Finance and Technology

Ultra-Portable Smart Speaker for Easy Listening On-The-Go

Oct 2021 | By Greg Gazin

Smart Speakers are the perfect solution when you’re on the go – or when you’re not.

Earbuds or headphones aren’t everyone’s cup of tea when listening to music, radio stations, and podcasts. They can be cumbersome, and aren’t always weather resistant when navigating the great outdoors. Plus, you may already have a hearing device in your ear.

But you no longer need to carry the boom box of your youth on your shoulder. Now you can pack a punch with the Sonos Roam speaker, and slip it into a pocket, purse, or satchel.

You’ll never leave home without it

This miniscule smart speaker weighs less than one pound, measures a mere 6.61 inches high by 2.44 inches long, and only 2.44 inches wide, and is designed to stand either vertical or horizontal. It’s so convenient that it will follow you around the house, and it will be the first thing that you pack when you leave.

It’s tough as nails and is pleasing to the ear

Don’t be fooled purely by its diminutive size, as its durable construction can withstand lofty falls. Sonos Roam is IP67 rated, which means it’s fully dustproof and waterproof. Not to worry if you accidently spill your coffee on it or drop it in the water.

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

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

Acting like a control panel, the app will help you get the most from your Roam and take advantage of its smart features.

Most smart speakers connect wirelessly only via Bluetooth. Roam also connects via Bluetooth, but also has great Wi-Fi connection. With Wi-Fi you’ll be able to stream your sound over a much longer range – anywhere the Wi-Fi reaches, rather than the 10m limit for Bluetooth. Wi-Fi also yields a higher fidelity audio as the sound is less compressed as it is with Bluetooth.

Once it’s set up, your Roam can also switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth automatically.  This smart feature also gives you added convenience. For example, if you use Roam at the cottage it will connect to your phone via Bluetooth but will automatically connect to your home system when you get back.

The My Sonos feature, accessible via the app, gives you access to thousands upon thousands of songs, audio books and podcasts. Another feature, Sonos Radio, can help you curate a selection of radio stations by genre including a number exclusive to Sonos.

And if you have another Sonos speaker, you can match them together 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 of play, and can be put into sleep mode to conserve power. It comes with a USB-C cable so it can be charged with any USB-C charger, but it also has built wireless charging so it can be used with any Qi compatible wireless charger. This can be very handy so you don’t have to worry about needing any proprietary cables, chargers, or adapters if you find you left yours at home.

Sonos Roam comes in two matte finish colours – Shadow Black or Lunar White. It retails in Canada for $229.00. It’s available directly from Sonos, or you can find it on Amazon and other retailers like Best Buy Canada, Visions Electronics, and The Source.

Greg Gazin is a veteran syndicated tech columnist, podcaster, avid blogger and author. He contributes to many publications including Troy Media. Greg can be reached at Gadgetguy.ca