Sonos has been in the multi-room wireless speaker market for many years. But he still hadn't decided to launch a speaker that we could use outside the home. Until now. The new Sonos Move is the most versatile speaker from the well-known manufacturer so far. It is a WiFi speaker with similar characteristics to those offered by the rest of the brand's speakers, but includes a battery and a Bluetooth connection.to be able to use it outside the home. Perhaps one of the reasons why Sonos had not decided to launch a Bluetooth speaker was the sound quality. The American manufacturer has always sought to offer a lot of audio quality in its speakers and Bluetooth is not the best way to obtain it. So you may wonder why it has now launched a speaker with these characteristics. Maybe it's because the Sonos Move is not just any Bluetooth speaker. It is not a speaker that has been created to always be carried in our backpack with us. Rather, it offers us the possibility of moving it around the house, taking it out to the terrace if we are going to have a meeting with friends or bringing it closer to the pool if we want to listen to music while we go. It can also be a great ally at a party that we have in the country or on the beach, for example.
I have had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks with the Sonos Move and I am going to tell you what I think. Throughout the analysis you will surely understand why I say that we are not facing the typical Bluetooth speaker. I can tell you that the idea of Sonos seemed really good to me .
Sonos Move datasheet
|Audio||Two Class D digital amplifiers, integrated midrange speaker, tweeter|
|Design||Rounded, black with black grille|
|Driving||Top panel touch buttons, Sonos app|
|Wifi||802.11n in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, AirPlay 2|
|Connections||USB-C for charging|
|Battery||Yes. Autonomy of up to 10 hours per charge|
|Dimensions||240 × 160 × 126 mm|
Premium design to go where no other Sonos speaker has gone
Sonos could have released a battery-powered version of the Sonos One and most of us would have thought it right. But the North American manufacturer has preferred to make a speaker with its own design . The Sonos Move follows the design line of the rest of the brand's speakers, but has enough detail to be perfectly identifiable.
For example, at 24 centimeters high, it is taller than the aforementioned Sonos One. It is also considerably heavier, since it reaches the not inconsiderable 3 kg . And that's the first thing that catches the eye of the Sonos Move out of the box. Its weight makes it clear that we are not dealing with a speaker designed to be packed into a suitcase and taken on a trip.
As I anticipated before, the idea of Sonos seems to be that the Move becomes a speaker that we can carry from one side of the house to another without worrying about electrical power . And the truth is that in the days that I have had it I have been able to verify the comfort it offers. With the heat that continues, I have been able to take it out to the terrace for breakfast or lunch with my favorite music. I have also been able to take it to the kitchen while preparing food and even to the bathroom to listen to music while taking a shower.
Regarding the latter, don't worry, humidity doesn't affect it. The Sonos Move is IP56 certified , which means it is resistant to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, extreme heat and cold. In addition, Sonos ensures that we are facing a very resistant speaker . According to the manufacturer, the Move components are protected by a shock-resistant outer structure that will protect the speaker from slight drops. This I have not tested, for obvious reasons.
In terms of appearance, it has slightly rounded sides and an acoustic metal grill that runs almost the entire perimeter of the speaker . At the bottom is where we have a part without a grid, covered with rubber. It is in the upper area of the grid where we find the Sonos logo, in a vertical position and in white. The speaker is completely black, both the top and the grille and even the charging base.
As is usual in manufacturer's devices, at the top we have a panel with touch controls . There are only four: the two for volume, the Play / Pause and a control to enable or disable the microphones. Some microphones that we also have placed in the upper part, where we see 6 small holes. The speaker actually has 4 microphones , but Sonos has done 3 on each side for aesthetic reasons.
It is perhaps in the back where we will notice the most differences compared to the Sonos WiFi-only models. In the upper part of the device we have a kind of hole designed so that we can put our fingers and take the speaker . Under this kind of "handle" there are three buttons. The first is used to turn the speaker on and off. As for the central button, it is used to switch between WiFi mode and Bluetooth mode. Finally, the bottom button is used to start the speaker setup.
Also on the back we can see a USB Type C connector . This will allow us to charge the speaker using a USB-C charger. However, the adapter must be compatible with one or more of the following types of output: 12 V / 3 A, 15 V / 3 A and 20 V / 2.25 A.
