I’ve been a fan of SONOS speakers for quite some time. I bought my first pair of SONOS Play One speakers back in 2015. Since then, I’ve created a SONOS home theater system and bought a few more SONOS Fives for my living room and bedroom.
When my portable JBL Flip 3 died a few months ago, I went looking for a replacement. Since I already have a bunch of SONOS speakers, it seemed natural to go for one more. I was choosing between SONOS Move and SONOS Roam and, since Roam is more compact, I went for it. And I was pleasantly surprised.
I was able to integrate it into my existing SONOS multiroom system in just a few minutes. Bluetooth pairing was also a breeze. However, if you are new to the SONOS ecosystem, setting up SONOS Roam and pairing it to a Bluetooth source can be a bit confusing.
In this post, I will explain how to perform the initial setup of your SONOS Roam, how to enable Bluetooth pairing and pair it with your phone or laptop, and finally, how to troubleshoot pairing issues.
- In order to pair your SONOS Roam with your Bluetooth device, you first need to set up your SONOS Roam using the SONOS S2 app and a Wi-Fi connection.
- After the initial setup, you won’t need Wi-Fi to connect your speaker to your phone or other devices using Bluetooth.
- To put SONOS Roam in pairing mode, after the initial setup, long-press the power button until the LED on the front starts blinking blue and you hear a chime
- To pair your SONOS Roam to another Bluetooth device, while the speaker is already connected to the first Bluetooth device, you have to long-press the power button until the LED starts blinking blue. Note that SONOS Roam can’t be connected to two Bluetooth sources simultaneously.
- When experiencing pairing or connection issues, you could try forgetting the speaker from your list of paired devices, updating the speaker, or resetting it to factory default settings.
How to Set Up SONOS Roam
SONOS Roam is not like other Bluetooth speakers because it’s not just a Bluetooth speaker. It’s also a smart speaker with Wi-Fi and multiroom capabilities, just like all the other SONOS speakers.
That’s why you need to perform the initial setup using the SONOS S2 app and your Wi-Fi connection. After that, you won’t need Wi-Fi to connect it to your Bluetooth device (phone, PC, tablet).
So, after the initial setup, you can use it just like any other Bluetooth speaker. But there’s no way to bypass this first step. So, let’s start.
Once the app is installed, turn on your SONOS Roam using the POWER button on the back and wait until you see the green blinking light. This light indicates the speaker is ready to be configured.
Open the app, and press the GEAR icon at the bottom right corner.
The app should automatically recognize the speaker and give you an option to add it, right at the top of the screen.
If you don’t see this option, go to System > Add Product. The app should then find your SONOS Roam.
You should hear a chime from your SONOS speaker and a message will appear on your app asking you to tap your phone on the highlighted area, on the back of the speaker, right between the feet.
Tap it and the app will guide you through the rest of the steps. If this is your first SONOS speaker, the app will ask you to select your Wi-Fi network and enter the password. If you already have other SONOS speakers in your home, the app will automatically connect SONOS Roam to your Wi-Fi.
Once the app finishes adding SONOS Roam to your Wi-Fi, you will see a notification. Click or tap Done. To customize settings, add SONOS Roam to the existing group of speakers, play with EQ settings, etc., go to Settings. If you just want to connect your SONOS Roam to a Bluetooth device, you can now put your SONOS Roam in Pairing mode.
How to Set Up SONOS Roam
How to Put SONOS Roam in Pairing Mode
Once the initial setup is over, putting your SONOS Roam in pairing mode and pairing it with your Bluetooth device should be a breeze. Here’s how to go about it.
Press the power button on the back (for a second or two) until you see the light blinking blue. This blue blinking light indicates that your SONOS Roam is in pairing mode.
Now, the only thing left to do is enable Bluetooth on your source device (phone, laptop, tablet), look for SONOS Roam under Available Devices, and tap/click pair. The LED will stop blinking and will become solid blue.
I will give you step-by-step instructions for different operating systems in the following chapter. But let me just add a few more notes.
If your SONOS Roam is already connected to one Bluetooth device and you want to connect it to another, long-press the power button until the LED starts blinking blue, just like you did when you paired it with the first device. Once it starts blinking blue, your SONOS Roam is in pairing mode and you can connect it to a new device.
If you want to put your SONOS Roam to sleep, while in Bluetooth mode, short-press the power button. To turn it off, long-press the power button for 5 seconds. When you turn it on, the speaker will automatically go to Wi-Fi mode, even if there’s no available Wi-Fi connection. There’s no way to go around this issue – that’s its default mode.
Once the speaker turns on, if you want to connect it to your phone via Bluetooth, you will have to press the power button again for 1-2sec, and the LED will start blinking blue. If the speaker was previously paired with your device and the Bluetooth on your device is enabled, it will pair automatically.
How to Pair SONOS Roam to an Android Phone
How to Pair SONOS Roam with a Bluetooth Device
Once your SONOS Roam is in pairing mode, the rest of the process should be a breeze. If you have used Bluetooth to connect your phone or laptop to any Bluetooth speaker in the past, you should know what to do, even without the instructions.
Pairing SONOS Roam with an Android Phone
Go to Bluetooth settings and enable Bluetooth. The list of available devices will appear. The speaker will be named SONOS Roam. Tap it and select Pair when the notification appears on the screen.
