Nov 10, 2023

Sonos Move 2 vs. Roam: Power or portability?

Sonos’ second-gen Move is built for power and performance, but how does it fare against the company’s most portable audio device?

The Sonos Move 2 more than doubles the battery life of the original Move, while adding a second tweeter to deliver a bigger and bolder sound.

The Sonos Roam may not pack the same overall punch as the revamped Sonos Move 2, but if you're looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker that also supports Wi-Fi and voice assistants and just so happens to have great sound quality, the Roam should be at the top of your list.

When it comes to wireless audio, Sonos is one of the best audio companies you can buy speakers from. Over the years, the brand’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth peripherals have only gotten louder and stronger, and once battery power was introduced to the original Sonos Move, we could start taking our favorite Sonos gear camping, too. But now there’s a new Sonos Move in town, billed as the Sonos Move 2, and it’s supposed to rock even harder and last even longer than its predecessor. Does this mean there’s no place in the world for Sonos’ smaller battery-powered speaker, the Sonos Roam? Absolutely not.

That being said, the Sonos Move 2 and Sonos Roam share some similarities but also have unique differences, with the amount of dough you'll have to fork over being one of the biggest (next to the size). Choosing between any two Sonos devices can be tough, which is why we've put together this side-by-side comparison of both products.

The Sonos Move 2 currently sells for $450 and can be purchased at Best Buy, B&H Photo-Video, and directly through Sonos. As for the $180 Sonos Roam (and the $160 Roam SL), you can purchase either version of the portable speaker through Amazon and Sonos, as well as retailers like Best Buy and Walmart.

The Sonos Move 2 stands 9.53 inches tall, 6.29 inches wide, and 4.96 inches from front to back. At 6.61 pounds, it's not the most lightweight speaker in the world, but when you consider that its housing holds a fair-sized mid-woofer, two side-firing tweeters, and three class-D digital amplifiers, the extra pounds are certainly forgivable. Available in matte Black, White, and Olive finishes, the Move 2 also includes a built-in carrying handle for easy grab-and-go listening.

As for buttons and ports, the Move 2's capacitive touch controls are located at the top of the speaker, with options including play/pause, replay, skip, volume up/down, voice assistant mute, and group/un-group Sonos devices. This is also where you'll find the speaker's LED status light, which reflects the charge status, connection type, mute status, mic standby, and any internal errors.

On the back of the Move 2 is its far-field kill switch. When activated, it cuts all power to anything microphone-related; this means no voice assistance or Automatic Trueplay calibrations. In addition, there's a Bluetooth pairing button on the rear, along with a power button and the Move 2's USB-C port, which can also be used as a line-in with the purchase of a separate 3.5mm audio adapter. Furthermore, the two metallic pinpoints on the back of the speaker enable the Move 2 to connect to the included wireless charging base that comes with a 45W power adapter.

Being the more bite-sized option of the bunch, the Sonos Roam measures 6.61 inches tall, 2.44 inches wide, 2.36 inches from front to back, and weighs a mere 0.95 pounds. Available in five matte finishes — Shadow Black, Lunar White, Sunset, Wave, and Olive — the Roam speaker can lay horizontally or stand vertically.

When placed upright, capacitive touch controls are located at the top of the speaker, with controls and the LED indicator mirroring that of the Move 2. The Roam also includes a button for manually switching over to Bluetooth, plus a USB-C port for charging. While you'll get a USB-A to USB-C charging cable in the box, you'll need to supply your own 7.5W or higher power adapter (the USB-C port handles up to 15W). And unlike the Move 2, the Roam supports line-in audio.

In terms of wireless profiles, both the Move 2 and Roam work over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, with the former supporting the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard and the latter being capped at Wi-Fi 5. Both speakers can also connect to 2.4GHz and 5GHz network bands. As far as sound quality is concerned (more on this in a bit), the Move 2's Wi-Fi 6 capabilities should mean better audio and faster connectivity when streaming music over Wi-Fi.

Conveniently, both the Move 2 and Roam are two of several current-generation Sonos speakers that can share Bluetooth audio to other Sonos devices without Wi-Fi. You'll need to first set the speakers up on your Wi-Fi network, but once everything is configured, the Move 2 and Roam will be able to group with other Sonos hardware when Wi-Fi is disabled.

Regarding voice assistants, the Roam actually comes out on top, with the smaller speaker supporting Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos Voice Control. However, the Move 2 nixes Google Assistant support entirely because of troubled legalities between Sonos and Google. On another note, iPhone and iPad owners will also be pleased to know that Sonos' inclusion of AirPlay 2 continues with the second-gen Move, and can also be found on the Roam.

