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The new Beats Pill is so good that I’m ditching my Sonos Roam

Published Jun 25th, 2024 6:02PM EDT
Beats Pill design offers a fresh look to a classic portable speaker.
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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We’ve been waiting for a new Beats Pill for a long time, and now, it’s finally here. Apple also resurrected the HomePod a little while ago, so bringing back speakers that it previously discontinued seems to be a trend with the company.

After reading Jośe Adorno’s review and digging into the product on the Beats website, I can safely say that I’m going to ditch my Sonos Roam and make the switch to the new Beats Pill. Let’s get into all of the reasons why.

You can’t beat that Apple ecosystem integration

The first reason I want to switch to the new Beats Pill is all about that beautiful walled garden that I live in. Apple is known for building a proprietary but very wonderful ecosystem that makes all of its devices work really well together.

You can’t beat the way Apple integrates its products. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

While the Sonos Roam requires the Sonos app (which everyone apparently hates now) to use your Roam speaker to its full potential, the Beats Pill speaker doesn’t require an app at all. You can manage everything for the speaker through the Settings app or Control Center on your iPhone. I experienced this convenience when I switched from the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones to the Beats Studio Pro, and it actually does make a difference.

Of course, you can also easily pair your Beats Pill with your Apple devices. Plus, just like your with Beats headphones, the new Beats Pill supports features like Find My. You can even use it as a speakerphone… if you want to blast everyone at the party with the details of your phone call with your Mom. I’ll probably skip that last one.

USB-C is finally on the Beats Pill

This one might seem silly, but as someone who is trying to leave old connectors behind and USB-C ALL OF THE THINGS, I am stoked that the Beats Pill finally supports USB-C instead of Lightning or micro-USB.

Of course, the Sonos Roam also supports USB-C, so this isn’t a knock against the Roam but more an appreciation that the Beats Pill finally added the connector. If the new Beats Pill didn’t have a USB-C connector, I wouldn’t have even considered getting it.

I’m serious. It’s that important to me. It was even one of the reasons that I ditched my AirPods Max and switched to the Beats Studio Pro headphones. Judge me if you must, but I will laugh at your criticism as I only pack a USB cable into my travel bag.

Over double the battery life of the Sonos Roam

While the Sonos Roam sports a battery life of 10 hours, the new Beats Pill more than doubles that, coming in with an impressive 24 hours of battery life.

Beats Pill review
With 24 hours of battery life, you can listen for a heck of a long time. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

There’s no getting around the idea that more battery is better. If the difference was a 10% or 20% improvement, I wouldn’t have considered this a reason to switch. However, an over 100% improvement is another matter entirely, especially when I commonly find that my Sonos Roam is dead when I want to actually use it.

Plus, like a lot of Beats products, the new Beats Pill has that quick charge feature that will net you 2 hours of listening time with only a 10-minute charge, a great feature if I do find it dead and need to use it quickly in a pinch.

I’d rather talk to Siri

Since I’m already deep in the Apple ecosystem, Siri is my voice assistant by default. While you can use other voice assistants through apps and shortcuts and whatnot with Apple devices, I’ve personally always been able to get what I need out of a voice assistant with Siri.

You can double tap the power button to talk to Siri. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Most of the time, I’m either asking it to add something to my grocery list in Reminders, set a timer or alarm, or to play a particular song or playlist on Apple Music. Right now, the Sonos Roam only offers Google Assistant and Alexa as options for voice assistants.

The new Beats Pill, in contrast, offers Siri. So, for me, that’s a no-brainer. I’d rather use the voice assistant I’m already talking to everywhere else on my portable speaker as well, and the Beats Pill is the option that gives me that option.

AirPlay isn’t as important as I thought it would be

The one feature that the Sonos Roam had that I thought I would use a lot that ended up not being important at all was support for AirPlay. I thought I was going to create groups of speakers and not only have music playing through my Sonos Roam but also through my HomePod mini speakers.

I envisioned all of these speakers working together to play all of my music inside and outside of my apartment in sync. It was a cool concept for sure but, in practice, I rarely if ever needed to use this capability.

Beats Pill review
Bluetooth is going to work just fine for me. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Therefore, the Beats Pill being limited to Bluetooth isn’t an issue for me. I found that I don’t actually need AirPlay support in a portable speaker, so losing that functionality by giving up the Sonos Roam isn’t going to be something that will impact me.

Oh yeah, it’s cheaper too

While all of the above is more than enough to get me to switch to the Beats Pill from the Sonos Roam, for any of you who are still deciding between the two and don’t own either yet, it doesn’t hurt that the Beats Pill is also cheaper than the Sonos Roam.

The Sonos Roam 2, which the company recently released, comes in at $179. The Beats Pill, in comparison, comes in at $149. Beats products also commonly go on sale, so I wouldn’t be surprised to be able to grab the new Beats Pill through a deal not too far in the future.

The new Beats Pill comes in Matte Black, Statement Red, and Champagne Gold. It is available to preorder now and will start to be available in select Apple Stores starting on June 27th. I’ll certainly be picking one up and venturing even deeper into my walled garden. Can’t wait.

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.