Jan. 21, 2021. Citizen At least two police officers were shot Friday evening in Harlem, police sources said. ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic