Sonos is expected to announce a new portable speaker on 9 March, which recently leaked as the Sonos Roam.
The speaker will be the second Bluetooth speaker in the company’s portfolio if the rumours are accurate, sitting alongside the Sonos Move, but how will the two compare?
If you’re considering a Sonos speaker and like it to be portable and offer Bluetooth, you’re in the right place. Here is how the Sonos Roam is expected to compare to the Sonos Move.
- Move: £399/$399
- Roam: $169
First things first, the Sonos Roam and the Sonos Move might be about to share similarities in terms of Bluetooth and portability, but based on the leaks, they won’t be anywhere near each other in terms of price.
The Sonos Move costs £399 in the UK and $399 in the US. The Sonos Roam is said be coming to market in April for $169, which is about £120 when directly converted though could be £169 in reality, so they target quite different budgets.
- Move: 240 x 160 x 126mm, 3kg, IP56, integrated handle
- Roam: 157.4 x 63.5 x 63.5mm, 0.45kg, waterproof
The Sonos Move and Sonos Roam are very different in terms of design too, based on the rumours. While they appear to share similar characteristics – like the rest of the Sonos portfolio – they are different sizes, different shapes, different weights and they will have different uses too.
The Sonos Move measures 240 x 160 x 126mm (9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96-inches) and weighs 3kg (6.61lb). It’s oval in shape, very rugged and features an integrated handle. It’s also IP56 rated for protection from dust particles and liquid splashes.
The Sonos Roam meanwhile is rumoured to be a triangular prism shape, measure 157.4 x 63.5 x 63.5mm (6.2 x 2.5 x 2.5-inches) and weigh 0.45kgs (1lb), making it significantly smaller and more portable than Move. Based on the leaked images, it doesn’t have any sort of integrated handle as you wouldn’t need it to carry around, but it is rumoured to be fully waterproof so we expect it to be just as tough as Move, if not more so.
The Sonos Move has capacitive touch controls on top, including play/pause, skip, rewind and a microphone button, along with a Wi-Fi to Bluetooth button on the rear and a pairing button. It also has connection points at the bottom to connect to the wireless charging base.
The Sonos Roam is also expected to have capacitive controls on top based on the leaked images, with what we suspect will be the same control options as Move. There also appears to be a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle switch on the side and a USB Type-C port for charging. The Roam doesn’t appear to have any connection points but it does offer small circular feet for when positoned horizontally.
Sonos Move comes in Shadow Black and Lunar White colour options and the Sonos Roam is claimed to be coming in white and black too.
- Move: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2
- Roam: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2
Though different in design and price, the Sonos Roam is likely to offer many of the same features as Move, and probably a couple of extras, as is typically the case with new devices.
The Sonos Move is a traditional Bluetooth speaker when in Bluetooth mode, but it is a traditional Sonos speaker when in Wi-Fi mode and connected to a Sonos system, which we fully expect the Roam to be too.
When used as a traditional Sonos speaker, Roam will likely offer all the same features other Sonos speakers do, including support for over 100 music services, multi-room audio, Sonos Radio and alarms, like Move.
We’d also expect it to offer Apple AirPlay 2 support and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in. Leaks haven’t confirmed if the assistants will be on board Roam, as they are on Move, but we’d be surprised if they weren’t. We’d also expect the Move’s Auto TruePlay tuning feature on the Roam, which automatically adjusts the sound output when the speaker is moved.
Other Sonos speakers have TruePlay tuning on board, but you have to perform the tuning manually and then again anytime you move the speaker’s position.
Audio and hardware
- Move: Two class-D amplifiers, mid-woofer, tweeter, far-field mics, 11 hours battery, Wi-Fi 4, Bluetooth
- Roam: 10 hours battery, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth
Audio specifications haven’t leaked for the Sonos Roam yet, but based on its size, it won’t deliver the same audio capabilities as the Sonos Move.
The Move has two class-D amplifiers, one mid-woofer integrated into the cabinet and one down-firing tweeter and it delivers excellent sound. It also has a far-field microphone array and a chime to let you know Sonos Move has heard you and is working on a response.
As mentioned, the Move has a wireless charging base but it offers an 11-hour battery life when not on its base. The Sonos Roam has a USB Type-C port for charging based on the leaks, but it is also said to have an optional wireless charging base that can be bought separately.
The Roam’s battery life is said to be 10 hours. We’d expect the Roam to also have a chime and far-field microphone array. Sonos Move supports Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth. Sonos Roam is claimed to support Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth so it should offer better Wi-Fi capabilites if true.
The Sonos Roam looks like it will be a smaller, lighter, more portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker than the Sonos Move. We expect it will offer everything Move does in terms of features, along with some extra ones, and we expect it to be as smart too, but in a more compact format.
We wouldn’t expect the same audio capabilities from Roam as Move delivers given it looks like it will be half the price and size, but as it’s a Sonos speaker, we still expect Roam to deliver on the sound front.
For now, it looks like Sonos Roam will be an excellent addition to any Sonos system, as well as a great starting place for those new to Sonos. It also looks like it will be a lot more portable than Move so perfect for travelling and chucking in a bag.
Meanwhile Move delivers big on sound, but it is big on price too, making it more of an investment. It’s great for those who want an additional Sonos speaker to fill a decent-sized room with sound, but one they can also bring into the garden or the pool. It seemingly isn’t however, the better option out of these two for popping in a bag and bringing to the park as it’s just a little too big.
You can read all about the rumours surrounding the Sonos Roam in our separate feature, but we will update this as soon as the official details are in.