When a company known for inventing the multiroom speaker announces a new fully portable model, we sit up and take notice. The new Sonos Roam ($169) is ultra-compact, IP67 water- and dust-proof smart speaker that weighs less than one pound and links with your phone or tablet via Bluetooth 5.0. But that’s not the whole story. The Roam can also connect with your home Sonos ecosystem, automatically making the switch between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as you come and go.
The very clever Roam can be charged via its USB-C port or wirelessly docked on a Qi charger. (An optional Sonos wireless charging dock with a magnetic connection is available for $50.) It sets up quickly with the Sonos app, which makes it easy to adjust EQ and playback features including loudness compensation and Trueplay automatic sound tuning. The waterproof Roam can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, although it will sound much better above water than below.
Given that the Roam is a portable speaker, having Trueplay onboard is a huge plus. Trueplay adapts the output of Sonos speakers for their surroundings by using a built-in microphone to periodically adjust the EQ. The Roam sounded just as good in my large living room as it did in my smaller listening room and, more notably, outdoors.
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The Wireless Meta-verse
WE LIVE now in the wireless world, and the major loudspeaker makers have been quick to embrace it with serious-performance, near-full-range designs. But each seems to have a different idea of what a “wireless speaker” should entail. Some simply connect to an existing component stack via a supplied small wireless transmitter. Others incorporate the whole smart-speaker thang, with full multiroom audio system and Alexa-Google-Siri voice control integration.
The Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp changed its tune during the pandemic from offering in-person seminars with stars to streaming Masterclass sessions. In many ways, the shift broadened the scope of what the Camp has to offer.
Sonos Roam Portable Wireless Speaker
Roam on the Range
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This custom-installed outdoor A/V system sets the mood for parties, sports, or just chilling out and enjoying a City of Bridges sunset
Faceoff - 10 Wire-Free Bud Options That Block Noise So You Can Hear Music
Noise-canceling true wireless earbuds
TV TRENDS OF CES 2021
THE ANNUAL CES trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association was an “all-digital” event for 2021. On the plus side, that allowed us to report on the show from the comfort of our homes dressed in hoodies and sweatpants instead of suits.
Mini-LED Made Affordable
IN LATE 2019, TCL flew me to the company’s U.S. offices in California to spend an afternoon with its new flagship, the 75Q825 8-Series Roku LCD Ultra HDTV, a 75-inch 4K model.
Monolith by Monoprice M-TWE True Wireless Earbuds
Noise Cancellation Customized Monoprice is an affordable direct-to-consumer brand, and its Monolith product line features sophisticated A/V gear including speakers, amps, surround sound processors, and now the new Monolith M-TWE earbuds.
The End of Analog
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HEADPHONES AT CES 2021
Once upon a time, CES was a huge show for audio but those days are long gone and showed no signs of returning in the virtual world that was CES 2021, with one possible exception: wireless headphones, a category that has made incredible strides in just the past year or so.
UF/IFAS Professor Leads Effort to Establish Pomegranates in Florida
GROWING UP IN IRAN, Ali Sarkhosh worked on the family’s pomegranate farm, which has thrived for four generations.
The Greening Challenge
Executive Director of CRDF Tweaks Approach to Research
SIGNS of the SEASON
Cantaloupe Thrive in Florida’s Warm Climate
Minor Scores Major Win
Longwood Boy Places Second in Inaugural Cooking Competition by PAUL CATALA photos provided
GSA graduates 76 at June 13 commencement
BLUE HILL—Fair skies, seasonal temperatures, hugs, tears of joy, cheers and optimism set the tone for the George Stevens Academy Class of 2021 commencement.
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
AS ANY TRUE FLORIDIAN WILL TELL YOU, June marks the beginning of the hurricane season. And while Floridians pride themselves on their unflappable nature when it comes to crisis prep, it would be reckless to think a hurricane couldn’t bring this state to its knees. The agriculture industry, in particular, has a lot to lose if a storm targets our state. And unlike the cone of certainty, one thing is certain: Hurricanes can, and have historically, taken a toll on the agriculture sector. The damage can be catastrophic.
Longtime area pastor Vencill to come out of retirement
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Brannen, Katahdin District superintendent, have appointed Rev. Gary R. Vencill to serve the Brooksville United Methodist Church and the Penobscot United Methodist Church effective July 1.
In The Heartland Highlands County
New UF/IFAS Extension Director Takes Lifetime Work in Ag, 4-H to the Next Level
Grassroots group seeks collaborative solutions for climate adaptations
BLUE HILL—If you’ve noticed milder winters, warmer waters, and a spike in sweltering summer days, you’re not alone. “Many, many people, hundreds of people, told us that they’ve noticed over their lifetimes that Maine is warming up,” said Dr. Cassaundra Rose of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future. “Climate change is already a reality for Maine.”
Building Premier Blueberry Breeding Headquarters
TO BUILD A BETTER BLUEBERRY, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is building a better blueberry lab. By mid-2022, we expect to complete U.S. higher education’s premier blueberry breeding headquarters.