Sonos Move 2 review: big portable sound for a big price

 Sonos Move 2 being lifted by its handle.
Sonos Move 2 being lifted by its handle.

Sonos Move 2 review: Two-minute review

The Sonos Move 2 is the new big, portable speaker from Sonos, designed to be a home speaker than you can just grab and take with you when you feel like it.

The Sonos Move 2 is much bigger and heavier than most of the best Bluetooth speakers, but it packs in a lot more audio tech and battery life than those do – it can last 24 hours (and this holds up in my testing). The downside is that all of this tech comes at a seriously high price of $449 / £449 / AU$799.

The Sonos Move 2 does everything it's supposed to extremely well. It sounds great, with depth, poise and detail to please picky listeners, as well as being fun and loud enough for parties. Its loudness is part of its advantage – where other portable speakers top out and lose control, the Move 2 has tons of headroom.

Given that a mix of Bluetooth and Sonos Wi-Fi connectivity are now also offered by other Sonos speakers – particularly the Sonos Era 100, which sounds the same but is nearly half the price – the new Move 2 has a harder time justifying its price than its predecessor did. If you want the particular mix of power and practicality that it delivers, and you have the budget, then I totally recommend it. It's classy, reliable and flexible.

But for anyone more budget conscious or who doesn't need every feature it offers, you might be better off saving cash and looking at the stationary Sonos Era 100, the cheaper-but-weaker-sounding Sonos Roam, or the less-functional-but-excellent-sounding Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2.

Sonos Move 2 close up of the top, showing the control buttons and Sonos logo
Sonos Move 2 close up of the top, showing the control buttons and Sonos logo

Sonos Move 2 review: Price and release date

  • Released on September 20, 2023

  • Officially priced at $449 / £449 / AU$799

Released in September 2023, the Sonos Move 2 arrives to a world densely populated by portable speakers, and mostly at a far, far lower price than its $449 / £449 / AU$799 fee. Sonos products don't tend to get much in the way of lifetime discounts either (though the company at least takes part in sales periods more than it used to, these days).

Sonos has always been a premium brand, and the Sonos Move 2 is nearly premium as portable speakers get, with only a few competitors, such as the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5, daring to go any higher than this.

Sonos has a more affordable alternative, of course, in the form of the Sonos Roam, which is priced (and sized) closer to what people think of from Bluetooth speakers. So the Move 2 is for people who don't want to compromise on the relatively compressed sound of the Roam.

However, it's worth noting that you can get something like the large and truly impressive-sounding Tribit Stormbox Blast for half the price of the Move 2. It's pricey even by hefty speaker standards.

Sonos Move 2 review: Specs

Sonos Move 2 on a white table, next to its charging base
Sonos Move 2 on a white table, next to its charging base

Sonos Move 2 review: Features

  • Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, plus optional line-in

  • 24-hour battery life holds up in tests

  • Touch controls on top work great

The Sonos Move 2 features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options for connectivity, just as its predecessor did. Unlike its predecessor, though, this is now a much more common option in Sonos' lineup. Not only do the Move 2 and Roam offer this, but also the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Era 300.

Also like the Era 100 and Era 300, it has a USB-C port that functions as a line-in (including for a 3.5mm jack, if you have Sonos' adapter), and a new arrangement of touch controls on top, including a recessed bar for volume that makes it easy to find. Play/pause and track skipping buttons are here too, along with an indicator for the voice control system – again, a feature it shares with the other speakers, including both Alexa and Sonos Voice Control options.

And just like the Era 100, the Move 2 has a three-driver speaker system, with two angled tweeters pointing left and right (to create stereo, Sonos claims), and one central mid-woofer. It means that more than ever, the distinction between the Move 2 and its closest sibling sonically, the Era 100 in this case, is the battery and tough build.

The battery life Sonos is claiming here is 24 hours, which is double what the original Sonos Move offered, and in my experience, it hits that – at least, with the volume not turned up too high. I found that it lost an average of about 4% per hour with the volume at around 25% playing over Wi-Fi (AirPlay 2), which is easily loud enough to enjoy music while I write this review at my desk. When you have it outside, odds are you'll have it a higher level than this, but I didn't find that the battery drain drastically rose.

I also found that it lost around 20% battery when left for 24 hours. It does have a sleep mode, which it should enter automatically when left alone, that effectively arrests battery drop. Although you can't wake it up from sleep mode remotely, you need to press the power button on the back to kick it back to life. One bonus of the battery this time is that you can charge your phone from it by plugging into the USB-C port. You don't have to do much – just plug it in, and if it doesn't immediately start charging, hit the power button on the back.

