Which is better: Sonos Move or Sonos Roam?
It seems like Bluetooth speakers are everywhere nowadays, so much that even Sonos has checked in. Sonos is known for its home speaker systems, but they’ve been in the Bluetooth speaker game for a few years now.
Sonos launched the Move speaker back in 2019, and while it’s terrific, the newer Roam is giving it a run for its money. They’re intended to be used in different scenarios, but some key features and specs can help you decide which one is right for you.
The Move is notable for being the first truly portable Sonos speaker. Unlike other speakers that simply stream music wirelessly, it’s packed with plenty of features that make it much more than a simple speaker, which might make the price tag, about $400, worth it.
Sonos Move pros
It’s a large portable speaker with a built-in handle and an optional wall hook accessory that delivers outstanding sound, especially outdoors. It can integrate via Wi-Fi with other Sonos speakers, and you can set up as part of a Sonos home speaker system in several ways.
It’s one of the more durable Bluetooth speakers, boasting an IP56 water and dust-resistance rating, so it’s suitable for locations such as parks and beaches.
Music can be streamed wirelessly through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and the speaker can be controlled through AirPlay 2, the Sonos app and touch-and-tap touch controls for controlling music playback directly from the speaker itself. Also, it’s compatible with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
The convenient charging base where you can simply set it down to charge it is also a neat feature for a portable speaker. Its battery life is impressive for a portable Bluetooth speaker of its size, lasting up to 11 hours.
Sonos Move cons
Although it’s marketed as a portable Bluetooth speaker, it’s larger and bulkier than those offered by competing brands. The built-in handle is excellent and necessary, but it can be cumbersome to take the Move with you for traveling due to its weight and size.
Some might find the Sonos Move overpriced, since comparable Bluetooth speakers can cost half as much and deliver similar sound. If you want a speaker to stream music from your phone and the extra features aren’t important to you, you may end up feeling like you overpaid.
The Move has been a tremendous success and is an excellent speaker in its own right. However, the Roam is an alternative for those who want a speaker that’s both high-quality and budget-friendly.
The Roam functions and looks more like the portable Bluetooth speakers you might be accustomed to seeing. It’s the second Bluetooth speaker in Sonos’ lineup, and at about $180, it might be a better option, depending on what you want.
Sonos Roam pros
The Roam is surprisingly loud for its size, but it’s not focused on bass alone, as the mids and highs sound terrific and balanced as well. The Move doesn’t hold a candle to the Roam when it comes to portability. In terms of size, The Roam measures just 17 by 6 by 6 centimeters, so it’s considerably smaller than the Move. It also has a familiar cylindrical shape that has become standard for portable speakers and can be set vertically or horizontally.
The Move is well-protected from the elements, but the Roam boasts an IP67 protection rating, meaning it can handle even more exposure to water and dust. So it’s the more feasible option for frequent beachgoers or hikers.
Like the Move, the Roam can stream music through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and be controlled in the same ways, including AirPlay 2, the Sonos App and its touch controls. Also, Alexa and Google Assistant are supported.
Although its battery is smaller, it can last nearly as long as the Move on a full charge, offering 10 hours of playback with moderate volume levels.
Sonos Roam cons
The Move is considerably larger, so naturally, you won’t get the same booming bass with the Roam, making more suitable for listening in smaller spaces or close proximity.
The Roam also can take a while to charge fully, and one of the Move’s best features is notably absent: the charging base. The Roam is chargeable via a USB-C cable, but unfortunately, you’d have to purchase the sold-separately wireless charger for the convenience you get with the Move right out the box.
It’s much cheaper than the Move, but at $179, it’s relatively expensive for what it is. It’s a high-quality speaker by a trusted brand, but other Bluetooth speakers offer similar sound and features at a lower price.
Should you get a Sonos Move or Sonos Roam?
Both are excellent speakers, but the better one depends on how you intend to use it. If you plan to use your speaker mostly at home or in a backyard-type setting, the Move is the better option because it offers more sound even though it’s less portable. The Roam doesn’t offer the same booming sound, but because it’s significantly smaller than the Move, it’s better for traveling.
The Move is much more expensive than the Roam and is essentially a smart speaker. So, whether you’ll get your money’s worth depends on how much you value and use those features. If you just want a simple portable Bluetooth speaker with excellent sound, go for the Roam. If you don’t mind spending the money and prefer something portable, loud, and packed with premium features, the Move is a solid choice.
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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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