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Sonos’ Roam is its cheapest speaker ever – and maybe its most compelling

Sonos has cut the cord on its second portable speaker, with the Sonos Roam promising multi-room integration inside the house, Bluetooth streaming outside it, and a much more affordable price tag. About the size of a water bottle, Roam works as a smart speaker too with support for Amazon and Google’s voice assistants, and Sonos is hoping it acts as much a gateway to new users as it appeals to existing ones looking to expand their system.

It’s not Sonos’ first portable speaker, of course. Back in late 2023 it launched the Sonos Move, offering both integration with your other home speakers and Bluetooth functionality for outside of the house. At the same time it introduced Auto Trueplay, a self-calibrating version of the company’s automatic EQ system.

Problem was, all that cost $399. Not outlandish for a Sonos product, no, but undoubtedly premium among the majority of Bluetooth speakers. Move sounds great, and it’s super-flexible if you’re a Sonos enthusiast, but it’s a tougher pitch for someone unfamiliar with the platform and who might simply be shopping for a mobile speaker.

Sonos Roam arguably takes on an even bigger challenge. It has to excel as a Bluetooth speaker, but it also can’t stint on the sound quality and functionality that Sonos fans expect. It’s also, at $169, the company’s cheapest product, not to mention its lightest. At 0.95 pounds and 6.61-inches tall, it’s about a sixth of the size and weight of Move.

The outside is instantly recognizable as a Sonos device and, like Move before it, Roam doesn’t go overboard on “rugged” visible cladding or chunky rubber bumpers like a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers do. It’s still IP67 water, dust, and shock resistant, however, meaning it’ll withstand getting dunked in a pool or washed off after a trip to the beach. The end caps are slightly concave, which Sonos says helps avoid accidental button-presses of the raised play/pause and volume keys.

Behind the honeycomb grille there’s a tweeter and an elliptical mid-woofer, using custom neodymium motors. Roam will play in mono, regardless of the orientation at which you place it, but the triangular cross-section means when it’s on its side on the desk, counter, or floor, it should project sound up toward you. Though it’s obviously small – the company says Roam should sound much like a Sonos One does, albeit with less power at maximum volume – it still went through the tuning process with the Sonos Soundboard creator community, music professionals who compared playback through the portable speaker with how they mastered the original tracks in their studios.

It’s clear Sonos has learned from some of the criticism and feature requests that Move prompted. Roam expands Auto Trueplay so that it’ll work not only when the speaker is on your WiFi network, but during Bluetooth playback too. It’ll tweak the EQ settings whenever you move Roam, using accelerometers to detect its orientation, though you can still manually adjust treble and bass in the Sonos app.

Where Move has a button on the back which switches between WiFi and Bluetooth modes, Roam promises to handle that handover automatically. If you take the speaker outside of your WiFi network, it’ll switch to Bluetooth by default. When you return, you can either leave it to keep streaming over Bluetooth, or press and hold Roam’s play button to automatically “throw” what it’s playing to the Sonos speaker in the house that’s physically nearest. It works in reverse, too, shifting playback to Roam, or you can use it as a Bluetooth line-in, sharing its audio with the rest of your Sonos system.

As you’d expect, you can group Roam with other Sonos speakers, and pair two units together for stereo playback (albeit on in Sonos mode, not for Bluetooth playback). There’s Apple AirPlay 2 streaming, and support for the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Courtesy of the Sonos app you get access to Sonos Radio; it won’t, though, act as a speakerphone as there’s no microphone for voice calls.

Roam will charge on any Qi wireless pad – Sonos recommends a minimum of 10W – though the company also has its own with built-in magnets to hold the speaker in place. That means you can still charge the speaker whether it’s upright or on its side. Sonos’ wireless charger uses Qi but it’s not actually certified: the top is slightly convex, to nestle into Roam’s concave base, so while it’ll charge other Qi-compatible devices they’ll have to balance on the top first.

A full charge is good for up to 10 hours of playtime, Sonos says, or 10 days in sleep mode. Roam will automatically switch into that low-power mode when the music stops, but can wake back up in less than a second. If you don’t have a wireless charger, you can use the USB-C cable in the box.

Sonos is counting on all that to coax new users into its ecosystem. One of the challenges Move faced was convincing those looking for a portable speaker that they should spend significantly more on Sonos’ vision of that. Existing Sonos owners may have already appreciated its added benefits, but multi-room control is one of those things that really needs to be experienced to fully appreciate.

