Sonos Move 2 Lightning Review: The Hard-Hitting Sequel

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Edit: There were some technical difficulties with the initial publication of this review, which left it being published incomplete in its form. We have rectified this issue and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

The Sonos Move 2 made its debut back in September this year and finally managed to make its way into our lab. I’m not going to lie: this speaker had me sitting in the lab alone at times, in awe with what a long-needed revision to its internals is truly capable of producing.

What Am I Looking At?

If you’re coming from the original Move, then the Move 2 is going to look entirely familiar. In fact, it’s downright identical.

The biggest update from its predecessor, though, is that the Move 2 is a stereo speaker, featuring two tweeters now, instead of one. On top of that, it’s also got a nice and surprisingly powerful woofer inside, to help drive what Sonos calls “deep, dynamic, and clean bass”.

Like the Era 100 and Era 300, the Move 2 uses a touch-based volume slider, along with improved touch-based functions. Additionally, there’s a USB-C port that serves as a charging port or Line-In, a switch that either mutes or leaves the built-in microphone turned on. That last point really depends on whether or not you want whatever Voice Assistant listening in your conversations and picking up on your listening habits. Lastly, there’s a dedicated Bluetooth button for…well, the Bluetooth function on the speaker. Oh, and the speaker still has that little nook at the top of the enclosure, so that one can easily carry it in one hand.

What’s Good About It?

Charging the Move 2 can be done in one of two ways. The first is via the provided charging ring, where you simply place the portable speaker on top of it. So long as the pogo pins come in contact with the charging plates at its base. The second way is via the USB-C port, which is also its direct Line-in connection. On that note, you will need to ensure that the charging adapter is capable of outputting at 45W and above, for it to charge at an optimal level.

Like all Sonos speakers, the Move 2 primarily really makes its bones with a Wi-Fi connection and to that end, the brand has updated this speaker with support for Wi-Fi 6, which is more than plenty, especially if you’re just streaming music via a preferred platform.

Performance is, of course, the main draw and star attraction, if you will, of the Move 2. Starting with the pitches, the highs and mids sound absolutely bright, crisp, and clear, while the lows are deep but overtly bassy. Adding on to the last point, it has a nice rumble whenever songs with a focus on bass and percussion instruments, such as Stacey Kent’s La Venus de Milo, Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, or Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelt’s Digging My Potato, but not strong enough to produce that rumbling in the chest. On that note, there is no distortion or cracking, even with its volume cranked very nearly to the top.

Vocals are presented in the same manner as the highs and mids: bright and clear, and never drowned out by a song’s accompanying instruments. Again, using La Venus de Milo as a reference point, Stacey’s enunciation is always the star and, again, never overshadowed by the song’s bass violin.

That aside, the battery inside the Move 2 has really long legs. 24 hours worth of endurance, to be precise.

What’s The Catch?

Despite bringing it up-to-date by making it a stereo speaker, Sonos didn’t update the Bluetooth on the Move 2. It’s only Bluetooth 5.0 and while it can be argued that this would be more than plenty within the confines of a home and house, I do not believe it would inconvenience Sonos that badly, had it chosen to give it Bluetooth 5.3 support, never mind 5.4.

While it is primarily focused on its Wi-Fi delivery for all your audio needs, it doesn’t always play nice with apps that allow you to stream Master quality audio, such as Tidal. With Spotify, the transition is pretty much instantaneous. Because it’s virtually identical to the original Move, the Move 2 is also a bit of a chonker, with a total weight of 3kg. I get the How, but I don’t understand why anyone would believe it to be a good idea to lug it around to parties or even on the go.

On another note, Sonos’ dedicated app is still a little dickish in its function – connecting the Move 2 to my office’s Wi-Fi continues to take a fair bit of time, and even when it has completed the process, it provides no indication until after I restart the app.

The last point I would gripe about is its price. At RM2,799, it can get a little difficult to recommend folks to splurge on this speaker, not unless they really, really value the quality and bitrate of their favourite songs, to the point that they believe to be absolutely imperative to share it with any and all folks, in and around their immediate vicinity.

Should I Buy It?

At RM2,799, the Sonos Move 2 costs the same as the Era 300 but the one leg-up that the former has over the latter is that it’s designed for portability. While I’ve heard arguments about its ability to deliver the same oomph and brouhaha as its desk-designated counterpart, I daresay that it is just as good and, depending on the circumstances and environment, has the propensity to sound even better.

Having said that, the price tag of the Move 2 is also one of the weakest links in its armour. It’s not the kind of money a layperson would have lying around or even sitting inside his pocket, and even if they did, they’d have to be bonafide audiophiles to actually want to purchase this speaker. That, and they’d need to be the sort of person that throws reason to the wind if they intend to lug this around, either to impress other audiophiles or to start an impromptu party session.

 

Photography by John Law.

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