Following in the footsteps of its microphone-less One SL and Arc SL speakers, Sonos is announcing the Roam SL, a new and cheaper version of the portable Roam that drops the mic as well as the voice assistant functionality.
Slated to go on sale March 15 for $159 (you can preorder it now at Sonos.com), the Roam SL is virtually identical to the original Roam that bowed last year, save for one crucial detail: no microphone, meaning there’s no chance that Alexa or Google Assistant are listening in. Of course, the lack of a microphone also means you won’t be able to control music with voice commands.
Dropping the mic on the Roam SL also means dropping the price to $159, down from the usual $179.
The mic-equipped Sonos Roam originally retailed for $169, but Sonos upped its price tag last fall, along with the price of several of its most popular speakers. Sonos blamed pandemic-related supply chain constraints and rising component costs for the price hikes.
The arrival of the Roam SL follows that of other mic-less “SL” products from Sonos, such as the One SL wireless speaker that the company unveiled in 2019. The One SL costs $199, versus $219 for the mic-equipped One.
A year later, Sonos announced the Sonos Arc SL “Shadow Edition,” a no-mic version of its top-of-the-line Arc soundbar that’s only available through Costco. The Arc SL is now priced at $850 at Costco, while the standard Arc retails for $899.
Our reviewer (yours truly) called the original Sonos Roam “the portable speaker to beat” thanks to its “exceptional sound” given its size, its “small and light” design, and a feature that lets the Roam “swap” its music with other Sonos features.
The Roam also ushered in a Bluetooth-compatible version of Sonos’s sound-calibrating Auto Tuneplay feature.