Sonos Roam SL goes mic-free to keep the cost down

Don't need Google Assistant or Alexa in your portable speaker? The Sonos Roam is here to save you money

sonos Roam SL
(Image credit: Sonos)

The Sonos Roam SL is near identical to the previous Sonos Roam aside from one small feature – the microphone. As with the Sonos One, the SL edition of the Roam comes without the voice assistant (offered by either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa) and saves you money in the process. 

This feels like a sensible move for those looking for the best Bluetooth speaker. Not everyone wants to talk to their speaker – especially not in public, so not having that function is no big loss. The removal of the microphone though does mean that it also lacks the Sonos Sound Swap feature to easily join a group of speakers, or the Automatic Trueplay functionality – as both of these require the microphone. However, it can still be paired easily using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to either your phone, computer (complete with AirPlay 2) or to join your speaker network.

sonos Roam SL

(Image credit: Sonos)

The Sonos Roam SL promises the same great robust frame as the original (you can read our Sonos Roam review of that here), complete with dust and water-resistant. You also still have that punchy sound and 10-hour battery life for when you're on the move.

The Sonos Roam SL is priced £159 /$159 compared to £179 / $179 for the regular Roam and is due for delivery from March 15. It's worth noting that the Roam has increased in price since its launch, as it was originally £159 / $169, so though the Roam SL isn't much of a saving on that, it is at least £20/$20 less right now.

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, is now based in Chicago. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.