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sonos speaker

Most smart speakers connect wirelessly only via Bluetooth. Roam also connects via Wi-Fi. That means you can stream sound over a much longer range

Greg Gazin

Not everyone wants to wear headphones or earbuds to listen to their music, radio stations or podcasts, but speakers can be such a pain.

Speakers are often bulky, can be cumbersome when using them with multiple devices, and they’re typically susceptible to the elements, so not great for the outdoors.

Unless you have the Sonos Roam.

Roam is a high-quality, ultraportable, truly smart speaker. It’s so convenient you’ll want to use it around the house and never leave home without it.

It’s almost triangular and designed to stand in horizontal or vertical positions.

Weighing in at less than one pound, it measures a mere 6.61 inches long by 2.44 inches wide by 2.26 inches tall – small enough to slip into a jacket pocket.

Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size – its durable construction can withstand falls, and it’s IP67 rated. This means it’s fully dustproof and waterproof. You can’t hurt it if you spill coffee on it or it ends up submerged in one metre of water for up to half an hour.

Precision-engineered acoustics produce a crisp, clear and full-body sound, something you’d expect from a larger speaker. To ensure great sound even in less-than-ideal conditions, Roam has Sonos’ patented automatic Trueplay tuning which uses Roam’s built-in microphone to adjust the sound to compensate for the surroundings.

Three-way control

You can control your Sonos Roam three ways: by touch via onboard controls, by voice using Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri, and by downloading the Sonos Android or iOS companion app.

The app acts as a control panel, helping you get the most from your Roam by taking advantage of its smart features.

Most smart speakers connect wirelessly only via Bluetooth. Roam also connects via Wi-Fi. That means you can stream sound over a much longer range – anywhere the Wi-Fi reaches – rather than the 10-metre limit for Bluetooth. Wi-Fi also yields a higher fidelity audio as the sound is less compressed than it is with Bluetooth.

Sonos Roam sonos speaker

Sonos Roam comes in two matte finishes – Shadow Black or Lunar White

Auto-switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Once set up, your Roam can switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth automatically for added convenience. For example, if you use Roam at the cottage it will connect to your phone via Bluetooth, then it will automatically connect to your home system when you get back.

The My Sonos feature (accessible via the app) gives you access to thousands of songs, audiobooks and podcasts. And Sonos Radio helps you curate radio stations by genre, including a number of stations exclusive to Sonos.

And you can match Sonos speakers to make a stereo pair, or use Sound Swap to send sound to and from the nearest speaker.

Sonos Roam has a built-in rechargeable battery rated at up to 10 hours. It can also be put into sleep mode to conserve the battery. It comes with a USB-C cable so it can be charged with any USB-C charger, and it can be used with any Qi-compatible wireless charger. This means you don’t need any proprietary cables, chargers or adapters.

Sonos Roam comes in two matte finishes – Shadow Black or Lunar White. It retails in Canada for $229 and is available directly from Sonos or at Amazon, Best Buy Canada, Visions Electronics and The Source.

Sonos Roam sonos speaker

To ensure great sound in less-than-ideal conditions, Roam has Trueplay tuning, which adjusts the sound to compensate for the surroundings

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at  For interview requests, click here.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the authors’ alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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