At $169, however, Roam is a lot closer to the Bluetooth speaker mainstream. It’s available to preorder today, in black and white; the Roam Charger is sold separately, at $49, with colors to match. They’ll ship from April 20.

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Sonos S2 Operating System Upgrade, For Compatible Speakers Only

Sonos’ wireless speaker system is receiving the Sonos S2 operating system update this month. It will bring “new features, usability updates, and more personalization moving forward… to enable higher resolution audio technologies for music and home theater.” But, not all Sonos products will receive the benefit. More concerning, if you have a collection of mixed compatible speakers, you may need two apps to enjoy your hardware.

Sonos S2 upgrade

The Sonos S2 upgrade has been rumored for a while and its original intent to brick legacy devices caused controversy with customers. Sonos’ CEO made a corrective decision, to allow older devices continued operation, even after the new OS launched.

Forthcoming Sonos S2 operating system upgrade promises new abilities and higher resolution audio experiences, but it will not cover the full line of existing and previous hardware device.

Most Sonos products will enjoy compatibility with the new Sonos S2 OS and the subsequent control app. Older devices will lack compatibility because onboard memory and processing abilities are lacking. Older devices will continue to operate as normal, just lacking newer feature abilities.

Here is the breakdown:

Sonos S2 FAQs

Per the Sonos support page, there are several important considerations that Sonos owners need to make about their experience, especially if they utilize a mixed system of current-soon-to-be-previous generation “S1” hardware and upcoming “S2” compatible hardware. A condensed list of these items is below.

Do I have to update to Sonos S2?

No. If your setup includes incompatible hardware and would like to keep your system operating as-is, do not upgrade the OS. The current Sonos app will be renamed “Sonos S1 Controller” and continue operating your existing products, music services, and voice services. When the app prompts for an update, confirm your preference to continue with “your current experience.” If all products are S2 compatible, Sonos recommends running the update to enjoy new features.

What if some of my hardware is S2 compatible, but others are not?

You can continue using the Sonos S1 Controller app to control your speakers. You may also want to consider creating two separate systems: 1) with hardware that is Sonos S2 compatible; 1) with products that are not. If you choose this method, there is an even more complicated Sonos support article, which outlines the ways to operate both systems, requiring two individual apps.

If I choose to continue with the Sonos S1 Controller app, what is my future experience?

Your system will continue with all current functionalities. Bug fixes and security patches will be offered, if necessary. No new software functionality will be added to your system. Sonos does issue a warning, however, that they “will work with our partners to keep your music and voice services working with our older products for as long as we can.”

Are new products incompatible with the Sonos S1 Controller app?

Any products released after May 2023, will not be compatible with S1, including the brand new Arc soundbar.

How do I upgrade to Sonos S2 compatible products?

Sonos is offering a Trade Up program with the ability to save 30% on any new, compatible product. Access the Sonos Trade Up program to determine which of your products are eligible and initiate a trade-in.

When/How does the new Sonos S2 app launch?

There will be a push notification from the existing controller app when the newer version is available. It will launch in the month of June 2023, but an exact date is not published at this time.

15 Sonos Alternatives For A Multi Room Speaker Experience

The Sonos brand needs no introduction, but for people unaware, Sonos is a company that has been building speakers for over a decade. It has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to its multi-room audio system, which lets you control the music of different speakers wirelessly through an app. Sonos offers several multi-room audio systems along with home theater setups, soundbars, music streaming system Connect, and more. But they are not for everyone. So, whether you are hunting for a better sounding smart speaker or looking for a more portable and affordable variant, here is the extensive roundup of the top 15 Sonos alternatives for multi-room speaker experience.

Best Sonos Alternatives for a Multi-Room Speaker Experience

It means that you as a customer have a lot more control over the prices and the features that you want. Keeping this core aspect in mind, we have listed out speakers similar to Sonos One, Sonos Play, Sonos Play 3, Sonos Fiver, and Sonos Play 5. Thus, you can easily find the right alternative for Sonos smart speakers. So, let’s get started!

Sonos One and Sonos Play:1 Alternative

Sonos One and Play:1 are the cheapest multi-room audio speakers that you can get from Sonos. Here are the best alternatives that you can get:

1. Google Nest Audio

The speaker comes with a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm mid-woofer for clear highs and deeper bass. Google claims the new Nest Audio is 75% louder than the Google Home and has 50% better bass response. So you are getting a far better speaker for the same price.

