Review: Sonos Move 2 Portable Smart Speaker with 24-Hour Battery Life, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi
Move 2 Then & Now
Since Sonos introduced the Move in 2019, they have sold and registered over a million Move speakers. Four years later, Sonos is moving-on-up by updating the Move, with the Move 2. The Move 2 will be available in a black or white finish at launch, and I would expect more colors to come. The Move 2’s controls on top will match Sonos’ latest releases, like the Era 100 and Era 300. On the inside, you’ll be getting an upgraded speaker array and I’ll get to that shortly. On the outside, the Move 2 may not seem that much has changed, but there’s more than meets the eye.
Eco-Friendly Packaging & Unboxing
Sonos is dedicated to a simple unboxing experience and eco-friendly products. The Move 2’s packaging is made of entirely recycled materials. The materials that SONOS used to build the MOVE 2 speaker are also incorporated into this philosophy. With the MOVE 2, SONOS engineers chose different internal components and were able to reduce idol energy consumption by 1/3rd. That means the MOVE 2 will conserve energy just sitting around and not playing music. SONOS is also using recycled manufacturing materials for the MOVE 2. These recycled plastics will make the White MOVE 2 look different than other current white SONOS pieces. In the box, you’ll have The MOVE 2, a charging base with a USB-C end, and USB-C charger, and everything you need to get moving (no I won’t stop doing that). The MOVE 2 weighs almost 7 lbs and is the same size as the original Move.
Design & Features
A big move in the Move 2, is the battery life. The original Move was rated for 10-hours of playtime, and now the Move 2 is hitting a whopping 24 hours. Sonos tested the Move 2 at about 50% volume to get to 24 hours. If you’re a mellow listener, you might get more time, but if you’re a hammer the party won’t last as long. To make sure you save as much battery as possible, turn on the battery saver setting.
Battery Replacement Kit
Another important advancement with the Move 2 is that Sonos will be offering a battery replacement kit for sale online. The current Move battery replacement kit was only available from Sonos if you contacted their support team when you noticed a decline in playback time—likely due to heavy use and many battery cycles. Sonos says that this kit will work for both the Move and Move 2.
USB-C Charging Connection
Another important announcement with the Move 2 is that the USB-C connection on the back will also charge small devices. If you went camping and forgot your battery pack and not your speaker, you’ll still be able to charge up your phone. I ran into this problem earlier this year camping at a festival with my Roam, and this feature would have saved me from a lot of hassle.
The Move 2 is IP56-rated. This means it is protected from limited dust ingress, and a high-pressure water jet. It can’t go swimming like the Sonos Roam, but that rating means it can go to the beach or the lake and can be rinsed off by a hose at the end of the day. The Move 2 also has a shock-absorbent design. It’s built for durability. Allegedly, it will survive a shoulder-height drop, but no one will let me try. I haven’t dropped it on purpose, yet…
On the outside, you won’t notice too many differences between the Move and the Move 2. Most notably the front logo is a lot less conspicuous compared to the Move. It’s almost the exact same chassis apart from some differences on the top and some spots on the back. You’ll have a volume slider, play/pause button, and buttons to skip tracks forward or back like the Era 100 and Era 300. You’ll find a button on the top to turn on/off the voice assistant (Like Sonos Voice or Amazon Alexa). If this is off, the Move 2 can still use the Automatic Trueplay feature. If you flip the microphone switch off on the back this will cut off the microphone completely. No microphone, no Trueplay.
Let’s look at the charging cradle. Compared to the original Move cradle, the new base is chunkier and more stable. Because of this, it feels more secure when placing it on the charger. The power cable can be removed from the charger making it easier to setup. I like this because you don’t have to figure out how to get the charger through tight spaces. Most importantly, the Move and the Move 2 can recharge on either base.
Bluetooth & USB Connectivity
Unlike the original Move, the Move 2 incorporates a concurrent Bluetooth input just like on the Roam, Era 100, and Era 300. This will allow the Move 2 to stay on your network AND be available via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth input can be shared to any room in your Sonos ecosystem, so you’re not limited to a single player. However, Bluetooth isn’t the only way to get extra audio into your Sonos system. The USB-C connection on the back will allow you to connect a Sonos USB-C adapter with an 1/8” stereo cable input to add in something like a karaoke machine or even a turntable.
Sound & Speaker Upgrades
Let’s check out what sonos did to upgrade the audio for the Move 2. The MOVE had a single upward-firing tweeter that went into a waveguide that pushed the audio around the front of the speaker. This takes a lot of acoustical engineering to make it sound good. For the Move 2, Sonos has changed over to 2 tweeters firing at a 45-degree angle from the front—much like the Era 100. The Move 2 also has updated circuits, amps, and DSPs, with a faster processor to help create that larger soundstage and booming bass. This is a much more straightforward design, much more efficient, and creates a bigger soundstage alone (and sounds even better as a pair). The Move and the Move 2 may look the same, but that does not mean they’ll work as a stereo pair. That’s because of these architectural differences.
How Does It Sound?
I had some fun and tested the Move 2 against the Move I already had at home. I wanted to hear if there is a noticeable difference. Almost immediately, I did. You’ll hear a significant distinction in the Move 2 sound signature. Different doesn’t always mean better, but in this case it does. I like to use Qobuz or Amazon Music with Sonos evaluations because they have the highest-resolution streams available in the Sonos ecosystem.
One of my favorite playlists from Qobuz is called “100 Tracks to test your speakers” and there are a lot of dynamic tracks to test out speakers. A song not on that list, but one I had a great time playing between the Move and the Move 2 was “Dancin’” By The Long Beach Dub All-Stars. It’s an upbeat ska/reggae song that’ll make you move. The track has a rolling bassline, accentuated by horns, and a syncopated guitar. Listening between the two speakers, the Move 2 vocals were noticeably clearer and spread out while not being overwhelmed by the low end. The song just had more energy with the Move 2, sounding wider and deeper than the MOVE (which is no slouch) it just sounded more enclosed.
The Move 2 sounds great, but out-of-the-box I do suggest going into the equalizer and turning off the loudness, and maybe bumping up the bass for a more detailed sound with a little extra thump.
I’ve always liked the Move because I carried it around the house while cleaning, on the patio for chilling, and is my go-to tailgating speaker. I’m excited to add the Move 2 to my own Sonos system because my girlfriend purloined my Move for her office, which gives me a great excuse to pick up the Move 2 for myself. With the longer battery life, Bluetooth capability, and bigger soundstage, it will be the speaker I'll take on my beach visits, camping trips, and tailgating parties.