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Sonos Roam Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Jan 18, 2023 at 11:49 am
Sonos Roam Picture
6.3
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.2
Podcasts
8.5
Voice Assistant
6.6
Outdoors

The Sonos Roam is one of the most portable speakers in the manufacturer's lineup. It has a small and compact design, especially compared to the Sonos Move, that's great for taking the party with you outdoors. It's even rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it can hold up against some exposure to the elements. With built-in Alexa and Google Assistant, you can control this device with your voice.

Our Verdict

6.3 Music

The Sonos Roam is acceptable for music. Like more premium speakers on the market, it has a room correction tool called TruePlay that optimizes its frequency response based on your room's unique acoustics. It's suitable for listening to most music genres, given the clear and accurate reproduction of voices and lead instruments in the mix. Its bass and treble adjustments give you the ability to switch up its sound.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Trueplay room correction feature.
Cons
  • Lacks some low-bass.
  • Not enough loud for large rooms.
6.2 Videos/Movies

The Sonos Roam isn't meant for listening to movies, but if you happen to watch a video on your paired smartphone, it can get the job done. Dialogue is clear in the mix, meaning you can follow along with the plot, and low latency over Apple AirPlay ensures that you don't have to worry about lip-synching issues. However, it isn't loud enough to fill up larger rooms with sound, and the lack of low-bass is noticeable in action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Low AirPlay latency.
Cons
  • Lacks some low-bass.
  • Not enough loud for large rooms.
7.2 Podcasts

The Sonos Roam is decent for podcasts. Dialogue is clearly reproduced, so you can easily follow along with your favorite shows, and the portable design lets you bring it with you from room to room. You can adjust its bass and treble or use its room correction tool called TruePlay to improve its sound. You can only pair it to one device at a time, though, which can be annoying if you want to switch your source frequently.

Pros
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility.
Cons
  • Not enough loud for large rooms.
8.5 Voice Assistant

The Sonos Roam offers excellent voice assistant support. Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant are available so you can control the device with your voice, and it picks up all your commands with ease. You can mute the microphone, which is great for privacy.

Pros
  • Mic mute button.
  • Excellent far-field performance.
Cons
  • Not enough loud for large rooms.
6.6 Outdoors

The Sonos Roam is fair for outdoor use. It's a portable and lightweight speaker that's easy to carry in one hand, with a sturdy build and an impact resistance rating. An IP67 rating for dust and water resistance means it's certified to withstand some exposure to the elements. However, it doesn't get super loud, so you'll want to stay close by when listening outdoors.

Pros
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Rated for impact resistance.
Cons
  • Not enough loud for large rooms.
  • 5.1-hour battery life.
  • 6.3 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.2 Podcasts
  • 8.5 Voice Assistant
  • 6.6 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jan 18, 2023: Updated review text for accuracy and clarity. No changes in test results.
  2. Updated May 12, 2022: Updated the 'Style' and 'Variants' boxes to include new speaker colors.
  3. Updated Mar 02, 2022: Added information regarding the new Sonos Roam SL to the Variants box.
  4. Updated Jan 20, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  5. Updated Jul 28, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  6. Updated May 12, 2021: Review published.
  7. Updated May 07, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This speaker is available in 'Shadow Black', 'Lunar White', 'Sunset', 'Wave', and 'Olive'. We tested the 'Black' variant; however, we expect the other color variants to perform similarly. You can see the label for the model tested here.

If you come across another version of this speaker, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sonos Roam is a very lightweight, portable speaker with built-in support for Google Assistant and Alexa. Like the Sonos Move, it comes with the Trueplay room correction feature to help optimize audio reproduction based on the room you're listening in, though this is only available on iOS devices, which may disappoint some Android users. That said, since it's smaller than the Move, it doesn't get as loud and can't reproduce a very extended low-bass.

See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best Sonos speakers, and the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers.

Sonos Roam SL

The Sonos Roam SL is identical to the Sonos Roam in design. However, since the Roam comes with a built-in microphone, it has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also comes with a room correction feature which is currently only available with iOS devices, and you can swap audio between the speaker and other Sonos products. That said, the SL can get slightly louder with less compression at max volume, so audio quality doesn't degrade as much at louder volumes.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam. The Move can get louder, and it has a more extended low-bass. It also has a longer battery life, though this can vary slightly depending on usage. However, the Roam has a smaller and more portable design, which some users may prefer.

