The American manufacturer Sonos has revealed three new multi-room devices in its catalog. The first device is designed to stream music from wired devices over the local network. It is accompanied by two new speakers: the Sonos One SL and the Sonos Move. The latter is a first for the brand as it features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, but also has a battery. It is the very first portable speaker from Sonos!
Sonos Move: the first portable Sonos speaker
A pioneer of multi-room audio, the American manufacturer Sonos has excelled since its inception in 2002 by providing high-performance and easy-to-use products with consistently sophisticated designs. Sonos speakers are true references in multi-room audio. However, up until now Sonos only offered speakers that were powered by mains electricity and required an Ethernet or WiFi connection to work. The Sonos Move is a first for the American brand, as it provides a versatile system that can be powered either by mains electricity or by battery. To that end, the €399 speaker includes a small, angled base on which to charge the speaker and plug it into the mains. Battery life for the Sonos Move is advertised at 10 hours in WiFi and Bluetooth mode. The Sonos Move’s innovative battery can be removed and replaced when it wears out. Once again, Sonos has designed a sustainable product!
Sonos Move: Bluetooth and WiFi
Because it is portable, the Sonos Move is also the first speaker from the brand to feature a Bluetooth controller as well as WiFi connectivity. As a result, it will be possible to stream music from a smartphone or tablet, without being limited to the area covered by the WiFi network. The WiFi connection is activated by default on the Sonos Move. You may switch to Bluetooth mode manually using the dedicated button on the Sonos Move’s touch interface.
Sonos Move: durable and waterproof
Esthetically, the Sonos Move is heavily inspired by the brand’s previous multi-room speakers. It benefits from an all-new design that makes it completely suitable for portable use; it features a durable shock-resistant case and is splash and dust resistant. It is therefore safe to use in a bathroom or at the poolside. A small built-in handle is located on the back of the Sonos Move, making it easy to carry wherever you go. In theory at least, because the Sonos Move weighs almost 3kg. Consequently, it is more suitable to be carried from room to room, onto the patio or into the garden, and less apt to be taken with you to the beach or on a picnic.
Sonos Move: automatic TruePlay calibration
When it comes to sound restitution, the new Sonos Move offers a richer sound than the iconic Sonos Play:1 speaker. To do so, it features two Class-D digital amplifiers tasked with powering a midbass driver and a tweeter. The latter is tilted down to ensure a wide dispersion of high frequencies. Better still, the Sonos Move features a new Auto TruePlay calibration system that allows you to adjust the restitution of the speaker according to the acoustic characteristics of its surroundings. It is largely based on the system introduced with the Sonos Play:5, but differs in that it now works with the integrated microphones. The Sonos Move features an accelerometer that detects when the speaker is moved, allowing it to automatically adjust the restitution. The calibration is entirely autonomous. As a result, the Sonos Move should be equally effective indoors and outdoors.
Sonos Move: stereo pairing and AirPlay 2 multi-room
When the Sonos Move speaker connected to the WiFi, it naturally benefits from the same features as its predecessors. It can therefore play all music shared over the local network, as well as music stored on the user’s smartphone or tablet. Thousands of internet radio stations are also accessible via the TuneIn interface that is integrated into the Sonos app, as well as a wide range of online music services such as Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon Prime Music and more. The Sonos Move can be used in a multi-room set up with multiple Sonos or AirPlay 2 compatible devices. That way, it is possible to enjoy stereo sound (by pairing two Sonos Move speakers) or to listen to the same music in every room of your home. However, multi-room connectivity is only available via WiFi. When the speaker is used in Bluetooth mode, it is desynchronized from the other connected systems and you will have to reset the stereo or multi-room pairing.
Sonos Move: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
In addition to control via a smartphone or tablet, the Sonos Move speaker also features touch controls, and a set of four highly sensitive microphones to activate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Sonos Move cleverly combines these microphones with a noise cancelling system to filter out interference and detect remote sounds. Thanks to voice control, you can ask the Sonos Move speaker to play your favorite playlist, skip tracks or adjust the volume, for example. It is also possible to control the different connected devices in your home.
Sonos One SL: Sonos One without voice control
The second speaker announced by Sonos is the Sonos One SL. This new model has all of the same specs as the iconic Sonos One, except for the voice control system. The elimination of voice control allows the speaker’s price to drop to €199, compared to €229 for the Sonos One. The Sonos One SL is therefore a cheaper alternative for stereo pairing or for use as a surround speaker with the SONOS Playbar soundbar or the SONOS Playbase TV soundbase.
Sonos One SL: AirPlay 2, WiFi and streaming
Other than that, the Sonos One SL is still compatible with AirPlay 2 and WiFi/Ethernet connection so that it may access music shared over the local network, but also access the Internet and stream web radios or music from a compatible online music service. The new Sonos One SL’s audio system remains the same, with two Class-D digital amplifiers that power the midbass driver and the tweeter. To fine-tune the restitution, the lows and highs can be independently calibrated in the Sonos app.
Sonos Port: Sonos’ network streamer
The last device presented by Sonos is the Sonos Port: a compact and discreet box designed to connect wired sources and stream their sound to Sonos or AirPlay 2 speakers connected to the local network. Thanks to its analog input, it is possible to add a CD player or a turntable to Sonos and AirPlay 2 multi-room systems. This way, you can enjoy all of your wired sources throughout your home, a solution that is already available with the SONOS Connect, but also with the B&W Formation multi-room speaker range and the B&W Formation Audio streamer. However, the audio streamed by the Sonos Port is limited to CD quality transmission (16-bit/44kHz), unlike the B&W Formation Audio streamer that ensures transmission up to 24-bit/96kHz.