Sonos Move vs Sonos One (2020): A Feud Between Indoor And Outdoor Speakers

With all the top-notch speakers Sonos has been churning out over the years, it leaves buyers with quite the dilemma: How do you choose one? Two models in particular have been battling it out for the number one spot, namely the Sonos Move and the Sonos One. They’re both great contenders but are different in so many ways, making it that much more difficult to finalize a pick. The ruggedly-designed Sonos Move, known for its durability and impressive battery life, is a great addition to the outdoor experience. The Sonos One, on the other hand, is a smart speaker that makes for a wonderful indoor companion. In the end, it all boils down to what you really need. To help you figure out which of the two is the better investment for you, here’s a look at their key differences.

Sonos Move vs Sonos One Comparison Chart

ModelSonos MoveSonos One
Sonos Move - Battery-powered Smart Speaker, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Alexa built-in -...Sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Alexa built-inYesYes
Apple Airplay 2YesYes
Google AssistantYesYes
Dimensions240 x 160 x 126mm161 x 120 x 120mm
Battery10 hoursWall plug-in


The Sonos Move is bigger and has a rugged look to it while the Sonos One is smaller and more refined. 

The Sonos logo stands out more in the Sonos Move (left) while it’s more subtle in the Sonos One (right)

The first difference between the Sonos Move and the Sonos One, and it’s a pretty obvious one, is size. The Sonos Move towers over its smaller counterpart, standing tall at 10 inches and weighing in at 3kg. Its heft allows it to pack in all-important features like long battery life and quality speakers, ones that are better than those found inside the Sonos One. While it might not exactly be portable in terms of size, it does have features that make it suitable for the outdoors. You can place its charging cradle wherever you’d like, just as long as it’s in Wi-Fi mode and hasn’t run out of battery yet. The Sonos Move is also quite the durable thing, able to withstand accidental drops, bumps, and nicks. You don’t need to worry about it getting wet or dirty either because it has IP65 water and dust resistance. It even has a rubber bottom so you can rest it on practically any surface, whether it be grass, concrete, or even mud.

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The Sonos One, aside from being smaller, has more of that textbook Sonos look. It has an all-over grille that hides the drivers and the Sonos logo blends in well with the rest of the body too. It’s subtle and refined so it’s sure to fit right in with the rest of your classy living space. While it might be on the smaller end of the spectrum, that doesn’t mean it lacks power. When you unpack its box, you’ll notice right away that it comes with a pretty chunky power cord, a hint that it’s no lightweight speaker.

When it comes to similarities, both the Sonos Move and the Sonos One have the same touch buttons found on their top surfaces. This allows easy access to the volume, microphone, and play/pause controls.

Sound Performance

The Sonos Move is much bolder than the Sonos One when it comes to sound performance. 

The Sonos Move allows you to play music outside without disturbing your neighbors

The Sonos Move, built with a mid-woofer driver, two Class-D digital amplifiers, and a downward-firing tweeter, is quite the powerhouse. When it comes to sound performance, it won’t take you long to realize that it’s definitely superior over the Sonos One. It delivers cleaner sound, it has a more balanced range, it has a higher-quality audio finish, and you can crank it up at a much higher volume. You don’t have to worry about your neighbors giving you dirty looks, however, because the Sonos Move doesn’t project sound behind itself.  This means that if you stand behind it, the volume probably won’t be as loud. So yes, it’s safe to play it outside without disturbing everyone living in proximity to you.

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While the Sonos One can’t compete with the Sonos Move, particularly  in terms of volume, it’s powerful enough as a house speaker. You wouldn’t need to have your music on full blast when you’re at home anyway. On its own, it’s still a top-quality product that sets the bar high for other speaker brands. It’s clear at every frequency, it delivers sound evenly, it has a punchy bass, and it’s actually pretty loud considering how small it is. The fact that it carries the Sonos logo on it means you can expect sound that’s considered one of the best in the market.

Functionality and Connectivity

Both the Sonos Move and Sonos One have the same connectivity and assistant features built into them. 

You can enjoy both Alexa and Google Assistant on the Sonos Move and Sonos One

Trueplay, Sonos’ proprietary tuning technology, works by assessing the acoustics of the room and then changing the way your Sonos speaker sounds depending on its environment. In the case of the Sonos One, Trueplay still works manually and so you have to wave your phone all over the place during set-up while your speaker noisily identifies the best sound profile for its surroundings . Fortunately, Trueplay has evolved since then and its improvements can be seen in the Sonos Move. The set-up process is now automatic which means no more flailing around. The Sonos Move adjusts its settings on its own no matter where you bring it, making sure it’s producing the best quality sound at all times.

Trueplay aside, the Sonos Move and the Sonos One are pretty much identical when it comes to connectivity, both of which can be easily paired with other speakers as well as Apple AirPlay 2. They’re equipped with smart assistant functionality as well, able to work either Alexa or Google Assistant according to your preference. Do take note, however, that the Sonos Move’s assistant feature only works when there’s Wi-Fi around. Without it, you’re left with bluetooth playback only sans Alexa’s voice.

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The Sonos Move comes with a portable charging dock while the Sonos One comes with a power cord.

The Sonos Move comes with its own portable charging dock

Being the portable speaker that it is, it’s convenient that you can take the Sonos Move out of its charging cradle and bring it wherever you’d like without having to recharge it for another ten hours. You can even put it in low-power mode, leave it for a couple of days, and it would still have enough battery life to spare. Once you do need to power up its juices, simply place it back in its dock or use a compatible USB-C charger. As for the Sonos One, it’s not a battery-powered speaker so you need to have it plugged in via its power cord while you’re using it. While this means you can’t move it around, it does save you from the horror of running out of battery.


The Sonos Move wins when it comes to portability and sound performance. 

For those who spend a lot of time in the wild outdoors, the Sonos Move is the better match for your lifestyle. Not only is its battery life impressively long at ten hours, but it’s pretty much indestructible as well. While it is on the heavier side, the fact that it can survive any kind of weather makes it the perfect portable speaker. It doesn’t disappoint when it comes to power either, able to deliver dynamic sound that even outside noises won’t be able to drown out.

But if you’re not much of an outdoor person and would rather spend time at home listening to music, the Sonos One should be more than enough to meet your needs. It may not be as loud but it’s powerful in its own right, especially if you consider how small it is. It gets another point for its subtle and refined aesthetic, one that’s sure to please a variety of tastes. You should also consider it the better choice if you’re not willing to fork over an exorbitant amount of money.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Denise Jose