Sonos Move review: A superb smart wireless speaker

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Sonos is one of the most popular brands in the world of wireless speakers. That's because they offer excellent audio quality and can work together to fill your entire house with music, using easy to set up wireless connections between them. If you're looking for a way to listen to the same favorite song in your living room, as well as in your kitchen, a mesh of Sonos speakers is probably what you'll want. For the last few weeks, we've tested and used the first Sonos portable speaker, namely the Sonos Move. It promises to deliver the same amazing sound and easy user experience, and it allows you to take it out with you, wherever you go. Are you curious to discover more about Sonos Move's features and audio quality? Read this review:

Sony Move: Who is it good for?

The Sonos Move is an excellent wireless speaker for you, if:

  • You long for a wireless speaker of high quality and with premium sound
  • You want to enter the Sonos ecosystem, or you're already a part of it
  • Money is not an issue for you

Where To Buy

Pros and cons

Here are the pros of the Sonos Move:

  • Premium audio quality with rich sound
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • High-quality build and pleasant design
  • The Sonos app is easy to set up and use
  • Support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Good battery life, relatively fast charging, and a neat charging base
  • Dust and water resistance
  • TruePlay automatic sound calibration

There are a few downsides too with the Sonos Move:

  • Somewhat large and heavy, it is not as portable as you'd think
  • Uses Bluetooth 4.2 and can't connect to multiple devices in this mode
  • It costs more than other speakers with similar features
Product Rated
4/5

Verdict

The Sonos Move is an outstanding wireless smart speaker that managed to impress us. It delivers premium audio quality thanks to its first-class drivers (woofer and tweeter), and also due to the automatic TruePlay sound calibration. Sonos Move looks great, it's extremely easy to set up, and the Sonos app can integrate with about any music streaming service you might think of. The charging cradle is a nice touch, making it easy to take the speaker out when you need to work or just chill outside your house, and the Wi-Fi connectivity is excellent. Furthermore, switching to Bluetooth offers the same great sound quality, although it disables the smart Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa features. We loved the Sonos Move and we do recommend it to anyone who's looking for a top-notch smart wireless speaker to use in their homes and around them, and who can also afford its premium price.

Unboxing the Sonos Move

The Sonos Move comes in a rather large and heavy box considering the fact that this is a portable speaker. The box is made of high-quality cardboard and, depending on the color edition you get, the main colors used on it are either black or white. On its sides, the package features large images of the Sonos Move speaker inside, showcasing things like its charging base and built-in handlebar.

What the boxes of Sonos Move speakers look like

Inside the box, everything is neatly packed and protected by additional cardboard pieces. Taking everything out, you get to see what you've spent your money on: the Sonos Move portable speaker, the charging base, and a textile pouch. You also find the quick start guide and warranty documents.

Sonos Move: What's inside the box

Unboxing the Sonos Move is a premium and satisfying experience. Everything screams high-quality, and together with the portable speaker, you also get a charging base instead of just a regular power cord, and also a textile bag for carrying and protecting it.

Hardware specifications and design

When we saw the large box of the Sonos Move, we expected the speaker to be large, but we didn't quite understand how big this device actually is. It's larger and heavier than most wireless speakers that you'd call "portable." To be exact, the Sonos Move is 9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96 inches (240 x 160 x 126 millimeters) in height x width x depth and it weighs 6.61 lb (3 kg).

The Sonos Move and its charging base

The Sonos Move is a beautiful device with a rather minimalistic design. Its shape is that of a large elliptical cylinder and it's wrapped in a metallic grille. The top, bottom, and back of the Sonos Move are made of rubberized plastic that's soft to the touch and looks like it can handle superficial scratches without getting permanent marks.

A Sonos Move speaker taken out of its charging cradle

On the top of the Sonos Move, there's a panel that holds a series of touch controls to turn the volume up and down, play and pause the music, as well as mute the microphone. These controls also support slide gestures for skipping tracks. A small LED light is used to show you whether the speaker is on or off, to signal if the microphone is muted, and also to indicate when voice feedback is received.

The top of the Sonos Move with the touch controls, microphones, and LED indicator

Move is Sonos' first-ever portable speaker and, getting into this line of products meant that the company also paid great attention to durability. Sonos Move holds a certification for IP56 (Ingress Protection 56), which means that it's both dust and water protected. Ingress of dust is not completely stopped, but it can't enter the device in such high amounts that it would affect its operations. While the speaker can withstand powerful water jets coming from any direction: it can't survive a plunge in the pool. It can also handle rain without any issues.

Moving on to the sound quality, the Sonos Move boasts some impressive specs. According to its official webpage, Move has two Class-D amplifiers, which means lower power dissipation, less heat, and more battery life than Class-A or Class-B amplifiers can usually offer. Furthermore, the amplifiers used are also digital, so the audio quality delivered should be first-class. As for the drivers, Sonos Move uses one tweeter and one mid-woofer. The tweeter sends sounds downwards to create a wide soundstage, while the mid-woofer is designed to handle both mid-range frequencies and low frequencies (bass).

