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Sonos Roam 2 review: Evolution by design

If you're not scared off by the price, the Sonos Roam 2 sounds terrific.

Sonos Roam 2
Sonos Roam 2
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
From $279
Speaker output:
25W
Battery life:
10 hours
Fergus Halliday
Jun 28, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read
Quick verdict: Sonos Roam 2

The Sonos Roam 2 is expensive as far as portable speakers go, but there's little to fault in its robust feature set, striking design and stellar sound quality.

pro
Pros
pro Great design
pro Smart improvements
pro TruePlay
con
Cons
con Dragged down by new Sonos app
con Still quite expensive
con No 360-degree sound

Given its big reputation in the traditional wireless audio space, it's only natural that Sonos would eventually try its hand at making smaller and more portable speakers. Back in 2021, it did exactly that with the original Sonos Roam. Like the rest of the company's speaker lineup, that device combined sleek design, great sound and smart features that set it apart from the competition.

Now, the company is providing an updated version of that formula in the form of the Sonos Roam 2. The finished product is less of a new speaker and more of a better one. This second-generation Sonos Roam isn't exactly a reinvention of the concept but it is a more consistent effort that leans on the strengths of its predecessor to maximum effect.

How much does the Sonos Roam 2 cost in Australia?

Starts at $279
Sonos Roam 2

In Australia, the Sonos Roam 2 starts at $279. That makes it one of the more expensive portable speakers for its weight class. That said, that premium does come with more than a few perks and there's always the opportunity to save with a good deal.

Check out the table below for the best deals for the Sonos Roam 2 in Australia.

Store
Price
More info

Sonos Roam 2: Design and features

Sonos Roam 2

Like its first-gen counterpart, the Sonos Roam 2 is a small triangular prism with edges that are both rounded and rubberised. On the front-facing side of the speaker, you've got a standard perforated grille with a second hexagonal one underneath. This layered layout gives a nifty almost holographic look to it that does a good job of selling you on the idea that you're buying high-quality hardware without distracting too much from the environment around it.

Like other Sonos speakers, the Roam 2 is easy on the eyes but designed to fade into the background. It's also built for both indoor and outdoor settings, thanks to an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

The Roam 2 will play nice with Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 and of course Sonos' own Wi-Fi-based audio streaming app. Nothing is stopping you from leaving it plugged into a power source but if you do take it on the go, you're looking at around 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.

While you can orient the speaker vertically, the set of legs on the bottom-most face feels like the canonical configuration. In practice, they give the Roam 2 a little bit of extra elevation that helps make the most of the hardware inside it.

The top end of the Sonos Roam is where you'll find the usual pause, play, volume and voice assistant buttons. These inputs possess a satisfying clickiness but are otherwise forgettable. Meanwhile, the back edge is where you'll find the power key, a Bluetooth toggle and a USB-C port that's used for charging. This represents something of a practical revision of the design of the original Roam, which condensed its power and Bluetooth functions into a single input. It's not the most radical of revisions but a welcome one regardless.

As with the original Roam, it doesn't feel like Sonos simply stuck their logo on a Bluetooth speaker and called it a day. The Roam 2 embodies much of the design-first ethos and commitment to quality design that have made the brand a favourite among audio enthusiasts. It's well built, it sounds nice and it's very easy to integrate within your existing audio setup.

Sonos Roam 2: Performance

Sonos Roam 2

On the inside, the Sonos Roam incorporates a pair of class-H digital amplifiers, a single tweeter and a mid-woofer. There's also an array of far-field microphones that are used for both voice controls and automatic Trueplay tuning. Writ large, that setup is on par with that of the original Sonos Roam so if you're eyeing an upgrade it might be pretty unnecessary.

On the other hand, the Roam 2 could be a great first Sonos speaker for those who want to hear the hype firsthand but don't want to splurge on something larger like the Era 100. And even if it is a little expensive for its size, the speaker does swing above its weight when it comes to sound quality.

Cranked up to maximum volume, the Roam 2 expels much more sound than you'd expect. More importantly, it does so without noticeable compromise in fidelity. The soundscapes it projected were often surprisingly bassy and more than loud enough for interior environments like a study or a vehicle. Part of the reason why is that it features the same TruePlay optimization found in other Sonos products.

Enabled using the Sonos app, this feature uses the microphones on the Roam to map the acoustics of the room around it and clarify its output to make the most of that environment. It's something you'll probably forget about not long after you enable it but I did find that toggling it on and off had a subtle difference in how the speaker sounded. In any case, inclusions like TruePlay help justify the premium you're paying.

Pairing the Sonos Roam 2 with a smartphone, tablet or PC via Bluetooth worked more or less as you'd expect and without any hitches. Integrating the speaker within my existing Sonos ecosystem was more finicky. This is partially owed to how iffy the new Sonos app is.

Even if this particular downside is offset in part by the fact that you can now use the Roam right out of the box without having to set it up first using the app, the fact that it's an issue at all feels like a bit of a miss on the part of Sonos. If this was your first Sonos product, I don't know if that aspect of the experience would leave you with the best impression.

There's also the practical issue of the fact that the Sonos Roam 2 isn't a 360-degree speaker. The sound solely projects from a single face on the unit, which might act as something of a constraint on how you use it. It's not intended as a centrepiece but designed to drape a room in sound from off to the side. 

Sonos Roam 2: Is it worth the money?

Sonos Roam 2

The Sonos Roam 2 is a fantastic Bluetooth speaker that delivers exquisite sound, yet it's also a little too expensive for its good. If you are spending this much you can probably walk away with something with a much bigger profile from JBL or Ultimate Ears for less. Alternatively, those who care more about the fidelity of their audio don't have to spend that much to get their hands on the likes of the Sonos Era 100.

Still, if the cost isn't a dealbreaker, you won't be disappointed by what your money gets you. Pricing aside, Sonos' second-generation Bluetooth speaker is packed with features and design choices that make it more versatile without compromising on the sound quality.

The Sonos Roam 2 is a smart revision of its predecessor but it's every bit as committed to the idea of quality over quantity, arguably to a fault.

How does the Sonos Roam compare

Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Battery life
IP rating
Weight
From
$149
14 hoursIP67420g
From
$99
16 hoursIP67340g
From
$89
16 hoursIP67240g
From
$148
12 hoursIPX7540g
From
$279
10 hoursIP67430g
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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