Sonos Roam review: the strongest portable speaker


Sonos Roam 評測

Sonos Roam review

Sonos started with high-end streaming speakers for home use. In 2019, it used Move for the first time to show the possibility of completely wireless streaming, but due to its specifications and price, it did not bring much appeal. Coming to 2021, Sonos Roam, the size of a water bottle, officially debuted, and the core smart functions are not absent, and the pricing is quite aggressive. Presumably, many friends are already ready to place orders. But before that, you might as well refer to the editor’s experience before deciding whether to buy it by hand.

shape

The design of Sonos Roam is very different from the predecessor Move. It is made of a home-seat desktop speaker, which is greatly reduced to the size of a bottle. That is to say, this design is also very wonderful, because the size of the water bottle is just right to cater to the cyclist, because they like to bring a portable speaker to play music when the wind breaks. It is not surprising that the speaker is placed in the water bottle holder. In addition to the size, Roam’s other ingenuity is that it is in the shape of a triangular cylinder, which allows it to be used in an upright position and also to be placed horizontally, and the sound will be slightly upward. Anyway, it can be used in any position and direction.

Sonos Roam 評測

Sonos Roam review

But just like Move, Roam’s body is also waterproof and dustproof, and it has a higher specification IP67 rating. At the same time, the top and bottom ends have a strong design, and the silicone material is used to allow the speaker to withstand a certain degree of impact from falling.

The buttons and I/O are usually simple and concise. The top of the machine is a three-key playback control, a microphone switch and LED, and the back of the machine is a charging USB-C and a physical power button. The bottom of the phone seems nothing special, but it is actually a Qi wireless charging area, but the original magnetic wireless charging accessories will be purchased separately. Even better is that on a facade with four foot pads, there is an NFC antenna for pairing hidden in the middle, which will be explained later.

Experience

Sonos Roam 評測

Sonos Roam review

Friends who have used Sonos speakers may find that Roam pairing is quite convenient, but if they have never used it, they may feel strange. Because Roam needs to activate the device in the Wi-Fi environment and connect to the Sonos account before it can switch to Bluetooth mode to connect to the device.

The pairing process is very simple, just follow the instructions in the Sonos S2 app after the speaker is turned on. One of the more special features is that Roam actually added an NFC tag this time. After Wi-Fi is set up, the user will allow the user to place the phone’s NFC antenna close to the speaker so that the phone can read Bluetooth information.

Sonos app

Sonos app

After completing the connection with the Sonos account, the functions are basically available, because Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are set at this time, and both AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect can be used. Next, you can according to your needs, see if you want to add the link between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. In normal use, you can select songs in your favorite streaming music app, and you can also connect to the Sonos S2 app to select and play songs from multiple different platforms in one place. This feature is for friends who have subscribed to multiple different streaming music services, such as different song libraries and different resolutions, to more easily select and broadcast music.

As for the signature tuning function Trueplay of Sonos, it has improved even more when it comes to Roam. From the previous Move, it can only be used in Wi-Fi mode, and it can be used in Bluetooth mode, and they are all automatically adjusted Auto. Trueplay. Therefore, after Roam is moved, even if it is placed in another direction, the built-in microphone will assist in automatic tuning.

Speaking of Bluetooth connection, if you want to switch Roam to Bluetooth mode, press the power button until the LED light turns to Bluetooth and a beep sounds. It’s very simple. In this mode, everyone can take Roam to the mountains and rivers to play around.

If you have more than one Sonos speakers at home, you can also play with continuous playback. Long press the play button to transfer or share the music on Roam to other speakers for playback. But to be honest, since they are all in a Wi-Fi environment, why not choose in the app or the AirPlay 2 interface? Well, it’s okay to be a backup plan.

Timbre

Generally speaking, small bluetooth speakers are due to the size and price, and there is no good stuff in them, but Sonos Roam inherits the shadow of high-end speakers. It has two built-in Class H amplifiers, one for each of the tweeter and one for the mid-bass. The maximum volume of meters can reach 80 decibels, which is more than enough for home use (I almost got complaints from neighbors during the test).

In terms of timbre, I listen to many common streaming services such as YouTube Music and Apple Music at my usual volume. If you don’t pay attention to it, you will think that you are playing with a household speaker, such as a soundbar, because the sound can maintain its richness. Although the three-dimensional effect is relatively lacking in physical theory and the low frequency is slightly lower, it can still be heard. To all levels of the song, especially the singers are prominent. When you refocus your eyes on Roam, “Oh, it’s just this little speaker playing”, then you will feel pretty good. And Roam can also be paired into stereo in a Wi-Fi environment, which can make up for its shortcomings.

Sonos Roam 評測

Apple Watch decibel meter diagram

Of course, everyone will be curious, if you switch to Bluetooth, will the sound be different? First of all, in terms of volume, the decibel meter shows 80 decibels similar to that in Wi-Fi mode. There seems to be no difference in the timbre, and the output sound is very stable and realistic. Of course, the audio sources of the streaming music services currently supported by Sonos do not have a high resolution (mostly 128kbps mp3). It is actually sufficient to transmit music through the iPhone AAC encoding. It depends on the CD quality streaming of Spotify and Qobuz in the future. After the 24-bit high-resolution music library is launched, we should hear more obvious differences.

to sum up

Sonos Roam

Sonos Roam

Throughout the evaluation process, the editor was repeatedly surprised by this little Sonos Roam. From the small body that I saw when I got the real thing in person, to the rich sound and color during the audition, it became a considerable contrast. Of course, for friends who are pursuing the ultimate in sound quality, this portable speaker is not in the eyes, but for the editors like this family, the appearance of a multi-functional and good-quality speaker is definitely a rushing choice. Because the general Wi-Fi streaming speaker needs to occupy a power socket, but Roam does not; the general portable Bluetooth speaker function is young, but Roam is full of smart functions.

However, when everything seems to be beautiful, Sonos Roam still has a door, that is, it does not currently have an automatic sleep function. You must manually press it, otherwise even if there is no music playing, it will be the next day. no power. But fortunately, Roam supports 15W charging, and also has the Qi charging dock accessories mentioned earlier. There is always a way to avoid the problem.

Finally, the most pleasant surprise is its price. Sonos Move, the eldest brother, quoted a price of HK$3,799 at the time, which discouraged ordinary consumers from unknown places. However, Sonos Roam is priced at HK$1,749 at the upper limit of the Bluetooth speaker price, which greatly reduces the threshold. To put it straightforwardly, the multiple enjoyment of buying a smart speaker at the price of a Bluetooth speaker, so that a group of friends with more flexible budgets can choose to try.

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