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Sonos Move 2

Sonos Move 2 review: A surprisingly significant update

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £449
inc VAT

The Sonos Move 2 may not look much different but it’s better than the original in almost all of the ways that matter


  • Improved sound quality
  • Much better battery life
  • More intuitive controls


  • Stereo effect is limited
  • No Google Assistant support
  • Expensive

The Sonos Move 2 is quite a tricky product to evaluate. On the one hand, it introduces a healthy selection of updates to a product that has long been one of the best smart speakers around.

On the other hand, I can’t help wishing Sonos had gone a bit more galaxy brain with the Move 2. Adding multichannel audio, perhaps, or making it a touch more compact. That would certainly make it an easier product to recommend for existing owners. As it is, it looks like a minor update that Sonos hasn’t invested much time or effort into.

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Sonos Move 2 review:  What do you get for the money?

That’s very much not the case, as you’ll find out if you read on, but the first thing to say is that it is impressive, given the economic climate in which it launches, that the Sonos Move 2 is only £50 more expensive than the original was when it was released in September 2019.

Having said that, there’s no denying that £450 is a lot of money for a single smart speaker, even one as good as this. It’s especially hard to justify when you can buy a pair of Sonos ERA 100 speakers for £340 and a single Sonos ERA 300 for the same money.

That justification becomes even harder when so little, apparently, has changed. Set the Move 2 next to its predecessor and there are visible differences, but they appear to be merely aesthetic: the vertical Sonos logo is black on black now (or white on white, or green on green), and the charging stand is a little more angular and chunky.

Otherwise, it’s the same 241mm tall, ovalised structure that tapers towards a shock-resistant, rubberised base. It’s still battery-powered, so you can lift it off its charging base using the grip cut into the speaker’s rear, although at 3.1kg it’s a little hefty to be called a truly portable wireless speaker. It also retains its IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, allowing you to carry it out into the garden and leave it there without worrying too much about it getting wet.

Sonos Move 2 rear cutout

Look a little closer, however, and you’ll see quite a few small changes have been made. The control system, for one, has been updated to bring the Move into line with Sonos’ ERA speakers. Instead of having to tap cryptic symbols on top of the speaker to adjust the volume up and down, you simply drag your finger up or down the track. It’s a much more intuitive system that means even those unfamiliar with the speaker can perform simple actions.

The microphone mute button in the centre has also been removed and replaced with a button for summoning your voice assistant. You can still mute the speaker’s microphones to prevent it listening to your private conversations, but with the Move 2 you flick a switch at the rear instead.

Sonos Move 2 top panel

The biggest updates for the Move 2, however, are those ones you can’t see. The first is that the battery life has been upgraded from the previous speaker’s 11 hours to 24 hours this time around. Sonos also says it has reduced the speaker’s idle power consumption by 40%; I recorded this at 1.5W-1.6W when sat idle in its cradle compared with around 2.8W-2.9W consumed by the original Sonos Move.

Sonos has also added stereo audio to the Move 2, via a pair of angled tweeters positioned just above the mid-woofer driver hidden beneath the speaker’s wraparound metal grille. These tweeters are angled so that they fire to the left and right, in theory producing a stereo effect.

READ NEXT: These are the best wireless speakers to buy today

Sonos Move 2 review: What’s the sound quality like?

I wasn’t all that convinced with the stereo effect on the ERA 100 so I thought I’d go about testing the Move 2 in exactly the same way to see if Sonos has made any significant changes to the way it’s implementing stereo from a single point.

My first go-to track for stereo was the 1999 remaster of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. This has clear, if rather crude, channel separation, with the high hat consistently emanating from the left channel, and while there is a sense that it is playing from the left channel, that channel appears to be very close to the centre.

Sonos Move 2 front view

The same goes for the stereo mix of the Velvet Underground’s The Gift, where a narrator tells the story on the left channel while the right channel plays the backing music. It ought to be clearly obvious that the spoken voice is coming from the left channel but because each channel shares a centrally firing mid-woofer, the two channels are inevitably more mushed together than they would otherwise be in a true stereo system.

