Last year, I reviewed the Sonos Move and called it the best portable WiFi speaker available. The sound was crystal clear and heavy at the same time. It’s a little hard to describe unless you’re familiar with the Move. However, the more I used it, the more I realized that it was not so portable. That’s why the announcement of the new Sonos Roam is so exciting.
At $169, the Roam weighs less than a pound (that’s one-sixth the weight of the Move), has a built-in battery, delivers up to 10 hours of power, and features both WiFi and Bluetooth. It is available for preorder now (black or white) and it ships on April 20. If the next month is good to me (in terms of work), I plan to get two of them to make a stereo pair. Judging from the initial reaction to the Roam, plenty of others do as well.
Let me remind you of the main advantage of having a portable WiFi speaker over a Bluetooth one: SOUND! While Bluetooth sound has improved over the past five years or so, it still doesn’t match the quality of wired 0r WiFi sound. Of course, this requires a WiFi connection. If you are on the road a lot, you’ll need a WiFi hotspot and your plan should offer at least 15GB of hotspot data.
I used my 15GB hotspot on my iPhone last year for two weeks with the Bose Portable Speaker, and it only took up 7GB of space. Now, I can’t say how much more data a second speaker would take up because you can’t do a stereo pair with two Bose Portable Speaker devices. You can with the Sonos Roam.
If Sonos transfers the exact sound profile from the Move, the sub bass will incredible. Sub bass is fantastic for slower ambient songs, and it really helps you relax. Of course, regular bass is also very good on the Move. I always wanted to do a stereo pair with the Move to hear the sound (my colleague says it sounds incredible), but two Moves have always been too heavy and way too expensive.
I’ll definitely be reviewing the Sonos Roam here in another month or so. It’s one of the most exciting new audio products of the year.