Sonos removes features off their Roam, knocks S$30 off and calls it the Roam SL
Sonos removes a few features off the Roam, knocks S$30 off and calls it the Roam SL
Sonos has a knack for debuting some really interesting audio products to address pain points observed by consumers and they often do it in a manner you don't realise that issues did exist until you meet their new solution. Take for example the original Sonos Play:5 (we've reviewed the smaller Play:3) more than a decade back which was best known as the first truly smart speaker that allowed more Play:5 speakers to be grouped together to either expand audio prowess or enable multi-room audio playback wirelessly, and other goodness that we now take for granted. Subtle, precise and smart. That's Sonos for you.
In more recent times, exactly a year back, Sonos debuted its first-ever rugged, compact, and portable wireless speaker called the Roam. By then, portable speakers were dime a dozen and came in all shapes, sizes, and designs. It might seem Sonos was late to the market, but their Roam had a certain charm to its simple understated design that made it a standout option even if is expensive at S$329.
For one, it had a very convenient grab-and-go design, is IP67 water and dust rated, is rugged, has a convenient wireless charging pad upgrade option and came with a few nifty audio features like Automatic Trueplay which monitors the environment to better calibrate its audio output for the locality of its usage, Sound Swap that can instantly hand-off or 'absorb' the music tune being played from the nearest Sonos speaker and had Google Assistant / Amazon Alexa support. You can check out our detailed review for our usage and audio experience with the Sonos Roam.
Now, Sonos is debuting the Sonos Roam SL, which is practically exactly identical to the original Roam, but forgoes the extra cool features like Automatic TruePlay, Sound Swap and voice assistant support. It's still using the same hardware, design and build, but to compensate for the departure of these features, Sonos is pegging it at S$30 less and will sell for S$299 from 15th March 2022.
The original Roam and Roam SL will be selling concurrently, but if you were to ask us, for just the S$30 difference, you might as well get the full Sonos experience with the original Roam. For those who have more Sonos speakers at home, the original Roam is still a better option to utilise the Sound Swap functionality. However, if you've been eyeing the Roam for a while now and the slightly lower price point is easier on your wallet, the new Roam SL is a good consideration too, albeit it could have been priced lower.