(Pocket-lint) - Sonos Roam is the second Bluetooth speaker in the Sonos speaker portfolio, sitting alongside the Sonos Move, but how do the two compare and which one is right for you?
If you're considering a Sonos speaker and would like it to be portable and offer Bluetooth, you're in the right place. Here is how the Sonos Roam is compares to the Sonos Move to help you figure out the best one for your home and life.
- Move: £399/$399
- Roam: £159/$169/€179
First things first, while the Sonos Roam and the Sonos Move share similarities in terms of Bluetooth and portability, they aren't anywhere near each other in terms of price.
The Sonos Move costs £399 in the UK and $399 in the US. The Sonos Roam will come to market on 20 April for £159 in the UK, $169 in the US and €179 in Europe, so they target quite different budgets.
- Move: 240 x 160 x 126mm, 3kg, IP56, integrated handle
- Roam: 168 x 62 x 60mm, 0.43kg, IP67
The Sonos Move and Sonos Roam are very different in terms of design too. While they share similar characteristics - like the rest of the Sonos portfolio - they are different sizes, different shapes, different weights and they 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, has a triangular prism shape, measures 168 x 62 x 60mm (6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36-inches) and weighs 0.45kgs (0.95lb), making it significantly smaller and more portable than Move. It doesn't need any sort of integrated handle as it's around the size of a water bottle and easy to carry around, plus it is also fully waterproof with an IP67 rating so tougher than Move.
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 also has controls on on top but they are tactile and slightly raised rather than capacitive. It has the same control options as Move though. There's a button on the side and a USB Type-C port for charging. The Roam doesn't have any connection points but it does offer small circular feet for when positoned horizontally. Move only offers one orientation, Roam offers dual.
Sonos Move and Sonos Roam both come in Shadow Black and Lunar White colour options however.
- Move: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2
- Roam: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2, Sound Swap, Auto switching
Though different in design and price, the Sonos Roam offers many of the same features as Move, and a couple of extras too.
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. You have to press the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle button to switch between the two modes though.
The Roam switches between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi automatically though, meaning it's likely to offer a more seamless experience when moving from inside to outside and vice-versa. Roam also has a feature called Sound Swap. This allows users to press and hold the play/pause button on the Roam to group Roam with other Sonos speakers already playing - as you can with Move - or continue pressing to transfer the music playing on Roam to the nearest Sonos speaker.
Roam also offers all the same features other Sonos speakers do, including support for over 100 music services, multi-room audio, stereo pairing, Sonos Radio and alarms, like Move. Neither can be used as surrounds or bonded to a Sonos Sub.
Like Move, Roam also offers Apple AirPlay 2 support and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in. Move's Auto TruePlay tuning feature is also on the Roam, using spatial awareness to automatically adjust the sound for the speaker's orientation, location, and content. This works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which it will for Move too when updated to the latest Sonos software.
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: Two class-H amplifiers, custom racetrack mid-woofer, tweeter, far-field mics, 10 hours battery, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth
Based on its size, the Sonos Roam won't deliver the same audio capabilities as the Sonos Move, but it is still expected to sound good. We will update this feature when we have reviewed it.
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.
The Roam meanwhile, has two class-H amplifiers, one custom racetrack mid-woofer, a tweeter and a motor to increase power and range. It too has a far-field microphone array.
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, but it is also has an optional wireless charging base that can be bought separately and it works with Qi wireless charging pads too.
The Roam's battery life is said to be 10 hours, or 10 days in sleep mode. Sonos Move supports Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth. Sonos Roam supports Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0.
The Sonos Roam is a much smaller, lighter, more portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker than the Sonos Move. It offers everything Move does in terms of features, along with some extra ones, like Sound Swap and automatic switching between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, all in a more compact format.
We wouldn't expect the same audio capabilities from Roam as Move delivers given it is almost half the price and size, but as it's a Sonos speaker, we still expect Roam to deliver on the sound front.
On paper, 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's also 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 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.