Sonos is well known for manufacturing excellent, easy-to-use speakers. There’s the Arc Soundbar for large TVs, the Five which produces studio-quality audio, and the One smart speaker. Now, with the Sonos Move, the company has finally entered the portable speaker market. Launched in Sept 2020, this battery-powered smart speaker is perfect for indoor or outdoor listening. Let’s find it if the Sonos Move Wireless Speaker is the one you’ve been looking for.
Is the Sonos Move Wireless Speaker Worth the Money?
At $399, you might think that the Move is a bit pricey compared to other portable speakers. But as we dive deeper, you’ll see that this is not your average Bluetooth boombox. It’s difficult to find other devices that we can directly compare the Move to. Let’s find out if it’s worth it.
Sonos Move Wireless Speaker at a glance:
- Weight: 6.6 lbs
- Battery life: 10 hours
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz, and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2
- Drivers: One down-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class-D digital amplifiers
- USB charging: Yes (USB-C, charging dock)
Just like other speakers in the Sonos lineup, the Move has a familiar minimalist design. It’s made of hard, black plastic that looks and feels premium. The body is surrounded by a black metal grill and the bottom is covered by a rubberized plastic for protection and grip.
It has an IP56 rating which means you can leave it out in the rain or sun and it will be just fine. Keep in mind that the speaker is not waterproof, so you need to keep it away from the pool. Sonos claims that the Move is also shock-resistant. This added durability is appreciated especially if you have little kids running around at parties.
For a portable speaker, the Sonos is on the hefty side. At 6.5 lbs., the Move isn’t something you can easily carry along during hikes. However, the weight isn’t going to bother you when you simply want to move it around the house or apartment.
There are no physical buttons on top of the speaker as Sonos opted for touch-capacitive buttons. You’ll get the play/pause button and two multifunction buttons on either side. This device has an array of four far-field mics which does a really good job of picking up your voice making it an ideal device for conference calls. The mic button, located at the top and center of the speaker, allows you to mute the microphones.
At the back, you will find three buttons arranged vertically. The power button, the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi toggle, and the Sonos Connect button for setting up the device. Here, you’ll also find the speaker’s handle which, in my opinion, was poorly designed. You’ll have no problem carrying it at short distances. However, you might encounter some problems if you need to move your speaker more than 30 feet away. The handle is too shallow and slippery so you’ll have to take extra precautions especially since the Move is quite a heavy speaker.
You can charge the Sonos Move via a USB Type-C cable or the included charging cradle. The charging cradle is thin and follows the same minimalist aesthetic as the speaker. In addition, the cradle makes it easier for your device to move around since you don’t have to frequently unplug anything.
Sonos devices are known for their seamless connectivity via Wi-Fi and that certainly holds true with the Move. All you need to do to connect the device to your network is to simply press the connect button on the back. Install a Sonos app on your Android or iOS device and it will walk you through the entire process. After you’ve entered your Wi-Fi password, the rest is pretty intuitive.
The Sonos app is not just for setting up your speaker. It also acts as a hub for all your other audio services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. You might even find yourself not using the dedicated apps as often. The experience may not be perfect but the app gets the job done.
The Sonos comes with Bluetooth 4.2 and not 5.0. This might come as a disappointment considering the speaker’s price. But if you’re a casual user, you won’t notice any difference at all. You get an operating range of about 30 meters and you won’t have any issues as long as you don’t have too many walls along the way. Unfortunately, the speaker does not come with any high-quality Bluetooth codex except for AAC. Which is fine, but AptX should have been included. Keep in mind that Voice Assistance needs Wi-Fi to operate. So if you want to access Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant you won’t be able to with just a Bluetooth connection.
The playback controls on the Sonos Move are pretty robust. You have all the functionalities you’ll need on top. You have the play/pause button which does what it does. Volume can be controlled by the capacitive buttons on the sides. You can skip to the next song by swiping the buttons from left to right and you can go back by swiping right to left.
Sonos claims that the Move can run up to 10 hours on battery. However, you might get a little less than 7 hours when running on Bluetooth at half the volume.
So how does the Sonos Move sound? I would say the speaker sounds good but not extraordinary. It’s powerful enough to produce decent lows without sacrificing clarity and other frequencies. However, you might get that extra thump especially with today’s bass and drum machines. This is handy when you’re outdoors but it can muddy up the vocals and mids. Highs are sometimes lost when listening at high volume. Overall, music is fine when you’re between 40 and 70 percent volume.
So, is the Sonos Move worth it? Ultimately, it depends on what type of listener you are. If you’re mostly listening in your room and you want the surround experience, the Sonos One or the One SL might be the one (no, pun intended) for you as they offer more bang for the buck. However, if you want to party out in the yard with friends, then this device got you covered.
It’s a great speaker but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. In that regard, you might want to consider other Bluetooth speakers from JBL and UE. Overall, I would recommend the Sonos Move if you’re already committed to the Sonos ecosystem or you’re looking to go all-in sometime in the future.
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