Sonos Move Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 14, 2020 at 09:43 am
Sonos Move Picture
7.0
Music
6.5
Videos/Movies
8.2
Podcasts
8.6
Voice Assistant
7.7
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Sonos Move is a good all-around portable speaker that has a well-balanced sound profile suitable for a wide variety of content. It supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it's very well-built, and has a handle for one-hand carrying wherever you go. Also, its voice assistant performance is quite impressive and works at a great distance. Unfortunately, its soundstage is mediocre due to its mono design, although it's still good for a non-360-degree speaker.

Our Verdict

7.0 Music

The Sonos Move is decent for music. It has a very well-balanced sound profile and is suitable for a wide variety of music genres. Unfortunately, the soundstage is quite narrow due to its mono design, but it still performs decently for a non-360-degree speaker. There's also quite a bit of bass compression when using it at max volume. On the upside, it has a room correction feature that can be used to calibrate its audio delivery when connected to Wi-Fi.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Very well-balanced sound profile.
Cons
  • Bass compression at max volume.
  • No real EQ, only bass and treble adjustment sliders.
  • Mediocre soundstage.
6.5 Videos/Movies

The Sonos Move is just okay for watching video content. It has a well-balanced sound profile, but won't be ideal if you listen to videos via Bluetooth due to its latency. Also, its soundstage isn't the widest due to its mono speaker design. On the upside, AirPlay users shouldn't notice any delay, which is good.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Very well-balanced sound profile.
Cons
  • Mediocre soundstage due to mono design.
  • Bass compression at max volume.
  • No real EQ, only bass and treble adjustment sliders.
  • High Bluetooth latency.
8.2 Podcasts

The Sonos Move is great for podcasts. It can get decently loud and has a well-balanced sound profile, especially in the mid-range, which makes voices sound clear and present. You can easily stream content to it via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and you can even make your content play on multiple Sonos Move speakers at the same time throughout your home via your network.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Very well-balanced sound profile.
  • Great wireless connectivity options.
Cons
  • Bass compression at max volume.
  • No real EQ, only bass and treble adjustment sliders.
8.6 Voice Assistant

The Sonos Move is an excellent voice assistant speaker. It can capture your voice from fairly far and understand you. It has both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Note that you'll need to be connected via Wi-Fi as the voice assistants don't work via Bluetooth unfortunately. For those who have a privacy concern, you can easily mute the microphone so it doesn't always listen to you.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Very well-balanced sound profile.
  • Great wireless connectivity options.
  • Great voice assistant distance performance.
Cons
  • Bass compression at max volume.
  • No real EQ, only bass and treble adjustment sliders.
7.7 Outdoors

The Sonos Move is a good outdoor speaker. Its build quality feels solid, and it's rated IP56 for dust and water resistance. It has a very good battery life of over 10 hours, which should be more than enough for most people. Unfortunately, it's not a full 360-degree speaker, so you'll need to position it accordingly. Nevertheless, it has a very good Bluetooth range and also supports multi-device pairing so two devices can cast content to it.

Pros
  • Solid build quality.
  • Very well-balanced sound profile.
  • Great wireless connectivity options.
  • One-hand carry.
Cons
  • Bass compression at max volume.
  • No real EQ, only bass and treble adjustment sliders.
  • 7.0 Music
  • 6.5 Videos/Movies
  • 8.2 Podcasts
  • 8.6 Voice Assistant
  • 7.7 Outdoors

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sonos Move has a very sleek and simplistic design. It should blend in with any decor and doesn't stand out much. The speaker can rest on its small base or be moved around easily.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
295 in³ (4838 cm³)
Weight
6.6 lbs (3.0 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Sonos Move, like its name indicates, is extremely portable. It's fairly small in size and can be used wirelessly with its built-in battery. There's also a hollow part at the back of the speaker that acts as a handle for one-hand carrying.

8.2
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Waterproof (IPx6)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Protected (IP5x)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

This speaker feels very well-built thanks to the materials used. It feels premium and durable, although the top plastic part might feel a bit cheaper than the rest of the build. The drivers are also protected by a large grille.

8.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Tactile)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Tactile)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Tactile)
Microphone On/Off
Yes (Tactile)
Additional Controls
Yes

The Sonos Move's control scheme is very straightforward. The four-dotted touch-sensitive buttons can be tapped for volume control or swiped to skip tracks. You can also mute the microphone, and it has a dedicated play/pause button. Also, it features physical buttons to switch between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, and power the speaker on and off.

Design
In The Box

  • Sonos Move speaker
  • Charging base station
  • Cloth pouch
  • User Manual

Sound
7.5
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.17
Std. Err.
2.11 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

This speaker's frequency response accuracy is good. It has a very well-balanced sound profile suitable for a wide variety of music genres. It can produce quite a deep bass, which is good. Also, it has a few customization options in its compatible app, including a room correction feature available when on a Wi-Fi connection. It also recalibrates after being moved, which takes about 20 seconds to do.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.2
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
3.36 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

Its soundstage is mediocre, which is expected since it's a mono speaker. On the upside, the directivity is quite impressive for a speaker that isn't 360 degrees.

6.3
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.27 dB

This speaker's dynamics performance is just okay. It can get much louder than the Bose SoundLink Micro and the Sony SRS-XB33, which is nice if you need to play content in a large or crowded room. Unfortunately, when at max volume, there are a lot of compression artifacts in the bass range.

Active Features
8.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
10.1 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

This speaker's battery performance is excellent. We've measured around 10 hours of continuous playback when used wirelessly. You can either use the charging dock or a typical USB-C connector for recharging, although there's no cable included. While we measured around 1.5 hours of charge time, other users have experienced charging times around 2.5 to 3 hours. On the upside, it goes into sleep mode after being idle for a while, or you can force the sleep mode with a single press of the power button.