Google Assistant is baked-in here, so you can call on the Google Assistant to enquire about the weather, play songs, and even control your smart home devices. My favorite feature of the new Nest speakers is built-in privacy. You can now ask the Assistant to delete your voice recording. And there’s a physical mute switch for the microphone so you can be sure that it’s not recording anything.

If you are looking for an affordable Sonos alternative, this is the speaker to get. You can get it in one of five colors: Sage, Sand, Sky, Charcoal, and Chalk.

Supports several music-streaming services including Spotify, Amazon, Pandora

Physical mute switch for enhanced privacy

Cons: 

Bass could have been better

Buy from Google: $99

2. Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

Amazon is the company that made the smart speakers popular and their latest premium speakers, the Amazon Echo Plus (2nd generation) goes head to head with Sonos One. The speaker comes with Alexa which is Amazon’s voice assistant, allowing you to play music with just your voice.

I love this feature as you don’t need any other device to play music. Also, thanks to Alexa’s integration with streaming services, you can use your favorite music streaming service including Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Apple Music, and more to play music on the speakers.

If you don’t want to use your voice, you can cast music directly from your phone to the speaker system without any problem. When it comes to multi-room audio, just like Sonos One and Sonos Play:1, you can pair multiple Amazon Echo speakers to get a multi-room audio experience.

I also love the sound quality of Amazon Echo Plus as it provides a 360-degree surround sound experience that can easily fill your normal room. The speaker packs a 3″ neodymium woofer and 0.8″ tweeter which is perfectly tuned to give out the best possible audio experience.

Pros: 

Impressive built-quality 

Supports several music-streaming services including Spotify, Amazon, Pandora

Comes with a 3″ neodymium woofer and 0.8″ tweeter

360-degree surround sound

Cons: 

The sound tends to distort at the top volume 

3. Bose SoundTouch 10

Bose has always boasted of great speakers and its SoundTouch multi-room speaker line-up is no different. The SoundTouch 10 speaker competes with the Sonos Play:1 and Sonos One.

It offers some unique features including Bluetooth support, a physical remote control, and the ability to set six different custom presets for buttons with the app. You can set these buttons to start a particular music offering or even radio stations so that you can quickly start listening to your favorite music.

The Bose SoundTouch 10 also comes with Alexa support so you can connect it to an Alexa-enabled speaker (like the Echo, or the Echo Dot), and you can do all sort of things such as playing and pausing music, skipping a song, changing the radio station you are listening to and more just with your voice.

One speaker is enough to fill the room however you can also pair two of them in stereo to enhance the experience even more. Like Sonos, Bose offers the SoundTouch app for all the platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac allowing you to control music with the device in your hands.

Pros: 

Good-looking design

High-quality sound

Supports a ton of Alexa skills

Companion app supports Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS

Cons: 

The companion app doesn’t offer much customization 

Buy From Amazon: $189.99

Sonos Play: 3 Alternatives 1. Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i

Unlike Sonos Play:3 which sported a considerable size, the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i comes in quite a small package which is something that I really like. Despite being an ultra-compact speaker, the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i delivers crystal-clear sound quality with a very good dynamic range thanks to its direct digital amplifier and custom-tuned drivers.

One of the unique things about this speaker is that it comes with a detachable battery pack that you can attach to use it without any input power. Another unique thing about this speaker is that while most other speakers only offer wireless options, the Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i brings a whole assortment of connections including aux input, USB-A connector, micro-USB connector, and more.

It also supports Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s AirPlay technology allowing you to send songs from Android or iOS devices. There’s also the BluOS app which lets you stream music from services like Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Amazon Music, Slacker Radio, and more.

Pros: 

Great sound quality 

Features aptX technology

Supports Amazon’s Alexa

Compatible with AirPlay technology

Cons: 

Price is a bit on the higher side

Buy From Amazon: $343.50

2. Bose SoundTouch 20 – Series III

Like the SoundTouch 10, the Bose SoundTouch 20 is an excellent multi-room speaker system which can act as a worthy alternative to now-defunct Sonos Play:3. The SoundTouch 20 is basically the bigger and better brother of SoundTouch 10.

And while it’s a little pricey, the speaker trumps Play:3 with added features like Bluetooth support, bundled remote control, ability to set six preset music services for the buttons in the speaker, and an OLED display, that displays info about the music.

It also comes with Alexa support which means you can connect it to your Alexa-speaker and get voice control along with access to 40 million songs if you use online music services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, or any of the other such services out there.

