Sonos has added a new version of its smallest portable speaker, called the Roam SL. Much like the company’s One SL and Arc SL, the Roam SL is essentially the same speaker as the Sonos Roam, but without any voice assistant capabilities. The will be available starting March 15 for $159, and pre-orders start March 1 on Sonos.com. That’s a $20 saving over the $179 price of the original Sonos Roam.
Other than the absence of the top-mounted microphone (and the two assistants it enabled — Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa), the Roam SL looks identical to its smart speaker cousin. The same easy-to-grip triangular shape remains, as does the choice of black or white colors. You can also use the Roam SL with the optional wireless charger that Sonos sells for the regular Roam.
You’ll be able to add the Roam SL to any existing Sonos system that uses the S2 version of the Sonos software, and you can stereo-pair it with either another Roam SL or a regular Roam. Unfortunately, portable speaker pairs can’t be used as a set of rear channel speakers in conjunction with one of the company’s soundbars like the Beam Gen 2 or Arc — for that you’ll need a pair of non-portable models like the One SL, or perhaps a pair of Ikea’s Sonos-powered Symfonisk speakers.
The Roam SL gets up to 10 hours of continuous playback on a single charge and up to 10 days of battery life when in sleep mode. It also benefits from a Battery Saver setting that Sonos introduced shortly after the launch of the Sonos Roam, which powers down the speaker completely when not in use.
Like the Roam, the Roam SL is dustproof and fully waterproof with an IP67 rating. It can be placed vertically or horizontally for more placement options.
So far, Sonos hasn’t chosen to release a mic-free version of its larger portable speaker, the Sonos Move.
It’s been a quiet 2022 so far for Sonos, but that could change if the company decides to finally release the wireless headphones that it has been working on. Sonos CEO, Patrick Spence, has previously hinted that the company will be aggressively rolling out new products over the coming months. The company has also recently committed to a sweeping campaign to make its products more environmentally friendly as it looks at ways to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
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