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Sonos Debuts Cheaper Roam SL Portable Speaker for $159

The SL version of Sonos' existing Roam speaker drops the microphone and costs $20 less.

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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
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The new speaker looks the same as the original but leaves off the microphone and isn't voice-enabled.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Sonos Roam ($179) is a very good portable WiFi/Bluetooth speaker that I rated highly when it came out last year. Now Sonos is releasing the Sonos Roam SL, which is essentially the same speaker without the integrated microphone, for $20 less. It's available for preorder now and ships on March 15.

That microphone on the more expensive model allowed you to issue voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if the speaker is on your WiFi network at home, but could not be used for speakerphone calls. 

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The standard version has a microphone on top while the SL model drops it.

Sonos

Some people like having a voice-enabled "smart" speaker. However, for those who don't care about that feature, the SL gives you the option to save a little money. Sonos did the same thing with its Sonos One speaker, which also comes in a SL version for $20 less than the standard Sonos One

Read our Sonos Roam review.

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Watch this: Sonos Roam: Best mini wireless speaker ever?