Sonos just got a killer Hi-Res Audio upgrade — including for the Sonos Roam

Sonos Roam
(Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos speakers are synonymous with high audio quality but they’ve never had a built-in streaming service with 24-bit, Hi-Res Audio music. But that's changing, as Qobuz has brought this lossless standard to the Sonos range.

You’ll need a Qobuz Studio subscription and the Sonos S2 app, but all current Sonos speakers should be compatible. That includes the upcoming portable speaker, the Sonos Roam.

Qobuz is far from the only music streaming service to offer higher-quality, 24-bit content; Tidal and Amazon Music HD also support Hi-Res Audio. 

However, Qobuz has beaten its competitors to enabling that quality level on Sonos speakers specifically. According to the Sonos support site, Qobuz can deliver up to 24-bit/48 kHz FLAC files; tracks with above 48 kHz will be played as 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC files, though this is still lossless.

While this will likely please audiophiliac owners of speakers like the Sonos One, Sonos Move and Sonos Arc, the addition of 24-bit streaming could be a significant pre-release upgrade for the Sonos Roam in particular. Even the best Bluetooth speakers don’t truly focus on high-grade audio delivery, instead balancing sound output against other concerns like size and waterproofing.

The Roam won’t be immune to such compromises, and likely won’t sound as loud or as rich as the preceding Sonos Move. But its rare support for Hi-Res Audio streaming could be another way in which it stands out.

Lossless audio seems to be on the rise in general. Last month Spotify announced it would launch lossless “CD quality” streaming with a new Spotify HiFi service, leaving Apple Music as one of very few major streaming platforms without a higher-quality subscription tier. That said, “CD quality” likely means 16-bit audio, so not quite on the same level as what Qobuz has brought to Sonos.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.