Finally, the Sonos Move comes with a charging base that will allow us not to have to connect a charger . It is a small cylinder, made of plastic, on which we will put the speaker when we want to load it. For this, both the speaker and the base have a kind of connector at the bottom. Once placed, we will know that it is charging because a red light will turn on on the front of the speaker. A system that I have found very comfortable.
Features and operation: a totally wireless Sonos
The Sonos Move comes with two main features that differentiate it from its range siblings: Bluetooth connectivity and battery. As for Bluetooth, it supports the standard AAC and SBC codecs, although it does not have aptX or aptX HD . It is a real shame, since there are many mobiles that already have this protocol for a higher quality Bluetooth transmission.
As for the battery, Sonos ensures that a full charge gives us around 10 hours of playback . And I can tell you that it is a fact that is quite close to reality. Of course, the load is not excessively fast. We will need about three hours to fully charge it if we run out of it completely.
As a curiosity I wanted to comment that Sonos has designed the Move in such a way that it is possible to change the battery of the speaker . It is not that we are going to have to do it in the short term, but it is a very interesting feature for when the years go by and the performance of the battery drops. According to the manufacturer, this shouldn't happen for 3 years or 900 charges.
In fact, we can do the battery change ourselves . All we will have to do is remove a rubber strip that the device has on the bottom, remove a couple of screws and change the battery.
If we leave aside its two new features, we find a WiFi speaker with multiroom technology from the Sonos brand. I mean by this that we have all the features that its brothers offer, such as access to more than 30 streaming music services or full compatibility with Apple's Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2 . In fact, to carry out the initial configuration we will need the Sonos app.
By using the speaker over WiFi we can combine two Move speakers and enjoy stereo sound . However, the Sonos Move cannot be used as a rear speaker for our Sonos home theater system and the Sonos Sub cannot be added to it. This is due to its portable nature, since if it is “linked” with, for example, the Sub, the music playback would not be correct when we take it to another room.
What we can do is pair it with other Sonos speakers. If we have another speaker from the manufacturer we can make the same song sound on both speakers (on all that we have).
Sound quality: the Sonos Move doesn't sound like a portable speaker
If you usually use Bluetooth speakers, you will know that the vast majority do not offer much audio quality. The Sonos Move offers acoustic performance more similar to that of WiFi speakers . If we are based on the Sonos range itself, we could say that it is halfway between the Sonos One and the Sonos Play: 5, although closer to the former.
The Sonos Move offers a full-bodied sound, with a punchy low end but without losing vocal clarity . We have good proof of this when we try the song “Acapella” by Kelis, a song with very powerful bass and a very clear voice that the Move reproduces perfectly.
It sounds just as forceful with less “sugary” songs, like “This Life” by Vampire Weekend. In this song we observe a vibrant sound, with a forceful bass and a very wide soundstage .
The Sonos Move is also very capable when we turn up the volume. At high levels, necessary for, for example, a garden party, it maintains the sound quality, without any distortion . And I already tell you that the speaker has enough power.
To help sound just as good in any situation, the Sonos Move includes the Trueplay system . Sonos automatic calibration technology, also built into speakers like the Sonos Play: 5, optimizes sound performance based on the speaker environment.
As it does? To achieve this, it uses the microphones on the top to measure the frequency response of its surroundings. Every time we move the speaker, the TruePlay system takes a measurement and self-calibrates to deliver the best sonic performance . It takes about 20 seconds to adapt the sound and the truth is that it is quite noticeable. Especially if, for example, we go from having it on a shelf to a more "open" area.
In addition, as I said, the system is fully automatic. Of course, we must keep the microphones active for it to work. And another thing, it only works when the speaker is connected by WiFi . In the case of connecting by Bluetooth we will not have it available.
Conclusions and price
Sonos has been a long time to enter the portable speaker market, but it has come through the big door. The Sonos Move is a very versatile speaker, capable of offering high quality audio anywhere in the house .
Although it is not a speaker designed to always carry it with us, the possibility of moving it comfortably from one part of the house to another is really interesting. It will no longer be necessary to fill the house with speakers. Also, if we go to a friend's house or are going to have a party somewhere, we can take it with us without any problem.
To all the aforementioned we must add that we are facing a smart speaker. It has Amazon Alexa integrated , so we can use it as if it were an Amazon Echo. In addition to controlling the speaker itself with your voice, we will have all the functions that the Amazon assistant provides us.
Its weakest point is, perhaps, the price. The Sonos Move is on sale with an official price of 400 euros . It is a high price yes, but the truth is that what the Sonos Move offers makes up for it.