Following within the footsteps of its microphone-less One SL and Arc SL audio system, Sonos is saying the Roam SL, a brand new and cheaper model of the transportable Roam that drops the mic in addition to the voice assistant performance.
Slated to go on sale March 15 for $159 (you may preorder it now at Sonos.com), the Roam SL is nearly similar to the unique Roam that bowed final yr, save for one essential element: no microphone, that means there’s no probability that Alexa or Google Assistant are listening in. In fact, the shortage of a microphone additionally means you received’t have the ability to management music with voice instructions.
Dropping the mic on the Roam SL additionally means dropping the value to $159, down from the standard $179.
The mic-equipped Sonos Roam initially retailed for $169, however Sonos upped its price tag last fall, together with the value of a number of of its hottest audio system. Sonos blamed pandemic-related provide chain constraints and rising element prices for the value hikes.
The arrival of the Roam SL follows that of different mic-less “SL” merchandise from Sonos, such because the One SL wi-fi speaker that the corporate unveiled in 2019. The One SL costs $199, versus $219 for the mic-equipped One.
A yr later, Sonos introduced the Sonos Arc SL “Shadow Edition,” a no-mic model of its top-of-the-line Arc soundbar that’s solely accessible by Costco. The Arc SL is now priced at $850 at Costco, whereas the usual Arc retails for $899.
Our reviewer (yours actually) called the original Sonos Roam “the transportable speaker to beat” because of its “distinctive sound” given its measurement, its “small and light-weight” design, and a function that lets the Roam “swap” its music with different Sonos options.
The Roam additionally ushered in a Bluetooth-compatible model of Sonos’s sound-calibrating Auto Tuneplay function.
Ben has been writing about expertise and shopper electronics for greater than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, the place he covers sensible audio system, soundbars, and different sensible and home-theater units. You can follow Ben on Twitter.