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Sonos Move review

The Sonos Move is a great smart speaker option for anyone that wants true battery-powered portability.

Sonos Move Review
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Sonos Move is the make-no-compromise speaker offering smart assistants, battery-powered outdoor use, waterproofing, great auto-calibrating sound and multi-room support.

Pros

  • +

    Super auto-calibrated sound

  • +

    Battery powered

  • +

    Google Assistant and Alexa

  • +

    IP56 weather rated

  • +

    Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    No aptX support

Sonos is already all about getting speakers all over the home for total audio coverage and easy controls – but with the Sonos Move, it takes that further. That's why this is one of the best smart speakers out there right now. The Sonos Move offers great audio and smart speaker voice controls while also packing in – rather rarely – a battery and IP56 waterproofing to let you move it where you want. So for an occasional outdoor speaker, say at a party or grill-out, this is a fantastic option.

You can pick between Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant for your voice controls. Your commands are picked up well using the smart noise-canceling microphones and audio playback is intelligently and automatically adjusted to suit the environment you place the speaker in. You also have both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, making it a great option if you want to go down the yard where you're out of WiFi range. 

The speaker itself looks sleek, minimal and well designed while the audio, thanks to dual Class-D amps, is well balanced with powerful bass, crisp mids and punchy treble. So, this is a smart speaker with no compromises. The result is that it's not cheap, but we think it's worth every cent.

Sonos Move: Design

  • Two Class-D amps
  • Far-field noise cancelling mics
  • IP56 weather resistant

The Sonos Move looks great, a near seamless rounded speaker that tapers in at the bottom for a refined finish. On the rear the body curves in making it handle-like and easy to carry despite the 6.6lbs (3kg) weight of this 9.45-inches (24cm) high speaker.

The Move packs in WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.2 along with a six piece microphone array to hear voice commands. Below the rear button is a row of three buttons for power and suspend battery saving mode, WiFi and Bluetooth switching, and a network connection button. On top are touch controls for play, pause, skip and volume as well as mute for the microphone.

The IP56 rating means this is built to withstand water, dust and shock from drops and knocks plus even UV resistance. The battery should be good for 10 hours of use per charge. The included charging base means you just pop the speaker down and it'll start recharging automatically. 

Inside the silicone rubber covered bottom section is the down-firing tweeter and new wave guide. There is also a mid-bass driver and dual Class-D amplifiers. 

Sonos Move Review

(Image credit: Future)

Sonos Move: Features

  • AirPlay 2 support
  • Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Multi-room support

The Sonos Move comes packing dual smart assistants so that it should be able to control most smart home devices. It also means you can use the one that best suits what you're used to, be it Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. This means not only control of the speaker and the ability to have questions answered, but also the ability to control the smart home gadgets you have.

Support is broad with WiFi 2.4GHz and 5GHz as well as Bluetooth 4.2, but this won't playback aptX quality unfortunately, limited to AAC and SBC for Bluetooth. But for WiFi you will be able to use AirPlay 2, making it great for Apple users. Everyone else can enjoy it too with great support for Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Music and Apple Music too.

Sonos is all about multi-room, so you're able to combine speakers to create a stereo pair. Or place the speakers, if you have multiple, in different rooms to enjoy the same audio through the house or different songs in different rooms - cleverly all from one Spotify account.

Sonos Move Review

(Image credit: Future)

Sonos Move: Performance

  • TruePlay tuning
  • Solid bass
  • Excellent voice pickup

Wherever you take the Sonos Move it will adapt its impressive audio array to create the best sound for that space, this tech is called TruePlay. It uses its microphones to calibrate the audio output and is activated whenever the speaker is placed down, having been moved and detected by the accelerometer. This takes around 30-seconds to calibrate although it will continuously refine the sound when the speaker is stationary too. So when you move outside, for example, you'll notice the sonic presentation open right up while it also keeps the balance and clarity you enjoyed indoors. 

Expect a depth of bass that gives a solid feel to audio which is also tonally even. The Class-D drivers allow for plenty of power to fill any space while the upper limits remain composed with no distortion - making this ideal for outdoor parties. This applies to both WiFi and Bluetooth playback.

WiFi uses four antennas so expect to get a good connection even when far away from the router. While Bluetooth is 4.2 rather than the newer 5.0 version, this was a conscious choice by Sonos which says it means battery life can be extended further. 

The microphones work very well for picking up audio commands. Even if the room is noisy or the speaker is playing loudly, you'll be heard to issue your next request. 

Sonos Move Review

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Sonos Move?

The Sonos Move is a powerful, attractive, multi smart assistant speaker which offers waterproofing and battery power to be used anywhere you need. It's not cheap but for a compromise-free option, we think this is worth the price. 

If you want a portable smart speaker that doesn't compromise on sound quality then the Sonos Move is for you. It'll let you control your smarthome, carry out vocal command requests and do it all wherever you place it while resisting the weather too.

If this product isn't for you

If you're on team Apple and want a Siri-based smart speaker then look no further than the Apple HomePod. Sure, you're limited to the Apple ecosystem more than other smart speakers but if that and the price aren't an issue, you're getting a serious setup here. Not only does this look fantastic but the audio performance is superb and voice recognition works fantastically. 

If you want to use the Google Assistant and don't want to break the bank then the Google Nest Audio is a great option. This well designed smart speaker fits into any room's decor well, while the far-field microphones make for excellent voice recognition and controls, even in larger and noisier spaces. The audio isn't the best but for the price this does offer a lot.

As one of the most affordable smart speakers out there, the Amazon Echo Dot really does offer a lot for the price. It's not going to sound as good as more expensive speakers but it still offers loud sound and superb voice recognition. You don't get Zigbee on here but can still control the smart home well using that Alexa smart assistant. A top affordable choice for filling your home with smart speakers.

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.