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Sonos Move review

The Sonos Move makes portable smart speaker audio better looking and greater quality than ever

Sonos Move Review
(Image: © Future)

Our 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.

For

  • Super auto-calibrated sound
  • Battery powered
  • Google Assistant and Alexa
  • IP56 weather rated
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Against

  • Expensive
  • No aptX support

The Sonos Move could be the best smart speaker money can buy because it doesn't compromise, giving you everything all in one portable, smart super speaker.

Sonos Move: What you need to know

  • $399 price
  • Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Works anywhere

The Sonos Move might not be cheap, at $399, but that's because you get everything all in one portable unit. This is a battery powered smart speaker that you can take anywhere, even outside thanks to IP56 weatherproofing.

The speaker is nice and minimal in terms of design and transportability. When you do place it down you won't need buttons as this is well stocked with smart assistants, both Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are onboard for you to pick from.  This makes it perfect for smart home controls as well any questions you may have and - of course - for controlling the speaker itself, which is auto-calibrated. But more on that below.

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Sonos Move Review

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Sonos Move: Design and build

  • 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: 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: 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. 

Should I buy the Sonos Move?

The Sonos Move is expensive but for that money you get a portable speaker that sounds far superior to most others and offers smart assistant connectivity from multiple providers. With that TruePlay adaptive audio you can enjoy the powerful yet balanced sound anywhere. Also, if you want to add this to your multi-room system it plays nice with all other Sonos devices too.

The downside, other than price, is that perhaps the Apple HomePod sounds a little better - but we're being picky here and that is limited to Apple users and isn't portable or weather-resistant. 

Sonos Move: Verdict

If you want a portable smart speaker that doesn't compromise on sound quality then the highly priced 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.

This is one of the best smart speakers out there, let alone best portable ones. This is hard to fault and if you have the budget it's well worth the price.