Which Sonos portable speaker is right for you?

Boomier sound

Sonos Transfer

$400 at Very best Purchase


  • Spacious sound with plentiful bass
  • Transportable, with integrated care for
  • Very good battery lifestyles whilst undocked
  • Water and dirt resistance
  • Seamless transition between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth


  • Microphones are higher on devoted Alexa or Google Assistant audio system
  • Heavier and bulkier than different portables
  • Much more dear

The Transfer has change into considered one of Sonos’ signature audio system as it blends the dependability of sitting nonetheless with the benefit of transferring round. It is a transportable speaker supporting each Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, however its mobility is contingent on its measurement and weight.

Roomier sound

Sonos Roam

$169 at Very best Purchase


  • Nice sound for the scale
  • Seamless transition from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth
  • Smartly-built and rugged
  • Has wi-fi charging


  • Dear
  • Middling battery lifestyles for a Bluetooth speaker
  • Some standby battery problems at release

The Roam is Sonos’ smallest speaker, and via default, it makes it probably the most transportable and flexible within the corporate’s lineup. Nimble and simple to hold any place, it packs a punch in a small bundle, regardless that it’s important to sacrifice some issues at the audio facet to get there.

Sonos has been round for just about 20 years, and simplest within the ultimate two years did it undertaking into transportable sound with the 2 audio system pitted right here. After organising itself as a reputable multi-room sound machine for smartly over a decade, the following obtrusive foray needed to be audio system you’ll in fact lift and take with you. The central goal between those two is identical, except for the texture for the execution is not essentially the similar. There are transparent causes for that, and the nuances set those two aside just a little additional.

Sonos Transfer vs. Sonos Roam: Weighing the main points

There is no complicated who made both of those audio system. The Sonos emblem stands proud, however their respective designs additionally keep smartly inside of its design philosophy. The black and white variants, grille design, and normal fabrics are all very a lot the similar. The Sonos Transfer is one thing of a hybrid in that it will probably play in a single position for so long as you wish to have it to till you make a decision to in fact transfer it in other places. That is not such a lot the case with the Sonos Roam, which is just too small and light-weight to wish to stay in a single spot.

Sonos Transfer Sonos Roam
Weight 6.51 lbs. zero.95 lbs.
Battery lifestyles 11 hours 10 hours
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2
Wi-fi charging base Sure, incorporated Now not incorporated
Charging connector USB-C USB-C
Virtual assistant reinforce Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant
Amplifiers Elegance D Elegance H
Supported audio formats SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
Sturdiness IP55 IP67

The largest distinction between them is the sheer measurement and weight disparity. By way of comparability, the Roam feels feathery subsequent to the Transfer, which is able to infrequently be regarded as ‘light-weight’ at over six kilos. This discrepancy simplest reinforces probably the most criticisms at the back of the Transfer when it first introduced. Whilst it was once great to look Sonos decide to one thing in point of fact wi-fi, true portability must wait till one thing just like the Roam got here alongside.

They do proportion a lot in commonplace differently, save for some key variations that stand out. The Roam is clearly the extra ruggedized of the 2 in that it will probably keep submerged in as much as one meter of (transparent) water for 30 mins. Do not try that with the Transfer, which is able to simplest care for splashes or rain, no longer getting doused or dunked.

The battery lifestyles distinction has various contexts to connect to it. First, the Transfer makes use of Elegance D amplifiers, which soak up extra energy. 2d, Sonos provides a replaceable battery for that speaker to increase its lifespan, which the corporate estimates to be 900 energy cycles or a median of 3 years. There is no phrase on whether or not the Roam gets that very same remedy, nevertheless it would not be unexpected. Whilst they each fee wirelessly, they do not do it the similar means. The Transfer comes with a proprietary charging cradle, while the Roam can fee on any Qi-enabled wi-fi charging pad or floor.

Sonos Transfer vs. Sonos Roam: The place measurement issues

The dimensions disparity additionally has different caveats to consider. What made the Transfer so handy from the beginning was once that it made the Sonos listening revel in extra cell inside of the house. You were not caught in a room and even pressured to shop for a brand new speaker to hear what you sought after with the wi-fi class Sonos supplies. The problem was once that past the porch, yard, storage — principally any spot to your belongings out of doors the doorways — taking it in other places wasn’t really easy.