Bose SoundLink Flex

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Roam or the Bose SoundLink Flex. The Sonos is Wi-Fi enabled and offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also has a wider-sounding soundstage and is smaller in size. It also comes with bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound to your liking. That said, the Bose can get a bit louder with less compression at max volume. It has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. Also, it has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage.

Sonos One Gen 2

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos One Gen 2 or the Sonos Roam. The One Gen 2 offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass with its Trueplay room correction feature enabled. However, the Roam is battery-powered making it significantly more portable. It's also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It also offers slightly better voice assistant support, since it does a better job understanding your commands in noisier settings.

JBL Flip 6

The Sonos Roam and the JBL Flip 6 have different strengths. The Sonos comes with a TruePlay room correction feature, though it's currently only available with iOS devices. With TruePlay enabled, it produces a more extended low-bass than the JBL. It's Wi-Fi-compatible and offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also supports Apple AirPlay. However, the JBL can get a bit louder than the Sonos with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. Its sound is more customizable, thanks to the graphic EQ in its JBL Portable app. It can also be paired to up to two devices at once, which is handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources.

JBL Charge 5

The Sonos Roam and the JBL Charge 5 are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The Sonos is smaller and more portable than the JBL. It has outstanding voice assistant performance and comes with bass and treble sliders you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. However, the JBL can get louder than the Sonos with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. It can be paired to two devices at once via Bluetooth and has outstanding battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage habits, so your real-world experience may differ.

JBL Flip 5

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5. The Sonos has built-in voice assistant support over Wi-Fi, and it offers an incredible voice assistant performance. It also comes with a room correction feature as well as bass and treble adjustments. However, the JBL has a longer battery life, though battery life can vary slightly depending on usage.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam. The Ultimate Ears is better built, it gets louder, and has longer battery life. Also, its soundstage performance is better. While the Sonos comes with bass and treble adjustments, the Ultimate Ears has a graphic EQ for sound customization. That said, only the Sonos supports voice assistants.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose SoundLink Revolve or the Sonos Roam. The Sonos is better built, with a better voice assistant performance. It also supports Wi-Fi and comes with bass and treble adjustments for sound customization. However, the Bose has a better soundstage performance and a longer battery life.

JBL Charge 4

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 4. The Sonos is better built with a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. It comes with bass and treble adjustments, and it supports voice assistants. However, the JBL has longer battery life.

Marshall Emberton

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Marshall Emberton or the Sonos Roam. The Marshall offers a wider-sounding soundstage and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage. That said, the Sonos offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Its sound is also more customizable, thanks to the bass and treble sliders featured on its companion app.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

Depending on your preferences, you may like either the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 or the Sonos Roam. The Ultimate Ears is better-built, gets louder, and has longer battery life. Its soundstage performance is better, too. While it comes with a graphic EQ and presets, the Sonos has bass and treble adjustments. The Sonos has a more neutral sound out-of-the-box, and it also supports voice assistants.

Apple HomePod mini

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the Apple HomePod mini. The Sonos is more portable and better-built, and it also gets louder. Its voice assistant performance is better, and it has bass and treble adjustments. Also, it supports Bluetooth. However, the Apple has a better soundstage performance.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a better speaker for most uses than the Sonos Roam. The Anker gets louder and supports stereo content. It also has longer battery life. While the Sonos comes with bass and treble adjustments, the Anker has a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the Sonos has a better voice assistant performance, and it's better built.

Bose SoundLink Micro

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Micro overall. The Sonos has a better-balanced sound profile with its room correction feature enabled and can produce deeper bass than the Bose. Its companion app also features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. Additionally, it offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can understand your commands even when you're far away or in noisier settings. That said, the Bose offers a wider-sounding soundstage and has a longer battery life, though the latter can depend on your usage and your experience may differ. 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 and the Sonos Roam are similar speakers with different strengths. The Bang & Olufsen has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. Also, it has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices, making it more suitable for watching movies and videos. That said, the Sonos offers a slightly better-balanced sounding sound profile and offers fantastic voice assistant support with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. It's also Wi-Fi compatible and supports Apple AirPlay 2 which may please some Apple users.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Roam or the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. The Sonos has a better voice assistant performance, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments for sound customization. However, the Bose has a better soundstage performance and longer battery life.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is better than the Sonos Roam. The Bose has a better soundstage performance and a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder. However, the Sonos is better built, and it comes with a room correction feature.