Let's not beat around the bush here: The Sonos Move 2 delivers a better overall audio experience than the Sonos Roam. The Move 2 boasts a bigger chassis, which must be big in order to contain three class-D amps, two tweeters, and one huge mid-woofer. This speaker is designed to access the deeper details of your music, and it's also intended to project those details into whatever listening space you're in, thanks to Automatic Trueplay (for iOS devices only) and the Move's larger architecture.

After testing the Sonos Move 2, one of our biggest takeaways was the huge boost in audio quality, just compared to the previous generation. The new Move delivers clean and powerful mids, rich but not overwhelming lows, and clean and crisp treble. Yes, it's a bit heavy to move around, but so much of the Move 2's amazing audio is thanks to its heavy-duty internal components.

This isn't to say Roam doesn't deliver some phenomenal sound. In fact, we'd say it's still one of the best Bluetooth speakers out there, even with all the competition from brands like Ultimate Ears and JBL. Although there's only a single tweeter and a smaller mid-woofer than the one built into the Move 2, the Roam sounds crisp and clear at low to moderate volume and does an exceptional job projecting sound into mid-sized indoor and outdoor spaces. However, being the smaller of the two, the Roam does have its limitations. For example, if you try cranking the volume all the way up while listening to some Metallica or heavy-duty R&B, it will sound cranky and distorted.

When comparing the two speakers, imagine a pool party scenario. At this shindig, the Roam is the smaller speaker that you'd place right by the pool because sitting it out on the patio (which is usually far away from the pool) would mean you'd miss out on some of the sound. On the other hand, the Move 2 was brought to your party by a professional DJ who doesn't think twice about setting up his workstation far away from the pool simply because he knows the Move 2 can hit hard.

As with all current Sonos hardware, the best way to listen to all your favorite artists and playlists with the Move 2 and Roam is over Wi-Fi through the Sonos S2 app (available for Apple and Android devices). Acting as a music-streaming command center — and an intuitive dashboard for controls and customizations, the S2 app gets you access to all the best platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Audible, and Sonos' own Radio HD and its many offshoots.

You'll also be able to use the S2 app to group multiple Sonos devices, choose which audio source plays on what speaker(s), and adjust various elements of each speaker's EQ.

Both the Move 2 and Roam speakers are designed with portability in mind. Whether you want to use them indoors or outdoors, there's particular attention paid to the latter setting in the form of some top-notch IP scores for each device. The Move 2 is IP56-rated, which means it's protected from dust and high-pressure water streams. However, since it is one point away from full dust protection, you'll want to be a little careful when rocking out with it around sandy and gravel-laden areas.

As far as shielding goes, the Roam actually comes out on top with its IP67 rating. The "six" means the speaker is totally dustproof, and the "seven" means you should be able to submerge the Roam in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. While both speakers are fantastic for on-the-go usage, the Roam's improved dust and water protection make it extra safe to use at the beach, by the pool, or even as a shower speaker.

Being the bigger speaker of the two, the Sonos Move 2 also rocks the heftier 44Wh battery, which the company claims will last up to 24 hours when played at a moderate volume. This is a major improvement over the eight to ten hours dished out by the original Move, which put the O.G. model in the same battery camp as the far smaller Roam.

Speaking of the little brother, Sonos claims the Roam should last up to 10 hours on a single charge, and we found this figure to be pretty spot-on in our own testing of the speaker. In most cases, the battery never got low enough to necessitate a full re-juicing, and our reviewer found it extremely convenient to toss the Roam on the wireless charger whenever it wasn't being used.

That all depends on the type of audio experience you're looking for. If you care about overall sound staging, volume, and sound quality, the Sonos Move 2 is going to be the better option. The Move 2 is also the better of the two for battery life, but it's definitely not as easy to tout around as the Sonos Roam.

The bigger-sounding one

The Sonos Move 2 delivers exceptional sound at riveting volumes and is built to last almost an entire day without being charged.

Do you want a super-lightweight Bluetooth companion that sounds pretty great and lasts for a fairly long period of time? If so, the Sonos Roam may be the better fit for you and yours. Plus, it can be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

Even though it doesn't project as much as the Sonos Move 2, the Sonos Roam is still an excellent Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker.

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade. With a background in home theater sales, installation and repair, Michael's hands-on reviews, how-to guides, product roundups, and op-eds have been featured by notable publications including Android Police, How-To Geek, Digital Trends,, and TechRadar Pro.