19 hours. That was how far I flew to see the new Sonos Move speaker.
That was the longest non-stop flight I ever have ever taken too. Why did I fly so far? Because the launch of the Sonos Move speaker was in New York City and this was the fastest way to get there from Singapore. I was apprehensive at first, worried that my tender butt would not be able to take it but thankfully, it was a pleasant journey on this Singapore Airlines flight sitting in Premium Economy. Next time, perhaps I can try the Business Class on SQ21 (hint hint, SQ).
I stayed at the High Line, a hipster part of NYC, and spent a nice few days exploring the city. I even saw Taylor Swift coming out of an event in her car. I joined the screaming fans on the road.
But of course, I was not here (just) for fun. I was here to see the new portable speaker from Sonos.
For years, many have asked Sonos, “Eh, when are you going to make a Bluetooth speaker ah?”
As a Sonos user myself, and a worshipper in the Temple of Sonos wifi-connected Speakers (I have more Sonos speakers in my home than Christian, who is the boss of the brand in Singapore), I have also wondered the same thing. Sure, it was nice to have wireless speakers in my home, including a wireless home theatre setup. But what if I wanted to take a Sonos speaker outside? To the park? To a party? To my patio?
Ok, limpeh lives in an HDB flat, so limpeh has no patio. Just the common corridor. But you get the idea.
Enter the Sonos Move.
This baby can connect to your Sonos home network via wifi, just like any Sonos product. BUT IT ALSO DOES BLUETOOTH.
I know, I know. You are thinking, “Eh, brown. There are a gazillion Bluetooth speakers out there leh.”
True, but none of them are Sonos. You don’t get the benefits of a wireless system of networked speakers with those other Bluetooth speakers. And also, most of them sound very dinky.
The Sonos Move is not one of those small speakers you pop into your handbag or backpack to go to your chalet or your beach holiday though. This beefy speaker is happier on a road trip or blasting tunes in the garden or park.
Sound is crisp and clear, even outdoors, thanks to the design of the speakers to ensure you don’t lose the high-end where there are no walls to keep sound in. The tweeter inside is downward-firing, designed so that you have even dispersion, indoors or outdoors. Vocals and bass come out strong with the built-in mid-woofer. The speaker drivers benefit from the power of two Class-D digital amplifiers.
The Move is also waterproof, dust-proof, drop-resistant and tough as nails. I know, because I saw the abuse the Sonos folks put the Move through in their tests and research. You don’t want to drop this on your foot though. It is somewhat heavy. The handle they designed for the Move was created to address this heft. You can tell Sonos spent a LOT of time on the handle design because I was lifting it quite easily and I am no Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With the Move get the easy Sonos setup. You also get Apple Airplay 2 support, like all the current models, and Voice Control via Alexa and Google Assistant. Wifi and Bluetooth is switchable with a push of a button behind the Move. And you can pair two Moves in a Stereo Pair, but only over Wifi and not when in Bluetooth mode.
Battery life is 10 hours away from the charger, which is this ring the Move sits on. It is an elegant charging solution. You can also charge the Move via its USB-C port. When the lithium-ion battery inside the Move no longer holds a charge (after an estimated three years or 900 charges, according to Sonos), Sonos will also do a battery swap for a fee. That is very reassuring, in this world of electronic devices where the device dies with the death of a battery.
Another cool feature is Auto Trueplay. This allows the Move to figure out where it is in your room or outdoors, and adapt the sound to the environment. If you plonk them on a shelf, for example, it will optimise the sound from that spot. If you lug it outdoors, it will sense that and give you the right sound for that. The automatic EQ of Auto Trueplay only works in Wifi mode though.
What is lacking in the Move? You can’t pair them a home cinema surrounds. Pity, because I can imagine them being used as a handy pair of surrounds as and when I need to watch a movie with a Sonos Beam as my TV speaker. You also can’t pair the Move with a Sonos Sub. Sorry, bass heads.
I also wish the battery life was more than 10 hours. But you can charge it with a compatible USB-C charger when away from it’s charging ring.
The size and weight of the Move can also be a hindrance, I feel. You can pack a Move in your hand-carry to fly (the battery inside meets airline requirements) but it isn’t something you will do very often unless you really really want to blast your music in the hotel room with the power of the Move. I suspect it is more of a speaker you throw in the car for a road trip, than a speaker you carry on a plane.
There is also the price. It is… brace yourselves… S$729.00. This is not a cheap Bluetooth speaker you can buy from the discount bin of a computer store. But you do get an excellent speaker that sounds, and is physically, robust. And plays nice with the rest of the Sono eco-system. That may be enough reason to get one.
And hey, think of how fun it will be to carry it into the bathroom with you when you shower.
You can find out more about the Sonos Move and purchase it from trysonos.sg/products/move