Sonos Introduces its First Portable Speaker Built for the Outdoors

By David Basch on at

Sonos wants us all to get a bit more fresh air as it introduces the Sonos Move, the first battery-powered Sonos speaker built for the outdoors, shown off at its event in NYC last month. As well as the Move, the event also gave a first look at other new products coming out of Sonos later this year.

Sonos Move

First up is the big headliner. Sonos introduced the Move as the first offering from the company that's specifically designed to be used on the go as well as indoors. The speaker is kitted out with all the latest bells and whistles that you would expect, including support for streaming services, multiple voice assistants (Google and Amazon are built right in), and is even AirPlay2 compatible, which is very handy for all your Apple-based media streaming needs. By far one of the coolest features of the Move though is its automatic Trueplay tuning technology, which Sonos says will tune the speaker to "perfectly balance the sound for the environment".

The kind of picturesque rooftop dinner parties Sonos reckon we'll all be participating in with our fancy new portable smart speakers.

What really matters on a portable device though is its longevity. The Move boasts ten hours of continuous play time on a single charge, and comes with an indoor charging station for when it does eventually start to run low. A feature called "Suspend mode", which is enabled automatically when the speaker is idle, or manually by tapping the power button, reserves the battery for up to five days. Sonos really wants you to take this thing out and about with you, and it shows.

Obviously the idea of lugging around a potential portable spying device with you 24/7 may raise some red flags over privacy, which Sonos have seemingly anticipated with the inclusion of a simple LED on the device which indicates when the microphone is active. Simple, but a nice feature all the same.

The Sonos Move is available from 24 September for £399.

Sonos One SL

The One SL still looks pretty stylish, despite its cheaper price.

Also shown off at the event was the Sonos One SL, which is similar to a Sonos One, but without its built-in microphones.

The One SL offers a cheaper entry point for those wanting to get a smart speaker without all the fancy bits. It comes as standard without integrated voice assistants, which may or may not be a selling point for you depending on your stance on voice assistants (they're evil). Regardless of your stance though, the One SL seemingly confirms Sonos' awareness of the privacy concerns surrounding smart speakers,  and proposes a great way to limit how often the device is listening to you: remove the microphones altogether.

Another cool feature of the One SL is its ability to be paired with a Sonos One or another One SL in the same room for stereo separation and better sound quality overall.

The Sonos One SL replaces Play: 1 and is available globally starting 12 September for £179.

Sonos Port

The Sonos Port, for all your audio connectivity needs.

The successor to the original Sonos Connect, the Sonos Port provides richer sounds and better connectivity options than its predecessor.

The Port is primarily aimed toward the professional installation community, though there are some pretty cool features that a casual user could make use of too, such as the ability to hook the Port up to a traditional music system to enable streaming of your physical music collection to your smart speaker setup.

Integration is the name of the game here, as it includes an updated digital-to-analogue converter and 12V trigger, which automatically switches on an amplifier when signalled from the Sonos app. The device also allows you to stream music, podcasts, audiobooks and other audio media on amplified audio equipment with its line-in option, which allows for the easy streaming of vinyl and CD media.

Like the Move, the Sonos Port is AirPlay 2 compatible, and accepts voice control from Alexa or the Google Assistant when wirelessy connected with smart devices.

The Sonos Port will be available in limited qualities starting September 12, with broader availability starting January 2020, and will cost £399.