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Sonos Roam speaker vs. Sonos Transfer: Which speaker is for you?

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(CNN) —  

With the arrival of the brand new Sonos Roam ($169; sonos.com), Sonos now has two absolutely wi-fi Bluetooth audio system in its huge lineup of premium audio merchandise. That begs an essential query: Do you get the $169 Roam, or splurge for the extra feature-rich $399 Sonos Transfer?

The Sonos Roam is a conveyable Bluetooth speaker you’ll be able to throw in your bag for a day on the seaside, whereas the Transfer is a bigger machine that may refill nearly any room. These two audio system differ fairly considerably by way of value, sound output and have set, however additionally they have some shocking similarities, and may even work collectively seamlessly to maintain the music pumping all all through your property.

Wanting so as to add one (or each) of Sonos’ wi-fi audio system to your sound system? Right here’s a helpful breakdown of how these two sensible audio system examine.

PHOTO: Sonos

The brand new $169 Sonos Roam is for folk in search of a extremely transportable Bluetooth speaker that packs the entire audio smarts that Sonos is understood for. It’s essentially the most inexpensive speaker in Sonos’ lineup, and at 6.6 inches lengthy and weighing just below a pound, it’s the simplest one to toss right into a bag or purse as soon as it’s time to benefit from the outdoor.

The Roam is rated for 10 hours of battery life, so it ought to maintain up pretty effectively for street journeys or only a lengthy day by the pool. And simply in case it takes a spill into the water, Sonos’ transportable speaker carries an IP67 water resistance score that permits it to be submerged in as much as three ft of water for half-hour. It’s additionally the primary Sonos speaker with bodily management buttons, which can be a boon for individuals who don’t wish to fiddle with capacitive contact controls.

When it comes to audio and specs, the Roam packs the entire options you’d anticipate from a Sonos speaker. It helps each Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and may routinely change between the 2 whenever you’re transferring out and in of your property. The Roam can sync up with different audio system such because the Transfer, the $199 Sonos One and the $499 Sonos 5, permitting it to seamlessly combine into your present Sonos setup for wealthy multi-room audio. And it options Sonos’ TruePlay know-how, which permits the speaker to routinely tune itself primarily based on its environment to ship the clearest audio doable.

Sonos’ newest wi-fi speaker has a built-in far-field microphone, which ought to show helpful for controlling it together with your voice through both Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The Roam might be managed through the Sonos S2 app for iOS and Android, and helps greater than 100 streaming companies together with heavy hitters corresponding to Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

PHOTO: SONOS

When you’re prepared to spend money on a much bigger, extra sturdy sensible speaker to your yard or patio, the Sonos Transfer could be extra up your alley. Standing greater than 9 inches tall and weighing 6.6 kilos, the Transfer remains to be transportable, however is supposed to be one thing you progress round your property quite than a speaker that you simply tackle a hike or tenting journey.

When it comes to software program and smarts, the Transfer and Roam are almost similar — each audio system can sync up with different Sonos gadgets, help voice controls, make the most of each Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and make the most of TruePlay for completely tuned audio. They even are available in the identical slick pair of colour choices: Lunar White and Shadow Black. With that in thoughts, you’re actually splurging for larger, richer audio and barely higher battery life with the Transfer.

The Transfer delivered satisfying bass, energetic vocals and crisp treble for quite a lot of tracks in our testing, edging out the still-impressive wired Sonos One speaker. We’re desperate to see how the Roam holds up in real-world comparisons, however given the distinction in measurement between these two audio system, you’ll doubtless take pleasure in bigger total sound from the Transfer. The Transfer additionally options twin Class-D digital amplifiers inside, that are typically extra environment friendly than the Class-H amplifiers you’ll discover contained in the Roam. We’ll have a a lot better thought of what that distinction really means as soon as we now have the Roam in our fingers.

The Sonos Transfer has an IP56 score for cover towards mud particles and water splashes. So whereas it will possibly’t deal with taking a dunk within the pool just like the Roam can, you’ll be able to nonetheless safely go away it outdoors within the rain as soon as the weather begin performing up. The Transfer also needs to final a bit longer on a cost, as its rated for 11 hours of endurance in comparison with 10 hours for the Roam.

No matter which Sonos speaker you find yourself shopping for, you might find yourself getting one other down the road. That’s as a result of each Sonos speaker can hook up with your property Wi-Fi community, permitting you to sync up playback throughout a number of gadgets for expansive multi-room audio. Whether or not you wish to fill your whole dwelling together with your favourite playlist or nonetheless be capable of hear a sports activities recreation whenever you transfer to your kitchen, Sonos’ audio system are designed to work collectively seamlessly.

And because of Sonos’ new Sound Swap function, you’ll be able to change from listening on one speaker to a different with the faucet of a button. For instance, you might be rocking out within the yard together with your Roam and immediately choose up the place you left off in your Transfer when you hit the lounge. It’s a pleasant bonus for these occasions you don’t want music enjoying everywhere in the home on the identical time.

PHOTO: Sonos

If portability and affordability are your precedence, take a look at the $169 Sonos Roam. This Bluetooth speaker is compact and light-weight sufficient for the street, whereas nonetheless packing superior options corresponding to voice assistant help and full compatibility with any of the Sonos audio system you might already personal. It makes for a pleasant addition to an present multi-room Sonos setup because of its comparatively low value, and in addition serves as place to begin for these new to the Sonos ecosystem.

The $399 Sonos Transfer is actually a splurge by comparability, however in the event you’re looking for fuller sound and barely higher battery, it might be price contemplating. The Transfer is good for these with larger households, taking the wealthy sound output of gadgets just like the Sonos One and providing you with the liberty to maneuver from the yard to the lounge to the storage with out lacking a beat.

The Roam and the Transfer are way more alike than comparable with regards to software program and options, so it actually comes all the way down to how massive of a speaker you actually need — and the way a lot you’re prepared to spend.

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