Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5


If you want the Sonos Roam to be a part of the Sonos system, then it is good for you. It supports multiroom audio and Wi-Fi that are missing in the JBL Charge 5. Also, while the Charge will be limited to the Bluetooth device for audio source, with Sonos Roam you can access anything online and several other music streaming services.

JBL Charge 5 can deliver detailed sound with balanced audio profile. Comparing Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5, choose the JBL Charge if you want a longer battery life and if loudness is important for you.


Our Verdict:

Comparing Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5, the Sonos Roam is packed with smart features. For instance, you can place it on wireless charging stand that you need to buy separately. Sonos Roam is best for you if you want to be more into the Sonos ecosystem and are an Apple user. JBL Charge is great for music and movies. It delivers powerful performance indoors and outdoors. You will not hear audiophile grade sound quality and we do not expect it from such compact speakers.

Pros
  • Good sound with deep bass
  • Supports Sonos ecosystem
  • Supports voice assistants
  • Bass and treble settings
  • Has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Versatile speaker
Cons
  • Average loudness
Pros
  • Amazingly good sound quality
  • The highest IP67 rating;
  • Bluetooth multipoint;
  • Can charge your mobile devices;
  • USB-A port for mobile devices to be charged;
  • New ways to keep dust out;
  • Design that is fully waterproof;
Cons
  • There's no microphone;
  • It's much bigger;
  • No listening with a wire;

Advance Comparison

Model

Sonos Roam

JBL Charge 5

Brand Name

Sonos

JBL

Rating
Mixed Usage
7.0
5.7
Music:
6.3
6.5
Movies:
6.2
5.8
Outdoors:
6.6
7.6
Podcasts
7.2
7.4
Voice Assistant:
8.5
1
GENERAL
Recommended Usage
Smart Bluetooth Speakers
Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers[ Waterproof]
Release Year
2021
2021
Power Source
Battery & USB
Battery & USB
Multi-Device Pairing:
N/A
Yes
BUILD QUALITY
Material Quality
Good
Great
Water Resistance:
Submersible (IPx7)
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Floats In Water:
Unspecified
Unspecified
STYLE
RGB Light:
N/A
N/A
Color Variation
Shadow Black, Lunar White, Sunset, Wave and Olive.
Black, Red, Blue, Teal, Grey, White, Pink, Khaki and Squad.
Sizes And Variants
N/A
N/A
PORTABILITY:
Power Source:
Battery & USB
Battery & USB
Hand Carry
Yes
Yes
Weight
0.9 lbs (0.4 kg)
2.0 lbs (0.9 kg)
Volume:
39 in³ (632 cm³)
121 in³ (1,982 cm³)
Connectivity:
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Only
BATTERY:
Battery Powered:
Yes
Yes
Battery Life
5.1 hrs
14.5 hrs
Charging Time:
3.4 hrs
3.8 hrs
Power Saving:
Yes
Yes
Charging Port:
USB-C
USB-C
Bluetooth Specification:
Bluetooth:
Yes
Yes
Bluetooth Version:
5.0
5.1
Bluetooth Range:
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Bluetooth iOS Latency:
117 ms
125 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency:
201 ms
102 ms
Multi-Device Pairing:
N/A
Yes
Wi-Fi Specification:
Wi-Fi:
Yes
N/A
Wi-Fi Version:
Wi-Fi 5
N/A
Wi-Fi Frequency Band:
2.4GHz & 5GHz
N/A
Apple AirPlay:
Yes
N/A
AirPlay Latency:
-2 ms
N/A
Google Chromecast:
N/A
N/A
Chromecast Latency:
N/A
N/A
Wired Connectivity:
Aux Input:
N/A
N/A
USB Audio:
N/A
N/A
Other Ports:
N/A
Yes
CONTROLS (physical buttons):
Ease Of Use:
Great
Great
Music Play/Pause [Button/Touch]:
Yes
Yes
Call Answer/End [Button/Touch]:
N/A
N/A
Volume Up/Down [Button/Touch]:
Yes
Yes
Track Next/Previous [Button/Touch]:
Yes
Yes
Microphone On/Off:
Yes
N/A
Additional Controls:
Yes
Yes
VOICE CONTROL:
Voice Assistant:
Yes
N/A
Voice Activation:
Yes
N/A
Speakerphone:
N/A
N/A
Alexa:
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
No
Siri:
No
No
Google Assistant:
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
No
Microphone Mute:
Yes
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance:
Excellent
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
Great
No Microphone
App:
App Name:
Sonos S2
JBL Portable
iOS:
Yes
Yes
Android:
Yes
Yes
EQ:
Bass/Treble
Graphic
Stereo Pair Mode:
Yes
Yes
Party Mode:
Yes
Yes
Multi-Room:
Yes
N/A
AUDIO QUALITY [TESTED RESULT]:
Frequency Response Accuracy:
Okey
Alright
Soundstage:
Good
Sub-Par
Dynamics:
Poor
Fair
IN THE BOX
Accessories:
Sonos Roam speaker, USB-C to USB-A charge cable
JBL Charge 5 speaker, USB-C to USB-A charging cable, Quick Start Guide
User manual:
Yes
N/A

Comparatives Review


Design and build:

Comparing Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5, the Sonos Roam speaker is smaller in size and lightweight. Both these speakers have an IP67 rating. With rubberized ends, the Sonos Roam is more rugged and is also shock-resistant. It is also resistive against humidity, salt spray, and UV rays. Sonos Roam is a sleek and slim speaker that has LED to indicate connection status and battery life. JBL also uses LED light to indicate battery life.

