Sonos announces Move 2 speaker with stereo sound and 24-hour battery life

The Sonos Move 2 will be released on September 20th for $449, the company announced this morning. I’ve already reported extensively on the new product, which is Sonos’ third portable speaker after the original Move and much smaller Roam. There are several meaningful improvements to the second-generation Move: it will output stereo audio (the original was only capable of mono), offer more than twice the battery life of its predecessor, and the speaker has redesigned controls that match those of the recent Era 300 and Era 100.

The external design is very similar to the original Move. This is still a hefty “portable” speaker, but at least there’s still a built-in handle for carrying it around your home (and outside). Inside the Move 2 are two tweeters — that’s where the stereo separation comes from — and a single woofer, with the latter focused on “mid-range vocal frequencies and deep bass.” Battery life has surged from 10 hours to an advertised 24 hours of continuous playback, so the Move 2 has more than double the endurance of the prior model.

The Move 2 can last for up to 24 hours on a single charge at moderate volume.
Image: Sonos

Sonos has also made the Move 2 more versatile: you can now play something on the speaker over Bluetooth and sync that audio across your other speakers at home; this is something the original frustratingly wasn’t capable of. And like the Era lineup, the Move 2 supports line-in so long as you purchase Sonos’ USB-C dongle, which acts as an analog-to-digital converter. The rear USB-C port can also be used to charge other devices like your smartphone using the Move 2’s 44Wh battery.

The Move 2 will come in Sonos’ standard black or white, and as I revealed last month, the company is also offering a new olive green color option. The capacitive touch controls match those of the Era speakers, with Sonos having added dedicated track controls and a separate volume slider bar. Like its predecessor, the new Move is rated IP56 for dust and water resistance, and Sonos says it’s built to withstand everyday tumbles.

The Move 2 has the same revamped capacitive controls as the Era 300 and 100.
Image: Sonos

Another feature carried over from the original Move is automatic Trueplay, whereby the speaker uses its built-in microphones to optimize sound output based on your unique environment. Those mics can also be used for hands-free voice controls with either Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Control; I’m holding onto a shred of hope that JBL’s recent speakers, which run Alexa and Google Assistant concurrently, might mean that Google’s digital assistant could find its way back to Sonos products — but it’s not there on the Move 2 at launch at least. Sonos spokesperson Erin Pategas said that the company had nothing to share when asked about Google Assistant.

There are also some smaller tweaks: the Move 2’s charging base has gotten smaller and now has a detachable power adapter. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are on board, and Sonos says the new speaker “reduces its idle energy consumption by more than 40 percent compared to its predecessor.”

Like last time, the company will sell a replacement battery that can be swapped in whenever the original reaches a point where it can no longer keep your music going as long as you’d like. I like that commitment to a long lifespan for the device — especially as the non-replaceable Sonos Roam battery has proved to be an issue for some owners over time.

Stay tuned for my full review of the Sonos Move 2 in the not-too-distant future. I get the sense that the stereo upgrade will be noticeable, albeit not game-changing since we’re still looking at a single-unit speaker. But the stretched-out battery life and the ability to send Bluetooth audio to your other Sonos speakers are upgrades that might prove more substantial in the end. The original became my favorite Sonos product to date, so I’m eager to see how the sequel shakes out.

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