Pairing SONOS Roam with an iPhone
The procedure is pretty much the same for iPhone users. Go to Bluetooth and make sure the Bluetooth is enabled. If your speaker is in pairing mode, you should see it under Other Devices (assuming this is the first time you’re trying to pair it with your iPhone). Tap on the name of the speaker and you will be connected in a second.
Connecting SONOS Roam to Phones (Android and iOS)
Pairing SONOS Roam with a MacBook
Again, the procedure is quite similar for every Bluetooth source. You just have to find the Bluetooth settings. If you’re using a MacBook, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth > Turn Bluetooth On. Assuming that your SONOS Roam is in pairing mode, you should see it under Devices. Just click on Connect and you will be paired.
Connecting a Bluetooth Speaker to a MacBook
Pairing SONOS Roam with a Windows Laptop/PC
Assuming that your SONOS Roam is in pairing mode, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and Other Devices. Alternatively, just type in Bluetooth in the Windows search bar and click on Bluetooth and Other Devices. Make sure the Bluetooth is turned on.
Then go to Add Bluetooth or Other Device > Add Bluetooth Device > Windows will automatically start searching for available devices. When the speaker appears in the list, click on Pair, and you will be connected in a few seconds.
Connecting a Bluetooth Speaker to a Windows 10 Device
SONOS Roam Pairing Issues – Troubleshooting Guide
If you experience issues while trying to pair your SONOS Roam with your phone or laptop, it could be for a variety of reasons. The problem could be with the speaker or the source device.
Some of the basic troubleshooting steps include the following:
If you can’t see the speaker under available devices, make sure the speaker is in pairing mode. If it is in pairing mode, restart Bluetooth on your device by disabling and re-enabling it. It’s a simple fix that might help.
Forget the Speaker
If the speaker was previously paired with your phone or some other device, the least invasive solution would be to forget the speaker from the list of paired devices (remove it) and try pairing it with your phone as if it’s the first time you’re pairing them together.
Reset Your SONOS Roam
If the speaker is not in pairing mode or if it is in pairing mode (LED blinking blue) but it doesn’t appear under available devices, you may want to reset the speaker.
For a regular Bluetooth speaker, resetting is not such an invasive procedure – it only erases all previously paired devices. However, when it comes to smart speakers, like SONOS Roam, resetting is a bit more invasive. It will require you to set up the speaker from scratch.
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To reset your SONOS Roam, press and hold the power button for 5 seconds, until you hear a chime. That will turn off the speaker.
Now, while the speaker is turned off, press and hold the PLAY/PAUSE button. While pressing the PLAY/PAUSE button, press the POWER button shortly to turn on the speaker. Don’t release the PLAY/PAUSE button. Keep it pressed until the LED light on the front (the one at the top) turns orange.
After the LED turns orange, release the button and wait for the speaker to reset. You will know that it’s reset when the LED starts blinking green. After that, you can start setting it up afresh.
How to Reset SONOS Roam
Reset Your Phone’s Network Settings
If resetting the speaker doesn’t help, your next best option is resetting the network settings on your phone or running a network/Bluetooth troubleshooter on your laptop.
Resetting Network Settings on an iPhone
Resetting Network Settings on an Android Phone
Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Why won’t SONOS Roam connect to Bluetooth?
- Answer: Your SONOS Roam won’t connect to Bluetooth for a variety of reasons. It could be a problem with your source device (phone, tablet, laptop) or the speaker.
- If the problem is with the source device, try restarting Bluetooth (turn on, then back off), forgetting the speaker from the list of paired devices, restarting your device, resetting network settings, or resetting the device.
- If the problem is with the speaker, you can only try restarting or resetting it to factory defaults.
- Question: How do I connect my SONOS Roam to Bluetooth without the app?
- Answer: You do not need the app to connect your phone to the speaker via Bluetooth, but you do need it for the initial setup. If the speaker is brand new, you HAVE TO set it up before connecting it to your phone via Bluetooth.
- To initiate pairing mode, after the initial setup of the speaker, you just have to press the power button for 1-2 seconds, until the LED starts blinking blue. Once the speaker is in pairing mode, you can finish the pairing process on your phone.
- Question: How do I reset Bluetooth on SONOS?
- Answer: Turn off the speaker first by pressing the power button for 5 seconds. Pressing the power button shortly will only put it in sleep mode, which is not the same thing.
- While the speaker is turned off, press and hold the PLAY/PAUSE button. Press the POWER button shortly to turn the speaker on, but don’t release the PLAY/PAUSE button. Keep the button pressed until the LED turns orange. After that, you can release the button and wait for the LED to start blinking green. That indicates the speaker is ready to be configured afresh.
- Question: Can I use SONOS Roam just as a Bluetooth speaker?
- Answer: You can, but only after the initial setup. For the initial setup, you will have to use the SONOS S2 app and your Wi-Fi connection. After that, you can use your SONOS Roam as any other Bluetooth speaker.
SONOS Roam is an amazing little Bluetooth speaker. But it’s not just a Bluetooth speaker – it is a smart speaker with Bluetooth functionality and a built-in battery. Because of that, SONOS Roam is a special speaker and requires a different kind of setup. You can’t just power it on and expect it to be in pairing mode.
I hope this guide helped you learn how to set up your SONOS Roam, put it in pairing mode, and troubleshoot potential pairing issues. Stays tuned for more tutorials.