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Sonos Move Review – Does the Premium Price Bring Premium Sound?

Sonos Move Speaker

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Current testing methodology is v1.2

Release Date
September 9, 2019
Price
$379.99
Model:
MOVE1US1BLK
Weight
6.61 lb
Size
9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96 in
Waterproof
IP56
Editor’s Pick

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move can confidently fill most spaces with rich and full sound, bringing life to familiar tracks

5/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Sonos
Sonos Move speaker sitting on table

TL:DR;

I’ve been really impressed with the Sonos Move.

It’s rich tones, deep bass and crisp mids and treble make for fantastic listening regardless of what you’re throwing at it.

For a Bluetooth, WiFi speaker with Alexa or Google assistant built-in, its an excellent, although pricey, addition to any space.

At high volumes it didn’t perform as well but that’s getting things pretty loud.

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The Specs

  • Finish:  Matte
  • Weather resistant:  IP56 Rating
  • Battery:  36Wh battery provides up to 11 hours of continuous playback on a single charge
  • CPU:  Quad Core 1.4 GHz A-53
  • Voice:  Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on WiFi

What’s in the Box?

  • Sonos Move
  • Wireless Charging Base
  • Cable length: 6 ft (2 m)
  • Documentation
  • Quickstart Guide and legal/warranty information

Stuff I like

  • Rich bottom end
  • Full sound stage that fills the room
  • Portable handle design is comfortable
  • Slim and simple charging base
  • Easy set up and the Sonos app is a breeze to use

Stuff I like less

  • Larger than most portable Bluetooth speakers
  • Pricey
  • Loud volumes can affect musicality

Comparable products to consider

Sonos Roam
Sonos Roam

Another pleasing product from Sonos, with a powerful sound, rugged design, and excellent connectivity features.

Bose Portable Home Speaker
Bose Portable Home Speaker

The Bose Portable Home Speaker is incredible for voice assistants and comes with an impressive bass for such a small speaker.

Onyx Studio 6
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6

Waterproof portable bluetooth speaker with stylish an dportable design that delivers a great sound quality.

For many years I traveled extensively around the world and stayed in different cities working out of different offices for the company that I worked for.

I also spent a lot of time with co-work and shared workspaces and experienced a wide range of attempts to add music to environments to make them more enjoyable and less awkward.

I also kept a keen eye out every time I would dine out to see what music system restaurants were using and how that sounded and, therefore, how that affected the ambiance of the room.

I think it’s just something that we audiophiles do that we can’t help to always take note of what’s playing and how it sounds.

Based on this, I did a list of the speakers that I think make the best office stereo system, and those were wireless and Bluetooth units.

The Sonos One is something that is most commonly picked for smaller restaurants and offices because it outputs a really great sound, is an affordable speaker, and can be high-mounted on a lot of walls, connecting to the wi-fi to create a great office environment. 

Pairing a few of them up together and you get a pretty good audio experience across the room.

But the Sonos One and Sonos One SL do lack Bluetooth capabilities, which is a bit of a shortfall for a lot of people that actually want to use Bluetooth to be the main connection point for the office stereo.

The one that made my list was the Sonos Move. 

It’s not inexpensive, but it does sound fantastic, is very portable, and can fill a room with pretty impressive sound while still connecting through wireless Bluetooth and giving you the benefits of Alexa or Google.

Just… get your wallet out.

We’ve been trying it in our office recently and have all enjoyed the ability to connect up through Spotify, create listening queues, and allow everybody to have a little piece of the music action during the day. 

The charging stand is small, lightweight, and doesn’t add a lot of bulk to the room and it’s so easy just to drop the Move on it to get it charging.

Portability

It’s fair to say that it’s incredibly easy to walk up to the unit, grab it by its molded back handle and take it anywhere you want. 

Because of its size, there are a few caveats to this idea though.

You don’t want to walk too far before having to put it down because it is quite a decent-sized unit and has a little bit of weight to it, so carrying it from the car through a short walk down to the beach or from your apartment down to the park for a picnic is probably very doable. 

But if you’re thinking of going on a proper hike that exceeds, in my opinion, about 15 minutes of single hand-holding, then you’re going to get pretty tired carrying it that distance.

That’s not to say it’s unusually weighty, but there is some weight to it. 

The handle is molded really nicely for carrying, but if you have longer fingers then your fingers are going to be bearing all the weight.

Overall though, the ability just to lift it off its base and carry it anywhere is so easy that even in the office I find myself often picking it up and carrying it through to other rooms for a listen.

Sonos Move wireless Bluetooth speaker being carried by man by the back handle

Mounting and placement

Sonos actually have a wall hook that you can use which is craftily designed to just hook the handle over what is more like a doorknob on the wall, which is not unattractive. 

This can easily be screwed in, just make sure you put it into something that’s going to hold like a stud in the wall, and it can be mounted at any height that you like.

Of course, higher to the ceiling in an office or home environment will pretty much produce a more complete sound in the room, but we at the moment just have it sitting on a table in the room, and it seems to be absolutely fine.

There is a front-facing speaker (main driver) in the unit which means that if you are in front of it, you will get slightly more of the directional impact from the speaker, but this isn’t overwhelming if there is a bit of distance between you and the unit as the room is filled with the music that it creates.

Setup and functionality

This setup was pretty easy. There are instructions online on how to reset the unit, and if you’ve used a Sonos app before, it’s pretty straightforward and quite intuitive in connecting to the speaker and the speaker to wireless.

You then just need to choose, if you want, your smart speaker assistant (you can choose Google or Alexa) and connect that up as well, although you don’t need to do this to enjoy the benefits of immediately streaming music from your favorite streaming service or from any device that has files locally stored. 

