Sonos unveils its first portable speaker that goes outside and can survive in the rain

Key Points
  • Sonos unveils the Sonos Move, its first portable speaker that can be taken outside and is designed to survive the rain.
  • It costs $399 and launches Sept. 24.
The Sonos Move outside.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Sonos on Thursday unveiled the Sonos Move, its first portable speaker that can be taken outside and is designed to survive the rain.

The Sonos Move will launch on Sept. 24 for $399, which means it's not cheap, but it's also pretty impressive. I had a chance to check it out before the announcement. People with existing Sonos setups at home who want a speaker that can be moved around the house or outside to the patio will like it.

It's dust resistant, too, so you can take it to the beach or drop it in the dirt without worrying about it being damaged.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

The Sonos Move has an IP56 rating, which means it's resistant to water, dust or sand. The company says it's perfect for bringing to the beach, though it's a bit large and, at 6.61 pounds, a little too heavy to tote very far. But it has a unique charging base (it can also charge with a USB-C cable) that lets you easily pick it up and move it around. It has 10 hours of battery life and can last up to 120 hours on a charge in standby mode.

In this test, we splashed the Sonos with water to check its rain resistance.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I love the sound — it's full and comparable to other Sonos speakers — but I wish Sonos also sold a smaller, more portable model that could easily slide into a backpack and go anywhere with me.

There's a nice built-in handle.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

One feature I really liked is called Auto Trueplay. Sonos speakers have a Trueplay option that lets you tune them to sound best in the room they're in. Auto Trueplay does this automatically, so if you move it, the sound automatically adjusts to its environment in about 10 to 20 seconds. There was a noticeable change when a Sonos representative moved the speaker from a living room setting and placed it on a book shelf. It sounded muffled at first, but then adjusted itself and sounded clear again.

The Sonos Move sitting on its charging base, which you can lift it right off of. There's also USB-C charging supprot.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

The Sonos Move also supports Apple's AirPlay 2, which means you can easily stream music from your iPhone or iPad and connect it to other AirPlay 2 speakers, as well as Bluetooth. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built-in, too, in case you want to check the weather or a sports score.

Preorders for the Sonos Move begin Thursday and it launches in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Austria, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Ireland on Sept. 24.

Sonos CEO: We're not shifting manufacturing out of China