Time waits for no man. It’s also pretty impatient when it comes to audio tech.
American audio giant Sonos isn’t known for pumping out products at a relentless pace, but it isn’t a company of slow-handed slouches either.
With the new Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 recently making their first appearances and with the world of wireless speakers seemingly as fertile and popular as it’s ever been, now is a good time to turn our attention to a product we first got our hands on in late 2019: the hefty but impressive Sonos Move.
We liked the first Move a lot, and while we found it to be a little on the costly side and not quite able to match the Apple HomePod in the sound department, it’s held up well as a powerful all-rounder capable of delivering a full-bodied musical experience in almost any environment.
The Move wasn’t perfect, however, and we expect Sonos to make improvements if and when it announces the sequel to its first battery-powered Bluetooth / wireless hybrid speaker. Details of the hypothetical sequel are still thin on the ground, but we can make some pretty well-educated guesses about when, and in what form, the Move 2 will finally be released into the world.
Sonos Move 2: release date rumours
The original Sonos Move made its debut on September 24, 2019. Almost four years down the line, we think it’s high time for a Move 2, though Sonos hasn't gone on the record with any information so far.
All we can do at this stage is look at Sonos’ current patterns of releases in an attempt to discern what the next steps might be. There’s generally been a five-year gap between each generation of its standard wireless speakers such as the Sonos One, while the Sonos Sub tends to see an upgrade every four.
We first heard rumblings of a possible second-generation Move alongside rumours of the new Sonos Era range (via The Verge) back in February 2023, and with the Era now officially launched, that certainly lends us confidence that the proposed Move 2 likely isn't far behind. Summer is usually the logical time to release portable or Bluetooth speakers, thanks to the warmer weather and a greater desire for people to roam free, so if we had to make a guess, mid-2023 might be a shout for a new Move 2 portable.
Sonos Move 2: price predictions
Pricing at this stage is once again nothing but pure speculation, but we do at least have some plotting points on the Sonos release graph that might help us make predictions about the as-yet-hypothetical Move 2.
The original Move launched at £399 / $399 / AU$649 back in 2019, a price tag we felt was a smidge expensive for what you were actually getting, especially when you consider the competitors around the price: we tested the original five-star Apple HomePod at roughly the same time for around £80 less.
The newer HomePod 2 (also a five-star winner) costs even less £299 / $299, whereas class-leading wireless/Bluetooth speakers at this premium end of the price range include the Award-winning Audio Pro Addon C10 MkII and Dali Katch G2. Considering the competitive market right now and the suite of features that Sonos offers, we’re probably hovering around the £300-350 mark again here, although we’d hope that Sonos is a little bit more aggressive with the pricing. Any more and the Sonos Move 2 will have to work extremely hard to justify its more substantial price tag.
Sonos Move 2: design
While Sonos may not compete with the likes of Bang & Olufsen when it comes to design, we were surprised by the rather big, heavy and bulky nature of the original Sonos Move, especially for a speaker that was meant to be ‘portable’.
We’d like to see Sonos push the boat out a little further with its styling and available colour options, not to mention make the Move more portable-friendly. Surely Sonos would be willing to offer just a little more in terms of choice than black or white, especially since its offers a whopping five different shades for the portable Sonos Roam?
In terms of interface, the Move 2 might end up taking its cues from the newer interface designs of the Sonos Era range, which has neater capacitive touch controls for playback, a ‘trough’ for the volume slider and buttons to enable/disable voice control. We’d certainly hope for (and expect) similar ergonomic tweaks to be considered on the Move 2.
Sonos Move 2: features
The first Sonos Move gave a good account of itself when it came to boasting numerous functionalities and features: being a Sonos wireless speaker and supported by the S2 platform and app, it came with all the features you’d expect from the company. Wi-fi, voice control (Alexa and Google Assistant) and AirPlay streaming were all on board, as was Bluetooth for the first time. You also get direct access to more than 30 music streaming services and internet radio providers through the app. We expect all of these features to return in the sequel.
The Move provided 10 hours of battery life per charge. Any increases in battery life would work in Sonos’ favour in the sequel, and would seem fair given the pretty massive size of the device.
One of the things that we listed as a big con on the original model was its lack of any aptX Bluetooth support. It wasn’t a complete dealbreaker at the time, but aptX has become such a big thing in the quest for greater fidelity over Bluetooth, so don’t be surprised if this is an area in which the Move 2 improves upon its predecessor.
We’d also expect to see features such as Auto Trueplay, Sonos’ automatic sound calibration system for its portable speakers, making a comeback for both iOS and Android users. We imagine it won’t have all the bells and whistles provided by the more high-end Era range, but it will be interesting to see whether the Move 2 follows the new speaker range in providing features such as wi-fi 6 support, Sonos voice control or even a wired connection using a USB-C line-in.
Sonos Move 2: sound quality
This really should be where Sonos has all bases covered. The original Move impressed us with its open, full-bodied sound both inside the home and down at the bottom of the garden. Whatever we threw at it, the Move seemed to have it covered with a nicely even-handed tone.
That said, we didn’t find the Move’s sound quality to be truly class-leading, with the original HomePod offering more drive, impetus and cohesiveness to songs. Considering the competition at this end of the market, Sonos really should be pushing to be the best in class with the future Move 2.
Will Sonos update the drivers and change the size of the unit? Either of these changes would result in a difference in sound quality. If Sonos decides to go with something a little more compact for the design, we’d be interested to see if it could still dish out the expansive “garden party levels” of volume that impressed us in the original model.
Whether it will support aptX Bluetooth or even offer 24-bit audio file support over wi-fi is what could give it the edge over similarly priced rivals, though. The promise of CD-quality audio over a Bluetooth connection is appealing, and with so many competitors looking to utilise the same technology in their products, we wouldn’t be surprised if Sonos jumped firmly on the bandwagon by the time the Move 2 rolls around.
Check out our original Sonos Move review
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