Sonos Move vs Move 2: Can You Guess the Winner?

Sonos Move vs Move 2 – Sonos recently unveiled the Sonos Move 2, the second-generation of the portable Sonos Move speaker. This upgraded model addresses several shortcomings of its predecessor and boasting improved sound quality. Also, it significantly has extended battery life, and a sleeker design featuring enhanced touch controls.

This highly anticipated update to Sonos’ portable smart speaker offers added convenience for users. It is a versatile audio solution that can seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor environments. With Sonos already renowned for its top-notch smart speakers like the Era series tailored for home use, the Move 2 expands the brand’s lineup to cater to users on the Move.

However, given the continued availability of the older Sonos Move at more budget-friendly prices, it’s natural to question the advantages of the newer Move 2 and whether it justifies the upgrade. Let’s delve into the details and see what sets the Move 2 apart.

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Price and Specs

The Sonos Move 2 is open for pre-orders on Sonos’ official website and it is ready on Wednesday, September 20, in various countries. Buyers can find it in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., and across Europe. Priced at $449, it will be available in the classic black and white options, as well as a new olive color variant.

The Sonos Move launched in 2019, and it retains its $399 MSRP. However, it’s commonly found at discounted prices of $300 or even lower following the arrival of the Sonos Move 2. Available at most major retailers stocking Sonos products, it comes in Shadow Black and Lunar White hues.

Design – Minor Changes

The design of the Sonos Move 2 closely resembles its predecessor, the Sonos Move, with subtle refinements. Both maintain the oval cylindrical form factor, featuring a metallic speaker grille encircling the front, complemented by plastic elements on the top and back. Additionally, they both incorporate a rubberized base to enhance stability on various surfaces. With nearly identical dimensions and weighing 6.61 pounds, they share striking similarities, differing only slightly in height.

Sonos has implemented subtle yet noticeable design refinements in the Move 2. This enhances its overall aesthetic appeal with a touch of sophistication. The vertical Sonos branding, previously more prominent, now adopts a subdued appearance, seamlessly blending with the speaker’s color scheme. In the black variant, it nearly disappears, contributing to a sleek and cohesive design. Similarly, in other color options, it harmonizes well, further elevating the speaker’s visual allure.

Sonos has opted for more vibrant color options with the Move 2 compared to its predecessor. While the Move offered Shadow Black and Lunar White shades that leaned towards gray, the Move 2 features a deeper obsidian black and a crisp white reminiscent of freshly fallen snow, complemented by the metallic grille. Additionally, Sonos introduces a new olive finish, appealing to those inclined towards earthy tones in their home decor.

Both the Sonos Move 2 and its predecessor utilize the same charging ring design. Moreover, the older version is fully compatible with the Move 2, allowing for seamless interchangeability. The charging ring accompanying the Move 2 now boasts a detachable power adapter for enhanced convenience in placement, all while maintaining color coherence with the speaker.

Portability

Despite sharing identical physical dimensions and weight, the Sonos Move 2 doesn’t offer any additional portability compared to its predecessor. While Sonos positions these speakers as suitable for outdoor settings like the beach or tailgate parties, the Move series has always seemed more suited for moving around the house rather than being thrown into a backpack, a trait that remains unchanged with the Move 2.

However, their portability makes them excellent companions for outdoor use on your back deck or by the poolside, courtesy of their sturdy construction and IP56 ratings for dust and water resistance. Although it’s advisable not to submerge them in water, they can easily withstand splashes and rain, and they’re designed to endure UV rays and extreme temperatures.

The Sonos Move 2 boasts significant design enhancements over its predecessor, particularly on the top panel. Here, the touch controls have been elevated and expanded, featuring a dedicated capacitive volume slider inspired by Sonos’ latest Era lineup. Additionally, a physical switch on the back allows you to disconnect power to the microphones, providing assurance during times when you want to ensure that Alexa or Google Assistant are not listening.

Sound Quality

While Sonos Move and Sonos Move 2 may share a similar appearance, the enhancements extend far beyond surface-level similarities. Sonos has substantially elevated the sound capabilities of the Sonos Move 2 by incorporating three Class-D amplifiers and two angled tweeters, which is one more of each compared to the previous model. Additionally, both models feature a common midwoofer.

However, the improvements don’t stop at the additional amp and driver. Sonos has revamped the acoustic design to deliver a spacious stereo soundstage, a feature seldom found in single portable speakers and a first from Sonos. The precision-tuned woofer ensures deep bass that remains faithful to the original recording, avoiding an overpowering bass experience.