9.1
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Google Assistant
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Siri
No
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Decent

The Sonos Move's voice assistant functionalities are amazing. It has both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, and it has no trouble understanding you at a great distance. You'll need to be connected via Wi-Fi, as the voice assistants don't work via Bluetooth. On the upside, if you don't like knowing that the speaker's always listening, you can easily turn off the microphone with the press of a single button. However, its ambient noise performance isn't as impressive as the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 or the Amazon Echo Gen 4, so it may have some trouble understanding your commands if you're in a noisy setting.

9.3
Active Features
App
App Name
Sonos S2
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
Yes

The Sonos S2 app is good. It features bass and treble sliders but lacks an actual EQ. On the upside, you can use the app to trigger the room correction feature on both iOS and Android. It also allows you to pair two Sonos speakers to create a stereo mode, pair multiple speakers together for a party, or even have multiple units scattered in a multi-room setup to play your favorite tracks throughout your home via your network.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

This speaker can't be used wired with a source. Its only cable is the wired charging station. It also charges with a USB-C cable, but the Sonos Move doesn't include it in the box.

7.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
Unspecified
Bluetooth iOS Latency
272 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
260 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

This Bluetooth-enabled speaker has an excellent range, but it won't be suitable for playing videos as its latency is too high. Some apps compensate for this, so your experience may vary. On the upside, it features multi-device pairing, which is great if you often find yourself wanting to play audio from different sources.

8.1
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 4
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz & 5GHz
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
43 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

The Sonos Move is Wi-Fi compatible and allows for an easy multi-room setup. Just like the Sonos One SL, it features very low latency via AirPlay, but unfortunately, it doesn't have Chromecast built-in.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We reviewed the black variant of the Sonos Move, but it's also available in white. We expect our test results to be valid for both color variants.

If you find another variant of the Sonos Move, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sonos Move is a fairly versatile and sleek-looking portable speaker. It has a very well-balanced sound profile and is suitable for a wide variety of music genres. It feels very well-built and premium, which is nice if you want to bring it outdoors. Also, while it might not be able to deliver a stereo output, its directivity is still quite impressive when compared to other mono speakers.

Sonos Five

The Sonos Move and the Sonos Five have different strengths. The Move is better suited for outdoor use as it's battery-powered and has an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. It also has outstanding voice assistant capabilities, and you can wirelessly stream audio to the device using Bluetooth. However, the Five is better suited for music as it can produce more low-bass, and it can be used in stereo or mono mode, depending on how it's placed.

Apple HomePod

The Sonos Move is a better speaker for most uses than the Apple HomePod. The Sonos is better-built, and its portable design makes it suitable for outdoor use. Its sound profile is more neutral, and it has bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound. Also, there's a mic mute button for its voice assistant. However, the Apple has a better soundstage, and its voice assistant understands your voice better in noisier environments.

JBL Xtreme 3

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the JBL Xtreme 3. The Sonos has a better-balanced sound profile, has built-in voice assistant support for Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can tweak its sound using the bass/treble adjustment sliders on its companion app. It also supports Wi-Fi, and you can pair it with up to two devices at a time. However, the JBL has lower Bluetooth latency on iOS and Android.

JBL PartyBox 100

The Sonos Move is a better speaker for most uses than the JBL PartyBox 100. The Sonos is better-built and has a more portable, lightweight design. Also, it's compatible with voice assistants, and it has bass and treble adjustments so you can customize its sound. That said, the JBL is better for music, thanks to its better soundstage and the fact that it gets louder.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sonos Move is a better overall speaker than the Sony SRS-XB33. The Sonos has a more balanced sound profile, supports built-in voice assistants, and has a better companion app. You can also wirelessly stream audio to it via Wi-Fi. However, the Sony feels a bit better-built, its companion app offers a basic graphic EQ, and it has lower Bluetooth latency on iOS and Android.

Google Nest Audio

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the Google Nest Audio. The Sonos is better-built, and its portable design makes it suitable to use outdoors. Also, its default sound profile is more neutral and balanced, though both speakers come with bass and treble adjustments.

Amazon Echo Gen 4

The Sonos Move is a better speaker overall than the Amazon Echo Gen 4. The Sonos is better-built, and because it can be battery-operated, it's suitable to use outdoors. Also, its default sound profile is better-balanced, and it can get louder. However, the Amazon is a bit better for voice assistants, as it can understand your voice commands better in noisy environments.

Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4

The Sonos Move is a more versatile speaker than the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4. The Sonos can be battery-operated, so it's portable enough to use outside. It has an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it can get louder. However, the Amazon is a bit better for voice assistants thanks to its ambient noise performance, which helps the voice assistant understand your commands more clearly in noisy environments.

OontZ Angle 3

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the OontZ Angle 3. The Sonos is better-built, with a more even sound profile that can produce thumpier low-bass. It also supports Wi-Fi as well as voice assistants and has an app with bass and treble adjustments so you can tweak its sound to better suit your needs. However, the OontZ has a longer-lasting battery life and while it doesn't get as loud as the Sonos, it has fewer compression artifacts at max volume.

Theater Solutions B83GR

The Sonos Move is a significantly better speaker than the Theater Solutions B83GR. Though we don't test for this, it's rated IP56 for dust and water resistance. It's more portable, better-built, has a built-in voice assistant, and can support Wi-Fi. It also has a longer battery life, a room customization feature, and a significantly more balanced sound profile with treble and bass adjustment features. That said, the B83GR may be a better option for those looking for a louder speaker that blends better with various outdoor landscapes.

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