Sonos Roam: compact but hugely competent

The Roam squishes Sonos’s audio know-how into the smallest form-factor yet

Speaker with USB cable
(Image credit:

Sonos has taken itself into the truly portable realm for the first time with the Roam, a compact speaker that aims to bring the brand’s best qualities into your bag.

Portable speakers have come a long way since the sector was created in the wake of the widespread adoption of Bluetooth and the rise of streaming music services. Throw in long-life batteries and revolutionary approaches to small-scale, high-output speaker designs, and you have a recipe for a universally useful object. Sonos is coming up to its second decade, during which time it has established itself as the pre-eminent supplier of smart home audio, with a simplified system of wirelessly interlinked speakers that don’t make no audio compromises and can accommodate any interior approach. 

Speaker with white USB cable

Available in Shadow Black and Lunar White (above), the Sonos Roam is compact but hugely competent 

(Image credit:

That sense of universal connection is the key USP of the new Roam. A smooth-edged triangular prism, the Roam squishes Sonos’s audio know-how into the smallest form-factor yet, with the shape designed to allow the speaker to be stood vertically on lain on its side. It’s durable, dust-proof and fully waterproof and there’s a ten-hour battery life baked in, with smart wireless QI charging if you get the optional base. Its smartest features are its ability to seamlessly switch between wireless mode and Bluetooth mode, and ‘throw’ the current content to other Sonos speakers via the Sound Swap mode. ‘Trueplay’ is another software driven system that automatically balances the sound based on the changing surroundings. The soundscape is crisp and wide, especially given the small scale of the device, although it can be a little bass heavy depending on your music. As with all the company’s products, the accompanying app takes care of the finer details.

In terms of content, Sonos continues to roll out new offerings on its Sonos Radio service, pulling together around 60,000 streaming live stations and a selection of curated playlists. Available in Lunar White or Shadow Black, the Sonos Roam is available now. §


 Sonos Roam, £159

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.