Pros: 

Attractive OLED display 

An excellent multi-room speaker system

Robust sound 

Ability to set six preset music services

Lacks compact design 

Buy From Amazon: $349

3. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay M3

Another great Sonos Play:3 alternative is the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay M3 which brings a great audio experience thanks to its Signature Sound technology which brings authentic sound quality. The speaker uses quality materials including aluminum, wool, and polymer which not only make the speaker durable but also play a part in its sound delivery system.

The speaker brings a 3.75″ woofer and 0.25″ tweeter which can fill a small to medium-sized room. When it comes to connectivity the speaker supports Apple AirPlay technology along with Bluetooth audio streaming, built-in Chromecast, 3.5 mm jack, 1 micro USB, and a Mains connection.

Pros: 

3.75″ woofer and 0.25″ tweeter

Built-in Chromecast

Supports Apple AirPlay technology

3.5 mm jack

Cons: 

Lacks voice assistant

Buy From Amazon: $279.30

4. Marshall Acton II

One of my favorite speakers on this list is Marshall acton II. First of all, it sports a unique retro look which I am a big fan of. Secondly, it sounds great with balanced audio delivery and offers physical dials to control the different elements including bass, treble, and volume so you don’t have to fiddle with settings buried deep inside an app.

In short, Marshall Acton II has everything that you can desire from a Sonos Play:3 alternative and you will be really happy with it. With Marshall Acton II you can create a multi-room system and listen to different songs in different rooms or blast your favorite song across all speakers at once.

Notably, you can also connect to the speaker using WiFi, Bluetooth, RCA, or 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is a big plus from a productivity point of view.

Pros: 

Appreciable design 

Sounds great with balanced audio delivery

Integrates with Amazon’s Alexa

Connect to the speaker using WiFi, Bluetooth, RCA, or 3.5 mm headphone jack

Activating Alexa doesn’t seem straightforward 

Buy From Amazon: $266.95

5. Libratone ZIPP MINI 2

Libratone ZIPP MINI cannot be farther from Sonos Play:3 when it comes to the looks, however, don’t be fooled by its small size. The speaker packs a punch and can deliver deep bass, full midrange, along with very clear lows.

While the speaker doesn’t bring any smart voice assistant, it does support AirPlay 2, DLNA, and Spotify Connect. It means you can use both iPhone and Android devices to cast your favorite music to the speaker.

One of the biggest benefits of Libratone ZIPP MINI is that it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery which can last for 10+ hours on a full charge. That means you can take the speaker out for a trip when you want to so that you have the best audio experience wherever you go.

You should also download the Libratone app on your smartphone as the company issues frequent firmware updates which improve its functionality and enhance new features.

Pros:

Modern-looking design  

Supports AirPlay 2, DLNA, and Spotify Connect

Deliver deep bass

Offers very clear lows.

Cons: 

Support for music streaming services is quite limited

May not deliver over 10 hours of battery life consistently

6. Libratone Zipp

Just in case you are fond of Libratone Zipp MINI 2 but you want to have its slightly more capable variant, Libratone Zipp could be the right answer to your needs. The smart speaker is known to offer 360° loud stereo sound which makes it a direct competitor to Sonos Play:3.

With a 15W woofer, it offers deep bass. Even at the high volume, its sound doesn’t distort, which is a big plus if you don’t want to compromise with the sound quality. Featuring a dual mic, it allows you to make calls hands-free.

Based on your taste, you can preset 5 internet radio and playlists for a more personalized listening experience. Using AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect, you also have the freedom to stream anything you want. That’s not all, Libratone Zipp can last up to 12 hours on a single, which I think should be more than enough to last a long party.

Preset 5 internet radio and playlists

15W woofer 

Offer 360° loud stereo sound

Last up to 12 hours

Cons:

The low-end sound is not as impressive as the high-end 

Buy From Amazon: $259.55

7. Bose Home Speaker 300

There is a lot to like in Bose Home Speaker 300. First and foremost, the smart speaker is lightweight and compact. So, you can comfortably carry it anywhere. Design-wise, it looks just as good-looking as Sonos Play: 3, though it has a different form-factor.

What’s more, Home Speaker 300 is designed to work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Considering both the most popular virtual assistants have their pros and cons, you would be glad to have both of them at your disposal.

Furthermore, the support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2 as well as the ability to stream music from several music-streaming services make Home Speaker 300 alternative to Home Speaker 300.