While a comprehensive review with comparative listening tests is necessary to fully quantify these improvements, the specifications alone suggest that the Sonos Move 2 will offer noticeably superior sound compared to its monaural predecessor. This enhancement may even render a single unit sufficient for smaller rooms. It can remove the need to purchase two units for decent stereo sound. Nonetheless, Sonos affirms that two Move 2 speakers can still be stereo paired over Wi-Fi. This can enhance stereo sound and improve channel separation.

Both the Sonos Move and Move 2 support Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay, which automatically adjusts the EQ to optimize sound quality based on the speaker’s placement. Although the Move 2 doesn’t seem to offer more advanced features in this aspect compared to its predecessor, the overall sound quality enhancements are expected to make Trueplay even more valuable on the newer model.

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Sonos Move vs Move 2 – Features and Connectivity

Similar to the Sonos Move, the Move 2 provides connectivity options through both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, unlike its predecessor, the Move 2 allows simultaneous usage of both connections. With the original Move, users had to toggle between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, necessitating the deactivation of Wi-Fi — and control via the Sonos app — to stream directly to the speaker via Bluetooth.

This process proved somewhat cumbersome on the Sonos Move. Fortunately, such measures are no longer necessary with the Move 2. The Move 2 readily accepts Bluetooth connections at any time. This offers a convenient way for friends and family to stream from their smartphones. So, they do not need to join your Wi-Fi network.

While the Sonos Move 2 continues to lack a 3.5mm aux-in port, it does introduce a new method for receiving wired audio input that was absent in the previous model. With the Sonos Line-In Adapter, available as a separate $25 purchase, users can transmit 3.5mm audio into the USB-C port. While this feature may not be essential for many users, the option is a welcome addition.

Regarding compatibility, both the Sonos Move 2 and the Move are essentially identical. They can be seamlessly integrated into an existing Sonos system and support a wide range of streaming services. For example, Sonos Radio, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and more.

Additionally, both speakers offer AirPlay 2 support for streaming audio directly from Apple devices. Furthermore, they feature built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant functionalities. However, it’s important to note that these services are only accessible over Wi-Fi. If you plan to use the speaker on the go, you’ll need to stream audio to it from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, as you would with any other Bluetooth speaker.

Sonos Move vs Move 2 – Battery Life

The original Sonos Move faced limitations as a portable speaker due to its relatively short battery life. While Sonos promised 11 hours of playback, this was under optimal conditions — moderate volume and Wi-Fi connection. In real-world scenarios, such as outdoor parties where higher volumes are common, users might only achieve around eight hours of use.

Fortunately, Sonos has addressed this issue with the Move 2. This can boast a significantly improved battery life of up to 24 hours under similar conditions. Although playing at higher volumes will naturally reduce this duration, the extended battery life offers more flexibility. This ensures it can last through extended periods, such as weekends away.

Moreover, the Sonos Move 2 introduces the capability to charge and power directly via USB-C using any USB-PD power adapter. This eliminates the need for the charging ring. The Sonos Move 2 offers several enhancements over the original Sonos Move. Therefore, it is a compelling choice for many users. With improved sound quality and a significantly longer battery life of 24 hours, the Move 2 provides a superior listening experience and greater portability. Additionally, its ability to serve as a power bank adds extra convenience for users on the go.

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Sonos Move vs Move 2 – Which One is Better?

When comparing, the Move 2 emerges as the clear winner due to some enhancements. Not only does it deliver stereo sound quality equivalent to two mono Sonos Move speakers, but it also boasts a more refined design. Even better, it has several upgraded touch controls along with improved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. If you have no matter with the budget, the Move 2 is the preferable option for most users.

It’s worth noting that stereo pairing is only possible between identical models. So, combining a Sonos Move with a Sonos Move 2 is not feasible. In such cases, replacing the original Sonos Move with a Move 2 and repurposing the former for another room is the best choice.

Indeed, despite the impressive upgrades of the Sonos Move 2, the original Sonos Move still holds appeal for certain scenarios. With a lower street price compared to the Move 2, it offers a more budget-friendly option for expanding Sonos system. This makes it a viable choice for adding a satellite speaker to rooms where high-fidelity audio isn’t a top priority. For example, when you need it for podcasts or spoken-word content. If you can find a great deal on the Sonos Move, it serves your needs effectively while saving some money.

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