Sonos portable speaker: Everything we know so far

(Image credit: WinFuture)

Sonos is well known for its high-performing wireless speakers, but has never ventured outside the home – until now, that is. 

Rumors of a Sonos portable speaker have been circulating ever since details of a new Bluetooth device were registered with the FCC in early August; days later, the leak of several marketing images of the new portable speaker affirmed our suspicions. 

German publication WinFuture – which specializes in Microsoft leaks – obtained several images of what its says will be called the Sonos Move, giving us our first real look at the upcoming speaker, along with its rumored charging base.

The company just hosted a two-day press conference in New York, and while we haven’t heard any news of the Sonos portable speaker so far, we’re hopeful that it will be revealed in the near feature – perhaps at IFA 2019 in Berlin.

We’ll be bringing you the latest updates, so stick with us for everything you need to know about the Sonos portable speaker.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The first portable speaker from audio brand Sonos.
  • When will it be released? Still TBC, but could be as soon as IFA 2019 in September.
  • How much will it cost? That’s still TBC, but we estimate around $200 / £200 / AU$300.

Sonos portable speaker: release date

Right now, we don’t have an official release date for the Sonos portable speaker; but we do know of two big Sonos events that could see an announcement from the audio brand. 

The company just hosted a two-day press conference in New York, and we’re hopeful that it will be revealed in the near feature – perhaps at IFA 2019 in Berlin.

The Berlin tech show will be held over September 6 to 11, 2019 – this means we could see a launch very soon.

sonos portable speaker

(Image credit: WinFuture)

Sonos portable speaker: price and availability

Again, with no official confirmation of the Sonos Move’s existence (let alone price), we can only speculate as to the cost of the new portable speaker. 

Based on the leaked images we’ve seen so far, it looks to be a similar size and build to the Sonos One, which cost $179 / £179 / $299 upon its release. 

So, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Sonos portable speaker similarly cost around $200 / £200 / AU$300, with the price increasing based on quality of life features like waterproofing and built-in voice assistance.

(Image credit: WinFuture)

Sonos portable speaker: design

First things first; we know that any portable speaker from Sonos would have to support Bluetooth connectivity – something that was listed on the FCC filing, but has so far been rejected by Sonos in favor of Wi-Fi connectivity. 

According to The Verge, the Sonos Move – if that is indeed what the audio brand is calling its upcoming speaker – will ship with support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Apple’s AirPlay 2, just like the Sonos One.

The report suggests that, when in Bluetooth mode, voice commands won’t be available, and the Sonos app cannot be used to control the device. When connected to Wi-Fi, the speaker will appear on the Sonos app with the inclusion of a battery indicator.

Like the Apple HomePod, Sonos’ new speaker is also rumored to feature Auto Trueplay capabilities, which would allow the device to use its onboard microphones to automatically adjust the volume to suit the ambience. That may well be possible, thanks to the six microphones arrayed in a circle on the top plate of the speaker.

(Image credit: WinFuture)

Sonos portable speaker: sound quality

Despite hearing lots about the new speaker’s design, not much has emerged about the sound quality offered by the Sonos Move.

We’d expect it to match (if not surpass) the Sonos One, which impressed us with its full-bodied, rich sound and skillful stereo separation. 

Judging by the wraparound grille seen in the leaked images, the new Sonos portable speaker should deliver a wide soundstage, sounding reasonably good from all angles. 

We’d like to see support for Hi-Res Audio in the Sonos Move, the exclusion of which slightly let the Sonos One down – of course, as you add more and more audiophile features like that, the likelihood is that the price will go up, and you could be looking at spending $400 as opposed to $200. 

At the least, Sonos should be easily able to to take its audio expertise to the portable audio market; after all, other high-end brands like Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, and Denon have all made it onto our roundup of the best Bluetooth speakers. There’s no reason why Sonos can’t do the same – after all, having recently partnered with IKEA for the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk lamp and bookshelf speakers, it’s no stranger to branching out its product categories. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.