Pros: 

Work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Has the support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2

Ability to deliver 360° sound

Six microphone array

Cons:

Alexa doesn’t work at its best 

Sonos Five and Sonos Play:5 Alternatives

Sonos Play:5 is the company’s most premium line of multi-room audio system speakers. Here are some of the alternatives that you should look at:

1. Marshall Stanmore II

The Marshall Stanmore II is to Marshall Acton II what Sonos Play:5 is to Sonos Play:3. What this means is that you will be getting the same overall experience, it would be just better and more refined.

Besides, you also have the flexibility to connect to the speaker using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RCA, or the 3.5 mm input.

Pros: 

Include two 15 Watt Class D amplifiers

50 Watt Class D amplifier

Physical dials for controlling bass

Flexibility to connect to the speaker using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RCA, or the 3.5 mm input

Cons: 

Lacks a portable design 

Buy From Amazon: $319

2. HomePod

Apart from its clean and compact design which still blows my mind, boy do these speakers sound good. I mean, you really have to experience this to understand why I was blown away by its audio quality.

Since Apple is a technology company first, it’s surprising how they made one of the best sounding speakers in the world. Apart from the sound, you get all the benefits of buying an Apple product which means it works great within the ecosystem, the set-up is seamless, and it packs a ton of technology.

For example, with spatial awareness, it automatically analyzes the acoustics, adjusts the sound based on the speaker’s location, and separates the music into direct and ambient sound. If you are in Apple’s ecosystem, Sonos Play:5 won’t even stand a chance against it.

Seamless set-up 

Excellent sound quality 

Spatial awareness

Works perfectly with iDevices 

Cons: 

Siri is below par 

Buy From Apple: $299

3. Denon HEOS 5

If you are someone who loves bass then this is the Sonos Play:5 / Sonos Five alternative that you should look at. The Denon HEOS 5 brings a powerful audio delivery system that produces a heart-thumping bass experience. Denon HEOS 5 also offers the most versatile connectivity experience as the speaker supports all the major connectivity options including WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, USB port, Aux Port, and Ethernet.

You can play your music either through popular services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, SiriusXM, TIDAL, and more or cast the offline music saved on your Android and iOS devices. The speaker also comes with a complimentary Denon Connect app which makes the setup and software upgrade process very easy.

Pros: 

Play your music either through popular services

The powerful audio delivery system

Ability to cast offline music

Supports all the major connectivity options

Cons:

Old-fashioned design 

Buy From Amazon: $349

4. Audio Pro Addon C10

Beyond design, Addon C10 is known to deliver a rich and clear sound which is pretty much in the same league as that of Sonos Play:5. Thanks to the support for the multi-room feature, you can fine-tune it to play different songs in different rooms.

The companion app is lightweight and works as expected. There are four personalized presets which you can customize to have quick access to your favorite playlists or radio stations. Notably, it also boasts supports for many music-streaming services including Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, and more.

Everything considered; you can bank on Addon C10 to be a more than capable Sonos replacement.

Deliver a rich and clear sound

Four personalized presets

Works with Alexa 

Compatible with many music-streaming services like Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer

Cons: 

The design doesn’t look attractive 

A touch expensive 

Buy From Amazon: $349

5. Bose Home Speaker 500

Yet another smart speaker from bose that deserves a mention is the robust Home Speaker 500. It features a nice-looking design that can go head-to-head against Sonos Play:5. With the eight microphone array, it’s fully equipped to offer loud and clear sound.

Notably, it’s compatible with not only Alexa but also Google Assistant. So, whether you find Alexa smarter or prefer to use Assistant, you can use a desired virtual assistant to carry out a variety of tasks

Design aside, Home Speaker 500 has the support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2. That means you have a bit more flexibility to stream music to your heart’s liking. Priced at $300, Home Speaker 500 is a solid Sonos competitor.

Pros: 

Compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant

Support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2

Eight microphone array

Multiple ways to control

Cons: 

The sound quality on the low-end isn’t as impressive 

Frequently Asked Questions What is the best alternative to Sonos?

It depends on what you are looking for? if you are looking for an affordable alternative, both Nest Audio and Amazon Echo devices will serve you well. If you want better sound quality, you can look at high-end Bose speakers.

What is better Sonos or Bose?

Though both Sonos and Bose smart speakers are great. Bose is slightly ahead in the face-to-face battle.

Is Bluesound better than Sonos?

No. Sonos has a clear edge when put head-to-head against Bluesound.

Do audiophiles like Sonos?

Yes. Audiophiles like Sonos thanks largely to its ability to deliver top-notch sound quality.

