Sonos’s top-class battery-powered wifi and Bluetooth speaker has been given an all-round upgrade with double the battery life, impressive stereo sound and new touch controls.
The Move 2 is certainly not your average portable speaker. It costs £449 (€499/$449/A$799) and aims to be the only sound system you need for indoor and outdoor use, weighing 3kg and sized about the same as a traditional bookshelf speaker.
In essence it is the same as its stablemate the Era 100 but with a battery on the bottom so it can be moved from room to room, out into the garden or taken in a car. Like the original from 2020, the Sonos blows away practically every rival that isn’t a giant boom box once you crank up the tunes, and even tops its mains-powered sibling.
The outside of the Move 2 looks similar to its predecessor and is equally drop, water, dust, sun and cold resistant. It connects to a router via wifi 6 for streaming music from more than 100 different services, including Spotify and BBC Sounds, all controlled from the Sonos app on a phone.
The speaker automatically goes to sleep when away from its charging dock; press the power button on the back to wake it. Another button on the back turns on Bluetooth for use away from home or for streaming music from guests’ phones. Sonos sells plug-in ethernet or analogue line-in adapters for the USB-C port for even greater flexibility, if wifi or Bluetooth isn’t enough. A physical switch can disable the mics for the voice assistant and automatic tuning, too.
Dimensions: 241 x 160 x 127mm
Connectivity: wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB-C, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect
Battery: 44Wh (24 hours playback), 120 hours standby, three hours to charge
Charging: Included dock or USB-C 45W
Water resistance: IP56 (dust and high-pressure water jets)
Quality hi-fi sound you can take with you
The curved grille hides a set of stereo tweeters and a large central woofer to give it real power and thumping bass. The Move 2 produces really good, wide sound with a decent stereo effect when facing straight on to it that quickly merges together when you move off centre. It has oodles of bass and power when required, supported by detailed highs and nicely defined mids. Vocal clarity is particularly good, even when the track has a pounding bassline, balancing power and nuance excellently.
Nothing ends up being overridden, too shrill or sharp, which certainly can’t be said for most portable speakers. An equaliser in the Sonos app allows you to fine tune the bass, treble and “loudness” to your liking, though the speaker automatically tunes itself to your space as you move it around.
It sounds best at about the 40-50% volume mark, with the bass starting to be clipped a little when cranked up beyond 70-80%, which is certainly loud enough for most rooms. Two speakers can be joined as a stereo pair for even more powerful sound, while the Move 2 can be made part of a multi-room audio system for music all over the house if you have other Sonos or Ikea speakers.
The Move 2 supports Amazon’s Alexa and the Sonos voice assistant, the latter of which can control the speaker, processing your requests on the device rather than having to go to a cloud server for rapid responses and improved privacy.
The battery lasts up to 24 hours of playback, which is more than twice the length of the speaker’s predecessor. It also consumes 47% less power when idle, 39% less when actively playing and 33% less when in sleep mode, all of which help prolong its life and save electricity.
The Move 2 is generally repairable by Sonos. The company commits to a minimum of five years software support for feature updates after it stops selling a product but has a track record of much longer, including bug and security fixes for its legacy products. The battery should last for 900 full charge cycles and can be replaced at home, costing £79.
The speaker contains recycled plastic and is designed with disassembly in mind for repair, refurbishment and recycling. Sonos offers trade-in and product recycling, and breaks down the speaker’s environmental impact in its report.
The Move 2 is an all-round upgrade on one of the best full-sized portable speakers you can buy, improving on every aspect of the original with only one downside: an increased price.
It sounds better with stereo audio and more bass, the battery lasts much longer and it has more modern wifi 6 and good controls while keeping the smart design and durability from its predecessor. It is just at home blasting out the tunes on its dock as it is moved from room to room or out into the garden, sounding good enough to be the only speaker you need.
That makes it quite unlike most portable speakers that don’t sound or work well enough to get used at home. Plus it will get many years of software support and the battery can be replaced for a reasonable sum at home, so it won’t end up in landfill when it wears out, unlike your average Bluetooth speaker.
Still, £449 is a lot for a speaker when the equally excellent Era 100 costs about half that. But if you want a single long lasting, top-quality speaker for anywhere and everywhere in your home, the Sonos Move 2 is hard to beat.
Pros: wifi and Bluetooth, great sound, long battery life, IP56 weather resistance, durable, wide support for music services, long support life, can be paired up, good optional voice control, Alexa support, replaceable battery.
Cons: very expensive, no Google Assistant support, no spatial audio support/Dolby Atmos, cannot be used as part of a home cinema set up, big and heavy for a portable speaker.