Sonos had already tipped its hand that a product launch would be happening on Tuesday, and leaks soon after revealed that a new ultra-portable smart speaker is what was on deck — news that Sonos has now made official. Tuesday afternoon, Sonos finally unveiled the $169 Sonos Roam, billed as the company’s smartest and most versatile speaker to-date and which also boasts easy set-up and a ton of new smart features, with pre-orders starting today at www.sonos.com ahead of availability starting April 20. “Just because it’s small,” Sonos teased in a tweet on Sunday, “doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal.”
Here’s what the company means by that: The Roam weighs less than a pound, and it’s compact enough to fit pretty much anywhere in your living space or in a bag to take on the go. It can be enjoyed by playing it horizontally or standing it up vertically, and Sonos promises up to 10 hours of continuous playback on a single charge — with up to 10 days of battery life when the Roam is not in use.
“We built Roam to give customers a way to bring the Sonos experience with them wherever they go,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said in a news release about the launch. “It’s not only our smartest and most versatile speaker, it’s also our most affordable. Roam provides the opportunity for millions of new customers to get started with Sonos, and is the right product at the right time as we begin to gather again with friends and family.”
Additional fast facts to know: Roam connects to a custom magnetic wireless charger that Sonos sells separately, as well as a USB-C cable that’s included in the box — and the Roam also supports any Qi wireless charger.
Among other benefits Sonos Roam owners can enjoy is the fact that Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay feature — which automatically adjusts the sound to your environment, when the device is moved around — is now available when streaming via Bluetooth, in addition to Wi-Fi. Also, if you’re at home streaming to the Roam via Wi-Fi and then take the device and leave, it’s supposed to seamlessly switch to Bluetooth and automatically re-pair with your mobile device.
In addition to being able to use the Sonos app to group any other Sonos speakers you have to the Roam when you’re streaming via Bluetooth, the Roam also works with more than 100 streaming services — and you can control it with the Sonos app, through your music app of choice, via Apple AirPlay 2 or by voice via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Roam comes in shadow black or lunar white, and it’s fully waterproof with a tested IP67 rating.
Other features worth mention include the ability to group multiple Roams in the same room for a more immersive audio experience. There’s also a new Sound Swap feature, whereby you can swap the music to the nearest speaker in your Sonos home setup by holding the play/pause button, letting you take the music with you from room to room.