Are Sonos worth the money? Try these Sonos Alternatives for Amazing Multi-Room Audio Experience

Let’s get this straight, Sonos multi-room speakers are one of the best on the market right now, however, they are not the only ones. Also, since Sonos killed its Sonos Play:3 speaker line, it has not released any replacement for it. To the people who are looking for Sonos alternatives, the above speakers are the best in the market as of now. Do check them out and let us know which is your favorite Sonos alternative on the market right now.

Review: Sonos Beam Is The Perfect Smart Soundbar For Bedrooms And Apartments

First unveiled earlier this month, Beam is the latest smart speaker and TV soundbar from wireless speaker maker Sonos. The compact TV soundbar promises hi-fi music playback and voice control through Alexa — all at an affordable price. Sonos Beam hits the market later next month, but we’ve been testing it for a few weeks ahead of its launch.

For the purpose of this review, Apple’s new AirPlay 2 wireless streaming feature wasn’t ready for testing — stay tuned for our full impressions next month when Sonos adds the feature. AirPlay 2 aside, Sonos Beam is a hit for bedrooms, apartments, or budget home theaters.

Priced at $399, Beam isn’t the cheapest TV soundbar on the market — but it is a compelling value given its feature set: built-in voice control through Amazon Alexa, a compact design with black or white options, audio quality that undoubtably sounds better than your TV, and AirPlay 2 support coming shortly after launch.

Plus it has all the same features as other Sonos speakers: wireless music playback without Bluetooth or AirPlay, compatibility with dozens of music services including all the major players, and expansibility with other Sonos speakers.

Like Sonos PLAYBAR and Sonos PLAYBASE, Sonos Beam replaces your TV’s subpar speakers as a fully featured soundbar with Night Sound and Speech Enhancement modes, volume control from iPhone and iPad, and a sleep timer for up to two hours.

When used with Alexa-enabled video streaming products like Fire TV, Sonos Beam can even control video features like turning your TV on and off and playing specific shows on supported video apps — all without picking up the remote. As an Apple TV 4K user, I didn’t get to test these features with the streaming box I already use, but Alexa’s volume control is useful in all situations.

Compared to PLAYBAR and PLAYBASE, Beam is $300 cheaper and features a much more compact design. Sonos Beam still packs impressive sound and features for its $399 price, making it ideal for apartments, bedrooms, or any environment where recreating the full movie theater experience at home isn’t ideal.

Just how compact is Sonos Beam? It’s narrower than 43-inch LED TVs, just a tad taller than an Apple TV 4, and typically shallow. Specifically, Sonos details dimensions at 25.625 x 3.94 x 2.70 inches (or 651 x 100 x 68.5 mm). At just over 6 pounds, Sonos Beam is also rather portable.

Sonos Beam also touts HDMI ARC (audio return channel) support for plug-and-play support on modern TVs, and includes both an HDMI cable and an HDMI to optical adapter for TVs without HDMI ARC.

If you do want to build out your home theater over time, Beam is expandable with other speakers in the Sonos system. Sonos Play:1 or Sonos One speaker pairs can added to create a surround sound system, and Sonos SUB adds deep bass with the wireless subwoofer. (The whole 5.1 surround sound kit sells for under $1400 as a bundle.)

This turns Beam and paired speakers into a single speaker target, and Beam works with multi-room playback with all other Sonos speakers too.

Spec wise, Sonos Beam features a five far-field microphone array for voice control that can be toggled on and off with a tap of an on-board toggle, five Class-D digital amplifiers and four full-range woofers, plus a center tweeter and three passive radiators to create warm bass tones in the small form factor.

Sonos says this hardware is all custom-designed by the company and tuned especially for TV and music. Customers can also adjust equalization settings or use Trueplay to tune Sonos Beam based on placement without the room using the iPhone or iPad controller app.

Sonos Beam will make your TV speakers sound like rubbish in comparison — without making your family and neighbors think there’s construction going on from the sound blast.

Sonos Beam is available for pre-order now in black or white for $399 and ships by July 17. AirPlay 2 support will arrive as a free update later next month.

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Sonos’ Roam Is Its Cheapest Speaker Ever

Sonos’ Roam is its cheapest speaker ever – and maybe its most compelling

Sonos has cut the cord on its second portable speaker, with the Sonos Roam promising multi-room integration inside the house, Bluetooth streaming outside it, and a much more affordable price tag. About the size of a water bottle, Roam works as a smart speaker too with support for Amazon and Google’s voice assistants, and Sonos is hoping it acts as much a gateway to new users as it appeals to existing ones looking to expand their system.