JBL Xtreme 3

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Roam or the JBL Xtreme 3. The Sonos has a more portable design, and it supports voice assistants. It also comes with bass and treble adjustments for sound customization. However, the JBL supports stereo content, gets louder, and has longer battery life.

Sony SRS-XB43

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Roam or the Sony SRS-XB43. The Sonos is more portable and better-built, and it supports voice assistants. It comes with bass and treble adjustments, while the Sony has a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, the Sony supports stereo content, gets louder, and has longer battery life.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB33. The Sonos has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it supports voice assistants. While it comes with bass and treble adjustments, the Sony has a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, the Sony supports stereo content and has longer battery life.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23. The Sonos is better built, has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and supports voice assistants. While it comes with bass and treble adjustments, the Sony has a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, the Sony supports stereo content and has longer battery life.

IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. The Sonos is an incredibly portable Bluetooth speaker with outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It also has better directivity, resulting in a more open-sounding soundstage. That said, the IKEA can produce a deeper low-bass than the Sonos. It can also get louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volume settings.

Marshall Emberton II

The Marshall Emberton II is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam. The Marshall offers a more open and spacious-sounding soundstage and can produce stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It also has a significantly longer-lasting battery life of around 22 hours, as opposed to Sonos' 5 hours of playtime. That said, the Sonos is Wi-Fi compatible. It comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, and has little trouble registering your commands from far away and in noisier environments.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a better speaker for most uses than the Sonos Roam. The Bose gets louder, has a better soundstage performance, and longer battery life. However, the Sonos offers a better voice assistant performance, and it's more customizable thanks to its bass and treble adjustments.

Bose SoundLink Color II

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Color II overall. With its room correction feature enabled, the Sonos offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the Bose. It also offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and has little trouble understanding your commands from far and in noisy environments. That said, the Bose can be paired to two devices at once, which can come in handy if you need to quickly switch between audio sources. It can also get slightly louder than the Sonos with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore and the Sonos Roam are similarly-performing portable Bluetooth speakers. That said, the Sonos offers a more neutral sound profile with Trueplay enabled and offers excellent voice assistant support. It has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and does a great job understanding your commands from far away and in noisier settings. That said, the Bang & Olufsen can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, and has better directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as more open and immersive-sounding.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the Sonos Roam. The Sonos is better built with a better voice assistant performance. However, the Anker has a better soundstage performance, longer battery life, and more sound customization options.

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam, though they're designed for different uses. The Bose is a stereo speaker designed for use at home and needs to remain plugged into a power source to work. It has a more spacious sounding soundstage and can produce a more extended low-bass than the Sonos. It can also get louder with less compression at max volume. The Sonos is smaller, battery-powered, and designed to be taken with you when you're out and about. It's better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, so you don't have to worry about it getting a bit wet or dusty while outdoors.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 or the Sonos Roam. The Sonos has built-in voice assistant support over Wi-Fi, and it comes with more sound enhancement features, including room correction and bass and treble adjustments. However, the Ultimate Ears has a better soundstage performance, a longer battery life, and it gets louder. It's also advertised to float in water.

Yamaha MusicCast 50

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. With its default 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, the Yamaha can produce a more extended low-bass than the Sonos. It can get louder than the Sonos with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. That said, the Sonos is smaller and is battery-powered, making it more portable than the Yamaha. It also offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in.

JBL Clip 4

The Sonos Roam is a better speaker than the JBL Clip 4. The Sonos has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it gets louder. It also has a companion app with bass and treble adjustments and supports voice assistants.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sonos Roam is a small portable speaker with a simple design, nearly identical to the Sonos Roam SL. You can place it either horizontally or vertically, and you can find it in 'Shadow Black', 'Lunar White', 'Sunset', 'Wave', and 'Olive'.

