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Sonos Beam, Move and Roam in the Ollie


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I've posted in other threads here and there about my experiments with speakers in the Ollie, but thought I'd make a separate topic.  I don't think we have one for Sonos stuff, through I know we've talked about them in three or four other speaker threads.  Anyway, any excuse to talk music.  

Background for those who don't know:

We got our Ollie back when Oliver allowed customer modifications, and one of our mods was to eliminate the entertainment system completely.  So no TV, radio, or speakers at all.  My idea at the time was that we'd have a car stereo place do a really nice system for us.  The cost of that though was prohibitive, and at the same time I was starting to look at wireless speakers for the house, so I decided that was the route to go with the trailer as well.  Apple had just come out with their HomePod, so I figured I'd try one, use it in the kitchen when at home and move it to the Ollie when we travelled.  I won't review the HomePod since they've discontinued it, but suffice to say that I think they had good reason to do so.  I wasn't impressed, and it was kind of a pain both in and out of the trailer, so it went onto craigslist.  But the idea behind it wasn't bad.

My next experiment was a Sonos Beam, which did impress me, and is still in the trailer.  It's a different philosophy than the HomePod was, since it's permanently mounted, but I decided on it since it would fit perfectly under the attic.  In my opinion, it's not a bad solution especially if you have a TV and want a soundbar for it.  It certainly sounds much better than the HomePod - even though it's still a single speaker, and fixed at the end of the trailer, it has a much broader sound than you'd expect.  Though one of the drawbacks is definitely that it doesn't really immerse you in the music, at least not the way I like.  There are two other drawbacks to mention: one, it's 120 volt so you've got to be plugged in or on your inverter for it to work; and two, it requires a wifi network for your trailer (which I think is included in the latest Ollies?).  Overall though, thumbs up.  The sound is really nice, and one of the things Sonos does well is in the way they have you tune their speakers to the space when setting them up.  Basically, you walk around the space waving your phone around like a nut while the speaker plays tones, and at the end, they recalibrate the EQ of the speakers to give you the best sound and eliminate any boominess.  For a small space like the Ollie, that can make a big difference.  So we've been pretty happy with it.



But of course shortly after I installed the Beam, Sonos came out with the Move, which has a similar form factor to the HomePod.  But instead of plugging in, it's battery powered and so is truly portable.  In fact it's waterproof to boot, and has a rugged rubber base so you can rest easy taking it outside and using it around the campfire.  Plus it can be charged via USB and has Bluetooth audio in addition to WiFi, which means you don't need a WiFi system in the trailer, and don't need to use your inverter to power it.  So sure I had to get one, took it with us on our last trip, and REALLY like it.  It's easily the best sounding Sonos we have - it's larger than the Sonos Ones that I've been populating the house with, but smaller than the Sonos Five, so the sound is predictably somewhere in between.  It just has a really nice resonant quality to it.  As a single speaker, it has the same drawback as the beam, but AirPlaying to both simultaneously gives you a really great, immersive sound all through the trailer.  With the bonus being that you can grab it and carry it outside.  But like the Beam, there are three drawbacks: one, it's a bit big and cumbersome, so kind of difficult to find a spot in the closet or wherever to stow it while traveling; two, you can't do a stereo pair with the Beam (though if you have two Moves, you can pair those); and three, it costs over $300.  But to justify the cost, the speaker isn't dedicated to the trailer like the Beam is.  Ours has its home in the house, gets taken out to the patio, front porch, etc.  

Drawbacks aside, had you asked me yesterday what I thought the best system was for your Ollie, I'd have said buy a Move.  Or two, if you want stereo or the ability to have music both inside and out at the same time.  

But ... in the mail today came the tiny Sonos Roam.  It's a portable speaker like the Move, but small enough to fit in your hand, and I have to tell you that for such a small speaker, it really packs a punch.  Not as good as the Move, of course, but inside the trailer, it actually comes surprisingly close, thanks to the trailer itself adding a great deal of resonance to the sound.  Outside, the Move crushes it, but inside the trailer, it's difficult for my somewhat older ears to distinguish them once you've got the volume levels even and fiddled with the EQ (Sonos allows you to set a separate EQ for each speaker, and since the setting is held in the speakers themselves, they'll have the same sound whether you're playing through their app or through iTunes, Spotify, etc.).  In fact, in the trailer I think the sound from the Roam is pretty much on par with the Beam, if not a bit better.  

Daddy bear, momma bear, baby bear, and a shy smokey bear:


The size! This little guy could go anywhere - the versatility is fantastic.  Bluetooth or wifi, so like the Move it will work without dedicated wifi in the trailer.  It has a better waterproof rating than the Move, so you could actually drop it in a lake, if you need to do that.  It's half the price, has USB charging (plus wireless charging), and you can stereo pair two of them together.  Add velcro to the back, and you could mount them wherever you want, inside or out.  Move them around the trailer depending on where you're sitting, etc., then grab one off the wall and take it out to the campfire.  Drawbacks?  None, really.  The Move sounds better, but the versatility of the Roam trumps that, imo.  

So today if you ask me what I'd recommend for sound in or around the trailer, by all means get yourself a pair of Sonos Roams.  They come in white, too, though I don't know if their white is color matched to the Ollie.


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Looks like a great little speaker. I like the idea of being able to move it around, from trailer to outside, to home when not camping. And, the ip67 rating and waterproof capability is super for outdoor use.

Really nice to be able to charge wirelessly, or usb. I wonder if the builtin battery is replaceable?

Thanks for the info, and the great reviews.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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