Sonos has updated its finest Bluetooth speaker for music fans who are concerned about their gadgets listening in on their chats. The new Sonos Roam SL speaker does away with the previous Sonos Roam microphones, which means it cannot be controlled through speech or used to control other smart home devices.
That may seem like a disadvantage, but anybody worried about privacy will appreciate the absence of microphones incorporated into their portable speaker. The wireless speaker business has done this before with the Sonos One and Sonos One SL.
Apart from the price, everything that makes the Roam an appealing Bluetooth speaker remains, including portability, Wi-Fi connectivity with network streaming, and the ability to stereo pair with another Roam or, indeed, a Roam SL. The Roam SL should also benefit from the basic version’s sound quality, which, although not the pinnacle of musicianship, has a lot to offer in terms of body and clarity.
The Sonos Roam SL’s construction and design remain unaltered as well, ensuring that you receive an easily portable speaker with IP67 dust and water protection and surprisingly strong audio performance.
It’s unfortunate that Sonos wasn’t able to reduce the price further to compensate for the lack of voice assistant support – after all, that’s a feature that’s still relatively new Bluetooth speakers, and the Roam’s ability to function as a smart speaker sets it apart from the majority of its competitors.
Sonos’ price rises have already trickled down to its new products, which leaves us with little hope for future gadgets, such as the rumored Sonos headphones, which are likely to be rather pricy if they ever materialize.
However, that price reduction comes with a significant condition. When the Sonos Roam arrived in 2020, it was priced similarly to the current SL variant at $169. As a result of Sonos increasing the cost of the majority of its wireless speakers and soundbars last year, this price climbed as well.
Thus, you’re not really saving money with the new model – if anything, you’re giving up some of the capabilities that helped the Sonos Roam earn our top spot as the best Bluetooth speaker available today. When you consider that the original Sonos Roam is sometimes available for $10 cheaper than its recommended retail price, the savings associated with the SL variant are pretty minor.
Still, the Sonos Roam SL may be an excellent alternative for anybody looking for the finest portable speaker on the market today without the potential privacy problems associated with built-in microphones.
The SL keeps all of the finest features of the original Sonos Roam, including music-swapping to other Sonos speakers, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networking, stereo pairing with other Roam SL speakers, and 10-hour battery life.
The Sonos Roam is the latest device to get the ‘SL’ treatment from the business. The Sonos Roam SL follows the Sonos One SL and Arc SL as a more cheap, microphone-less version of its original.
This post was last updated on 2022-09-30 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.