Numerous speaker brands compete for the press release spotlight several times every year, but Sonos isn’t one of them. Known for its premium line of speakers, Sonos likes to launch products that can last multiple years, which is why you usually have to wait a while for a successor. The first-gen Sonos Move is a good example as it launched back in 2019 as the company’s first-ever “portable” speaker and it had a hefty $399 USD price tag to boot. Paying a heavy price for a rather heavy speaker wasn’t convincing enough for some buyers despite its impressive audio quality. Now the Sonos Move 2 is here and it’s still heavy and commanding an even higher $449US/$559CAD price. Did Sonos make the right move? In this review I’ll test out the new Sonos Move 2, see what’s new and different, how it sounds, and if overall I think it’s a good speaker for you.
Sonos Move 2 speaker
The Sonos Move 2 Is a high-quality portable speaker that sounds great, and doubles as a power bank. If you have the patience for a finicky set-up, check this one out.
- Great battery life
- Outstanding sound quality
- Integrates into smart home easily
- Stereo playback
- Can be used as a powerbank
- App tends to be buggy
- Setup can be tricky
What is Sonos Move 2?
The Sonos Move 2 is a pretty large but portable speaker offering both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Most of the speakers in the Sonos lineup only support Wi-Fi making the Move 2 one of the few options to consider if you really need to use it away from Wi-Fi.
Just keep the 6.61-pound weight in mind because this is likely a speaker you may only want to move around in the house or out to the yard which could be a good thing if you can’t put a Sonos Era 100 or 300 in every room. Under its dust and water-resistant housing lies some sophisticated speaker tech. It even has Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant functionality baked in.
The speaker is IP56 rated against water and dirt getting inside; which is generally pretty reliable (IP56 means protection from harmful deposits of dust and protection from heavy seas or strong jets of water from all directions).
Just like the original Move, there are touch controls on the top, a good sized inset handle at the back, and the Move 2 is drop-resistant.
What has improved over Sonos Move Gen 1?
Although the Sonos Move 2 looks similar to its predecessor, the company really took its time making quite a few improvements and changes.
- Stereo playback
- Longer battery life (twice as long)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Powerbank support
- Smarter touch controls
- Higher price
For starters, Sonos Move 2 supports stereo playback and even with its tall profile, I noticed the stereo separation and extra audio detail when playing back music.
The Move 2 also comes with larger battery along with some power efficiency improvements allowing the speaker to continuously play back audio all day (as in 24 hours). That is double the battery life of the older model (just 11 hours of battery on original Move) and it really opens a use case for using the speaker outdoors. In fact, the Sonos Move 2 sounds really good as an indoor or outdoor speaker.
Bluetooth 5.0 finally hits the Sonos Move 2 which gives the speaker the ability to stream Bluetooth audio to other Sonos Bluetooth speakers like the Sonos Era 100 and 300. If you decide to get a pair of Sonos Move 2 speakers, you may also pair them to form a set-up with real stereo separation.
The USB-C port found on the back of the Sonos Move 2 charging base remains the lone option for a physical connection, but it comes with some extra improvements. The port supports the $19 USD Sonos Line-In Adapter allowing older devices such as turntables to plug into the speaker. It might not sound like a huge feature but that single physical connection serves as an entry point to the entire Sonos speaker system thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity. If you have the Sonos Combo Adapter, you can connect the speaker to your router via Ethernet cable which is good if you plan on playing back lossless music.
The USB-C port can also now charge other devices effectively making the Sonos Move 2 a pretty massive powerbank.
The touch controls on the Move 2 have also been improved (slightly) with a grooved volume slider now resting across the top of the speaker.
What’s in the Box?
There’s only two things in the box: The Sonos Move 2 speaker is your main component and it comes with a narrow, ring-shaped charging base and a 6-foot USB-C to C cable. The inclusion of a 45-watt power adapter with power delivery support is a nice bonus. The rear of the speaker features a power button, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggle switch and Bluetooth pairing button. You can find the playback controls on top.
I was dreading setting up my Sonos speakers because pretty much every time I have reviewed a speaker made by Sonos, it’s been an hours long ordeal of error messages and false starts. I was hoping that since it’s been a few years since my last Sonos speaker review that things would have greatly improved. I was a little disheartened to find that’s not the case.
For starters it’s not intuitive how to set up your product. If you don’t get a pop-up notification on the main screen, you need to go into Settings, System and choose Add Product.