9.4
Design
Portability
Volume
39 inยณ (632 cmยณ)
Weight
0.9 lbs (0.4 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is outstandingly portable. Its small and lightweight design makes it easy to bring along when you're out and about. It's also battery-powered, so you don't need to worry about plugging it into a power source.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

It has an amazing build quality. The speaker is mostly plastic, including the grille that covers its sides. The end caps are made of silicone, and the materials feel pretty solid and durable. It's even rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, certifying it to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. The manufacturer also says it's drop-resistant, but there's no IK rating specified.

8.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
Yes (Physical)
Additional Controls
Yes

There's a play/pause button that you can hold to pair the speaker with another compatible speaker. You can double press this button to skip to the next track and triple press it to go back to the previous one. You can swap audio between your speaker and other Sonos products by holding the Roam close to the other device and holding the Play/Pause button. Also, you can hold the Power button to activate Bluetooth pairing. Unlike the Sonos Roam SL which lacks a microphone, this speaker features a microphone button to mute/unmute the mic for the voice assistant, as well as Trueplay tuning.

There are audible chimes when you adjust the volume and when you reach max volume, which is handy. Additionally, the microphone light and the status light turn different colors based on their status.

Design
In The Box

  • Sonos Roam speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charge cable
  • Manuals

Sound
6.7
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.06
Std. Err.
3.58 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
62.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.0 kHz

This speaker has an adequate frequency response. If you have a compatible iOS device, you can use the TruePlay room correction feature in the Sonos S2 app to optimize its frequency response to the unique acoustics of your room. Its sound profile is quite balanced, especially in the mids, which is where most voices and lead instruments are reproduced. As a result, it's suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. Of course, given its small size, there isn't much rumble in the low-bass for genres like EDM and hip-hop.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.1
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
3.49 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

This speaker has an unremarkable soundstage performance. It has good directivity, resulting in an open and natural-sounding soundstage. However, while it can pair to another compatible speaker to create a stereo pair, it has to downmix stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which isn't as immersive.

5.4
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
83.8 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.26 dB

This speaker gets loud enough to fill an average-sized living room with sound. With larger and more open spaces, however, it can't fill the entire space. There are some compression and pumping artifacts as you crank up the volume, especially in the bass range.

Active Features
5.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
5.1 hrs
Charge Time
3.4 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

This speaker has a middling battery performance. The manufacturer says it'll last 10 hours off of a single charge when operating at 50% volume and while connected to a Wi-Fi connection. That said, it lasted for five hours in our tests with its volume at 80dB. Fortunately, there's a power-saving feature that automatically shuts the speaker off after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can also press the power button to activate Sleep Mode to help conserve its battery. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your experience may vary.

Note: The manufacturer says that you can also charge this speaker using any Qi-certified charger, though this is sold separately.

9.4
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Google Assistant
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
Yes
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Great

This speaker offers outstanding voice assistant support. This speaker has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can understand your commands when you're far away and in noisier environments. There's even a mic mute button you can use when you no longer want it to hear you. That said, it's important to note that the voice assistants only work when you're connected to Wi-Fi and don't work over a Bluetooth connection, which may disappoint users who want to use their voice assistants on the go while outdoors.

9.3
Active Features
App
App Name
Sonos S2
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
Yes

The Sonos S2 app is incredible. There are bass and treble adjustments available to help you customize its sound more to your liking. When connected to Wi-Fi, you can use the app to create a stereo pair with another compatible speaker. You can also pair multiple units together for a party or to play audio across different rooms of your home. However, these features aren't available over Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

You can't use this speaker wired. There's a USB-C port, but it's just for charging the speaker.

7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
117 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
201 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

You can only pair this speaker to one device at a time, which can be a bit limiting if you like to switch your audio source frequently. It has low latency when paired with iOS devices, so your audio and video will be in sync. However, it doesn't perform as well with Android devices, so it may not be suitable for watching movies over this connection. That said, different apps can compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

8.3
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz & 5GHz
Wi-Fi
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
-2 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker is Wi-Fi compatible and supports Apple AirPlay 2. It has low latency over this connection, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. It doesn't support Google Chromecast, which may disappoint some Android users.

Discussions