Sonos’ New Portable Speaker Is The Most Affordable Yet

Sonos’ New Portable Speaker Is The Most Affordable Yet

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After it was released last year, the Sonos Roam became one of our favorite speakers, even nabbing a spot as a top Bluetooth speaker in our testing. The company is now set to follow it up with the Roam SL, which, like previous SL speakers, should offer a similar albeit slightly less premium experience than the original.

Preorders are open now for the Sonos Roam SL, and the speaker will begin shipping on March 15. You can preorder the speaker in either Shadow Black or Lunar White.


The Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled Roam SL looks almost identical to the regular Roam. It features a vertical triangular design that’s smaller than the average plastic water bottle and light enough to take anywhere. You’ll find physical playback controls on the top and a grippy outer coating for additional durability and ease of use. The speaker is IP67 certified, making it resistant to things like splashes of water or light rain. (You could even submerge it in a meter of water for 30 minutes and it would be OK.)

The Roam SL also features the same speaker system (two amplifiers, a midwoofer and a single tweeter) as the original, which we found to produce vibrant sound that works well in any environment for nearly any track. The Roam SL, like the regular Roam, only produces sound from the front and not a full 360 degrees like other portable speakers, though we didn’t find this to be an issue.

The Roam SL is compatible with Sonos’ S2 software so you can wirelessly connect with other Sonos speakers. And like the regular Roam, the Roam SL should last up to 10 hours on a full charge. The speaker comes with Sonos’ Battery Saver mode, which can automatically turn it completely off if you’re not using it, and you can recharge the speaker using the included USB-A to USB-C cable. Sonos also sells an optional Qi wireless charger for $49 that supports the Roam and Roam SL. Still, you can place either speaker on any Qi-enabled charger to refuel it.


The biggest drawback of the Roam SL is undoubtedly the lack of a microphone. Not only can it not be used as a smart speaker, but it also won’t feature Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay technology, which uses a microphone to assess the noise in your environment and automatically tune your music for the best quality in any conditions — something we loved when testing the original Roam.

Another feature missing from the cheaper speaker is Sound Swap. On the Roam, you can long-press the play/pause button to instantly transfer your music to the nearest Sonos speaker in your home. This allows you to literally take your music wherever you go. Unfortunately, those who pick up a Roam SL won’t benefit from the feature.

If you don’t plan on using the portable speaker for phone calls or using an assistant like Alexa on it, we’d suggest taking a look at the Roam SL. It’s cheaper than the original Roam and still integrates heavily into the Sonos ecosystem or is a great place to start. Sonos’ latest speaker is up for preorder now and begins shipping on March 15.

Sonos Roam SL

Sonos Roam

Speakers Two Class-H digital amplifiers, a tweeter and a midwoofer with Adjustable EQ Two Class-H digital amplifiers, a tweeter and a midwoofer with Automatic Trueplay and Adjustable EQ Microphones N/A A far-field microphone array Battery 18Wh 18Wh Charging A USB-C port or Qi-enabled wireless charging A USB-C port or Qi-enabled wireless charging Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and AirPlay 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and AirPlay 2 Durability IP67 Resistance IP67 Re

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