Sonos Roam vs Sonos Move: Which is the right portable speaker for you? - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday, 25 April 2022

Sonos Roam vs Sonos Move: Which is the right portable speaker for you?

Sonos Roam is the second Bluetooth speaker in the Sonos speaker portfolio, sitting alongside the Sonos Move. It comes in two models - the original Sonos Roam and the Sonos Roam SL - but how do the two compare to the larger Sonos Move and which one is right Sonos portable speaker for you?

If you're considering a Sonos speaker and would like it to be portable and offer Bluetooth, you're in the right place. Here is how the Sonos Roam and Roam SL compare to the Sonos Move to help you figure out the best one for your home and life. We also have a separate feature on how the Sonos Roam and Sonos Roam SL compare if you want more a deeper dive.



  • Move: £399/$399
  • Roam: £179/$179
  • Roam SL: £159/$159

First things first, while the Sonos Roam models and the Sonos Move share similarities in terms of Bluetooth and portability, they aren't anywhere near each other in terms of price.

The Sonos Move costs £399 in the UK and $399 in the US. The Sonos Roam SL meanwhile, costs £159 in the UK and $159 in the US while the Sonos Roam is £179 in the UK and $179 in the US, so they target quite different budgets.


  • Move: 240 x 160 x 126mm, 3kg, IP56, integrated handle
  • Roam/Roam SL: 168 x 62 x 60mm, 0.43kg, IP67

The Sonos Move and Sonos Roam models are very different in terms of design too. While they share similar characteristics - like the rest of the Sonos portfolio - they are different sizes, different shapes, different weights and they have different uses too.

The Sonos Move measures 240 x 160 x 126mm (9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96-inches) and weighs 3kg (6.61lb). It's oval in shape, very rugged and features an integrated handle. It's also IP56 rated for protection from dust particles and liquid splashes.

The Sonos Roam and Roam SL meanwhile, have a triangular prism shape, measure 168 x 62 x 60mm (6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36-inches) and weigh 0.45kgs (0.95lb), making them significantly smaller and more portable than Move. They don't need any sort of integrated handle as they are around the size of a water bottle and easy to carry around, plus they are also fully waterproof with an IP67 rating so tougher than Move.

The Sonos Move has capacitive touch controls on top, including play/pause, skip, rewind and a microphone button, along with a Wi-Fi to Bluetooth button on the rear and a pairing button. It also has connection points at the bottom to connect to the wireless charging base. 

The Sonos Roam and Roam SL also have controls on on top but they are tactile and slightly raised rather than capacitive. The Roam has the same control options as Move, while the Roam SL doesn't have the microphone button. Both Roam models have a button on the side and a USB Type-C port for charging. Neither Roam model has any connection points but they do offer small circular feet for when positoned horizontally. Move only offers one orientation, Roam and Roam SL offer dual.

Sonos Move, Sonos Roam ad Sonos Roam SL all come in Shadow Black and Lunar White colour options however.


  • Move: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2
  • Roam: Bluetooth, Sonos features, Auto Trueplay tuning, smart assistants, AirPlay 2, Sound Swap, Auto switching
  • Roam SL: Bluetooth, Sonos features, AirPlay 2, Auto switching

Though different in design and price, the Sonos Roam and Roam SL offer many of the same features as Move, and in the case of the standard Roam, a couple of extras too.

The Sonos Move is a traditional Bluetooth speaker when in Bluetooth mode, but it is a traditional Sonos speaker when in Wi-Fi mode and connected to a Sonos system. You have to press the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle button to switch between the two modes however.

The Roam and Roam SL switch between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi automatically though, meaning they offer a more seamless experience when moving from inside to outside and vice-versa. Roam also has a feature called Sound Swap. This allows users to press and hold the play/pause button on the Roam to group Roam with other Sonos speakers already playing - as you can with Move - or continue pressing to transfer the music playing on Roam to the nearest Sonos speaker. It's worth noting here that the Sonos Roam SL doesn't have this feature. 

Roam and Roam SL both offers all the same features other Sonos speakers do though, including support for over 100 music services, multi-room audio, stereo pairing, Sonos Radio and alarms, like Move. Neither the Roam models or the Move can be used as surrounds or bonded to a Sonos Sub.

Like Move, Roam also offers Apple AirPlay 2 support and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in. Move's Auto Trueplay tuning feature is also on the Roam, using spatial awareness to automatically adjust the sound for the speaker's orientation, location, and content. This works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which it will for Move too when updated to the latest Sonos software.

The Roam SL has AirPlay 2 and it has Trueplay tuning like other Sonos speakers, but it isn't Auto Trueplay and it doesn't have smart assistants on board either, lacking a microphone like the Sonos One SL.


Audio and hardware

  • Move: Two class-D amplifiers, mid-woofer, tweeter, far-field mics, 11 hours battery, Wi-Fi 4, Bluetooth
  • Roam: Two class-H amplifiers, custom racetrack mid-woofer, tweeter, far-field mics, 10 hours battery, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth
  • Roam SL: Two class-H amplifiers, custom racetrack mid-woofer, tweeter, 10 hours battery, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth

The Sonos Roam and Roam SL don't deliver the same audio capabilities as the Sonos Move, but they still sounds excellent for their size and are more than capable of filling a room with sound or small to medium garden.

The Move has two class-D amplifiers, one mid-woofer integrated into the cabinet and one down-firing tweeter and it delivers excellent sound. It also has a far-field microphone array and a chime to let you know Sonos Move has heard you and is working on a response.

The Roam and Roam SL meanwhile, have two class-H amplifiers, one custom racetrack mid-woofer, a tweeter and a motor to increase power and range. The standard Roam also has a far-field microphone array like the Move, though the Roam SL lacks this.

As mentioned, the Move has a wireless charging base but it offers an 11-hour battery life when not on its base. The Sonos Roam and Roam SL have a USB Type-C port for charging, but they also have an optional wireless charging base that can be bought separately and they work with Qi wireless charging pads too. Their battery life is around 8 to 9 hours in use. 

Sonos Move supports Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth. Sonos Roam and Roam SL support Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0.



The Sonos Roam is a much smaller, lighter, more portable Sonos Bluetooth speaker than the Sonos Move. It offers everything Move does in terms of features, along with some extra ones, like Sound Swap and automatic switching between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, all in a more compact format. The Roam SL meanwhile, offers the portability and a solid feature set, but without the smart assistants.

We wouldn't expect the same audio capabilities from Roam or Roam SL as Move delivers given they are almost half the price and size, but both Roam and Roam SL still more than deliver on the sound front.

In our experience, Sonos Roam is an excellent addition to any Sonos system, as well as a great starting place for those new to Sonos, and the same can be said for the Roam SL. They are also a lot more portable than Move so perfect for travelling and chucking in a bag.

Meanwhile Move delivers big on sound, but it is big on price too, making it more of an investment. It's great for those who want an additional Sonos speaker to fill a decent-sized room with sound, but one they can also bring into the garden or the pool. It isn't however, the better option out of these two for popping in a bag and bringing to the park as it's just a little too big.

You can read our full Sonos Roam review here, or read our full review on the Sonos Move here.

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