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Here’s our first look at the Sonos Roam, a $169 Bluetooth speaker

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It’s no secret that Sonos is planning to announce something next week — the company sent virtual event invites to the press, and we’ll be tuning in. But it turns out we didn’t have to wait that long to get a good look at the product; a report by The Verge extensively details the new Sonos Roam, images and all.

Credit: The Verge

Just as predicted by earlier leaks, the Sonos Roam is a more compact Bluetooth speaker than the Sonos Move — the type of speaker you might keep in a backpack. It’s also a lot cheaper, coming in at $169, rather than the $399 of the Sonos Move (as good as that speaker may be).

Here are the other details we learn from the report:

  • It’s tiny, at just 6.5 x 2.5 x2.5 inches.
  • It weighs “around a pound.”
  • USB-C charging and wireless charging (with a$49 dock) are on board.
  • It should last about 10 hours on a charge.
  • It’s waterproof.
  • The Roam can connect via Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth, and supports stereo pairing in Wi-Fi mode.
  • It supports AirPlay 2.
  • There are microphones on board for either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

And that’s about it. The Wi-Fi connectivity should help differentiate it from most other Bluetooth speakers, as it can readily integrate with existing Sonos-equipped households. Sonos also has a reputation for sound quality that I hope it maintains with the Roam.

Credit: The Verge

What I’m curious to see is whether Sonos leverages the Wi-Fi connectivity for other home applications. Although this speaker is positively tiny compared to Sonos’ other offerings, it could theoretically be used as a cheap surround or Atmos speaker in a small home theater setup.

To be clear, the report doesn’t claim this functionality, but it would be an interesting edge for Sonos that could help pull potential buyers into its ecosystem. Whether that’s actually feasible will depend on how loud and good the speaker actually ends up being — I guess we’ll see soon enough.

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Published March 4, 2021 — 19:24 UTC

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