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Sonos

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Sound: 19/20
TOTAL: 93/100

When I moved into a studio apartment this spring, one of the trickiest purchases I had to make was a sound system. As you rightly assumed, my studio isn’t all that big and I didn’t necessarily want to buy more than one speaker, since my kitchen/bedroom/living room are technically the same space. But since I do have a decent-sized balcony, I wanted to find a solution that could work outside and in...which led me to discover the Sonos Move.

In terms of size, it was definitely a lot bigger than the Google Mini I was replacing—but oh my god, the sound quality is a major, major upgrade. I’ve docked my new speaker in the corner of my kitchen and I’m able to hear the crisp sound (thanks to the two Class-D digital amplifiers and internal mid-woofer) from every corner of my space. You’ll notice I said “docked” because this portable Sonos usually sits in its charging base, but it has an 11-hour battery life and an ergonomic handle, so I can tote it around as I please.

Just like the OG Sonos One, the Move is equipped with everything we’ve come to expect from technology in 2021. Which means it’s voice-enabled (so it’s compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa) and it can connect to your phone via WiFi when you’re at home, and Apple Airplay or Bluetooth when you’re out. That said, this speaker isn’t exactly light. OK, it’s actually pretty heavy (specifically, it’s 6.61 pounds), and unless you enjoy turning everything you do into an impromptu workout, you probably don’t want to lug it with you to the park or the playground. But carrying from room to room? That’s no problem.

And it’s an absolutely fantastic indoor-to-outdoor speaker. The sound quality is just as clear and strong outside—even competing with a nearby highway—as it is in the quiet confines of my kitchen. That rings true whether I just want to play background tunes on the balcony while I work, set the tone for an outdoor dinner with friends or have a dance party for one at the end of a workday. The Sonos Move is also weather resistant, so I don’t have to worry about it getting ruined by an unexpected rain shower or overheating after too long in the direct sunlight. Another thing I don’t have to stress about? Dropping my speaker and breaking it. The smart design is covered in a soft-to-the-touch material that’s shock-resistant and durable.

You’re probably thinking: But what about the price? I’ll admit it: The Sonos Move isn’t cheap. But I was able to justify it because its portability saved me from having to buy more than one speaker—which ultimately saved me some cash, too. After a month-plus of using it, I’m already so happy with having this speaker as part of my home. (Though, if you do want a more affordable option and are willing to sacrifice a bit on sound, you could pre-order the new Sonos Roam for $169). Now, if only summer would hurry up so I can use my speaker outside even more...

BUY IT ($399)

RELATED: The Google Nest Audio Speaker Is Just the Thing I Needed to Turn My Home into My Very Own Party for One

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