Sonos Move review

Sonos launched its first-ever portable speaker back in 2019. Four years on, will it still move you?

Sonos Move review
(Image: © Sonos)

Louder Verdict

The Sonos Move may be four years old, but American audio experts Sonos' first portable speaker more than holds its own in today’s crowded speaker market. It's a great-sounding music blaster that does the business indoors or out.


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    Impressive fidelity, even at high volumes

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    Trueplay will give you the best-possible sound

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    Comes with a wireless charging base


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    Battery life is far from being best-in-class

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    Only offers Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity

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The Sonos Move has been described by its manufacturer as “the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker in the world”. Not one of the best, the best. That’s some statement right there, especially since this portable music box is far from being the most expensive wireless speaker on the planet. 

Sonos has launched some pretty exceptional products over the years, from its Play range of connected speakers to its Symfonisk speaker lamps, created in tandem with IKEA. So, when the US company unveiled its first-ever battery-powered speaker the Sonos Move in 2019, it’s fair to say that expectations were high. But is it really the best-sounding speaker in the world? And what other reasons are there for buying this wireless debutant? Let’s find out.

Sonos Move review: Design

In terms of aesthetic, there’s nothing particularly distinctive about the Sonos Move – this speaker isn’t going to turn heads at the beach like, say, the JBL Boombox 2 would. That’s not to say it’s unattractive; indeed, with its cylindrical shape and subtle colour choices (Shadow Black or Lunar White), it could easily pass off as a member of the Amazon Echo family.

Measuring 6.29in x 9.44in x 4.96in (WxHxD), the Sonos Move couldn’t really be described as compact – and neither is it especially light at 6.6lbs, though its built-in handle makes it fairly easy to carry. (If you want something more petite, Sonos has now added a smaller portable speaker to its repertoire, named the Sonos Roam.)

As with the aforementioned Echo speakers, the Move’s touch controls are largely found at the top of the device. A play/pause button is flanked on either side by volume up and down buttons that can also be used for skipping tracks back or forth – to achieve the latter, you’ll need to swipe in the relevant direction. If you don’t fancy getting off the sofa, you can easily set up Alexa or Google voice assistance (four integrated far-field mics will ensure you’re heard loud and clear), or control the device using the Sonos app or Apple AirPlay 2.

Finally, round the back, there’s a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi switch, a button for putting the Move into sleep mode, plus a USB-C port for charging the device. But why use this when you can simply pop the speaker on the snazzy wireless charging base that comes packaged with it.

Sonos Move review: Features

This speaker’s portability is obviously one of its key selling points, and Sonos has ensured that the Move is up to the task: not only is it drop-proof and IP56-rated (meaning it’ll withstand dust and strong jets of water), it also offers up to 11 hours of battery life from a single 2.5-hour charge – all of which should be enough for even the wildest of outdoor parties. Yes, it’s true that some Bluetooth speakers will give you more battery life – for example, the Anker Soundcore 3 lasts up to 24 hours – but 11 hours is by no means awful. 

The Move isn’t just for al fresco activities, though, and with two class-D amplifiers, a downward-firing tweeter and a mid-woofer tucked in behind that metallic grille, the speaker is easily capable of filling a room with sound. Want even more oomph? The Move can be connected to other Sonos speakers around the house via your Wi-Fi network. Just open your Sonos app and you can create a stereo set-up (the Move is a mono speaker) or an immersive multi-unit combination.

One thing we love about the Sonos Move is its Trueplay feature. Basically, using those four far-field mics, the speaker will analyse its surroundings and optimise its sound levels to suit. Not only that, but with an accelerometer built in, it’s able to detect when the speaker is being moved around, and re-adjust its output accordingly. Clever stuff!  

Sonos Move review: Sound

Sonos Move review: A Sonos Move on a bedroom side table

(Image credit: Sonos)

When you hear the phrase ‘portable speaker’, you might not instantly think of great sound quality. But the Sonos Move proved itself to be more than capable both indoors and out, maintaining impressive fidelity even at higher volumes. Basslines were clear and punchy, while vocals, guitar licks and keyboard lines were delivered with verve. Even in those rare instances where we demanded a little more bottom or treble, this was easily achievable with a few tweaks of the in-app equaliser. Is it the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker in the world? We wouldn’t like to say – but it’s undoubtedly a very good one.

This thing can also get very loud, giving you all the power you need to get your party bouncing. Pairing it with another speaker or two would almost be cruel on your neighbours.

Sonos Move review: The alternatives

Want a Bluetooth speaker for a bargain price? You might be surprised at what you can get for very little money. The EarFun Uboom, for example, offers powerful sound, up to 16 hours of battery life and IPX7 weatherproofing, and all for just £50/$60. No wonder it’s top of our list of the best Bluetooth speakers under £100/$100.

If you want more power (and you’re prepared to pay for it), then make space in your life for the mighty Soundboks (Gen. 3). Delivering the kind of earth-shaking sound you’d expect to hear at a rock concert – and for up to 40 hours off a single charge – this Danish-made diablo is a sure-fire party starter. At around £720/$999, though, it doesn’t come cheap.

Paul Dimery

Paul has spent the past eight years testing and writing about gadgets and technology for the likes of Louder, T3 and TechRadar. He might not have the wealth or the looks of Tony Stark, but when it comes to knowing about the latest cool kit, Paul would surely give Iron-Man a run for his money. As for his musical leanings, Paul likes everything from Weyes Blood to Nirvana. If it's got a good melody, he's on board with it.