Should you opt for the Sonos Roam SL?

So, Sonos has just announced the brand new Sonos Roam SL, an alternative option to the Sonos Roam that removes the inbuilt voice assistant microphone array. This move echoes the introduction of the Sonos One SL back in 2019, which offered a microphone-free substitute for the Sonos One Gen 2

The Sonos Roam SL broadens the Sonos range and gives customers a slightly cheaper option that’s microphone-free.

For further information on the new Sonos Roam SL, please check out our Youtube video below:

Article Breakdown: 

Sonos Roam SL vs. Sonos Roam: Key Comparisons

Sonos Roam PNG Sonos Roam SL PNG
Sonos Roam Sonos Roam SL
Price £179 £159
Dimensions 62 x 168 x 60mm 62 x 168 x 60mm
Weight 0.43kg 0.43kg
Connectivity WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0 WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0
Battery Life 10 hours 10 hours
Weather Rating IP67 IP67
Voice Assistant
Automatic Trueplay (in-app Trueplay available)
Apple Airplay and Spotify Connect (when connected to WiFi) (when connected to WiFi)
Stereo Pair
Sonos App Compatibility Sonos S2 App only Sonos S2 App only
Speakerphone Capability
Colour Options Shadow Black & Lunar White Shadow Black & Lunar White



Top 4 differences

From Sonos’ announcement, we’ve picked out what we think are the 4 key differences between the new Sonos Roam SL and Sonos Roam. So what does the mic drop mean?

1. Price

This is a pretty obvious one, but thanks to the removed microphone array the Sonos Roam SL retails for £20 cheaper than the original Roam. If voice assistant isn’t important to you and you’re looking to save a bit of money, the Sonos Roam SL could be a perfect option at £159 and is currently the most affordable entry into the Sonos ecosystem.

Sonos increased the price of a few products back in 2021 and this saw the Roam rise from £159 to its current £179 price point. The Sonos Roam SL brings that price back down and now sits closer to the Bose SoundLink Flex and JBL Charge 5, other popular Bluetooth speakers that do without voice assistant integration.

2. No Soundswap

The popular Soundswap feature introduced for the Sonos Roam allows users to send music from their Roam to the nearest Sonos speaker in their home system. This works perfectly when using the Roam outside in the Garden and coming back into the house, as you’ll easily be able to switch to a more powerful speaker or multi-room set-up indoors without needing to reach for your phone.

The Sonos Roam SL doesn’t support this feature, so if it’s something you think you’ll make use of it’s definitely worth spending the extra and opting for the original Roam.

Sonos Roam SL Lifestyle Blog Sonos Roam SL Lifestyle Blog 2

3. No Auto-Trueplay

A feature developed for Sonos’ portable speaker range, Auto-Trueplay is missing from the Sonos Roam SL due to its lack of internal microphones. When you start playing music or other content, the Sonos Roam will automatically recalibrate within 15 seconds to optimise the sound for your space. This is all thanks to Auto-Trueplay technology, mimicking the effect of traditional Sonos Trueplay without needing to perform the normal iOS set-up process.

The Roam SL doesn’t support Auto-Trueplay but if you’re thinking of keeping the speaker in one room for an extended period of time, you will be able to perform the normal Trueplay set-up process to make the best of your speaker’s sound.   

4. No Voice Control

Perhaps the most notable difference between the Roam and Roam SL is the absence of voice assistant integration. Thanks to the inbuilt microphone array in the Sonos Roam, users can enjoy the option of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support when using the Roam on Wifi. 

Though a bit like marmite, voice assistants remain ever-popular so if you wanted to make use of this smart technology it’s worth opting for the Sonos Roam. We can see the Roam SL being popular with those looking to use the speaker most when out of the home, as when relying on Bluetooth connectivity you won’t be able to use voice assistant anyway. It might also appeal to those a bit wary of voice assistants, as the Roam SL’s design removes internal microphones completely.

Sonos Roam SL Top Blog Sonos Roam top blog
Roam SL without microphones Microphone array and status light on top of the Sonos Roam

Your top Questions Answered

We’ve answered the top questions we envision being asked about the Sonos Roam SL when it’s released.

Can two Sonos Roam SLs be used as rears?

No, as with other portable speakers in their range, Sonos have removed the ability to use two Sonos Roam SLs for surround sound rears to a Sonos Beam or Arc. If you wanted to use a pair of speakers as rears, you’d instead be better placed opting for two Sonos One SLs.

Can you stereo pair a Sonos Roam and Roam SL?

Yes, when in Wifi mode it is possible to stereo pair a Roam and Roam SL. If you already have a Roam at home, it’s useful to know that you could add the slightly cheaper Roam SL if you're thinking of expanding your system.

You’d be able to use voice assistant with a Roam and Roam SL stereo paired, as the Roam will take over this function.

Can you add a Sub to the Sonos Roam SL?

Much like the Sonos Roam, it’s not possible to pair a Sonos Sub with the Sonos Roam SL. This is a deliberate design choice from Sonos, who feel that having a stationary Subwoofer paired with a portable speaker could be a little awkward in practice. 

Due to the Roam SL’s size, we don’t feel it best suits connection with a Sub anyway and you’d be better placed opting for a Sonos One SL or larger speaker.

Sonos Roam SL lifestyle blog 3 Sonso Roam SL Lifestyle blog 4

Our Final Thoughts

We’re very interested to see what the lack of Auto-Trueplay does to the sound performance of the Sonos Roam SL, as we’ve always been impressed with how much this calibration can add to the Roam’s sound signature - particularly when using outside or in open spaces.

For most customers, if you can afford the £20 difference we’d still suggest going for the Sonos Roam, but do appreciate that the £159 price tag could be very appealing, and gives customers who are more wary of voice assistant technology that extra piece of mind. 

Though the Sonos Roam SL doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s always good to see brands expanding their range to offer cheaper alternatives that suit a wider range of budgets.



As ever, if we can answer any further questions about the Sonos Roam SL, or if you’d like to know more about any of the products we sell, please get in touch using the below channels:

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