Sonos too pricey? Audio firm launches its most affordable speaker yet this week


Sonos will launch its most affordable speaker – the Sonos Roam SL – this week. This brand-new speaker, which was announced back in February, boasts a waterproof design, 10-hour battery life, wireless charging, and the lowest price tag we’ve ever seen from Sonos. The Roam SL follows in the footsteps of the Sonos One SL, which drops the far-field microphone array that enables hands-free voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant in favour of a £20 price cut. Likewise, the Sonos Roam SL doesn’t support any AI voice assistants but, aside from that omission, you’ll enjoy the same features as the first-generation Sonos Roam that launched last year… for £20 less.

Sonos Roam already held the title for the most affordable speaker in Sonos’ lineup – matching the price tag of the Sonos One SL at £179, so it’s impressive that Sonos has dropped that cost again with the introduction of the new Sonos Roam SL.

For those who missed the introduction of the original Sonos Roam, this clever speaker works like any other Sonos speaker inside the home – with songs, albums, playlists, radio stations, and podcasts beamed wirelessly via Wi-Fi from your smartphone, tablet or PC. However, it’s when you pocket the Sonos Roam SL and head outside that things get really interesting. That’s because the Sonos Roam SL transforms into a Bluetooth speaker when it’s away from your Wi-Fi network.

Pair the speaker with your smartphone or tablet and you’ll be able to wirelessly stream playlists and podcasts when away from home. Sonos has designed the Roam SL to survive a trip to the beach or pool too, thanks the dust and waterproof case. Sonos Roam SL is rated IP67, which means that it can withstand submersion in one meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s designed to handle a few bumps and bruises too, so it should have no qualms about a few road trips, BBQs in the garden, or camping holidays.

Even the stylish triangular design was chosen to allow listeners to place Roam SL vertically for a smaller footprint or horizontally to provide more stability on uneven surfaces outdoors.

Despite the omission of the far-field microphone array, the battery life between the Roam SL and the Sonos Roam remains unchanged – with 10-hours of wireless listening when unplugged from the mains. With the Battery Saver setting is enabled, Sonos says this diddy speaker will be able to last 10 days or longer in sleep mode.

Charging is handled via a USB-C cable or any Qi-certified wireless charger. Sonos has designed its own wireless charging cradle, which can be used as a dock when the Sonos Roam SL is inside the house and used like a standard speaker from the smart audio brand.

Sonos Roam SL is compatible with AirPlay 2, which allows iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac owners to wirelessly beam lossless music to the speaker without pairing. As long as both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you’ll be able to start sending music, podcasts, radio and more. You’ll also be able to synchronise playback across multiple speakers in your home (alternatively, you can send different songs to speakers in each room). Of course, this is something that Sonos’ own app allows you to do, but you’ll be able to group together any AirPlay 2 speakers when relying on the Apple-developed system – even those made by rival firms, like Bose.

If you bought a Sonos Roam last year, or want to order two Sonos Roam SLs, these speakers can be paired together to listen in stereo. This is possible when away out on the road, as well as using your Wi-Fi back at home. Of course, like everything available in the Sonos lineup, you’ll be able to group the speakers based on the rooms in your house, adjusting the volume with a single volume slider (something that Google can no longer offer after a US court found that it was infringing patented technology developed by Sonos) or individually.

Sonos Roam SL is available to pre-order now right now £159, with the first speakers shipping this week, starting March 15, 2022.

At that price, the Sonos Roam SL is the most affordable speaker available to buy from Sonos’ online store as well as retail partners such as John Lewis, Currys, and Amazon. However, the speakers launched in partnership with IKEA, dubbed Symfonisk, start from just £99. However, these Sonos x IKEA speakers are only available to buy from IKEA.

If you’d prefer to be able to request songs, check the latest headlines and traffic, and more with Alexa or Google Assistant, the Sonos Roam is still available for £179.


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