As with all Sonos systems, setting it up is easy. The Sonos app will detect it immediately, quickly run through the process of adding it to your Wi-Fi and your Sonos home network, as well as updating it with new software.

You can also enable Auto TruePlay here, which will adjust the sound automatically to your environment, updating every few minutes because the speaker constantly monitors itself. Sonos has told me that this is less effective than the full Trueplay or the Quick Tune option on its newer speakers. I'm not sure it's doing much transformative here, but it's better than nothing. There is also the option of using two Move 2 speakers for a more convincing stereo system, though I don't expect this to be a wildly popular option at this price.

You can set the voice control options from the app, either enabling Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Control, which offers pretty much only the ability to select and play music, but with no cloud computing, so it may be preferable for the privacy-minded. A switch on the back disables the mic completely, if you prefer. On the back at the bottom, you'll also find the USB-C port.

Bluetooth pairing is also turned on and off using a button on the back, which you hold briefly. It immediately appeared as an option on my devices after that. You can use the Bluetooth connection or the optional line-in (a separate 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter can be bought) to connect to the Move 2, and then broadcast that sound around to other Sonos speakers. So, I was able to connect the Move 2 to a Bluetooth source and use the Sonos app to beam that sound to my Sonos Arc. It worked totally seamlessly, through the System view of the Sonos app – hit the square "broadcast" icon by the Move 2 to choose other Sonos speakers to send the audio to.

  • Features score: 4.5/5

Sonos Move 2 sitting on its charging base on a white table
Sonos Move 2 sitting on its charging base on a white table

Sonos Move 2 review: Sound quality

  • Excellent balance and great detail

  • No difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

  • Not really stereo sound

Let's get one quick thing out of the way: I couldn't make out any clear difference in sound quality between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (via Apple AirPlay 2 or from the Sonos app directly) on the Sonos Move 2. So any judgment of the sound applies equally to all sources.

It may not shock Sonos regulars to know that the Move 2 sounds great. It's capable of great depth at the low end in a way that makes use of its size and weight – a bass line can thrum and vibrate with richness without ever feeling like it's getting loose, while drums hit tightly and sharply.

Big bass is still fairly common in portable speakers though (partly because low-end frequencies lose volume quickly and are easily disrupted by reflections/wind), but it can often feel overblown: the trick to the Sonos Move 2 is that that it's balanced so expertly, as is usual with Sonos gear. The bass carries well outside, but indoors it still says in line with with the mid-range and treble.

In the mid-range, instruments have enough room to express themselves, and it certainly doesn't feel like a small soundstage – it diffuses nicely while still having the specificity of particular voices or tones. I think it struggles most for clarity here in particular dense tracks. You can also get slightly better precision from something like the HomePod 2, or certainly from the Sonos Era 300 – both of which are the same price or cheaper, but also aren't portable. It doesn't handle things badly at all, I just noticed its limits here.

In treble, it's again crisp and in total control. Little high-end details lift out of the mid-range with no confusion, and again it feels suitable expansive and carries well across the room.

As with the Era 100 and its extremely similar speaker arrangement, I don't think I can really say that it lives up to Sonos' claims of producing stereo sound. If you are sitting directly facing it at an optimal distance, yes, in tracks with major separation, you'll be able to hear it. But that's not really how the Sonos Move is used; when it's outside or across the room, it won't really matter. But I think the angled drivers do help with the wide soundstage, and that's very welcome in a speaker like this.

The question about the Move 2 isn't really whether it sounds good. It really does. It's whether it sounds good enough for the price, which is undoubtedly high. Its sound is incredibly close to the Sonos Era 100 (I compared them directly), as you might expect given their similar audio setups, but you can buy two Era 100s for essentially the same price as one Sonos Move.

I also compared it directly to my favorite Bluetooth speaker, the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2. This is another one that's regularly available for half the price of the Move 2, and though it lacks some of the features (no Wi-Fi, 18 hours of battery life), I was surprised at how close in sound quality they were. The B&O has always impressed me with its balance, and although the bass isn't quite as impactful, and the mid-range is a little less expressive, the different in general music enjoyment between them was slim.

However, the difference in volume headroom was huge. The Move 2 was able to hit the same loudness at 25-30% that the B&O was hitting at 50%. There's simply more headroom from the much larger machine.

