Sonos Move 2 review
Image: Alice Clarke.

Sonos Move 2 review: still the best semi-portable speaker

100% human
7.8

Sonos is well known for making the best multi-room audio system available (or, at least one that mere mortals can buy). But, four years ago the company introduced its first portable speaker: the Sonos Move. The Move is a heavy speaker that is essentially a Sonos One with a big battery. It has all the flexibility of a large portable Bluetooth speaker, alongside the functionality of a Sonos speaker. Now the new Sonos Move 2 model is here.

This latest update brings with it some audio improvements, but also a $100 price bump, which is a big ask in a category as cluttered as portable speakers. That price is the same as the brilliant Sonos Era 300, which features Spatial Audio, new drivers, and other wonderful features that have not migrated to the Move 2, which is disappointing.

Sonos Move 2 review

First impressions

My first impression is that the Move 2 looks a lot like the original Move, but now it comes in green. Where the first Move was more like a Sonos One mono speaker, this Move 2 is aiming to be closer to the Era 100, but the design language is still the same as the original.

One notable difference, aside from the price, is the new setup of the touch controls on the top of the device. It’s got the same recessed volume change channel that the other new Sonos speakers have, which I welcome, because it’s much easier to use than the old cluttered controls.

It’s neat that you can charge your phone with the speaker’s USB-C out now. That’s a handy extra feature, but not one worth upgrading for.

Like all Sonos products, it’s extremely easy and quick to set up. The upgrade to Bluetooth 5.0 means it’s even faster to pair over Bluetooth than the previous model. But I have been growing impatient with the bugginess of the Sonos app these past few months. I’ve found it crashing, and having the music cut in and out more frequently than it used to. The cutting in and out could be my Wi-Fi, but the crashing is concerning. However, it’s easy to use AirPlay 2 if you grow too irritated with the Sonos app, so it’s hardly a dealbreaker.

Sonos Move 2 specifications

Speaker technologyThree Class-D digital amplifiers
Two angled tweeters
One midwoofer
Far-field microphone array
BatteryUp to 24 hours
Dimensions242 x 160 x 126 mm
3.0 kg
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB-C
Price (RRP)$799
WarrantyOne year
Official websiteSonos Australia

One disappointing thing is that it’s still not compatible with hi-res codecs. At $799, I really am looking for something a bit more premium. The multi-room audio is great, and it’s a quality speaker, but I want more at this price.

One great thing is that the battery life has been doubled from the previous model, now hitting a handy 24 hours, which should be more than enough for most use cases.

Performance

For all my sounding down about this speaker, it’s only because my expectations for Sonos speakers are so high. The performance is still superb, as are most things about the Sonos Move 2. I just wish that they had either pushed the envelope more, or priced it more realistically.

Design

I have always loved the design language of Sonos. They are classy speakers that strike the right balance between form and function. My review unit is the Olive colour, and it’s so sophisticatedly understated. The rounded edges are beautiful, and each aspect looks deliberate yet effortless.

The handle at the back is a clever touch and comfortable to carry without sticking out too much when docked for home use.

It looks and feels like the premium product that it is.

Sound

The problem here is that there really isn’t any other product like the Move 2 for me to compare it to, and so I keep mentally trying to compare to speakers in other, more clear-cut categories. Sure, there are better purely Bluetooth speakers available for less, and Sonos sells better home-use speakers for the same price. But, with the exception of the much cheaper Roam, there is nothing like the Move 2 on the market, so it’s tough to compare.

The easiest comparison is to the original Move, which sounds cluttered and unrefined in comparison. The stereo separation on the Move 2 might not be as clean as on the Era 100, but it actually has some stereo separation, unlike the original Move. The bass also rings clearer, and there’s less mud and noise.

There is still some fuzz on my test tracks. “Anywhere With You” by Maggie Rogers lacks some of the clarity I’m used to, and the bass overwhelms a bit in the second verse.

“Simmer” by Hayley Williams is a great test track because it’s filled with delicate details. The thudding of the bass comes across well, as does her big exhale at the beginning. But I miss the little details, like the clarity of the hi-hat sticking pattern, which I get on the Era 100 and Era 300.

More electronic music seems to sound clearer, like “Everything At Your Feet” by Odesza. This sounds closer to what I would expect. The bass is still a little overwhelming, but I think this is more what the speakers were tuned for.

An even busier song, like “Goddess” by Pvris works better. The crunch of the song works with the speaker, and the full energy and emotion come across really well.

The Move 2 is for music that people want to turn up the volume and dance to, rather than sit quietly and cry to.

Using as a Bluetooth speaker

There is no getting around the fact that the Move 2 is big and heavy. Most Bluetooth speakers I review are small and can be tossed into a tote bag or backpack along with everything else you need for the day. The Move 2 needs its own bag. But that’s not necessarily a problem. I’ve seen plenty of unwieldy Bluetooth speakers over the years.

The main way I imagine people using the portability of the Move 2 is carrying it onto the deck, or into the backyard when the conversation moves outdoors in summer. Or to have by the pool at a pool party. It’s for indoor-outdoor living. But you could also easily take it camping (if you are driving to the campsite).

If you want lower-priced full portability, then the Roam is your friend. The Move 2 serves a different and equally valid purpose.

Who is the Sonos Move 2 for?

I think the Move 2 is for people who have gardens, balconies or decks, and want to be able to take their music out with them. You could take it to the beach or the park, but that’s more of a commitment. It’s also for people who want a Bluetooth speaker, but also want another speaker for their Sonos system, and don’t want to have to get two speakers.

You wouldn’t buy a Move 2 just to use in the one spot, same as you wouldn’t buy it just to be a Bluetooth speaker. The Move 2 is designed to be a part of your everyday routine. There are better options if you just want a home speaker or just want a Bluetooth speaker.

It is not a perfect speaker, and I still wish Sonos had taken the improvements a bit further at this price point. But it is good, and if it sounds like what you need and fits in your budget, I recommend it.

Sonos Move 2
The Sonos Move 2 is a versatile, heavy Bluetooth speaker that can also be a part of your everyday Sonos system in your home.
Features
8
Value for money
7
Performance
8
Ease of use
8
Design
8
Positives
Has some stereo separation now
Boosted bass
Sounds good
Negatives
Expensive
Weight reduces portability
Speaker introduces some fuzz to the music I’ve tested
7.8