Are you in the market for a portable speaker? Your options are limitless online. Almost every tech company has thrown its hat in the ring at one point or another. So, how can you possibly choose which is best? Let’s narrow things down and focus on two great contenders: The Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II. How do these two portable speakers stack up against one another? And which is ultimately the best? Let’s find out.
Side By Side Comparison: Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II
|Sonos Roam||Bose SoundLink Revolve II|
|Release date||April 20th, 2021||April 8th, 2022|
|Size||6.61 in. x 2.44 in. x 2.36 in.||5.97 in. x 3.24 in. x 3.24 in.|
|Weight||0.9 lbs.||1.5 lbs.|
|Bluetooth Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 4.1|
|Battery Life||10 hours||13 hours|
|Charge Time||2 hours||4 hours|
|Charge Type||Wireless, USB-C||Micro USB|
|Available Colors||Lunar White, Olive, Shadow Back, Sunset, Wave||Triple Black, Luxe Silver|
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
- Waterproof, lightweight, and durable
- Automatic Trueplay tuning
- Up to 10 hours of playtime
Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II: Key Differences
Now that we have a good understanding of the main specifications for each portable speaker, let’s get a better idea of the key differences between the Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II. From their discrepancies in price to their differences in battery life to their varying portability, the below factors set the Sonos Roam and the Bose SoundLink Revolve II apart.
Looking at Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II, neither one is necessarily cheap. The Sonos Roam goes for $179, while the Bose SoundLink Revolve II retails for a much pricier $219. There are plenty of cheaper options for those in the market for a portable speaker. Some even fall under the same brand umbrellas. Undoubtedly, these two are some of the most expensive offerings in the world of portable speakers.
Sonos offers a cheaper, more stripped-down version of the Roam called the Roam SL. It’s $20 cheaper and has much fewer features. However, it still performs the same basic function: to play music from your smartphone or another Bluetooth device to your portable speaker. Similarly, Bose has some cheaper options as well. The SoundLink Flex goes for $149, and so is the SoundLink Mini II. The SoundLink color comes in at $129, and the SoundLink Micro is the most affordable at just $99. Nevertheless, none of these cheaper speakers deliver the best quality.
Besides price, no other spec is as important to a portable speaker as its battery life. Think about it. You’re buying this product to play music on the go or wherever else you like. You don’t want it dying on you suddenly? Thankfully, neither the Sonos Roam nor the Bose SoundLink cut corners regarding overall battery life. The same goes for charge time. That said, one still has a better battery than the other.
The Sonos Roam boasts 10 hours of listening per charge. Additionally, the company claims each charge will take about two hours. The Bose SoundLink Revolve II has the Roam beat in this regard. It offers 13 hours of play per charge. However, it falls short when it comes to charge time. It takes four hours to charge fully, twice that of the Sonos Roam. Ultimately, this is the price many are willing to pay for longer play time per charge. It’s something you’ll have to weigh for yourself before purchasing. And speaking of weighing…
What good is a portable speaker if it’s heavy or bulky to carry around? Neither the Sonos Roam nor the Bose SoundLink Revolve II falls short here. However, one is noticeably smaller and lighter than the other. The Sonos Roam measures 6.61 inches by 2.44 inches by 2.36 inches. Furthermore, it weighs just under a pound — 0.9 pounds, to be precise. This is a pretty tall portable speaker, to be sure, but thankfully it’s not too thick, wide, or heavy.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a little bigger and a little heavier. It’s not as tall as the Sonos Roam, but it’s wider and thicker. It measures 5.97 inches by 3.24 inches by 3.24 inches. Its weight is another story entirely. The Sonos Roam is less than a pound, but the Bose SoundLink Revolve II is well above that. It weighs a pound and a half, nearly twice the heft of the Sonos Roam. All in all, its bigger size and heavier weight make it the less portable of the two.
5 Must-Know Facts About Portable Bluetooth Speakers
- Though we think of Bluetooth as a speaker technology today, it originated from hands-free headsets in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- The latest form of Bluetooth is called Bluetooth 5. It has been the standard since 2016. Rumors have been circulating about the timeline of a Bluetooth 6, but at this point, there’s still no word on if it even officially exists yet.