There’s also no good way to manage your products on the app in one place. Sonos likes to organize them by room, and you can’t simply view all of your speakers at once anywhere in the app except in the system settings. I would love to be able to quickly group them or tap on a single speaker to make adjustments, but I just can’t see how it’s possible in the Sonos app (though you can access groupings if you use Sonos speakers with Apple AirPlay).
I kept getting error messages from the app so I decided to delete and reinstall it. Unfortunately that didn’t help and I continued to get random and unexplainable app error messages.
When the Era 300 speaker wouldn’t connect I decided to move on and set up the Sonos Move 2. Fortunately that speaker seemed to work perfectly and it was set up in just a moment or two.
I hit a snag though when I opted to enable the TruePlay tuning. Despite getting the pop up and being encouraged to set it up, when I would click the button to enable TruePlay, nothing would happen. Growing frustrated with that I gave up and decided to do some thing else.
A day or two later, I decided to retry the Era 300. Fortunately this time it worked Finally I was able to see all my speakers in the app at the same time. I tried playing music to the Era 300 first was rewarded with crystal clear audio. I then gradually added my Sonos Beam and the Move 2 and finally, more than an hour after I started set up, I was able to listen to music on all my speakers at once.
It’s hard to say if the problems I have experienced over the years are due to my homes Wi-Fi system or to a bug within the Sonos app; and since every other smart home device I’ve set up seems to operate on my network easily, I’m leaning towards pointing the finger at Sonos here.
The bottom line, in my experience it will take you anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours to get your system online. Make sure you set up enough time to deal with it and you absolutely have to be persistent.
It’s a good thing there’s quite a rich reward following the gruelling setup process. Right from the first notes out of each speaker, it’s clear to see the sound quality is outstanding. I think this is why Sonos continues to dominate the market; because each of its speakers sound light-years better than its competition. And if you’ve been using smaller portable Bluetooth speakers for your home audio, switching to Sonos will be like the first time you see the difference in HD an 4K resolution TV: mind-blowing.
Sonos Move 2 is easily the sweetest-sounding portable speaker you’ll ever find. The delicacy of sound it brings into the home is bar-none. With clear, sharp highs, a wide mid-range and resonant bass, every not that comes from Move 2 is a gift. True play tuning also purport to fine-tune the sound to your specific space; in my experience I don’t personally notice a difference with this feature on or off, but if others out there do, I’d love to hear more about it. Even so, I am not going to knock on this feature too hard since in my opinion it’s just not necessary because the Move 2 sounds gorgeous no matter where I brought it in my home or yard.
The speaker is able to fill a room or outdoor space also; it gets plenty loud and you can easily control the volume level using the aforementioned Touch Bar on the speaker, using your phone, or the Sonos app, as well as voice control.
I was able to connect my Sonos app to both Google and Alexa and ??
What Else Makes Sonos Move 2 Unique?
The Sonos Move 2 is one of the few portable speakers featuring a user-replaceable battery. You do need to buy a special Sonos Move replacement battery kit which comes with a spare battery but it’s a great feature to have since you can charge other devices using its large 44Wh battery.
You can also treat the Move 2 as a smart speaker thanks to the built-in mic and you can either choose Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Control as your smart assistant. The built-in microphone also works with the Sonos Trueplay feature which helps tweak the sound settings based on the room’s characteristics.
Overall review: Sonos Move 2
Overall, the improvements in the Sonos Move 2 do make it a better choice and a worthy upgrade from the original Move, particularly if you do like to use your Move off its charging base.
On the pro side, you’ve got more than double the battery life when using your speaker outdoors or on the road. The sound quality remains outstanding, and the speaker can integrate into your larger smart home. It’s also got optional voice control by linking to Google or Alexa. Stereo playback will be a huge deal for some music lovers, and the option to use your speaker as a recharging device is handy if you are camping or tailgating.
So what are the downsides? The speaker remains extremely weighty; much heavier than a portable speaker deserves to be. With that said, the carrying handle does make lugging easier. I still experience massive troubles during set up and find the app can be buggy. But if you can live with a longer than average set up and the occasional glitch within the app, I can absolutely recommend the Sonos Move 2.
With Sonos still selling the Sonos Move Gen 1 at the time of writing, the lower asking price might be tempting especially if you plan on buying two of them. But even with the $50 price increase, the big improvements of the Move 2 simply make it the better long-term choice. The stereo quality is stellar considering the speaker’s size. If you are in the market for a big, portable speaker with good battery life, get this one. It could serve as your first step towards an all-Sonos speaker setup which is a costly investment but totally worthwhile.
- Sonos Era 100 and Era 300 review: worth the money?
- Review: Sonos Beam Gen 1 compact sound bar
- Sonos Beam Gen 2 review
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