Sonos has announced its first speaker designed for the great outdoors, the Sonos Move. In addition to a durable shell and IP56-rated water and dust protection, the $399 Sonos Move is also the first speaker from the company with rechargeable battery power and onboard Bluetooth networking. This enables the Move to be a fully participating indoor or outdoor speaker in the Sonos multi-room audio system over Wi-Fi, while providing the capability to take it anywhere and stream music directly from a smartphone over Bluetooth.
Making a Splash at IFA 2019
Sonos announced the new speaker at the IFA 2019 show in Berlin. In a press release, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence discussed the particulars of the new outdoor speaker. “Since the very beginning, Sonos has been giving listeners unparalleled freedom of choice,” said Spence. “Our platform gives you the freedom to play any song you want, any way you want. Move takes freedom of choice to the next level. For the first time, you can take Sonos anywhere. Move marks the beginning of a new era for Sonos—one where brilliant sound not only fills your home, but extends to every part of your day.”
The Sonos Move gives up virtually nothing to the made-for-the indoors Sonos One, as it also has the onboard Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice activation platforms—meaning other Alexa or Google speakers are not needed for broad voice control. Similarly, the Move has a pair of Class-D digital amplifiers, mid-woofer, and downward-firing tweeter, matching the Sonos One point for point on audio specs.
For recharging, the Sonos Move arrives with an indoor charging base that works even while audio is playing. It also has a USB-C port, enabling recharging from accessory USB-C chargers. For example, users with a current Apple MacBook Pro could charge a Sonos Move with the USB-C charger that came with their laptop.
Built-in Carry Handle
Further making the case for its more-ruggedized life, the Sonos Move has a built-in carry handle for easily toting the 6.6-lb. (3 kg) speaker from the house to the pool and a shock-resistant shell to protect internal components in the event it gets dropped. Once poolside, the water protection will keep the speaker playing while it gets splashed, and a design resistant to extreme temperatures and UV rays means it won’t shut down when things heat up.
Not a Small Portable Speaker
The Move, however, is about a third larger than the Sonos One, primarily due to its onboard battery. The Move checks in at 9.44-in. tall compared to the 6.36-in. of the Sonos One, making it about 3 inches taller.
The Sonos Move also has Apple AirPlay 2 support, enabling direct streaming of audio from Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 11.4 or later.
Sonos One SL and Sonos Port Also Join Family
Concurrently with the Sonos Move announcement, Sonos also announced the $179 Sonos One SL speaker, a replacement for the venerable Sonos:Play 1 speaker that has been the Sonos mainstay speaker for years. The Sonos One SL is essentially the same as the Sonos One without the onboard Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice activation platforms.
Furthermore, taking aim at the professional audio installer market as well as consumer audiophiles with stereo receivers and turntables, Sonos also introduced the Sonos Port. Designed as a replacement for the Sonos:Connect, the Sonos Port extends the Sonos system to non-Sonos audio gear. Apple AirPlay 2 is also part of the $399 Sonos Port package.
Availability of New Sonos Products
The Sonos Move will be available globally on September 24, 2019, and can be preordered prior to that date. The Sonos One SL will also be available globally, beginning on September 12, while the Sonos Port will also be available in limited countries beginning on September 12 with broader availability in January 2020.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.