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Sonos Roam 2 is here, but don’t bother upgrading from the original

Published May 21st, 2024 11:11AM EDT
Sonos Roam 2 next to a pool
Image: Sonos

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Today is a big day for Sonos. The company has finally unveiled its long-anticipated headphones, the Sonos Ace. While that is certainly the biggest news of the day, the company has also announced and released the second generation of its Sonos Roam portable speaker.

While we’ve been waiting for a long time for a new generation of the Roam speaker, if you happen to have the first generation like I do, there’s not going to be much of a reason to upgrade here. I think I’ll stick with my first generation and wait for the Roam 3.

So, what’s actually new with the Roam 2? The first change is that, unlike the first generation of the Roam speaker, you’ll actually be able to use the Roam 2 straight out of the box. With the first generation, you had to initially set it up through the Sonos app on your iPhone or Android phone.

You can use the Sonos Roam 2 as a Bluetooth speaker right out of the box.

This was a bit strange for anyone who just wanted to use it as a Bluetooth speaker and skip the other features. Thankfully, with the Roam 2, you don’t need to set the speaker up initially through the app and can pair it to a device through a Bluetooth connection right away.

Roam 2 is a remarkably versatile all-in-one. Use it as a Bluetooth speaker everywhere and as a smart speaker at home.

The second change with the Roam 2 is that they’ve separated the power and the Bluetooth button. On the first-generation speaker, both functions were combined into one button, requiring owners to press and hold the button for different lengths in order to access different options.

The Sonos Roam 2 finally has a dedicated Bluetooth button.

This could be confusing for users, so the company has separated the button into two buttons: one for power and one for Bluetooth. This should make it much easier to use the speaker. In an age when more things are going touchscreen, we could always use more buttons.

Sonos has also updated the internal workings of its speaker to try to improve battery life. In an interview with The Verge, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said, “We’ve optimized the battery; there’s a little bit better battery life…You’re right that it’s an incremental change.” So, while it might be a little better, don’t expect anything too drastic—the company still claims 10 hours of battery life.

Get up to 10 hours of non-stop playback. Use the power button to save battery life, and efficiently charge with the included USB-C cable and any compatible power adapter.

There isn’t much different with the internals of the Roam 2.

Other than that, the Roam 2 is the same as the Roam 1. It’s waterproof, drop-resistant, supports Wi-Fi to use features like AirPlay and connect to other Sonos speakers, and supports voice control. So, if you have the first-generation speaker, there’s not a lot of reasons to upgrade here. I’ll certainly be sticking with my current Roam and waiting it out for a bigger leap down the line.

Bring Sonos sound to the backyard, beach, trail, or slopes. Durably constructed, impressively lightweight, and IP67 waterproof and dustproof, Roam 2 is built to perform outdoors.

The Sonos Roam 2 is available starting today for $179. The speaker comes in Black, White, Sunset, Wave, and Olive and will be available directly through Sonos and at the usual third-party retailers.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.