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Sonos Roam Portable Speaker: Spinorama and measurements (more proof mainstream speakers can be real good)

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napilopez

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Very impressive. Sonos speakers perform amazing and certainly punch well above their price point. I wish they offered full bluetooth (stereo pairing, software support through BT) or physical connectivity with their speakers so you aren't limited to a tiny ecosystem, just like the Apple Homepod. The Move is nice but doesn't support stereo pairing in bluetooth even though a lot of other BT speakers do, it's kind of baffling.

The sad thing is the best sounding bluetooth speakers (Homepod, Sonos) are the most limited in use, whereas the most versatile functioning BT speakers are the crappiest sounding ones :eek:

Yeah. My general perspective on price is it doesn't matter if the product is expensive as long as it delivers reasonably within its price range. Maybe there are better cheaper bluetooth speakers, but nothing seems broken on the Roam (at least with the settings I tested), so that's a good thing.

Ideal use for the Roam to me seems to be someone who wants an assistant speaker for, say, their bedroom or kitchen but also wants to be able to take it on the go.
 

Vladimir Filevski

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Small bluetooth portable loudspeakers are very tricky to evaluate. Some of them may be excellent in a very (very!) low SPL conditions, but if you start cranking up, they falls apart - their DSP starts over-processing, and "drowning" and "breathing" effects (bass beats modulating everything else) become very annoying, with distortion skyrocketing up to unbearable levels. Others are much better in that respect - and that is not price-related! Those DSP artifacts are not easily measured, so extensive listening tests are mandatory.
Anyone interested in small BT loudspeakers should check Oluv's Gadgets / clavinetkunkie Youtube video reviews - solid measurements, excellent binaural recording of loudspeakers and expert opinion by Oluv. I consider Oluv as The best BT loudspeaker reviewer, so far. And I am looking forward to some new and more extensive test of BT loudspeakers by @napilopez - thanks again!
 

nathan

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Thanks for sharing this. Reminds me of the measurments of the Sonos 1 that were, for the price range at the time of their introduction, remarkably controlled in their dispersion.

Measured the Sonos Roam today, the company's new, smaller bluetooth speaker.

Here's the spin at 80% volume (measured at ~ 0.6m). So this is around [email protected] Please read the disclaimer at the end of the post

View attachment 129934

And here an estimate of it at 60% volume (i spliced a nearfield woofer measurement made at 60% volume and then spliced it to the 80% farfield measurements, so it might not be totally representative). This is really about 68 db @1m:

View attachment 129940

More detailed measurements later, but basically: a very good speaker with limited SPL and a few flaws, but clearly a lot of attention was paid to the sound. As it's a portable speaker it seems emphasis was made on the in-room and off-axis response.

Important disclaimer: I'm not 100% sure about the bass here. As I couldn't remove the grille, I couldn't get very close to the woofer as I'd normally do, so I did not apply baffle step correction. This is because the measurements lined up closely with far-field measurements even with the closest I could get the microphone. So take the bass with a grain of salt.

For example, here's the my on-axis bass splice with the actual non-gated on-axis response in my backyard:

View attachment 129949

But there you go
 
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