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Review: Sonos First Portable Speaker, Move

We review Sonos' first portable speaker, Move, which packs a big punch, has great features and is easy to use.
Sonos Move Black Table

Sonos is best known for their in home speaker systems that connect into a place of living and create an immersive speaker system. The speakers thus far have all been wired and connected to Wi-Fi, which is better for sound quality and means you don’t have to constantly charge your speaker – it is plugged in to start. That has been a calling card for them since the beginning, but things are changing. Sonos has built all manner of speakers from long speaker bars to compact rounded speakers like the One. In September, they released their first truly portable speaker, Move, which can connect via Bluetooth or WiFi and is battery powered to take on the go. We go into what the speaker is like, how it sounds and if it is worth your cash.

What Is It?

The Sonos Move is the first portable speaker from Sonos. It runs on a rechargeable battery that charges quite quickly. It weights 3kg (6.6 pounds) and has dimensions of 9.44 height x 6.29 weight x 4.96 depth inches. It connects via WiFi, but it can also connect via Bluetooth when not near a WiFi source.

How Does It Look?

It looks good! It is sleek and has the quality of both blending in and standing out. The black color looks clean and makes it fit into any home décor. It isn’t super large, but does have enough power to push out some sound. The speaker also comes in white, but I only tested the black one. The black is designed to not overheat when sitting out in the sun.

Sonos Move White

How Does It Sound?

The main thing you want to know with a speaker is how it sounds – or at least that should be the main component. The speaker does sound very good. It has a feature, auto tune, which syncs up the speaker to the space it is in, whether it is outdoors or in your bedroom. This is done automatically when it is sitting in a room for 15 seconds. The speaker is best suited for songs with lots of mids. Deep bass doesn’t cut through as well on a production speaker system, but you can still feel very good bass coming from the speaker. It has more bass than the One or many other Sonos speakers, and especially portable ones. It sounds good with the highs and doesn’t leave any sound flat or tinny.

How Practical Is It?

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The move is very practical in that it combines big sound with a speaker that doesn’t need a forklift to carry around. It has a spot in the back that you can grab like a handle, making it easy to carry around. 3kg may not sound like much, but it isn’t super light. Your 10-year-old cousin may struggle to carry this around.

Otherwise, it is great to bring outside or into a new room. It is useful as a speaker on your bedside table if you don’t want to play music from the big speakers in your room or don’t want to get up to plug a device in. You can also put it in your bed as you lie down to listen to music without pushing too much sound to other rooms. It can also be paired with other Sonos speakers, so you can move the Move around to best get great surround sound in the room. It can’t create official stereo sound with other Sonos speakers, but if you have a speaker under your television, you can put the move behind you and get hit with a wall of literally surround sound.

Since this is built like a traditional speaker to create a better sounding product, it will have a forward facing side and a backside where the handle is and power and sync buttons are. This means that the sound comes from the front side where the speaker is, though you can still hear music behind the Move. This is good if you want to set it in a corner and don’t want the noise to bother a neighbor, whether inside or outside. Unlike many small portable speakers, this can actually put out good sound for a backyard or pool party. It comes with a cloth carrying pouch for when you want to take this on the go. The Move has extra range on wireless connectivity, so if you near your house, it will be able to play via WiFi, which is preferred for sound quality.

It has up to 10 hours of batter life when in use, though I m not sure I was able to get the full 10. It does last longer then most portable speakers. It charges quite quickly and the charging rack has a long chord. In suspend mode (when it isn’t in use), it can last up to 120 hours. If you don’t have the dock, it also charges via USB-C.

Sonos Move Bag

It has Google Assistant and Alexa built in, so you can ditch their smart speakers for the Sonos speaker that is actually good at playing music, not just harvesting your data. You can also turn off voice command if you don’t want to have Sonos listening in. It has a button to switch from Wifi to Bluetooth, allowing you to pair with a Bluetooth device, in addition to buttons on the top to change volume, turn off the voice command or play / pause the music.

It is dust resistant, splash proof and shock resistant for when a drunk person knocks it over. The base is made of rubber, so it doesn’t slide around a lot.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to portable speakers, the vast majority are overpriced, don’t have amazing sound or are there to first provide functions like voice command. The Sonos Move is a speaker first and everything else second. It sounds good, feels good and is practical. It is bigger than the One and is actually portable anywhere. It sits in between the One and the Play 5, but it comes with important and practical portability. $399 may be a bit pricey for some, but the value is there. Get yours on the Sonos website.

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