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Sonos Unveils Battery-Powered Move Speaker, Sonos One SL Without Mic

Sonos is embracing the outdoors: The smart speaker maker unveiled its first-ever portable speaker Thursday. The speaker, dubbed Move, is a major departure for the company, as it is also the first Sonos product to embrace Bluetooth.

In addition to the Move, Sonos also introduced a new version of its Sonos One speaker Thursday that comes without far-field microphones on board. And finally, the company introduced a successor to its Connect product, dubbed Port, that allows consumers to bring multi-room audio to any existing speaker system.

The introduction of the new hardware was a bit anti-climactic for Sonos; most of the details about the Sonos Move and Sonos One SL products had already leaked before the official announcement. Still, the introduction of the Move in particular represents a major step for Sonos towards embracing new audiences and use cases.

“For the first time, you can take Sonos anywhere,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. “Move marks the beginning of a new era for Sonos—one where brilliant sound not only fills your home, but extends to every part of your day.”

The Sonos Move features an integrated battery that promises playback time of up to 10 hours, and can be recharged with a charging base that ships with the product.

When within reach of a known Wifi network, the Move can be controlled with voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant. And when on the go, consumers can switch to Bluetooth streaming to keep the music playing.

The Move is also the first Sonos speaker to support automatic Trueplay tuning, which essentially means that the speaker monitors the sound of the room it is placed in and then adjusts the output accordingly — a feature that’s similar to the way Apple’s Homepod and Google’s Home Max speaker adjust their sound.

And just like the Homepod, Sonos is also aiming for the upper end of the market: The Sonos Move is priced $399 — a lot more than your average Bluetooth speaker. However, Sonos has had a lot of success with selling additional products to its existing customer base, and the company is clearly betting that these customers will embrace the Move as well.

In many ways, the new Sonos One SL is also meant to appeal to existing Sonos customers. Anyone who already has a Sonos One can add the One SL for stereo sound without adding another device with microphones to the same room. Likewise, Sonos Beam owners can snap up a pair one One SLs for surround sound without adding additional unnecessary mics to their setup.

The Sonos One SL is launching on September 12 for $179. The device will effectively replace the company’s Play:1 speaker, with a spokesperson telling Variety that it would remove the Play:1 from its line-up once the current inventory is sold out.

Finally, the new Sonos Port effectively replaces the Sonos Connect with a smaller footprint, and a design that mirrors that of the revamped Sonos Amp that the company launched last year. The Sonos Connect will start selling to professional installers this month, and launch more broadly with a $399 price tag early next year.

 

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