Sonos’ $179 Roam 2 Portable Speaker Is Easier to Use

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Key Takeaways

  • Sonos has launched a Roam 2 speaker that's easier to use.
  • It works as a normal Bluetooth speaker and has a dedicated pairing button.
  • The Roam 2 is available today for $179.

Sonos has accompanied its Ace headphones with the launch of the Roam 2, a modest but important update to its entry portable speaker.

The new model no longer requires setup through the Sonos app on a Wi-Fi network. Likewise, there’s now a separate pairing button rather than having to use the power button for multiple tasks.

The design is otherwise familiar, with voice control, AirPlay 2 support, and IP67 water and dust resistance. Sound Swap lets you quickly grab audio from another Sonos speaker.

The 10-hour estimated battery life is also the same,  although company chief Patrick Spence told The Verge that there are optimizations versus the original model.

The Roam 2 is available now for $179. That puts it above the price of competitors like Ultimate Ears’ $150 Boom 3, but the selling point remains mostly the same: you can make the Roam 2 part of a Sonos network. Now, however, you can treat it like an ordinary portable speaker.

That may make the Roam 2 appealing if you’re only considering other Sonos speakers and want the option to expand later. It may also help if you want to shy away from the company’s controversial redesigned app, which is missing multiple features (such as setting alarms) that will come back in the weeks ahead.