Sonos Is Bringing Its Famous Sound Outside the Home With Its New Portable Speakers

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John Velasco | SPY

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When it comes to home audio and architectural sound, Sonos is by far the best known brand. Sonos is synonymous with home speakers, and even before there were a hundred different smart speakers to choose from, many people had a Sonos speaker (or three) as their home sound system.

Sonos has built its reputation on combining stellar audio with easy-to-install, easy-to-use product design. Today, the biggest trends the audio space are portability and smart features, and while you might not think of Sonos as a portable speaker brand, its new generation of portable Bluetooth speakers are among the best in the world.

Take the new Sonos Roam, for example. This speaker has appeared in a number of SPY gift guides and shopping guides so far in 2022, and our reviewers have praised its waterproofing and sound quality.

As SPY’s Tech Editor, I’ve personally used a lot of smart speakers, but this was my first time trying out these particular smart speakers. Call me late to the party, but after trying out the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam, I finally understand what the hype is all about.

With these new speakers, Sonos has proved that its ready to take its technology on the go, letting you enjoy Sonos’ signature sound at the beach, your next tailgating party, or a weekend camping trip.

  

Simple Setup, Even for Non-Techies

I’m a techie at heart, so setting up a new gadget is a cinch most of the time. Smart speakers are generally straightforward to set up, assuming that you’ve already invested in one particular smart home ecosystem. Of course, not everyone is a techie.

What sparked my attention when setting up the Sonos Roam and Move was how simple and easy it was to set up and connect them. Just take a peek at the simple two-step and three-step instruction guides that came with the speakers.

Sonos speakers instructions. John Velasco | SPY

I know what you’re thinking, there has to be more than just powering it on and downloading the Sonos app. But really, those steps are all you need to follow because once I opened the app, a new window popped up indicating it found the speakers — all on its own too! After selecting my home’s Wi-Fi network and password, they were ready for action.

That’s all. Seriously, this is a simpler process than any of the Echo or Google smart speakers I’ve owned. After I’d paired the Sonos Roam with my phone, the top-notch sound moved with me wherever I wanted to go.

Sonos Roam. Courtesy of Amazon

While at home, both the Sonos Roam and Move paired easily and worked together to create immersive sound in my kitchen and living room, and when I took the Roam out of the house it worked just as well at the park, beach and even on a hike.

Their easy-to-pair speaker systems really give you the best of both worlds, and are designed to give even the most tech averse people the ability to take impressive sound with them on the road.

  

A User-Friendly Feature: Pairing Without the App

One of the benefits of owning multiple smart speakers is the ability to group them together. For existing Sonos customers, it will be easy to sync the Roam or Move with your already installed Sonos speakers if you want to bring the party outdoors.

Sonos App for Android. John Velasco | SPY

Sonos also makes it possible to group speakers together without downloading an app. After setting up the Sonos Roam, followed by the Sonos Move, pairing the two devices for music playback was as simple as long pressing the pause/play button on the Move — since the Roam was already playing something and I wanted the Move to piggyback off it.

Sonos Move on shelf. John Velasco | SPY

After hearing a confirmation tone play on the Move, it started playing my music in sync. For non-techies, I think this is a valuable feature because it’s a more practical way of grouping speakers. You can still control the speaker volume from your phone, as well as the speakers individually, another great feature that you don’t always see in similar systems from other brands.

Compared to other smart speakers I’ve set up in the past, this is a much easier process.

Sonos Move Courtesy of Amazon

  

Sonos roam outdoors Courtesy of Sonos

Trueplay: A Revelation in Playing Music Outdoors

Before I get into the smart features of these Sonos speakers, you should know about Trueplay — Sonos’ way of tuning the audio of its speakers according to the acoustics of the room or environment the speaker is in. Even though similar technology is leveraged in other speakers, Trueplay adjusts the audio performance in order to achieve the best results by tapping into the microphones on the speakers. The end result? Nothing but dynamic audio that sounds full and clear.

This is an excellent feature when your speaker is outside, since the speaker can raise or lower the volume depending on how loud your surroundings are. Waves crashing on the beach? Children screaming and playing in a park? Your speaker will sense this competing noise and adjust accordingly.

With the pairing function, I really like how the smaller sized Sonos Roam was able to match the audio performance of the beefier Sonos Move. This pairing was best experienced when I placed the speakers on opposite corners of a room from one another, and it was difficult to discern what audio was coming from which speaker when I closed my eyes.

Closeup of Sonos name on Roam. John Velasco | SPY

Choose Your Own Smart Assistant

Beyond the superb audio quality, I also love how you have a choice in which smart assistant to use. In addition to offering Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, both speakers offer AirPlay support for Apple users. If that’s not enough, they’re both battery powered and have Bluetooth connectivity to still play music whether you’re indoors, out, or away from the home. Few speakers reach this kind of utility.

Sonos speakers on table. John Velasco | SPY

I’ve always known that Sonos is famous for its audio quality, but hearing that sound outside of the home gave me a new appreciation of this brand.

If you’re in need of a smart speaker pairing for your home, love taking your music on-the-go, and need a durable outdoor speaker, then the Sonos Move and Roam is a top-notch dynamic duo. They’re easy to set up and use and have innovative features that make them worth the investment.