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

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Here it is folks, the Sonos Roam. Sonos calls it the best sounding ultra portable speaker ever made. That's a big claim. So let's unpack this puppy and find out if it lives up to the hype. [MUSIC] So straight Off the bell. I got to say, this is one of the classiest looking portable wireless speakers I've tested It's available in white or black for $169, which isn't cheap, but it's the most affordable Sonos if you don't count those IQ ones. And it's also the smallest. It's actually smaller than i thought it would be. It weighs just Just less than a pound, 0.43 kilograms for you metric people. And it's basically about the size of a JBL Flip or a UE BOOM Bluetooth speaker. SONOS is early a portable speaker, the $400 Move weighs about 6 times as much and really isn't so easy carry around. Compared to that, this feels downright light And it shock resistant and dust proof. The end caps power rubberized and seems pretty durable. It has an IP 67 rating which means it can take a short dunk underwater and survive and it actually makes for a very good shower speaker. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] This is Wi Fi enabled and can tap into your existing Sonos multi room audio system and link with other series two compatible sono speakers. It also supports Apple airplay to last year. Sonos updated as AP 2s2, which has created some havoc with Sonos users, including me, who discovered they can't combine newer sono speakers with legacy models and their setups. But you don't need to hear me go into a rant about that right now. So what about Bluetooth? Yes. Like the move, the speaker also has built in Bluetooth and what's new is that when you're away from your home network, the Rome will automatically switch over to Bluetooth and switched back. When you're within range, the move doesn't do that. You have to manually activate the Bluetooth on that speaker. Other core feature this has is both USBC and wireless charging, although I should note that no power adapters included just the USBC cable, and this requires at least a 10 watt power adapter for USBC charging. As for wireless charging Sonas will sell you a 10 watt wireless charging dock for $49 But you can set the speaker down on just about any ci wireless charging pad and it will charge it up to 15 watts if your charging pad supports that speed. [MUSIC] I have some fun moving the room from room to room as well as outside like Would with any Bluetooth speaker and my first reaction after setting it up was Wow, this sounds really good for a speaker this size. It's not up to the same level sound wise as the Sonos one or the move, which produced more sound with more bass, but it's closer than I thought it would be and can fill a small to medium sized room with cell I'll dig more into the sound in a minute. But let me just finish off those key specs and features for those who want to hear more about that battery life is rated at around 10 hours at moderate and volume levels, but that number may drop a bit if you're on Wi Fi rather than Bluetooth and it could be adversely impacted with voice assistant usage. As I'm shooting this video says it's working with Google to issue an update that improves battery life of the speaker. When google assistant is enabled, all of Sony's new speakers including the room offer some form the company's true play sound tuning feature to optimize their Sonic profiles for the space in which they're placed. But rather than use the SONOS app on your iPhone, the room uses is built in microphones to monitor its surroundings and continually auto tunes itself on the fly. Those microphones are also used to access Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa with your voice. You have to choose one voice assistant or the other. And you can pass audio onto the closest speaker in your solo setup by holding down the pause play button on the room. Sonos calls this new feature sound swap. And the room is able to do this by listening for chirping noises played through your other speakers and determines which one is Is closest, I guess the idea is that you'd walk in from your patio say and then fire up the speakers in your living room. Okay, back to the sound where this beats other small Bluetooth speakers like those from ultimate ears JBL and others is that has more bass and sounds a little fuller and it's more natural sounding Like any small speaker, however, you can't push it that hard. It does have its limitations, and it can end up sounding great with one track and only pretty good with other tracks, especially when you crank the volume, but it has a pleasant sound profile with relatively well balanced sound that doesn't come across as too processed. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] You can also link the room with another room and create a stereo pair. And they do sound pretty impressive paired up. Getting that stereo separation gives the sound that much more depth, but you'll have to pay around $350 to create that setup. I should also add that you can't use a pair as the rear speakers in a sono surround setup. Aside from those mini Bluetooth speakers I mentioned earlier I did put it up against the JBL link portable, which seemed like the most apt comparison considering the link portable carries a list price of $179 and has both Wi Fi and Bluetooth connectivity The link portable is a bigger speaker and can play both louder and has more kick to its base. But the overall tonal balance of the Sonos was more appealing to my ears. The JBL is very good, but the soloist is better designed and smaller. And if I were given a choice between the two speakers, I'd take the Sonos. Now as for whether this is the best sounding ultra portable speaker ever made. I think it comes down to your definition of ultra portable. There are some speakers that are a bit bigger than may be able to match the sound of the sound. And there are bluetooth speakers that costs a lot less to sound surprisingly decent and are a better value if all you're looking for is a mini portable speaker. Before its size, the room is pretty hard to beat. So I'm going to say since this claim is within the realm of the truth, at least with what's out there right now in its size class, what do you think about the room? If you're a Sonos user, are you ready to buy it if it really does sound that good? And if you're not a Sooners user already, is it affordable enough for you to maybe become a Sonos user? Let me know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to like and subscribe. I'm David Connor for CNET. Thanks for watching, take care and stay safe.

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