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Sonos just fixed the main drawback of its excellent Roam portable speaker

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The Roam will now last longer on a charge when left idle

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

I’m generally a big fan of the Sonos Roam, but in the months since the portable speaker was released, I’ve definitely come across one downside: subpar power management. When the device is sitting around idle, its battery drains much faster than I’d like — and more rapidly than most Bluetooth speakers. Sometimes that means a dead Roam at the very moment you want to use it most. This has led me to completely power off the speaker when it’s not being used, which is less than ideal for something that’s meant to slot into a multi-room sound system.

Thankfully, today, Sonos has made some improvements to address battery drain.

After installing the latest software update (with the Sonos app on Android or iOS), the Roam should last longer on a charge when it’s not doing anything. “We’ve improved Roam’s power management to help extend Roam’s battery life when it’s not actively being used,” Sonos said in its update notes for the Sonos S2 13.3 update.

The Roam’s playback buttons can now wake it from sleep.
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

The update also makes it possible to wake the Roam from sleep by pressing any of the buttons on top; before, this could only be done with the power button around back. And the Sonos app will now notify you if the Roam is connected to a charger that isn’t providing enough juice to actually charge the battery. Last, Sonos says two Roams that had been stereo paired will now automatically relink if one of them briefly loses connection to the network.

To install the update, make sure you’ve got the latest version of the Sonos app installed on Android, iOS, PC, or Mac. On mobile, you should automatically be prompted to update your devices when you open the app. If not, you can still manually check for the update by tapping on the gear tab, choosing system, and then system updates.