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(Pocket-lint) - Sonos offers multiple speakers within its portfolio, but as great as they are, none had been portable, none had been water-resistant, and none had offered Bluetooth audio support. The Sonos Move, however, changed all of that. 

While Sonos previously focused on offering speakers designed for the home that require mains power and use a mesh Wi-Fi network to talk to each other, the Sonos Move was the first portable Bluetooth smart speaker marking the beginning of Sonos outside of the home.

Move was first, but since its release, there is also now the smaller, and more portable Sonos Roam to consider if you're in the market for a Bluetooth Sonos speaker. You can read our full Sonos Roam review separately, but here we are focusing on the larger, more powerful, Sonos Move.

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Our quick take

We waited a long time to see Sonos launch a portable speaker with Bluetooth streaming before Move was finally revealed. In fact, we asked co-founder Tom Cullen about a portable speaker back in 2015, so it's something we've been pining after for a while and now we have two choices. 

The Move is bigger and heavier than we expected, and certainly not cheap, but with its price and size comes durability, toughness and performance - and that's no bad thing, especially if you actually plan to make use of the Move's portability. We also suspect many will use it as a sometime portable, not as a constant cart-around speaker.

There are other great portable Bluetooth speakers out there - including Sonos' own Roam that is far smaller and better designed for constant portability - but there are none quite like the Sonos Move in terms of sound output and features, especially not for those already invested in the Sonos system. It's the Bluetooth speaker Sonos fans were waiting for.

Sonos Move review: Should you buy it over Roam?

Sonos Move

5 stars - Pocket-lint editors choice
For
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Durable and water-resistant design
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • AirPlay 2
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support
  • Stereo pairing
Against
  • Heavy and therefore not all that portable
  • Quite expensive
  • No voice control in Bluetooth mode
  • Can't use two Sonos Move speakers as surrounds

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Design

  • IP56 water- and dust-resistant design
  • Capacitive touch controls
  • Integrated handle
  • Measures: 240 x 160 x 126mm
  • Weighs: 3kg

Sonos plays close attention to design and all its latest speakers - from the 2015 Play:5 to the Sonos Arc - share similar design features, like capacitive touch controls, black and white colour options and plastic detailing.

Pocket-lint Sonos Move review image 15

The Sonos Move has the same design ethos as these newer Sonos speakers, with rounded edges, capacitive controls and an almost identical top to the Sonos One - albeit oval shaped and with repositioned controls - but it raises the stakes when it comes to durability.

While the design of the Sonos Move clearly resembles the Sonos portfolio, it offers an IP56 water and dust resistance and it is one tough little cookie - although it's not actually that little. Sonos says the Move can withstand pretty much every obstacle life might throw at it, whether that be sand, water or a drop on concrete, and while we didn't fancy testing the last of those, it's clear this speaker is able to hold its own.

To achieve this, the bottom of the device is silicone with a clear coat of paint over the top to deter dust. Everything inside has been considered, too, from a custom-made polycarbonate basket case reinforced with glass for the mid-woofer, to the colour of the Move itself - it is Shadow Black and not just plain, absorbant black to take UV exposure into account. We had it outside in 25C with the sun shining directly on it for several hours but it didn't feel too hot as a result. There's a Lunar White model too, which are the same colour offerings as the Sonos Roam.

Pocket-lint Sonos Move review image 6

As we say, though, this portable speaker is not small. It's wider and taller than the Sonos One and it weighs a hefty 3kg - so you'll need a pretty decent-sized backpack to lug it around. The point is that you can bring it wherever you want, whether that's your garden, the beach or a camping trip. At this scale we suspect it'll be nearer to the home, for a garden party, while the smaller Sonos Roam is more suited to the park or beach.

On the rear of the Move is a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle switch, a power button and a pairing button - the last of which all Sonos speakers except the Roam offer. The buttons are all positioned on an inward slant that allows for the convenient integrated handle - which is built into the design, rather than a separate strap or handle - to exist within this design format.

When the Sonos Move is on its Loop Dock charging cradle it looks like any other Sonos speaker and blends into the home. You'd never know it was portable from the front, giving it an element of surprise about it. If you're thinking about buying a permanent in-home Sonos speaker but might want to occasionally take it out and about then we can see why this design makes perfect sense, though the same can definitely be said for the Roam too.

Pocket-lint Sonos Move review image 18

A USB Type-C port sits below the integrated handle and the buttons, as well as two charging pins below that for the Loop Dock - which the Sonos Move snaps into place on.

Hardware & Specs

  • Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy
  • AirPlay 2 support
  • 45W power

The Sonos Move delivers 45W of power, coupled with Bluetooth for audio streaming capabilities rather than needing a mesh-connected device. The Sonos One, by comparison, doesn't offer Bluetooth for audio streaming (only for quick setup), making the Move the first Sonos speaker to offer the technology, followed by the Roam.