The Sonos Move 2 is a portable speaker with a difference. The benefit of a portable Bluetooth speaker is that you can take your music wherever you go – whether that’s around the house, in the garden or on a camping trip. While most of these devices tend to be little bigger than a jumbo can of lager, the Sonos Move 2 is substantially bigger.
Like the original Sonos Move, which launched back in 2019, the Move 2 looks more like a static, indoor smart speaker. But thanks to the cleverly designed built-in handle and the internal battery, you can pick it up and take it… on the move.
Four years on there have been some substantial improvements to the speaker, even if from the outside it looks very similar. Firstly you now get Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for a more stable connection and faster streaming. The battery is much longer lasting (24 rather than 11 hours) and while you no longer get Google assistant, you do now have the option to use the Sonos Voice control in addition to Amazon Alexa.
Then there’s the sound. Thanks to a dual tweeter it promises a crisper but equally powerful performance. Plus it comes in a new colour – there’s now an olive green in addition to the black and white models. Having been a big fan of Sonos’ home speakers, I was keen to see how this model compared for use both indoors and outdoors. So, I put this to the test using it around the home for a few weeks.
How much is the Sonos Move 2?
Launched on 6th September 2023, the Sonos Move 2 comes in at a rather sustainable price of £449/$449/AU$799. That’s £50/$50 more than the original model (which is also still available) and the same price as the rather excellent Sonos Era 300 home speaker.
It’s actually more expensive than any other portable Bluetooth speaker on the market. The question is, does that really matter if it’s the best?
What's new on the Sonos Move 2?
The ultimate selling point of the Move 2 is its ability to provide great sound outdoors, or away from a power source. This is thanks to the new larger 44Wh battery that can provide up to 24 hours of continuous playback. That’s a big jump from the original Move’s 36Wh battery, which delivered 11 hours of playback. That means it will keep going for a full day out, or even a weekend away.
It’s not just the battery though that makes the Move 2 ideal for outdoor use. It’s IP56 water resistant and drop resistant, thanks to shock-absorbant materials and has a built-in handle that makes it easy to carry around. You can even buy a separate carry case for it if you travel a lot.
Using it outdoors you can connect via Bluetooth or the line-in socket. The line-in is now a USB-C port though, so you need the Sonos Line-in adapter (£19/$19) to use a 3.5mm input with it.
When you’re in your home or even in your garden, the Move 2 connects via Wi-Fi, using WiFi 6 where supported, to connect to your home network for streaming, or via your phone. There’s Apple AirPlay 2 for Apple devices too, so it syncs straight from the iPhone as one of the speaker options directly in Apple Music (though not for calls).
To control the device there are touch-sensitive buttons on the top for play and skip, plus a new grooved volume slider touch area like the one that features on the new Era products. There’s also a button to turn the voice assistant on, which can be either Amazon’s Alexa or Sonos’ own Voice Control. Google Assistant is no longer available, as we’ve seen it disappear from many other devices. For total privacy, there’s also a switch to disable the microphone on the back of the device.
For charging the Move 2 sits on a halo charging base that allows you to pick up and set down the device into the base without having to physically plug in. The charging lead also now separates from the plug with a USB-C cable, allowing you to better store it, or swap plugs if needed (for a travel plug for instance).
Perhaps the biggest issue is in fact the fact that it is so big, and heavy. The Move 2 standard 241mm (9.41in) tall and 160x127mm (6.3x5in) wide and deep, which is fractionally larger than the original. It weighs the same 3kg (6.61lbs). That’s considerably bigger and heavier than the Era 100. It’s not something you’d want to keep in your bag, just in case, as you might with the smaller Sonos Roam.
Using the Sonos Move 2
To set up the Sonos Move 2 you need to use the Sonos app. Once you have this app installed on your phone – which you will if you have other Sonos devices – the rest of the process is incredibly easy.
If you already have a Sonos account set up, you simply tap on the add product button and it should find the new device. It will then do the rest for you, setting up the Wi-Fi connection from your existing devices. It’s probably one of the easiest smart devices to get started with.
If you’re using the Move 2 away from a Wi-Fi network you’ll need to connect via Bluetooth. For this you don’t need to set the device up in the app. Simply hold down the Bluetooth button on the back until you hear the high pitched chime and look for it in your phone’s Bluetooth list. When you’re back inside (or in Wi-Fi), press the Bluetooth button on the back again to disengage and you can connect via Wi-Fi.
The Sonos app gives you control over your music streaming (including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal and lots more). You can assign rooms to your speakers, adjust the EQ and even set up a stereo pair of Move 2 speakers – though only for Wi-Fi use.
How does the Sonos Move 2 sound?
There’s been a big step up in the speaker set up inside the Move 2. The dual tweeter arrangement, as opposed to the previous single tweeter, allow a stereo soundstage from the device, while the mid-woofer gives it some punch. There are also three Class-D digital amplifiers controlling the sound.
The Automatic Trueplay will constantly adjust the sound of the speaker to suit the environment – whether it’s outside, in a small room or somewhere larger. This uses the built in microphones and detects when the speaker has been picked up and moved, so knows when you reassess.
So the big question is how does it sound? You do immediately notice the difference over the original Move. It’s crisper, clearer but still just as big and bassy. In fact, for indoor use you might want to turn the loudness setting off in the EQ as it can be pretty powerful.
There’s plenty of volume here, too. This is where the added size of the Move 2 benefits it over other portable speakers. You know that this device will fill a room or a garden on its own, putting smaller speakers to shame.
The snare on Elbow’s Any Day Now was incredibly detailed, you could hear every breath in Amy Winehouse’s F* Me Pumps and Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero had that huge presence and punch that I was listening for.
When comparing with other units, the Move 2 sounds almost identical to the Sonos Era 100. That’s probably because the speaker specs are nearly identical on these devices. Next to the larger Era 300 or Play 5, the Move 2 doesn’t have the same presence, but that is to be expected from a unit that is portable.
Should I buy the Sonos Move 2?
There are portable speakers and there are speakers like the Sonos Move 2. Rather than an incidental Bluetooth speaker that you throw in your bag to product something better than your phone, the Move 2 is a powerful home speaker that isn’t tied down to being in one place. Nor is it restricted to being where there is power.
For that reason it’s difficult to compare the Sonos Move 2 to much more than the original Move, or Sonos’ home speakers. With a price tag that matches the Era 300, it would be difficult to recommend the Move 2 for simply at home use. You could buy a 2-room set of Era 100 speakers for the same price.
However, if you need a speaker for the garden, outdoor events or camping trips, the Sonos Move 2 is the best portable speaker on the market. The speaker is exceptionally well built to stand up to weather and movement, it’s really easy to set up and use, and it sounds incredible.
Alternative Bluetooth speakers
If you do just need a small Bluetooth speaker that you can keep in a bag there are plenty of options on the market but the Sonos Roam is certainly an excellent choice. This compact and more affordably priced device offers great sound and waterproofing, making it a go-anywhere speaker.
If you still want something bigger, but a little cheaper, Ultimate Ears has some well-priced speakers that still sound great. The Epic Boom is larger than the popular Wonderboom 3 speaker and has a 360-degree immersive sound and 17-hour battery life. If you want bigger still, there’s also the Hyperboom that has a 27.5 hour battery, is splash proof and has enough power for a full-on pool party.