Still, as long as you don’t expect too much from the stereo experience, the Sonos Move 2 is a great-sounding speaker. And while those extra tweeters don’t do much from a stereo separation point of view, they do add extra width and a tad more three-dimensionality to audio.

Fire up Rival Console’s World Turns, for instance, and you’ll pick up on a greater sense of space between the various parts – less tubbiness and congestion – and clearer delineation between one part of the music and another.

Sonos Move 2 base

Joe Satriani’s simple yet emotional Teardrops is another track that exemplifies the Move 2’s superiority, with an almost unearthly division between the drums, cymbals and electric guitar. On the original Move, the piece sounds more homogenous – still great, but the quality of the recording stands out less.

The sublime It Was So Beautiful brings the effect to the fore even more convincingly, with Ben Webster’s poignant, mournful saxophone solo standing out so strongly you almost feel you can reach out and grab it with both hands. Whatever genre of music I threw at the Move 2, in fact, it coped beautifully, with perfect balance and poise. It never veered into over-harshness or muddiness and the bass never got too big for its boots, either.

You might, if you were in the business of splitting the finest of hairs, say that the bass is actually a little on the dry side, a tad lightweight, perhaps. But I always felt the speaker had more than enough drive and timing that the lack of truly deep sub-bass presence didn’t really matter.

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Sonos Move 2 review: Is it easy to set up and use?

The improved sound quality of the Sonos Move 2 is set against a familiar background: a superb wireless speaker app and ecosystem, which makes the speaker as easy to use as it is to set up.

My favourite part about the Sonos app is the way it integrates multiple music sources from streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and BBC Sounds, along with local music and files on network storage.

You also get a choice of voice assistants with the ability to use either Amazon Alexa to control things or Sonos’ own voice control system, the latter voiced by actor Giancarlo Esposito. The Sonos voice assistant is more basic and, in my experience, not as responsive as Alexa. I found I had to raise my voice quite a bit before it would acknowledge the “Hey Sonos” wake phrase. However, the benefit of using it is that all the processing is done on the speaker itself and not online, so those who don’t want Amazon listening in on them at home have an alternative.

Sonos Move 2 controls

Alas, Sonos speakers no longer support Google Assistant so if that’s your choice of voice assistant you’re out of luck.

The app is also used to access the speaker’s various settings, and this includes Sonos’ automatic TruePlay tuning. This uses the microphones in the speaker in conjunction with motion sensors to tune the speaker’s EQ to its position in the room whenever you move it.

If you plonk it down in a corner, the system will reduce the bass so it doesn’t sound boomy, and if you put it outside, it will boost the low end so music doesn’t sound overly thin.

Sonos Move 2 at dramatic angle

In my experience automatic TruePlay worked perfectly, but you may not like the choices Sonos makes for you. If this is the case, you can always tweak the EQ manually. Unfortunately, this is one area the Sonos app is a little weak, with only Bass, Treble and Loudness (on/off) adjustments available.

Another thing you may be dismayed to hear is that you can’t create a stereo pair with a Sonos Move 2 and a Sonos Move. You have to have identical speakers to do that.

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Sonos Move 2 review: Should you buy it?

Despite the odd, small niggle here and there, the Sonos Move 2 is a wonderful smart speaker and a notable upgrade over its predecessor. It sounds better, has improved battery life, consumes less energy when on standby and adds a small selection of new features that make life a little easier.

If you already own the original Sonos Move, I wouldn’t say it’s worth rushing out to upgrade. And, even if you don’t, think carefully before committing to this speaker, as the better-sounding Era 300 is available for the same price and a pair of Era 100 can be had for less.

However, if you’re after a powerful speaker you can carry around the house with you from room to room and out into the garden, then the Sonos Move 2 fits the bill perfectly, especially if you’re already invested in the Sonos ecosystem.

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