It’s not Sonos’ first portable speaker, of course. Back in late 2023 it launched the Sonos Move, offering both integration with your other home speakers and Bluetooth functionality for outside of the house. At the same time it introduced Auto Trueplay, a self-calibrating version of the company’s automatic EQ system.

Problem was, all that cost $399. Not outlandish for a Sonos product, no, but undoubtedly premium among the majority of Bluetooth speakers. Move sounds great, and it’s super-flexible if you’re a Sonos enthusiast, but it’s a tougher pitch for someone unfamiliar with the platform and who might simply be shopping for a mobile speaker.

Sonos Roam arguably takes on an even bigger challenge. It has to excel as a Bluetooth speaker, but it also can’t stint on the sound quality and functionality that Sonos fans expect. It’s also, at $169, the company’s cheapest product, not to mention its lightest. At 0.95 pounds and 6.61-inches tall, it’s about a sixth of the size and weight of Move.

The outside is instantly recognizable as a Sonos device and, like Move before it, Roam doesn’t go overboard on “rugged” visible cladding or chunky rubber bumpers like a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers do. It’s still IP67 water, dust, and shock resistant, however, meaning it’ll withstand getting dunked in a pool or washed off after a trip to the beach. The end caps are slightly concave, which Sonos says helps avoid accidental button-presses of the raised play/pause and volume keys.

Behind the honeycomb grille there’s a tweeter and an elliptical mid-woofer, using custom neodymium motors. Roam will play in mono, regardless of the orientation at which you place it, but the triangular cross-section means when it’s on its side on the desk, counter, or floor, it should project sound up toward you. Though it’s obviously small – the company says Roam should sound much like a Sonos One does, albeit with less power at maximum volume – it still went through the tuning process with the Sonos Soundboard creator community, music professionals who compared playback through the portable speaker with how they mastered the original tracks in their studios.

It’s clear Sonos has learned from some of the criticism and feature requests that Move prompted. Roam expands Auto Trueplay so that it’ll work not only when the speaker is on your WiFi network, but during Bluetooth playback too. It’ll tweak the EQ settings whenever you move Roam, using accelerometers to detect its orientation, though you can still manually adjust treble and bass in the Sonos app.

Where Move has a button on the back which switches between WiFi and Bluetooth modes, Roam promises to handle that handover automatically. If you take the speaker outside of your WiFi network, it’ll switch to Bluetooth by default. When you return, you can either leave it to keep streaming over Bluetooth, or press and hold Roam’s play button to automatically “throw” what it’s playing to the Sonos speaker in the house that’s physically nearest. It works in reverse, too, shifting playback to Roam, or you can use it as a Bluetooth line-in, sharing its audio with the rest of your Sonos system.

As you’d expect, you can group Roam with other Sonos speakers, and pair two units together for stereo playback (albeit on in Sonos mode, not for Bluetooth playback). There’s Apple AirPlay 2 streaming, and support for the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Courtesy of the Sonos app you get access to Sonos Radio; it won’t, though, act as a speakerphone as there’s no microphone for voice calls.

Roam will charge on any Qi wireless pad – Sonos recommends a minimum of 10W – though the company also has its own with built-in magnets to hold the speaker in place. That means you can still charge the speaker whether it’s upright or on its side. Sonos’ wireless charger uses Qi but it’s not actually certified: the top is slightly convex, to nestle into Roam’s concave base, so while it’ll charge other Qi-compatible devices they’ll have to balance on the top first.

A full charge is good for up to 10 hours of playtime, Sonos says, or 10 days in sleep mode. Roam will automatically switch into that low-power mode when the music stops, but can wake back up in less than a second. If you don’t have a wireless charger, you can use the USB-C cable in the box.

Sonos is counting on all that to coax new users into its ecosystem. One of the challenges Move faced was convincing those looking for a portable speaker that they should spend significantly more on Sonos’ vision of that. Existing Sonos owners may have already appreciated its added benefits, but multi-room control is one of those things that really needs to be experienced to fully appreciate.

At $169, however, Roam is a lot closer to the Bluetooth speaker mainstream. It’s available to preorder today, in black and white; the Roam Charger is sold separately, at $49, with colors to match. They’ll ship from April 20.

