After taking criticism for years for not offering a Bluetooth capable speaker, Sonos finally has an offering. It may leave something to be desired because it is a portable speaker and the functionality is not across the entire Sonos platform, but at least it gives Bluetooth fans an option. The Sonos Move speaker is a great offering and allows you to control it over WIFI in the traditional manner, or with Bluetooth if you are on the go.
Features of the Move
The Sonos Move is the first portable offering in the Sonos line, and it is a really nice speaker. There are some really great features of the Move such as:
- On a full charge it has up to 11 hours of battery life. In our experience, if the volume is turned up we get more like 7 to 9 hours of life, but this is still more than enough to last you the day.
- It has a tweeter, a mid-woofer, and two amplifiers. This produces very nice sound, with a good amount of mid-range and bass for a speaker of this size. It also gets plenty loud to play music in a large area like a backyard or pool area.
- It only weighs 6 pounds. While this isn’t exactly light, for a speaker packing this punch in terms of sound quality and volume it is easy enough to grab and transport.
- It has Bluetooth! This is the key feature compared to the rest of the Sonos line. While it can still be controlled via the Sonos app with WIFI, it can also be controlled via Bluetooth and Apple Airplay2. If you have other Sonos speakers, you can integrate it into the rest of the system when the Move is around your home, or you can take it and use it as a standalone if you are on the go.
Why Did Sonos Wait This Long for Bluetooth?
This is a question many have asked. Sonos reportedly likes to avoid Bluetooth because it does not play well with their Sonos App. They want clients to get the full experience, so they have pushed people onto the WIFI control and the Airplay control. Airplay is a proprietary protocol, so it is significant that Sonos integrates with it.
The real reason that Sonos has shied from Bluetooth across their line is a bit of a mystery. It may be to differentiate themselves from a typical Bluetooth speaker, because the technology and quality that goes into producing their speakers is so much higher than a typical Bluetooth device. Of course Sonos costs much more, and many bluetooth speakers are fairly cheap and of low quality. With Sonos, you take the good with the annoying and it is generally worth it for the higher quality sound.
How Much Does it Cost?
The Move is not exactly cheap. It costs a hefty $399, or $67 a month in financing for 6 months, which is a 0% interest rate. Many will say that it is worth it for the long battery life, the high quality of sound, and the fact that people can integrate it into their home speakers when it is on the charging base. It is easy to bring it to outside functions, and it is plenty loud to fill up a large yard or function room. Of course these features have a high price so each person needs to decide for themselves if it is really worth it.
There are refurbished and lightly used Moves sometimes available on Amazon for about $350. These refurbished devices are often worth it, or lightly used devices may never have actually been opened. While it is not a huge discount, there are usually no noticeable cosmetic defects and the sound quality is like new.
Is the Move Worth It?
If you are purchasing the Move strictly for the Bluetooth capability, it is likely not worth it. Stick with a regular speaker from Sonos that is not portable, and put up with the fact that you need to play it via WIFI or AirPlay. For the high price, you need to appreciate the high quality and long battery life of this portable speaker. Honestly for our money Bose makes portable Bluetooth speakers that are almost as good for about half the price. The key consideration is that this Sonos speaker can also fit into your home audio scheme when you bring it back to the house.