Sonos is rumoured to be about to unveil a new portable Bluetooth speaker. A series of leaks suggest the Sonos Roam – a smaller, cheaper successor to the Sonos Move – could break cover as soon as Tuesday 9th March.
So, how much will the Sonos Roam cost? What unique features will it offer? When will it be released? And how will it stack up against the best Bluetooth speakers around?
Read on as we sift through all the latest rumours, tips and leaks to reveal everything we know about the Sonos Roam ahead of the big day…
Sonos Roam: release date
Sonos has confirmed it will stream a special event at 9pm GMT (4pm ET) on 9th March 2021. You can watch the action unfold live on the Sonos website.
There’s no official word on what the company will announce, but speculation is rife that it will showcase the Sonos Roam portable speaker.
Then again, there are plenty of rumours that the company will use the event to announce the long-awaited Sonos wireless headphones. Of course, there’s a third possibility: that Sonos will reveal both products.
Either way, it should be an exciting evening of new multi-room wireless tech.
Sonos Roam: price
As for the price, The Verge claims the Sonos Roam will cost $169. That translates as around £120 or AU$220 but when you factor in shipping and local taxes, the Sonos Roam could well sell for around £149 in the UK.
The rumoured price would also bring the Roam into competition with the UE Megaboom 3 and other sub-£200/$200 Bluetooth speakers.
Sonos Roam: design
According to a recent leak, the Sonos Roam will measure 6.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches and weigh “about a pound” – just under 0.5kg. That’s substantially lighter than the Sonos Move, which also has Bluetooth and is technically portable – but weighs a hefty 3kg.
This all ties in nicely with the leaked patent documents for a portable speaker filed by Sonos with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) a month ago. We also have the rather fetching leaked image above, which appears to be legit.
The patent suggested a cylindrical design and that’s what Sonos appears to have stuck with, although the triangular shape is something new. It’s a clever touch, as it would allow the Roam to be stood upright or on its side.
The leak also reports that the Roam will be “fully waterproof”, though it doesn’t give a specific IP rating. Given that the UE Megaboom 3 offers an IP67 water and dustproof rating, meaning it can be totally submerged in water for up to 30 minutes, we’d expect the Roam to follow suit.
As for volume and playback, the leaked image shows a rubberised control panel (another hint that the speaker will survive a dunk in the pool). There’s no handle, but perhaps Sonos will launch a carry case?
As for colour options, the moodily-lit leaked images seem to suggest the choice could be limited to just black or white.
Sonos Roam: features
By combining the FCC patent filing with the latest leaks, we can get a good idea of what the Sonos Roam has to offer. First thoughts? It’s packing some pretty cool features…
As you’d expect, the Roam will support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’ll connect to your Wi-Fi network when you’re at home, so it should work seamlessly as part of any existing Sonos multi-room system.
The FCC filing also shows that the speaker will offer Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) connectivity. Wi-Fi 5 is often used in ceiling speakers and offers high data transfer speeds of up to 54 Mbps.
According to the leak, Wi-Fi integration will also allow for Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 support. That means you should be able to play songs using your preferred voice assistant.
When you’re out of the house, you’ll be able to pair the Roam with a phone or tablet over Bluetooth (presumably Bluetooth 5.0, versus the Sonos Move’s Bluetooth 4.2).
Battery life is said to be 10 hours per charge. Not bad, but the UE Megaboom lasts an impressive 20 hours. Apparently, Sonos will include a charging cable in the box, naturally, and offer a separate charging dock at $49 extra (around £35, AU$60).
Sonos Roam: initial verdict
Although the Sonos Move is sort-of-portable, the Sonos Roam will be seen as the company’s first true portable speaker – and will be judged against some fierce competitors from the likes of Audio Pro, Ultimate Ears, JBL, LG and Sony, who are currently vying for supremacy in the waterproof Bluetooth speaker space.
But Sonos has something new to offer. The Roam might not win any prizes for its battery life but its smart multi-room features, advanced Wi-Fi support and sleek design could be hard to beat. And for those who are already invested in the Sonos eco-system, the Roam could be a real no-brainer.
Splash out: the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers
Read our complete guide: which Sonos speaker should you buy?