Written by Cheryl Tan
If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker that you can bring along for trekking, cycling, or other activities where a lightweight speaker is a must, the Sonos Move isn’t for you.
Who’s it for then? It’s for the people who want great audio fidelity while moving from their kitchen to the balcony for dinner, or for people who want to groove along to the music while they’re tending to their plants outside, or for people who want to have their music bounce off every inch of their bathrooms while they’re in the shower having their own personal karaoke session.
The Sonos Move is the first Bluetooth and WiFi speaker that Sonos has come up with, and it’s their answer to the customers who’ve been grumbling that Sonos speakers can’t be moved from room to room as and when wanted.
While this is technically considered a portable speaker since there’s a built-in battery (that can be replaced when needed after a few years) and Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, it won’t be a speaker that you can just chuck into your bag since it’s 3kg.
Sound quality is amazing on this speaker though. The Move gets extremely loud, and is more than capable of filling an apartment with booming sound while ensuring that the music doesn’t get distorted at high volumes.
There’s a down-firing tweeter that results in a relatively wide soundstage. Sonos speakers are mostly tuned for the general public with a slightly more fun sound, instead of being true reference-style speakers, and that’s the case here as well. The speakers do well with strings and highs, vocals are airy and there’s no distortion when playing music even at around 80%.
The mid-woofer provides punchy bass, but some of my colleagues felt that the bass extension didn’t seem to be quite there. In all honesty, I think the bass is decent enough for most genres of music, especially for a speaker that’s being touted as a portable one. If the user is able to discern (and critique) the sub and mid-bass levels, they would most likely already have a proper speaker setup at home.
If you’re looking for proper stereo sound, the Move can pair two speakers to the same WiFi network and you’ll get a more accurate soundstage.
Battery life is also good, with 10 hours being claimed on a full charge. I found that that estimate was quite accurate with music being played on 60%. The battery fully charges in three hours, while a one-hour charge results in around 50% battery life. That’s perfect for a quick charge before heading out to the pool or barbecue pit.
Speaking of the pool, the Move has an IP rating of IP56, so it’s protected from high power water jets with limited dust ingress protection. I don’t reckon anybody will be throwing the Move into the pool any time soon, but splashes from the pool will be perfectly fine.
Sonos has also ensured that the speaker is shock-resistant thanks to the case, along with a rubber base that helps to dampen shocks from drops or collisions.
The TruePlay tech has also been revamped, with the speaker always listening to how frequencies bounce off nearby surfaces and then tuning the EQ to ensure that sound is balanced. This activates whenever the speaker notices that it’s moved, thanks to the accelerometer inside.
The only issue I can find with this speaker is the price. For S$729, this is definitely a pricey portable speaker that isn’t really all that portable due to its weight. That said, there is a grip at the back of the speaker where the connectivity and power buttons can be found which does help in transporting it around the house.