A perspective of the Sonos Move seated on the charging plate

The wireless connectivity of the Sonos Move is handled by a Wi-Fi chip that supports the 802.11 b/g/n standards on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. Also, if Wi-Fi is not available, Move can use Bluetooth 4.2 to connect to any streaming device (like your smartphone). It's also worth noting that switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth is very easy. On the back of the speaker, between the power and setup buttons, there's another thin button that, when pressed, instantly changes the wireless operating mode of the Move.

The back of the Sonos Move

The battery inside the Sonos Move has a capacity of 36 WH that offers an autonomy of up to 10 hours when fully charged. The good news is that the speaker can also be charged via a USB-C port found on its back, not just its charging base. In other words, if you take it outside and run out of battery, you can use any USB-C adapter to charge it on the go.

The Sonos Move looks good and durable thanks to its beautiful design and high-quality materials. It's definitely a well-built device that should last for a long time. Looking at its specs, we were impressed by what it has to offer, both in terms of audio quality, as well as connectivity options.

Using the Sonos Move

The first thing that captured my attention when I got the Sonos Move for testing was how large and heavy it is. This is not a portable speaker for the faint of heart. It's bigger than you'd expect and, although you can take it outside with you, its sheer weight (3 kg) makes it a tough choice for the great outdoors. I did take it out in the garden, and I would take it on a car trip, but there's no way I would dare to carry it on a hike on foot.

Taking the Sonos Move by its handle

The Sonos Move didn't have a hard time impressing me, my family, and my friends with its audio quality. The music coming out of its woofer and tweeter sounds so good that, to be honest, since I got it, I have practically never turned it off. Furthermore, I had two Sonos Move speakers for testing, and I used both of them daily to fill all the rooms of my apartment with music. The Sonos Move manages to deliver not just great mid-range and high frequencies, but also excellent lows, resulting in a deep, warm, and clear sound, no matter what your choices in music are. I mostly listen to metal music, but also dab into electronic and trip-hop, and take my regular daily dose of classical tunes. The Sonos Move didn't disappoint in any of these genres.

A look at the Sonos Move

As I've mentioned earlier, we received two Sonos Move speakers. Setting them up was unexpectedly easy, via the Sonos app, which is available both in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. As I've never used any Sonos devices before, I had to create an account with them. Then, all it took was a few taps in the app and a push of a button on the speakers to connect them to my Wi-Fi network and both speakers were up and running in no time. It's a straightforward process that left me with a good impression.

The Sonos app was not what I expected, and I say that in a good sense. It's designed not only to set up the speakers, but also to integrate with a huge range of music streaming services. That includes Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and almost any other service you might think of. It can even read your local music library and play your songs, without having to switch to other apps. After a couple of days, I noticed that I became so accustomed to using the Sonos app that I didn't even think of opening Spotify or my smartphone's default music app.

Setting up the Sonos app on an Android smartphone

Going back to the speakers themselves, I really appreciated Sonos' approach to charging them. Unlike most portable speakers out there, you don't have to plug a cable into the Sonos Move to charge it, although you can, if you want to. :) Instead of relying on a USB cable, the Move sits on a charging base. The electrical power is delivered via two contact pins on the base, which align perfectly with the pins found on the back of the speaker. In some way, it's similar to how you use a wireless charging plate for your smartphone.

The contact pins and USB-C port on the base of the Sonos Move

In my experience, the Sonos Move really did last for about 10 hours and even more on a full battery charge. However, I didn't use the speaker at full volume because it's loud and powerful. At maximum volume, the autonomy is probably shorter. On the other hand, fully charging the battery doesn't take long when you use the included charging base: about three hours, maybe less.

I'd also like to say a few things about the automatic TruePlay feature of the Sonos Move because it's something that makes the speaker even better. The Move has some built-in microphones that can pick up information on how the music sounds. Depending on the surroundings of the speaker, the sound can change significantly. TruePlay automatically adjusts its output so that it sounds just as great regardless of the environment, no matter whether you put the speaker: in a closet, near a wall, on a table, or on a picnic table in your garden. Alas, TruePlay only works when you're using the Sonos Move in wireless mode; in Bluetooth mode, it is not available.

Two Sonos Move speakers

Finally, let's talk about talking - with the Sonos Move, of course. :) Why? Because the Sonos Move is also a smart speaker that can use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Sadly, the features available in our country - Romania - are limited, but that's not because of Sonos, it's because of Google and Amazon. I tried the Google Assistant with the Sonos Move and must say that all the basics, like telling it to turn the volume up or down, skip a song, or even load another playlist, worked pretty well. Most of the time, the speaker's microphone captures voice accurately, even if the music playing on it is at a high volume.

To wrap it up, the Sonos Move is one of the best wireless speakers I've used. Not only does it deliver excellent sound quality, but it's also easy to set up, and the fact that the Sonos app integrates with so many music streaming services is great. I believe that it's an excellent choice for anyone who wants to fill his or her house and garden with high-quality sound. When it comes to portability, the Sonos Move is more of a party speaker, rather than an easy-to-carry boombox that you take on hikes.

What's your opinion about the Sonos Move?

Now you know more about the Sonos Move, what makes it great and what's a bit heavy. :) I found it to be an excellent wireless speaker, and I like it a lot. However, it's not a device for everybody. It's quite expensive, and, depending on what you're looking for, there might be other options available on the market. Before closing this review, tell us your opinion: Would you buy the Sonos Move? Share your insights about it in the comments section below.