Sonos’ Roam Is Its Cheapest Speaker Ever

Sonos’ Roam is its cheapest speaker ever – and maybe its most compelling

Sonos has cut the cord on its second portable speaker, with the Sonos Roam promising multi-room integration inside the house, Bluetooth streaming outside it, and a much more affordable price tag. About the size of a water bottle, Roam works as a smart speaker too with support for Amazon and Google’s voice assistants, and Sonos is hoping it acts as much a gateway to new users as it appeals to existing ones looking to expand their system.

It’s not Sonos’ first portable speaker, of course. Back in late 2023 it launched the Sonos Move, offering both integration with your other home speakers and Bluetooth functionality for outside of the house. At the same time it introduced Auto Trueplay, a self-calibrating version of the company’s automatic EQ system.

Problem was, all that cost $399. Not outlandish for a Sonos product, no, but undoubtedly premium among the majority of Bluetooth speakers. Move sounds great, and it’s super-flexible if you’re a Sonos enthusiast, but it’s a tougher pitch for someone unfamiliar with the platform and who might simply be shopping for a mobile speaker.

Sonos Roam arguably takes on an even bigger challenge. It has to excel as a Bluetooth speaker, but it also can’t stint on the sound quality and functionality that Sonos fans expect. It’s also, at $169, the company’s cheapest product, not to mention its lightest. At 0.95 pounds and 6.61-inches tall, it’s about a sixth of the size and weight of Move.

The outside is instantly recognizable as a Sonos device and, like Move before it, Roam doesn’t go overboard on “rugged” visible cladding or chunky rubber bumpers like a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers do. It’s still IP67 water, dust, and shock resistant, however, meaning it’ll withstand getting dunked in a pool or washed off after a trip to the beach. The end caps are slightly concave, which Sonos says helps avoid accidental button-presses of the raised play/pause and volume keys.

Behind the honeycomb grille there’s a tweeter and an elliptical mid-woofer, using custom neodymium motors. Roam will play in mono, regardless of the orientation at which you place it, but the triangular cross-section means when it’s on its side on the desk, counter, or floor, it should project sound up toward you. Though it’s obviously small – the company says Roam should sound much like a Sonos One does, albeit with less power at maximum volume – it still went through the tuning process with the Sonos Soundboard creator community, music professionals who compared playback through the portable speaker with how they mastered the original tracks in their studios.

It’s clear Sonos has learned from some of the criticism and feature requests that Move prompted. Roam expands Auto Trueplay so that it’ll work not only when the speaker is on your WiFi network, but during Bluetooth playback too. It’ll tweak the EQ settings whenever you move Roam, using accelerometers to detect its orientation, though you can still manually adjust treble and bass in the Sonos app.

Where Move has a button on the back which switches between WiFi and Bluetooth modes, Roam promises to handle that handover automatically. If you take the speaker outside of your WiFi network, it’ll switch to Bluetooth by default. When you return, you can either leave it to keep streaming over Bluetooth, or press and hold Roam’s play button to automatically “throw” what it’s playing to the Sonos speaker in the house that’s physically nearest. It works in reverse, too, shifting playback to Roam, or you can use it as a Bluetooth line-in, sharing its audio with the rest of your Sonos system.

As you’d expect, you can group Roam with other Sonos speakers, and pair two units together for stereo playback (albeit on in Sonos mode, not for Bluetooth playback). There’s Apple AirPlay 2 streaming, and support for the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Courtesy of the Sonos app you get access to Sonos Radio; it won’t, though, act as a speakerphone as there’s no microphone for voice calls.

Roam will charge on any Qi wireless pad – Sonos recommends a minimum of 10W – though the company also has its own with built-in magnets to hold the speaker in place. That means you can still charge the speaker whether it’s upright or on its side. Sonos’ wireless charger uses Qi but it’s not actually certified: the top is slightly convex, to nestle into Roam’s concave base, so while it’ll charge other Qi-compatible devices they’ll have to balance on the top first.

A full charge is good for up to 10 hours of playtime, Sonos says, or 10 days in sleep mode. Roam will automatically switch into that low-power mode when the music stops, but can wake back up in less than a second. If you don’t have a wireless charger, you can use the USB-C cable in the box.

Sonos is counting on all that to coax new users into its ecosystem. One of the challenges Move faced was convincing those looking for a portable speaker that they should spend significantly more on Sonos’ vision of that. Existing Sonos owners may have already appreciated its added benefits, but multi-room control is one of those things that really needs to be experienced to fully appreciate.

At $169, however, Roam is a lot closer to the Bluetooth speaker mainstream. It’s available to preorder today, in black and white; the Roam Charger is sold separately, at $49, with colors to match. They’ll ship from April 20.

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