I’m ditching my Sonos Roam and getting this new Beats speaker instead

I remember when Beats discontinued the Pill and Pill+ in 2020 and 2022. While there certainly isn’t a shortage of options in the portable speaker market, I was sad to see the company abandon speakers completely — especially since Apple was venturing into it with the HomePod and HomePod mini.

While I use the AirPods Pro over any Beats headphones, I’ve been hoping that the company would venture back into the portable speaker space for a while. I personally picked up a Sonos Roam about a year or so ago and, while it’s been decent, it hasn’t really been something I’ve fallen in love with. The sound is decent, and having AirPlay is nice, but it isn’t the most reliable connection, and the battery life has been, well, garbage.

Thankfully, a new Beats Pill seems to be on its way soon. As reported by 9to5Mac, sources have told the outlet all about what we can expect from Beats re-entering the portable speaker market, and it seems like we’re truly getting a Beats Pill worthy of 2024.

The Beats Pill is getting a ton of new features

According to the report, the relaunched Beats Pill will ditch USB-A and Lightning for USB-C, upgrade from Bluetooth 4.0 to Bluetooth 5.3, and include both a USB-C to USB-C charging cable and carrying lanyard in the box. There will not, however, be a power adapter in the box. So it’s definitely a 2024 Apple product.

The new speaker will be slightly lighter than the previous generation but still come packed with plenty of buttons, including a center button for controlling music and phone calls, up and down buttons for adjusting volume, and a “system” button for pairing to devices, summoning a voice assistant, and powering the speaker on and off.

The discontinued Beats Pill+.

Another upgrade for the new Beats Pill will be stereo pairing. That feature was previously only available with the Beats Pill+ and was never available for the smaller speaker. That’s apparently changing and you’ll now be able to pair two Beats Pill’s together to play them in stereo. While I certainly wouldn’t think of a reason to buy two Beats Pill speakers to pair them in stereo (I’d opt for two HomePod mini speakers) it’s nice to know it’ll support it.

And that’s not all. The battery life is apparently being doubled from 12 to 24 hours, and the new speaker is going to be IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. You still won’t be able to dunk it in your pool, though. For connectivity, it will support fast pairing with both iOS and Android and will also support Apple’s Find My and Google’s Find My Device technology.

The Beats Pill.

Lastly, the speaker is expected to get a big sound upgrade, including being louder and featuring more bass. The report says that the new version “uses a re-engineered racetrack woofer to drive 28% more motor force, displacing 90% more air volume, while reducing low-end distortion.” While it always takes demoing it for yourself to see if you actually hear a difference, it sounds like the speaker is in for some major audio upgrades.

This might get me to ditch my Sonos Roam

All of this results in a portable speaker that is going to give the Sonos Roam a run for its money. After living with Sonos’ version of a portable speaker for a year now, I might be ready to give Beats another try — as long as it can deliver on everything that we’re now expecting from it.

That’s especially true considering that the new Sonos Roam, which the company actually just announced a week ago, doesn’t really make a big leap in terms of performance or features from the original. The second generation of the Roam lets you connect it to a phone right out of the box without the Sonos app, adds a dedicated Bluetooth button, and ever-so-slightly improves the battery life (still 10 hours compared to the Beat’s expected 24).

With that in mind, it sounds like the Beats Pill might have quite the feature set compared to the Sonos Roam. If the company can come in with a similar price, I have a feeling that I’ll be selling my Roam and bringing one more Apple product into my home.

The new Beats Pill will be available in Black, Gold, and Red. All that’s left for us to find out is the price and when it’ll be coming out. With all of the other leaks, including mentions of it showing up in regulatory filings, in code for iOS, and in random celebrity sightings, we seem to be nearing a release.

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