  • Sound quality: 4.5/5

Sonos Move 2 rear, showing the handle and some control buttons, on a white table
Sonos Move 2 rear, showing the handle and some control buttons, on a white table

Sonos Move 2 review: Design

  • Great-feeling build and materials

  • Sleek design that looks good as a home speaker

  • A real handle would probably be better

The Sonos Move 2 looks incredibly like the original Move, but with a new finish to the plastic, a slightly different curve to its edges, and a new-look top panel – all in line with Sonos' new design language, introduced with the Era 100 and Era 300 speakers. Following this, the black finish is a little different, and in addition to black or white, there's a new Olive color, which is what I had, and I think it's an excellent shade. Neutral without being boring; fashionable but not flashy.

And it doesn't just look like the original, either; it's essentially the same dimensions and weight. Compared to a truly portable speaker, such as a JBL Flip 6 or Sonos' own Roam, it's damn big, there's no question. The 6.6 lb / 3kg weight also pushes the definition of portable a little, depending on what you want to do with it. It's too much to add to a pack for a hike, but carrying it to my garden while I worked on weeding it was no hardship. But then, I'm also a young-ish guy with no physical ailments. I'm not sure my mother would carry it to her tomatoes when she tends to them at this weight, which she might with a lighter speaker.

A factor in the weight is how you carry it. The recessed section in the back is perfectly fine to grip for me, and feels rock solid as a way to carry it – but it means the weight is unbalanced, so again, if someone has any grip or strength issues, they may struggle with it. Having this "invisible" handle makes the Move 2 look good in the home when not in use, but for sheer practicality, a standard over-the-top carry handle would probably be more useful for more people.

The charging dock is the only part that doesn't feel quite as meticulously engineered as the rest. It's not that there's anything wrong with it as such, it's just thin and light. I also found myself nudging it when re-seating the Move 2 for charging, and then having to double-check it was definitely in there right, because it doesn't have the satisfying and secure fit you get when putting something like AirPods Pro 2 back in their charging case.

The speaker is IP56 rated, meaning that it can take being sprayed, and lightly submerged, as well as being able to protect against a fair amount of dust or sand. You'll find that a lot of the best waterproof speakers can best this, but it's fine for what the Move 2 is really designed for – it'll take being rained on if you leave it outside, or sprayed by the kids accidentally.

  • Design score: 4/5

Sonos Move 2 being lifted by its handle
Sonos Move 2 being lifted by its handle

Sonos Move 2 review: Value

  • It's expensive compared to other Sonos speakers

  • But it offers a unique flexibility and audio quality combination

  • Ultimately worth it, if you need what it offers

I touched on this topic at the end of the sound quality section, but the issue with the value of the Sonos Move 2 is really what you can get instead. You get a Sonos Era 300, which sounds noticeable better. Or two Sonos Era 100 units, which might mean you don't need the portability. Or one Era 100 and one Sonos Roam, giving you portability and power in separate units.

However, I don't think the Move 2 is bad value, because of the particular mix of stuff it's offering. The battery life is really long compared to other portable speakers, the sound quality is so enjoyable, and it's so flexible with its combo of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (and the ability to beam Bluetooth sound to other Sonos devices).

So if you want the Move 2, you have to want what it offers in particular. This particular mix of high-quality sound, long battery life and connectivity options, and you're happy not to compromise on budget to get it.

Taken as a whole, the Move 2 is not bad value, but I definitely won't be enthusing about what a bargain it is.

  • Value score: 3/5

Sonos Move 2 on a white table
Sonos Move 2 on a white table

Should I buy the Sonos Move 2?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Sonos Move 2 review: Also consider

How I tested the Sonos Move 2

The Sonos Move 2 next to the Sonos era 100, showing how much smaller the Era 100 is
The Sonos Move 2 next to the Sonos era 100, showing how much smaller the Era 100 is
  • Tested for over a week

  • Tested at home and in my yard

  • Used primarily with Apple Music, but also podcasts

I tested the Sonos Move 2 for over a week at my home, using it as my main source of music during that time – while working from home at my desk, indoors at a lower volume; and while working on my garden, with the volume turned up higher to overcome the sounds of the neighborhood.

I mainly used it with Apple Music, tested over Bluetooth, over AirPlay 2, and using the Sonos app at different times, to make sure there were no audio quality differences. I also listened to podcasts on it a little.

I compared it to the Sonos Era 100 directly in a head-to-head test, as well as the B&O Beosound A1 Gen 2. I also had the Sonos Era 300 and Apple HomePod 2 available, so I listened to those for more value comparisons.