From home to home and on the go: So far, Sonos has mainly focused on network speakers for indoors or on the terrace. Now there is also a first box that you can take with you wherever you go.
Sonos is expanding its range with a small, portable speaker. The roam, which is almost 17 centimeters long and around 6 centimeters wide, automatically adapts the sound to the environment in order to optimize it for both outdoors and indoors.
Sonos expects that people will spend a lot of time on the go after the end of the pandemic, said company boss Patrick Spence. Therefore, the development of the Roam was preferred to another, originally planned model.
Sonos Roam with a special outdoor mode
If the Sonos Roam detects that it is outside, it sends the sound waves straight ahead in a more targeted manner because it suspects the audience to be there. According to Spence, this technical trick is necessary so that the sound does not run without walls to bounce off.
Sonos first introduced automatic measurement of the environment in the Move 2019 model. The Move can also be operated by battery – but with a weight of three kilograms it was too heavy to take with you everywhere. The Roam, on the other hand, weighs 430 grams.
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Switch between Bluetooth and WLAN on the fly
The Sonos Roam is waterproof and dustproof according to the IP67 standard. Its battery should allow ten hours of music playback. And he can automatically switch between the connection via Bluetooth outside and the integration via WLAN into an existing Sonos system at home.
With the so-called swap function, music can be forwarded from the roam to the nearest other Sonos box. In addition, two roam speakers can be connected to form a stereo pair.
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Contactless charging as an option
Sonos calls up 179 euros as the price for the Roam. For use at home, Sonos also sells a pad for contactless charging of the battery as an accessory for 49 euros. Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant can be set up as voice assistants.
Sonos had to make major adjustments to the device’s development process in the pandemic, according to Spence. Only a few dozen employees came to the offices in Santa Barbara and Boston on a regular basis, and many set up makeshift test labs in their homes. The first assembly of the prototypes – a key moment for a new product – was completely outsourced to the Chinese location in Shanghai, the US team was connected via video conference for this.