Sonos Move 2 – Better in a Lot of Ways Without Google Assistant

When you think about a new version of a tech gadget, it’s easy to imagine it fixing all the problems of the original. The new Sonos Move 2 speaker costs $449. It’s tempting to say it’s everything the first one should have been.

The Move 2 is better in a lot of ways: it sounds wider and clearer with stereo instead of mono sound, and its battery lasts much longer. Plus, it’s more useful with extra features like a line-in port and the ability to charge your phone from it. But it does cost $50 more.

But to be fair, the first Move couldn’t have been like this. It was made before Sonos figured out how to let you use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi music at the same time. You had to pick one with a button on the back.

The Move also came out before Sonos started putting two speakers in one box for better sound. The Move 2 follows that trend, giving you separate left and right channels. But there’s a downside: because of a fight between Sonos and Google, the Move 2 doesn’t have Google Assistant like the first one does.

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Sonos Move 2 Price With Pros and Cons

Price: $449

Pros:

  • Better stereo sound
  • Significantly longer battery life
  • Supports playing music via a line-in connection

Cons:

  • No Google Assistant anymore
  • Can’t be used as a speakerphone
  • Quite heavy for a portable speaker

Design

Apart from some adjustments to the controls on the top, the appearance of the Move 2 hasn’t really changed much. It’s still the same shape, and it’s still quite tall (9.53 inches) and heavy (6.61 pounds) to be easily carried around.

However, it does have a built-in handle to make moving it easier. Like the original Move, it’s meant to be moved between different places inside and outside your home rather than being a lightweight option you’d take to the beach like a typical Bluetooth speaker.

In terms of portability, the Move 2 isn’t as easy to carry or pack as the Roam, but it’s convenient for moving around the house, taking to the backyard, or bringing along in the car. If you plan to travel with it frequently, Sonos offers a pricey $79 carrying case. Unlike the original Move, which came with a fabric carrying bag, the Move 2 doesn’t include one this time. Sonos explained that the bag was only meant for transit and shipping purposes.

Color Options

Aside from the usual black and white choices, Sonos now offers a green option for the Move 2. Besides, we’ve grown quite fond of the olive color during this review. It’s not too flashy but adds a stylish touch without being dull.

In The Box

In the package, you’ll find a wireless charging base station. Unlike before, this one can be disconnected from its wall plug, which is a convenient upgrade. Like the previous model, you can also charge the Move 2 using its USB-C port.

Button

On the back, you’ll find the power button, Bluetooth pairing button, a switch for the built-in microphones, and the USB-C port. Just like the original, the Move 2 supports automatic Trueplay. This feature uses the microphones to analyze the speaker’s surroundings and adjust the sound for the best quality whenever you move it to a new location.

Features

You can control it hands-free using either Sonos Voice Control or Amazon Alexa. There are two ways to turn off the microphones: you can tap a speech bubble button on the top of the speaker to disable voice assistants while still keeping features like auto Trueplay active. If you want to completely deactivate the microphones, you can use the switch on the back.

Unfortunately, Google Assistant is still missing from the Move 2, even though it was initially removed from the Era lineup. With JBL now offering a speaker that can run both Alexa and Assistant simultaneously, I’m hopeful that Sonos and Google can resolve their legal disputes and find a way to bring Assistant back. For some customers, its absence might be a dealbreaker.

Another disappointment, although not as significant, is that the Move 2 can’t be used as a speakerphone for calls. Considering it works with Bluetooth and already has microphones, it seems like a missed opportunity for Sonos. Many cheaper Bluetooth speakers and even Apple’s HomePods, which lack Bluetooth, include this feature. It’s frustrating to see Sonos leave it out once again.

There are several ways Sonos has improved the capabilities of the Move 2. Like the Eras, it now supports line-in (with Sonos’ $19 USB-C adapter). This allows you to connect any audio source, like a turntable, and play it across your Sonos system. You can also synchronize anything you’re listening to over Bluetooth across your grouped speakers, a feature lacking in the first-generation Move.

Sonos still supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, and you can directly control its speakers with various music services, including Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and many others.

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Sonos Move 2 Battery Life

The Move 2 introduces a handy new feature: the rear USB-C port can now charge external devices. It delivers 7.5 watts of power, which isn’t super fast but comes in handy if your phone is running low on battery while you’re enjoying music at the park or beach, far from any outlets.

Battery life on the Move 2 has more than doubled, now boasting up to 24 hours of continuous playback. This significant improvement is thanks to two main factors: a larger 44Wh battery and power-saving optimizations. While the bigger battery is compatible with the original Move, it won’t magically give you 24 hours of playback on the first-gen Move due to the absence of newer efficiency tweaks.

According to Sonos spokesperson Olivia Singer, placing a Move 2 battery in an original Move will increase its battery life by about 25%, providing around 13.5 hours of playback. Singer explained that the Move 2’s more efficient system contributes to the additional playback improvements. It’s great that the battery is easily replaceable, ensuring a longer lifespan for the Move 2 compared to many other consumer speakers whose batteries gradually lose their charge over time.

Sound Quality

We’ve mentioned before that the original Move quickly became our favorite Sonos smart speaker due to its portability and powerful sound. While the Move 2’s upgrade to stereo isn’t a huge change – a single-unit speaker can only achieve so much separation – you can definitely notice the difference.

You could clearly hear the left and right tweeters within the Move 2. The main advantage of this stereo setup is that you won’t lose any details of a song in the background, which can sometimes happen when everything is mixed down to mono.

The overall sound of the Move 2 stays true to the original Move, meaning it tends to tone down the treble. If you prefer more high-end sound, it’s easy to adjust using the EQ sliders in the Sonos app. The bass response of the Move 2 is satisfactory, but some users might want more punch when blasting music at high volumes.

Among Sonos’ other speakers, you can rate the Move 2 below the flagship Sonos Five and the Atmos-focused Era 300. Essentially, you’re getting a wireless version of the Era 100 that you can take anywhere, which is quite appealing. Like with any Sonos speaker, you can pair two Move 2s for a wider, more immersive soundstage. However, since this speaker is designed to be moved around, stereo pairing might not be as practical as with Sonos’ other speakers.

Should You Upgrade to Sonos Move 2?

If you’re already an owner of the original speaker, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth upgrading to the Move 2. In most cases, especially if you’re satisfied with what the Move has offered so far, the answer is no. The original remains an excellent product, especially if you got it at a discounted price.

However, if you often find yourself draining the Move’s battery or have a specific use for the Move 2’s line-in feature, then upgrading might make more sense. The stereo sound will enhance your listening experience, but that alone might not justify the $450 price tag.

As a whole package, the Move 2 is a fantastic sequel, especially considering Sonos’ long-term software support. While the company had to learn from other products to get here, fans of the first Move will find even more value in its successor. Hopefully, Google Assistant will make a comeback eventually. But even if it doesn’t, the Move 2 offers enough features and good sound quality to make it stand out in Sonos’ hardware lineup.

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