Hey friend! Shopping for a portable Bluetooth speaker and trying to decide between the Sonos Roam and Bose SoundLink Revolve II? You‘ve come to the right place. We‘re going to do a deep dive on how these two premium speakers stack up across all the key factors – from sound quality to features to design. Let‘s compare the Sonos Roam vs SoundLink Revolve II head-to-head so you can make the best choice for your personal listening needs.
Sound Quality Showdown
First and foremost, how do these portable powerhouses actually sound?
The Sonos Roam delivers clear and balanced audio reproduction. The speaker contains two Class-H digital amplifiers that power a woofer and tweeter array. Dual racetrack mid-woofers ensure you hear accurate midrange tones in vocals and instruments. The tweeter provides crisp definition on the high end without sounding harsh or tinny.
According to audio testing site Rtings.com, the Roam provides "a very well-balanced sound profile with great bass, clear mids, and pristine highs." Measurements show strong and consistent bass down to about 100Hz.
Reviewers praise the Roam‘s lively, engaging sound. As What Hi-Fi writes: "The presentation is sensational, delivering a sonic experience brimming with energy and expression."
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
The SoundLink Revolve II is engineered to deliver 360-degree sound through its cylindrical chassis. The speaker contains a highly efficient transducer that sends audio outward in all directions. Dual passive radiators reinforce the low end to generate bold, deep bass.
In Instrument testing, Rtings found the Revolve II has "thumping, punchy bass" and emphasized low-bass around 100Hz. Mids are fairly balanced, but highs exhibit a sizeable spike around 10kHz leading to some distortion at max volumes.
The overall sound signature is weighted toward the warm, bass-heavy side. Tech Radar‘s review states: "There‘s serious weight and depth here, which adds a feeling of recentering and wholeness to the listening experience."
Data Source: Rtings.com
For natural, balanced sound across the frequency curve, the Sonos Roam is the winner. While the Bose SoundLink Revolve II certainly pumps up the bass, it lacks the same midrange clarity and treble detail as the Roam. The Roam‘s accurate reproduction will satisfy audiophiles, while the Revolve II‘s boosted low end appeals more to bass lovers.
Now let‘s compare the smart features and connectivity tech built into each speaker.
- WiFi + Bluetooth
- Works with Sonos app for multi-room audio
- AirPlay 2, Alexa and Google Assistant voice control
- Auto Trueplay sound tuning
- 10 hours battery life
- USB-C and Qi wireless charging
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
- Bluetooth only
- No companion app
- Voice assistant support through phone
- 13 hours battery life
- Micro-USB charging
- Party and stereo modes
The Sonos Roam pretty clearly wins the features category. With both WiFi and Bluetooth, the Roam lets you use it as part of a Sonos multi-room system or as a portable Bluetooth speaker. AirPlay 2 and voice assistant integration provide smart home convenience. And modern USB-C + wireless charging leaves the old micro-USB port in the dust.
The SoundLink does last a few hours longer on a charge and has Party Mode. But beyond Bluetooth functionality, the Roam‘s features are far more useful for most people.
Let‘s look at how the designs and build quality stack up for on-the-go use:
- 6.6 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
- 0.95 pounds
- Tapered triangular shape
- Durable silicone wraparound
- IP67 waterproof rating
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
- 6 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches
- 1.5 pounds
- Cylindrical shape
- Soft silicone cover
- IP55 waterproof rating
With dimensions under 7 inches in height and weight under 1 pound, the Roam is the clear mobility winner. Its slimmer profile slips easier into bags and backpacks compared to the bulkier Revolve II. The Roam‘s IP67 rating also gives it better water and dust protection. The Revolve II is still portable at 1.5 pounds, just not quite as travel-friendly as the Roam.
If having a super lightweight and compact speaker is a priority, go with the Sonos Roam. But the Bose SoundLink Revolve II can handle bumps and dings a little better thanks to its rubbery exterior. Both work great on the go.
Pricing and Value
Here‘s a look at what each speaker will cost you:
Sonos Roam – $179 retail price
Bose SoundLink Revolve II – $299 retail price
Given its better sound, features, and portability, the Sonos Roam provides much better value for money compared to the more expensive SoundLink Revolve II. Even at full retail pricing, the Roam packs in far more functionality and versatility at $120 less than the Revolve II.
The Bottom Line
If we tally up the key scoring categories – sound, features, design, and pricing – the Sonos Roam emerges as the clear winner in this head-to-head matchup.
The Roam sounds fantastic, is loaded with connectivity options, travels light, charges conveniently, and costs $40-120 less than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. Unless you absolutely need those extra few hours of battery life, the Roam is the obvious choice for a premium yet portable wireless speaker.
A Brief History of Sonos
Before we close, let‘s take a quick look back at how Sonos came to be such a dominant force in the wireless speaker market.
Sonos was founded in 2002 by John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Mai. Originally called Rincon Audio, the company set out to develop a fully wireless, multi-room audio system – a bold idea for the time.
It took years of engineering, but by 2005, Sonos produced the ZonePlayer ZP100 and first wireless controller. Early sales were modest. It wasn‘t until the launch of the iPhone and smartphones that Sonos saw major success. As streaming music services boomed, Sonos was perfectly positioned to become the smart speaker of choice.
Over the next decade, Sonos continued growing its ecosystem with soundbars, home theater speakers, and voice control partnerships with Amazon and Google. The portable Sonos Roam launched in 2021 to provide great Sonos sound anywhere. With 19 years of innovation under its belt, the future looks bright for this wireless audio trailblazer.
Bose Through the Years
And here‘s a quick history on Bose:
Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose. Bose was a professor at MIT who conducted research into loudspeaker design. His work creating a novel 901 stereo speaker system led to a sudden rise in demand.
In the 1970s and 80s, Bose focused on home audio gear and professional equipment. The company became famous for unconventional speaker designs based on proprietary research. Bose expanded into automotive speakers and aviation headsets over the following decades.
The Bose SoundLink line of portable Bluetooth speakers launched in 2009. However, Bose was relatively late to enter the wireless market compared to pioneers like Sonos. Today, Bose battles stiff competition from other brands offering similar premium portable speakers. But with over 50 years of audio experience, Bose continues pushing acoustic technology forward.
Well, that wraps up our in-depth Sonos vs Bose showdown. Hopefully this breakdown gave you a clear sense of each speaker‘s strengths and weaknesses to inform your buying decision. We covered a lot of ground on sound quality, features, design, history, and more. Let us know if you have any other questions!