JBL Charge 5 has a cylindrical shape and the Sonos Roam has a triangular shaper with curved edges. Compared to the Sonos Roam, the Charge 5 is available in more color options. These speakers can easily be used beside pool or sea. You can use them in washroom, kitchen or out in the rain. Overall, the Sonos Roam seems to have better build quality.

Performance:

JBL Charge 5 has 0.75" dome tweeter and 2" x 3.5" woofer. Sonos Roam has a tweeter and midwoofer that is powered by independent Class H amplifiers. The midwoofer is responsible for producing midrange and midbass frequencies. Both these speakers have the option to tweak the sound with the mobile app. JBL has graphic EQ where you can adjust bass, mids and treble. Sonos Roam has Bass and treble adjustments.

This is an advantage as you can change the sound as per your taste by increasing the bass or other settings. You can place them horizontally or vertically and this will not have any effect on the sound performance. The Roam has Trueplay room correction that scans the room layout and adjust the sound accordingly. At such a small footprint, the Roam has prominent bass.

That said, you can use the bass settings to adjust it. Sonos Roam has impressive sonic performance along with balanced sound. Comparing JBL Charge 5 vs Sonos Roam, the Charge 5 can get louder while maintaining accuracy. For medium sized rooms, the Charge 5 will deliver powerful room-filling sound.

The JBL Charge 5 has decent soundstage along with deep bass. Vocals and instrumental sounds are clean and clear. It can handle different types of contents quite well. Both these speakers can be used for podcasts or audiobooks. Sonos Roam shows better performance with movies.  

Connectivity:

Comparing Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5, the Sonos Roam is more versatile. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth whereas the Charge 5 only has Bluetooth support. None of them have any wired connectivity. JBL Charge 5 has the updated 5.1 Bluetooth version with low latency. Sonos Roam has AirPlay 2 with which you can create wireless multiroom audio. It will work over Wi-Fi on Apple devices iOS 11.4 and higher versions.

Multiple device pairing:

Sonos Roam can be a part of the Sonos eco system that includes Sonos speakers, network players and amplifiers. It is one of the most versatile speakers that allows you to play same song in all rooms or different song in different rooms. With the Wi-Fi connection you are not limited to Bluetooth audio sources only. Sonos can stream content from internet radio, online music services, local network music libraries.

It will work with the Sonos S2 operating system (OS). This includes: Sonos Five, One SL, Beam, ARC, Sub Gen 3, etc.    

Microphone:

Comparing Sonos Roam vs JBL Charge 5, the Sonos Roam has built-in microphone but it is not available with the Charge 5. With the microphone you can talk to Sonos, Alexa or Google Assistant. This far-field microphone array can pick up your voice from anywhere in the room. The Sonos Voice Control lets you talk and give commands to other Sonos products like playing a certain song, etc. Sonos Voice Control is a versatile feature.

Battery life:

JBL Charge 5 vs Sonos Roam comparison shows, the Charge 5 has higher battery life. It can play around 12 to 13 hours whereas the Roam can last around 7 hours.

Control options:

Sonos Roam has play/pause, volume up/down, and microphones on/off controls. Use the play/pause button to go to next or previous track and to pair with other Sonos products. JBL has PartyBoost, play/pause, Bluetooth and volume up/down button.Both these speakers use the mobile app. JBL Charge 5 uses JBL Portable app whereas the Sonos Roam uses Sonos S2 app.

Sonos app is handy and allows you to pair another speaker or create multiroom audio across the house. It has a sound swap feature that allows the Sonos Roam speaker to ‘throw’ or transfer audio from it to the nearest Sonos speaker. You can also use it for additional features like setting an alarm. That said, the Sonos should make the app more user-friendly and solve its problems.

Cost:

While both speakers are available under $150, the Sonos Roam is slightly lower priced than the Charge 5.

FAQ:

How to transfer audio between Sonos Roam and other speakers?

If you want to transfer audio from another device to Roam then, start playing the audio. Keep the speakers close together. Press the play/pause button on the Roam and wait to hear a tone three times. Then release it, now the Sonos Roam will play the audio file.

Can I get a JBL portable speaker with voice support?

If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker from JBL, check the Flip 4. It has voice support that allows you to answer phone calls and talk to voice assistants.

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