It’s been almost exactly four years since Sonos first introduce the Move, the company’s first portable speaker. The Move was a solid speaker when it was first introduced, but in the years that have passed, things like its lower-than-average battery life have made it harder to recommend. But even with the summer quickly fading, Sonos has a new portable speaker for powering autumn days outside, the Move 2. On the surface, the Move offers the same formula as the original. It’s a relatively large, loud speaker that you can lug around with you; it’s also quite durable, able to withstand drops, bumps, extreme temperatures, rain and snow.
But unsurprisingly, Sonos has taken some inspiration from the recent Era 100 and Era 300 speakers here for some improvements. The new top panel touch controls are the same as you’ll find on those speakers. There’s a volume slider as well as dedicated forward and back buttons. It also has a USB-C line-in jack, so you can connect the Move 2 to a turntable or other audio equipment.
Perhaps most importantly, its internal speaker design is similar to that of the Era 100, with two angled tweeters providing stereo sound, unlike the mono, single-tweeter design of the original Move. In my testing of the Era 100, I didn’t find that the two tweeters really give you a stereo experience like you’ll get with multiple speakers, but it’s still a definite improvement.
The other most significant change is that Sonos has more than doubled the quoted battery life on the Move 2, from about 11 hours to more than 24 hours. That’s a huge jump and should be enough to silence those who were unhappy with the original Move’s rather pedestrian longevity.
Oh, and there’s a new color this time, olive green. I wish that it also came in the lovely blue and orange shades you can get the smaller Sonos Roam in, but alas.
Like the original Move, this new speaker supports audio over Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi for when you’re away from your network. It’s also a quick way to let friends play music over the speaker, and there’s a Bluetooth sharing feature that pipes audio the Move receives over Bluetooth to the rest of your Sonos speakers. Of course, you can also group and share audio across other Sonos devices using the traditional multi-room audio controls, as well.
The Move 2 has microphones built in for automatic speaker tuning using the company’s Trueplay software — this adjusts the sound quality based on where you place the speaker. The microphones also work with the Sonos voice assistant as well as Amazon Alexa, and there’s a physical mute switch on the back that disconnects power to the mics entirely. And if you get two Move 2 speakers, you can pair them together in stereo. That should make for a potent audio setup, though you’ll need to re-pair the speakers if you take one on the go and remove it from your Wi-Fi network.
Unfortunately, Sonos is bumping up the price of its gear again — the Move 2 costs $449, up from the $399 it asked for the original model. For that price, Sonos is also including the handy ring-shaped wireless charger that lets you easily pick up the Move 2 and get going. Yes, there are a number of improvements here, but Sonos can’t go on raising the prices of its products every time it releases a new model, can it? We haven’t had a chance to hear the Move 2 yet, so it’s too soon to say whether it’ll be worth the cash, but hopefully the improvements here merit the price premium. The Move 2 goes on sale on September 20.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-sonos-move-2-portable-speaker-has-double-the-battery-life-of-its-predecessor-130010817.html?src=rss