As long as it’s on the wi-fi network then you can get music playing into the Sonos Move or via Bluetooth as well.

The functionality of the device itself is quite straightforward, volume up, volume down, play/pause, a microphone array on the top, there’s a pairing button on the back, and a power button as well.

The speaker has a real premium look and feel. 

Sonos Move Smart Speaker
Effortless charging with wireless charging base | Make Life Click

The build quality is excellent and on top of that, you get a whole lot of extra features in the unit, one of those being that it is water-resistant IP56.

So if you do have it sitting around the pool, give it a splash of rain on a picnic, or happen to take it down to the beach, you’re going to have some protection there, so you don’t have to worry too much about the unit itself.

It is drop resistant, but anything is drop resistant until it’s not, but you don’t have to worry too much about if you’re carrying it from the side in your hand and it slips, the unit’s not going to fall apart. It has quite a bouncy bottom on it.

Battery life

Battery life is rated at 11 hours, which is a decent amount of time. And I’d like to think that even if you do decide to take this camping or away with you, you’ll be able to find the power within an 11-hour timeframe.

If you are taking it traveling, there is also an optional Sonos travel bag that you could buy, which has carry handles and a strap.

And I’d probably recommend this just because the size and shape of the speaker mean it would probably take up quite a lot of room in a backpack or small case, so you’re better to carry it separately.

Sound quality of the Sonos Move

Sonos have a strong following for a reason. Their Arc soundbar is also worth checking out. They have emerged as winners of multi-room wireless set up and continue to dominate in the premium audio space.

There’s a bit of competition there now, but there are always people that love the Sonos sound signature.

Sonos have dominated the small premium speaker market for a long time, even before Sonos had models like the one they had the room-to-room music down to fine art, even though you needed to have a Sonos server to make it all happen.

These days, Sonos has evolved to utilize the wi-fi network that already exists in your house but still remains the king in multi-room speaker systems. 

And, the Sonos app has always been a bit of a leader in terms of multi-device control within your home or office.

The Sonos Move is, again, a bold statement that they too can make portable speakers, but make them premium. 

Sonos Move Smart Speaker - top view
Great sound in the outdoors | make Life Click

These aren’t necessarily speakers that you would look to buy if you are looking in the Ultimate Ears/UE Boom or Anker range, this is for people who want to take their audio to the next level and aren’t afraid to pay for it.

The Sonos Move delivers a really impressive sound. 

There are a few things about it that I struggle with, but not enough to make it a big deal.

The mids and highs are rich and full and definitely fill the room. 

The bottom end is sometimes subject to what you are feeding it, and at times I have the feeling that I want to turn it up a little bit louder just to feel the impact of the bass a little bit more, but considering the size of the room that I’m playing it in, that’s no surprise.

Overall, anything that we have thrown at the speaker has sounded fantastic, and as you can imagine, allowing everyone in the office to have a go at the playlist means we have everything from country, to ’70s, to hip hop, to rock, to hard rock, to pop and everything else in between.

The full rich bottom end is just wonderful and stands out much more on some tracks than others. 

And while I might need to turn it up a little bit to really have that full audio experience, it’s a delight to do so because it only presents the room with an even richer fuller sound overall.

It’s got that beautiful presence like a hi-fi system where the volume can be higher, but no one feels like it’s loud. 

Well, until I need to go and take a conference call from my desk.

Audiophile note for the Sonos Move

If you’re really interested in the specs, the Sonos Move has two class D amplifiers, which of course have been tuned specifically to the Sonos Move’s sound signature.

There’s one downward-firing tweeter, which is surprisingly present in the overall sound stage, and I feel like having the downward-firing tweeter reduces a little bit of the harshness that might otherwise directly point towards any subject that the speaker is angled towards.

There’s one mid-woofer, which gives a good presence to the mid-range frequencies and definitely gives some good punch at the bottom end. 

The term mid-woofer really refers to a driver that can both handle the mid and lower ranges and is a popular speaker term for smart speakers that rely on a single driver for the bulk of their sound production.

Sonos Move Smart Speaker - back buttons
Use WiFi when at home and switch to Bluetooth when you’re away with the press of a button | Make Life Click

The microphones are far-field mics working in an array so that they can collect your voice commands for your smart assistant effectively.

And at the moment, I feel like the Sonos Move is doing a much better job than any of my Alexas because they all seem to be ignoring me these days. I’m not sure what’s going on there, maybe Alexa doesn’t like my taste in music…

The speaker has TruePlay tuning, which means that it adjusts itself for the room and if you do want to play with the EQ in the Sonos app, you can, of course, adjust the bass, treble, and loudness of the unit.

Conclusion

The Sonos Move has been an amazing addition to our office and it sounds really great. I’m thinking of getting one for our kitchen at home and swapping out the Amazon Alexa Echo device that we have in there now.

Although my last port of call might be just to check out the Echo Studio and see if it can produce anything close to the Sonos Move in terms of a hi-fi experience from a portable speaker.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
Sonos Move - Battery-powered Smart Speaker, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Alexa built-in - Black​​​​​​​
Sonos Move

The Sonos Move looks good, it’s tactile, it’s easy to charge, easy to move, and has really leveled up the audio in our office, which is a pretty decent size, so don’t feel like you need to, as you might with the Sonos One or SL, need to stack up a lot of these speakers next to each other because the Sonos Move alone has an impressive way of filling the room with sound.

In terms of sound quality, connectivity, smart assistant options, ease of use, and portability, the Sonos Move definitely gets five stars from me.

If you’ve got any questions, let me know, and fire them in the comments below.

Sonos Move Smart Speaker on top of a table
Sonos Move
Portability
Sound Quality
Build Quality
Battery Life
Reader Rating0 Votes
4.7

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.

This post was last updated on 2022-12-11 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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