Close your eyes and picture a portable speaker. I am not a mind reader, but I reckon you are conjuring up a dinky little thing that’s made of rubber and emblazoned with colours brighter than Mr Motivator’s leotard. Oh, and it's probably languishing in a drawer somewhere gathering dust.
The Sonos Move 2 is not that speaker and all the better for it. Yes, it’s portable but it’s built chunkier than most (aren’t we all?), which means that you have to have a little bit of muscle to carry the thing.
But it also means the sound that you get from the Sonos Move 2 isn’t that tinny ‘back of the bus’ nonsense. It’s far, far better.
I’ve been using the Sonos Move 2 for a few weeks now and here are five things to know…
1. Size matters
The Sonos Move 2 isn’t a portable speaker you bung in a bag and take to the beach - it measures 24.1 x 16 x 12.7cm and weighs a meaty but manageable 3kg. There's a nice lip on the back of the thing so you can lift it.
It’s built to be as good as a regular Sonos speakers in the home, but with an added rechargeable battery so you can take it into rooms that haven’t yet been blessed with that Sonos sound.
Or the garden if you are lucky enough to have one of those things - and you don’t have to worry about your Wi-Fi stretching so far, as there’s Bluetooth built in. It’s also IP56 rated so a little dust, dirt and water shouldn’t harm the thing.
Design wise, it’s shifted away from the original Move but only slightly, given the signature look of the new Sonos devices, complete with touch volume slider on the top. There is a fancy new colour - if you don’t just want the normal black and white, there’s an olive green, too.
2. The battery is big (and clever)
The battery on the Sonos Move 2 will last for 24 hours which is more than double the original Move. This is fantastic, considering you won’t be listening to the thing all day, every day - unless you’re that person who is hosting an afters, showing off the nuances in Fred Again’s latest opus and arguing why his privileged upbringing doesn’t dull the sparkle in his beats.
The Sonos Move 2 comes with a slick base charger that can also be used to charge up the original Move. This is a nice touch and means that if you are superseding the original for this one, you may keep the original around for double the portable fun.
Another neat touch is that you can also charge the Sonos Move 2 through its USB-C slot. That slot also becomes… a charger!
Obviously it will run down the battery but I liked how I could keep my phone juiced up, while listening to the nuances in Fred Again’s latest opus and arguing why his privileged upbringing doesn’t dull the sparkle in his beats.
3. Setup is simple and very Sonos
If you already have a Sonos setup in your home, then the Sonos Move 2 will automatically show up on your app - I almost wanted it to say ‘we’ve been expecting you, Mr Move’ when the new device was found. Instead, a lovely picture of the new speaker comes up.
I had to update the Move 2 before I, er, moved it but it didn’t take too long and Sonos showcased some fun things I could do with the speaker while this was taking place.
If you don’t actually have a Sonos set-up, then installation is still easy and all done through the app. I expect this isn’t the first Sonos rodeo, though, for the majority of those purchasing the Move 2.
4. Sound is stunning and in stereo
One of the biggest changes to the Sonos Move is, like any sequel it's obviously more bombastic, is that the sound coming from the speaker is now stereo. This is thanks to two tweeters and a sub, each with an individual amplifier. You can also pair two two Move 2s together to make a stereo pair. Or should that be, pair 2 Move 2s 2gether 2 make a stereo pair?
The new DJ Shadow album sounded magnificent on the Sonos Move 2. The bubbling bass in the New Jack Swing-like You Played Me was so good I listened to the track twice. And epic closer She’s Evolving was luscious through the Sonos Move 2's powerful speaker set.
Going heavier into the beats, Installation by Panagaea was stunning and made us want to turn our kitchen into a disco. The acoustic guitar of Will Anybody Ever Love Me? By Sufjan Stevens brought us back to earth with tears in our eyes, the track’s warmth spilling through the speaker beautifully.
Compared to the original Move, the sound is clearer and more concise. There’s real clarity in the detail and I could really feel that its automatic Trueplay calibration feature worked well in the background, shifting the sounds to adapt to smaller rooms and the great outdoors.
That said, I think that the same songs sounded better through my Era 300. Not by a huge amount and this speaker did beat it on bass.
5. Connect, phwoar!
There are numerous ways you can connect the Sonos Move 2 to your setup. Wi-Fi is the most obvious and will give you benefits such as voice assistance - Alexa or Sonos' own, there's no longer Google Assistant on board - and pairing with the rest of your speakers for that seamless Sonos sound experience.
There’s also Bluetooth, which works a treat. A word of warning, though: you will need to connect the Move 2 to your Wi-Fi before you go galavanting around with it, using Bluetooth. It’s a touch annoying but easy enough to do.
There’s also a line-in but you have to buy a separate adaptor for that, which turns the USB-C slot into a place where you can plug your turntable and other analog delights in.
As for the music services you can listen to, there are loads via the app, including Sonos’ own radio stations, Spotify, Tidal and the like.
Sonos Move 2: Final Verdict
The Sonos Move 2 is a fantastic addition to the Sonos world, significantly upgrading the sound and the battery life of the original Move.
Its design flourishes are a little more subtle than the sound improvements, but the Move 2 is much more in line with the new Sonos range and I really like the new colour addition, Olive green.
While this isn’t the most portable of portable speakers, for those who want a Sonos they can move from room to room, and take it out to the garden once in a while, this is an essential buy.
- And now for some music: these are the best rock albums of all time, ranked.