Sonos Roop is here – well approx. It will be available to the public from April 20, but our review continues and we have liked it very much.
If you are an existing Sonos user then Roam actually delivers on the promise of a portable speaker, one that you can take with you on your journey. If you are not already in the Sonos system, ROM is the cheapest method.
But what about Sonos Move? It is available as a larger and larger-looking option for the outdoors. If you don’t have one, which of the two should you get? Let’s see which Sonos ROM vs Move is better – or more relevant – which works best for you?
Price and availability
The move was released in Autumn 2019 for £ 399 / $ 399 / € 399 / CAD $ 499 / AUD $ 649. This is fairly consistent price-wise, though during the 2020 Black Friday / December sale Sonos discounted it to £ 299 and if you look online you can reduce it to £ 369.
The Roam is the cheapest Sonos speaker at £ 159/169 / € 179 / CA $ 229 / AU $ 279. It has not yet gone on sale – it is April 20. Like any other Sonos product, we expect it to maintain its RRP for quite some time. Still, at £ 159 it is a gateway product to Sonos’ world.
Sonos ROM vs Sonos Move – Design
Both Move and ROM follow the design aesthetics Sonos has created over the years. In short, there is a reticulated skin that covers the front (if not all) of the speaker with the Sonos logo that is embossed at the top and controls for playback, mic / on the top plate.
The biggest and most obvious difference between the two is the size. According to Sonos you can fit six roms inside a move, which is quite a difference considering the portability of each speaker. While the move has an integrated handle to carry, the Roam can be held in one hand.
How heavy they are to widen that gap. The Roam is 430g while the move is 3kg. This former uses more favorable outdoor activities, parks, what do you have; While the gait is suited for a larger venue (say, a garden) or as a speaker (socially distant) for gatherings.
Build quality of both that we feel like weighty, premium products. Both of them feel indestructible by having a missile fired at the missile. They are also consistent in terms of applicability with a consistent design approach. Sonos’ beauty gives him a calm, professional look that is exemplary by the likes of Lunar White and Shadow Black. The Sonos line-up does not have much color or personality.
ROMs can be positioned vertically and horizontally, and this gives them more flexibility where it can sit (bookshelf, desktop, and the rest). This step is, as we mentioned, large – so it will require a fair amount of space to operate.
We like both speakers but Roam wins for its precise portability. If you want to take a speaker with you, then Roam will be the one to get.
Sonos ROM vs Sonos Move – Features
The two share a coherent feature set, but there are areas where one defeats the other. Roam has an IP67 rating, which means that it is completely protected from the layer of dust and can avoid being submerged in water to make it completely waterproof. The move has an IP56 rating – the highest without being immersed in water. It guarantees protection against dust, water, sludge or substances such as ketchup (when those socially distant parties get a mess).
Roam also supports Qi wireless charging, although the wireless plate is available separately (£ 44). Or you can plug it in and charge it with a device that supports USB-C charging. In comparison, the move is charged either through its USB-C connection or charging base, which has to be plugged into the mains. In this sense, Rupam is more convenient for both.
Both have a battery life of 10 hours and both have auto troupe, first introduced by Move. This allows sound to be optimized almost instantaneously, automatically calibrating the sound to measure the speaker’s atmosphere and for a consistent audio delivery. Bluetooth is 4.2 vs 5.0 – not necessarily a big difference, but the latest standard allows access to signals with increasing powers of data transmission and compatible products.
Both support the Sonos S2 app, although the Move can work with the S1 app, while the Roam will only work with the S2 version. When each speaker is connected to Wi-Fi it is converted to smart speakers. Those features include voice assistant support (Google Assistant / Alexa), AirPlay 2, and hundreds of music streaming services including Spotify, Tidal, Tune, and Sonos Radio.
You can also group speakers with other speakers to create a multi-room system, updating each speaker. One thing to note is that neither will the rear speaker channel display in the Sonos home cinema system, if this is a consideration.
New features introduced by Roam include a sound swap – a grip on play / pause sends music to the nearest Sonos speakers – and automatic Bluetooth / Wi-Fi switching. The ROM can detect when it is on its home Wi-Fi network and switch to ‘Sonos’ mode. When it is far away from home, it will automatically turn into Bluetooth and re-pair with your Bluetooth. The move supports sound swap, but has a physical button to switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth states.
This is another victory for Roopam. Tough IP resistance works in its favor, the more current Bluetooth profile should also help, while automatic Wi-Fi / Bluetooth switching has a nice bit of convenience that rotates above the move.
Sonos ROM vs Sonos Move – Sound Quality
We found both Roam and Moves feeling great, with Sonos understood, but natural mid-range delivery, good treble reproduction, agile dynamics and a sense of energy. So which one sounds better?
Move is the premium option and wins here. It has a larger sound (although Roam can easily fill a medium-sized room), larger bass performance, and more power.
Both sport a neutral distribution, but we enjoyed large, confident and weighty low-frequency performance through the Move’s mid-woofer driver. By comparison Roam’s bass performance is solid, but it will be lacking when sitting with the move.
The move isn’t a clear-cut or textured-clear wireless speaker, but it’s a good deal clearer, cleaner, and more accurate than similar-sized speakers we’ve heard. It can reduce its composites slightly, we think, by overvaluing. But if you are in an open space, then this issue is not very likely.
Both work well across a range of musical genres, with Sonos’ tuning ensuring that they can cope with the most musical choices with their poems. The vocals are handled very well, with no gestures of any kind and an expressive repertoire meaning that you hear every word.
Moves can produce further sound, with a louder movement, and this makes it a better choice for a garden or party. If you are in the park with friends or going for a walk somewhere, walking will make more sense. Both sound great, but the Move has a better sounding speaker.
Sonos Roopam vs Sonos Move Decision
Although both the Move and ROM are outdoor speakers, there is enough difference in what they offer that they do not step on each other’s toes. If you are choosing between two speakers, as you need a speaker to complete a particular function.
The garden is great for outdoor parties with its big sound, while the Roam is more convenient in terms of its portability – it’s the type of speaker you want to take to the park or other people’s homes.
Both are very happy in what they offer. For existing Sonos users they extend the performance of Sonos to the outer realm and whichever one you decide to go down, either one is well done.