It was once a disgrace for the reason that speaker sounds so just right and would are compatible proper in at a BBQ or collecting with others, be it open air or indoors. I believe those that did not care introduced it with them anyway, given the benefit of Bluetooth connectivity. Nonetheless, it’s kind of of a stretch to believe this an absolutely cell speaker.

That is obviously what the Roam is meant to be. Smaller than an ordinary water bottle and a trifling fraction of the Transfer’s weight, it is the type of speaker you’ll dangle onto or throw right into a bag to move anywhere you wish to have. It would possibly not get as loud or thunderous because the Transfer does, however that is comprehensible. Sonos by no means supposed the Roam to be tremendous loud, simply tremendous transparent, and that is the reason the place the 2 audio system are probably the most alike. The point of interest is on constancy over drowning out the noise, and the speaker is healthier for it. It’s good to at all times modify that with the elemental EQ within the Sonos S2 app, the place sliders for bass, treble, and loudness are there to paintings with.

What made the Transfer so handy from the beginning was once that it made the Sonos listening revel in extra cell inside of the house.

So as to add to the benefit, Sonos made the Roam just a little extra flexible. As an example, it is going to mechanically transfer from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, relying at the instrument or connection. As an example, take it with you when leaving house, and it is going to transfer to Bluetooth as soon as out of Wi-Fi vary (equipped you already paired it by way of Bluetooth). The Sound Change characteristic permits you to switch audio playback over to the closest Sonos speaker on your machine. Simply dangle the play/pause button, and it does it mechanically. The only catch is that the tune additionally continues to play at the Roam too.

The Transfer does not really feel as seamless, however that is not essentially a foul factor. When you have been to select a speaker to fill a room, the Transfer would win that fight all day lengthy. It is even larger sound than the Sonos One, so we aren’t speaking about pedestrian audio efficiency right here. It is considered one of Sonos’s signature audio system as a result of it will probably play loud and transparent, making it some of the first possible choices for a house’s cell speaker.

For this reason on my own, the Roam is not actually competing towards the Transfer, however relatively equivalent audio system from different manufacturers. Sonos did proper via them each in how just right they sound. They do not sound precisely the similar as a result of they bodily can not. The Transfer can get louder and pump out deeper bass, so if you wish to have a speaker you’ll use for the ones functions, it is a great way to move. The Roam is that speaker you’re taking with you to an out of doors tour or when you wish to have to convey the tunes with you anywhere you cross.

Sonos Transfer vs. Sonos Roam: Which will have to you select?

It is a very easy selection in case your wishes are easy. Naturally, lugging round a speaker that weighs over six kilos is not going to really feel handy if it’s important to do it at all times. Doing it with one who feels about as small as a water bottle comes off as easy via comparability. That is the actual distinction between the Transfer and Roam. They every have the similar DNA inside of them, albeit with energy variations that you just will have to be expecting.

You’re going to most likely transfer between Wi-Fi/AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth extra frequently with the Roam as a result of your own home Wi-Fi makes the Transfer more uncomplicated to play content material to if it does not undertaking from your position. It is helping when a conveyable speaker is flexible, just like the Roam is, which might additionally are compatible proper in with the most efficient Bluetooth audio system to be had. And whilst each are good audio system, the Transfer is without doubt one of the absolute best good audio system you’ll purchase.

Which ends up in worth. Each are dear, however there is a giant hole between them. What you are paying further for with the Transfer is the scale, energy, and improve in audio efficiency. Sonos priced the Roam to be upper than some related transportable audio system, and the reason is in part brand-driven and a part of a machine. Both speaker is a great access level into the arena of Sonos merchandise.

Thicker and louder

Sonos Transfer

Transferring at house

$400 at Very best Purchase $400 at B&H $399 at Sonos

Sonos in any case minimize the wire and went wi-fi with the Transfer, making it its maximum handy giant speaker for the house.

A thinner tower

Sonos Roam

Roaming out of doors

$169 at Very best Purchase $169 at B&H
$169 at Sonos

The Roam places Sonos out within the wild greater than some other speaker wearing its emblem thus far, and it is about time.

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