First look: Sonos Move, Sonos One SL, Sonos Port

The new Sonos Move is big on sound, big on portability and just plain big...

By David Flynn, September 6 2019

There's a new wave of Sonos kit headed your way, from the go-anywhere portable Sonos Move speaker to the Sonos Port black box which adds streaming to your current high-end audio system.

Also in the mix: the pared-back Sonos One SL, which removes voice-assistant tech from the popular Sonos One while also slicing a little off the price tag.

Here is our first look at all three, which will land in Australia throughout September 2019.

Sonos Move

The battery-powered portable Sonos Move ($649, on sale September 24) is a beefed-up Sonos One built for the outdoors, although there's nothing to stop you from hauling it from room to room using the handle moulded into the Move’s plastic shell.

The Move is about half as tall again as the One, as well as being wider, and tips the scales at a relatively hefty 3kg.

The Sonos Move is bigger and heavier than we expected.

Much of the extra size and weight is dictated by the addition of a battery which Sonos rates as good for ten hours, although the audio is much louder than the One (important when you're outdoors) and the WiFi tech has been amped up for extended range so that the Move can still tap into your home network from the rear deck or poolside.

Sonos has boosted the Move's WiFi range beyond that of the smaller One.

The battery can be charged via USB-C, or plonk the Move onto the supplied battery-charge docking base (additional bases sell for $120, in case you want to position a few around the house). Charging the battery takes a few hours but a low-power 'suspend' mode keeps juice in the tank for up to five days between charges when not in use.

The charging base keeps the Move's battery topped up.

However, while the Move is an outdoors speaker, don't go picturing rugged Bear Grylls-style settings. The Move's IP56 rating means it can handle a bit of dust and water spray, in keeping with the average backyard.

A little bit of a splash won't faze the IP56-rated Move.

An automatic version of the app-based Trueplay built into other Sonos speakers lets the Move fine-tune its own audio pattern to suit each location, using the same tiny microphones which let you control the music via the Google or Amazon voice assistants.

The final piece of the portable speaker puzzle is that if you're out of range of your home WiFi network – say, if you packed the Move for a weekend away – it will work as a standard Bluetooth speaker for music beamed from your smartphone or laptop.

Sonos One SL

A more familiar of the Sonos family is the Sonos One SL ($269, on sale September 12). It's 99% the same as the $299 Sonos One – which makes it a delight in every measure, and perfect for small spaces from the kitchen to the bathroom and bedroom.

The Sonos One SL has all the streaming goodness but without voice assistance.

What's the missing one percent? The ability to work with the voice-controlled smart assistants of Google and Amazon. And to be honest, for most people this is no deal-breaker: if all you want is a Sonos multi-room streaming music setup, the One SL is going to be your go-to.

The Sonos One SL will also be a smart buy if you're thinking of pairing two Ones for full stereo or as a rear home theatre surround channel – you really don't need voice control for this.

Sonos Port

The Sonos Port ($599, on sale September 12) is a sequel to the old Sonos Connect hub, upgraded with newer tech plus a digital (coaxial) port and the ability to work with Apple AirPlay 2.

Unlock your LPs and CDs with the Sonos Port.

The Port adds Sonos capability to a conventional home audio system, which these days is the domain of the higher-end audio enthusiast – especially when it comes to investing in a quality turntable, amp and speakers.

It's a two-way relationship: the Port lets you stream music from the likes of Spotify to your stereo system and its lovely speakers, or play your favourite LPs or CDs back through your Sonos multi-room system.

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on First look: Sonos Move, Sonos One SL, Sonos Port