- Sonos was the first speaker company to offer support for more than one voice assistant. Before Sonos, voice assistants from Google and Amazon were exclusive to those brands’ speakers.
- Bose is notorious for refusing to release specific specs about its speakers’ sound quality. They insist that numbers cannot do justice for something so subjective as audio quality. Others argue Bose is hiding something — perhaps that their sound isn’t as luxurious as their prices suggest, but there’s no way to say such a thing for certain.
- When Amar Bose left his speaker company, he gave majority ownership to his employer: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They remain the owner of the Bose Corporation to this day.
The History of Sonos
Before there was Sonos, there was Rincon Audio, Inc. Initially started in 2002 as a joint effort by John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Trung Mai, and Craig Shelburne, the four set out to do the impossible: create a full-fledged, one-of-a-kind wireless service. While this sounds commonplace from our modern-day perspective, these were few and far between at the time. More specifically, Rincon Audio — or, as they later changed their name to in 2004, Sonos, Inc. — wished to revolutionize in-home speaker systems.
MacFarlane and Co. hoped to create a never-before-seen wireless sound system that could stretch throughout a person’s home. The only issue? At this point in wireless technology history, the only real place you’d find tech capable of performing at this level was in the military. The Sonos team was not deterred, however. They strapped themselves in and got to work on building a wireless network from the ground up instead. By 2005, they had done exactly that. The Sonos ZonePlayer and Controller were shown off at that year’s CES to much praise.
Unfortunately, the general public felt differently about this newfangled tech than the actual tech world did. Researchers and developers knew its potential, but consumers didn’t see it. Not until the advent of smartphones later in the 2000s, that is. With the popularization of the iPhone and rival smartphone brands, Sonos could finally enjoy the success it deserved. They grew tremendously between 2011 and 2014. The Roam — first introduced in 2021 — was their smallest speaker, welcoming a new era of portable speakers for the company.
How Bose Competes
While you might think the Sonos Roam vs Bose Soundlink Revolve II debate kicked off in 2021, the showdown could be traced back to the 1960s. This is when Bose founder Amar Bose first began work on what would eventually become the iconic speaker brand we know and trust today. While working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a professor, Amar Bose had a secret passion project concurrently with his teaching profession. He hoped the product could replicate the sound quality of a concert hall inside the home.
Amar toyed with using multiple speakers angled in all directions throughout a room. With the perfect angles, the right formula, and the correct arrangement, Bose was confident he could craft a revolutionary sound system, unlike anything the world had seen. After years of tinkering (and more than a few failures), he finally nailed it: The Bose 901. Naturally, it was immediately a smashing success. This success led directly to the Bose Corporation’s foundation, which boomed throughout the 1970s to the 2000s.
Of course, being a company that prides itself on its speaker systems, it’s no surprise that it took Bose quite some time to get into the wireless Bluetooth speaker market. Their SoundLink line — used to encapsulate all their portable products — began back in 2009 and (like Sonos) did not rely on Bluetooth. Rather, they relied on their proprietary wireless network. It wasn’t until 2011 that Bose embraced Bluetooth with the SoundLink Mobile. The SoundLink Revolve line, which resembles the Sonos Roam, first hit shelves years later in 2017.
Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II: Pros and Cons
|Short charge time||Shorter battery life than competitors|
|Very good waterproof and dustproof ratings||On the more expensive end of the portable speaker market|
|Compatible with wireless and USB-C charging||No speakerphone support|
|Great sound quality||Wireless charging comes at an added cost|
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
|Omnidirectional sound to reach all corners of a room equally||Bluetooth technology is outdated for a 2022 product|
|Long battery life||No USB-C or wireless charging|
|Good waterproof and dustproof ratings||Much too expensive for a portable speaker|
|Support for speakerphone capabilities||Sound quality is pretty heavy on the bass|
Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II: Which Is Best?
Ultimately, the key differences between the Sonos Roam vs Bose SoundLink Revolve II make all the difference in this debate. The Sonos Roam is the clear winner. It is a good $40 cheaper than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. While its battery life is a few hours less than the Revolve II’s, it has faster and more convenient charging options. Plus, it’s smaller and more lightweight. All in all, it’s hard not to see the Sonos Roam as the winner in nearly every regard. The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is by no means bad, but the Sonos Roam is just all-around better.