Sonos Move review: Glorious audio performances at home and on the road

    I’ve been pining for a transportable outside Sonos speaker for years. I think anybody who’s purchased into the Sonos ecosystem has. The Sonos Move not solely scratches that itch, its Bluetooth radio provides me the choice of taking the speaker on the street. What could possibly be higher than that? Audio efficiency rivaling the mighty second-generation Sonos Play:5, plus real-time room compensation and your alternative of Alexa or Google Assistant onboard.

    The Move isn’t Sonos’ first outside speaker. The firm partnered with Sonance in late 2018 to provide the weatherized Sonos Outdoor by Sonance audio system, however these are wired, passive, and costly at $799—plus the price of an amplifier to drive them. You should buy them direct, however they’re actually meant for the custom-installer market. The Move isn’t precisely low cost at $399, however it’s self-amplified, battery-powered, and—weighing in at 6.6 kilos—luggable, with a deep deal with molded into the again of its enclosure.

    sonos move handle 2 Michael Brown / IDG

    A deep deal with molded into the again of the Sonos Move’s enclosure makes the 6.6-pound speaker simple to choose up and transfer.

    At house—and in all places else

    To hearken to the Move at house, you’ll wish to join the speaker to your Wi-Fi community. The onboard dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter gives vital vary that ought to allow you to pay attention nearly anyplace in even a big yard, supplied you will have router. That can even allow you to sync it to all of your different Sonos elements in a multi-room audio system. You can pair two Move audio system as a wi-fi stereo pair when linked to Wi-Fi, however you’ll be able to’t pair the Move with the Sonos Sub. The Move additionally helps Apple’s AirPlay 2 audio expertise.

    I evaluated the Move whereas linked to a three-node Samsung SmartThings Wifi router that I’m within the means of reviewing, and I used to be in a position to wander impressively lengthy distances round my rural property with out the speaker dropping off my community. In truth, the Move maintained its Wi-Fi connection even on the finish of my more-than-300-foot-long driveway.

    Unfortunately, my Pixel 2 XL couldn’t match that efficiency, so I had assumed that left me with no strategy to management the speaker other than touching the play/pause and volume-control buttons on the speaker itself. But then I remembered that I may use voice instructions! This labored with Alexa, and whereas I didn’t change over to Google Assistant to confirm that it could additionally work, there’s no cause I can see that it wouldn’t. That is a exceptional efficiency for an 802.11n gadget. Your mileage will range, in fact, relying on the standard of your router and the density of competing Wi-Fi networks the place you reside.

    sonos move wifi range Michael Brown / IDG

    The Sonos Move’s Wi-Fi vary is unbelievable. The speaker remained linked to my community regardless of being greater than 300 ft from my home (which you’ll be able to see within the background).

    Take the Move on the street—or anyplace past the attain of your router or private hotspot—and also you’ll change to a Bluetooth connection. The Move helps Bluetooth 4.2 with AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile). Just push the mode button on the again of the speaker to change from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth after which pair the speaker together with your smartphone or pill. Once paired, you want solely push the button on the speaker to change modes.

    You will expertise a slight compromise in audio high quality with Bluetooth in comparison with Wi-Fi, relying on what you’re streaming. You gained’t discover it whereas taking part in tracks on companies like Spotify that stream lossy, comparatively low-resolution tracks (in comparison with 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC recordsdata, as an example). Wi-Fi can present the bandwidth for FLAC and different codecs in resolutions a lot increased than that, though Sonos elements are restricted to a most decision of 16-bit/48kHz.

    That means you gained’t get full high quality from lossless streaming companies equivalent to Tidal, Qobuz, or the new Amazon Music HD when the speaker is in Bluetooth mode. And you gained’t be capable of benefit from the high-resolution (24-bit/192kHz) streaming choices out there from Qobuz or Amazon Music HD utilizing both connectivity possibility. Support for aptX—or higher but, aptX HD—would assist the Move’s Bluetooth efficiency, however Sonos helps solely the SBC and AAC codecs over Bluetooth.

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