Image Credit: The Verge
Sonos are due to release a new product tomorrow. Thanks to leaks, we now have a name, images and features for the upcoming speaker.
Sonos already sell a durable, battery-powered, WiFi and Bluetooth smart speaker called Sonos Move. Designed for both indoor and outdoor listening, the $400 speaker is weatherproof and drop-resistant, however it’s far from compact and hardly ‘portable’. This makes Sonos Move more suited to carrying out to the garden, than throwing it a bag to take camping.
Thanks to leaks from The Verge, Sonos’ product launch tomorrow may well be the company’s first truly portable speaker. The first signs of a smaller speaker came via an FCC filing spotted last month. This was followed up with Sonos announcing a product launch due on the 9th March, featuring an image of someone carrying a bag, plus plenty of captions that further suggest a travel speaker of some kind. Note that Sonos have made no comment on the existence of the speaker, so we won’t know for sure until tomorrow.
The Verge leaks claim the Sonos Roam will be small and light, coming in at 6.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches and weighing around a pound, making it much smaller than the Sonos Move. The new speaker will also be IP67 dustproof and waterproof up to one meter for 30 minutes, equalling UE’s Wonderboom speaker. The size and weight, along with a reported $169 price tag will place it nicely in line with other high-end portable speakers.
Much like the Sonos Move, it’ll be suited for home and outdoor use with both WiFi and Bluetooth, meaning while you’re at home, it’ll seemlessly integrate with any other Sonos multi-room speakers or you can even pair two Sonos Roam’s in stereo. However, multi-room doesn’t only work on WiFi. Details from The Verge suggest that your phone needn’t be on the same WiFi to enable multi-room audio. Supposedly you’ll be able to play audio via Bluetooth to your Sonos Roam and it can be shared to all Sonos speakers in the house. This could be a great feature for house parties, allowing any device and source, such as a laptop, to stream to all Sonos speakers, rather than only apps supported by non-Bluetooth speakers. Similarly to the Move, Sonos Roam cannot be used as a surround speaker for their Arc or Beam soundbars. Sonos are reserving this feature for speakers such as the One SL.
As with all other Sonos speakers, built-in microphones will pick up your voice for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or you can cast to the speaker via AirPlay 2. The new speaker will run Sonos’ S2 operating system.
Sound Swap is due to be a new feature from Sonos, hoping to compete with the hand off feature seen on Apple’s HomePod mini, letting you simply bring your iPhone near the speaker to pass audio onto it. Sound Swap will allow you to pass music from the Roam to a nearby Sonos speaker, by simply holding down the play/pause button. The Verge are unsure exactly how this will work, but it’s thought Bluetooth Low Energy will be able to identify which Sonos speaker is closest. This feature could one day work excellently in tandem with a pair of Sonos headphones.
As on the larger and more expensive Sonos Move, the Roam is also expected to feature automatic Trueplay. Trueplay uses the built-in microphones to tune itself based on surroundings. This ensures an accurate EQ and wide soundstage, whether you’re in a small bedroom or open field.
According to The Verge’s source, the Sonos Roam will last 10 hours on a full battery and come with a USB charging cable. A wireless charging dock will be sold separately for $49, much like the one included in the box of the Sonos Move.
The speaker will be available in black and white, with shipping currently due to start on the 20th April. Will Sonos be able to keep up its track record of fantastic sound quality within their smallest speaker yet? Trueplay may be the one feature that sets it apart from the rest of the competition.
Can’t wait until the Sonos Roam, or it’s not looking your style? Check out these top Bluetooth speakers at every price point here.