The best Bluetooth speaker of 2021 has been given a brilliant upgrade

the Sonos Roam bluetooth speaker
(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

The Sonos Roam is our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy today - and it's just got even better thanks to an upgrade that brings improvements to connectivity and battery life.

You can download the update via the Sonos S2 app, and according to the company, it will improve the Roam’s power management to help extend the Roam’s battery life when it’s not actively being used.

Previously, Sonos claimed the Roam could last up to 10 days in sleep mode, but many users found this wasn't the case in reality. The company hasn't said how much extra standby time you'll get from the portable speaker, but any improvement is very welcome, especially if it means you don't need to power it off as often.

The update means you'll also now be alerted if you're attempting to use an under-powered charger with the Roam, and you'll be able to wake it up by pressing any of its playback buttons (not just the power button). 

Finally, if you have two Sonos Roams in a stereo pair, they'll now automatically reconnect to each other if one randomly drops out.

Sonos Roam

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

Opinion: the Sonos Roam upgrade is good - but it doesn't justify the price hike

Don't get us wrong - we love the Sonos Roam, but when we heard about the company's new pricing structure for its wireless speakers, we were disappointed. 

It's quite rare for companies to increase the price of existing hardware, especially when many of the Sonos products that have been subject to a price hike are a few years old now. 

In a statement, the company said that the price increases are part of its promise to sustainably grow the business and maintain "the easy, connected experience" its customers expect. Right. 

The company also cited supply and demand as factors in its decision to raise prices, which may refer to the ongoing chip shortage that's affecting manufacturers of everything from cars to computers. 

The Sonos Roam has actually seen a relatively low price increase compared to some of the company's other products; it was $169 / £159 / AU$279 at launch, and now costs $179 / £179 / AU$299. 

While we don't think the latest update quite justifies a $20 / £20 / AU$20 increase, you should save your pity for anyone that's been saving for the company's flagship Dolby Atmos soundbar, the Sonos Arc - it's now $100 / £100 / AU$100 more expensive than before. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.