When Sonos launched its first transportable speaker, the Transfer, 4 years in the past, it was an anomaly. Beforehand, the corporate had appeared down on Bluetooth as low-quality and unreliable, and the entire audio system it offered required an influence outlet. The Transfer, then again, used Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and had a 10-hour battery.
In 2023, these tips have proliferated throughout the Sonos lineup. The extra reasonably priced Roam speaker introduced the Transfer’s characteristic set to a a lot smaller system, whereas latest dwelling audio system just like the Period 100 and 300 each help Bluetooth, as effectively. As such, the lately introduced Move 2 doesn’t recommend a brand new route for future Sonos merchandise — it merely brings the corporate’s newest tech and design cues to an present product.
- Glorious battery life
- Prices shortly
- Extraordinarily sturdy
- Improved sound high quality in comparison with the unique
- Line-in jack
- Costlier than the earlier Transfer
- Too massive to carry with you anyplace
And, as standard, it’s dearer: At $449, it’s the identical value because the Period 300, which is able to spatial audio playback. It’s additionally dearer than shopping for an Period 100 and a Roam. Given how Sonos has modified because the authentic Transfer, I’ve been making an attempt to determine what place — if any — the Transfer 2 has within the firm’s lineup.
What hasn’t modified
At first look, the Transfer 2 appears to be like almost equivalent to its predecessor. It’s a chunky and moderately heavy speaker, weighing simply over 6.5 kilos, and it’s noticeably greater than the Period 100. That stated, it’s equivalent in measurement and weight to the unique Transfer, regardless of having redesigned internals. Given the speaker’s measurement and weight, I nonetheless see its potential use circumstances the identical as 4 years in the past: you’ll be able to lug it round the home with the built-in deal with and get loud, high-quality sound anyplace, or carry it exterior to energy a celebration within the yard. Nevertheless it’s clearly not a speaker you’ll be able to take with you anyplace, just like the tiny Roam, which you’ll be able to tuck in a bag and principally overlook about.
As earlier than, and like all different Sonos audio system, the Transfer 2 can stream audio over your Wi-Fi community from dozens of providers by means of the Sonos app. When you have different audio system, you’ll be able to stream the identical music to all of them without delay, or play various things on every. When you have two Transfer 2 audio system, you’ll be able to arrange a stereo pair. And for when there’s no Wi-Fi, the Transfer 2 has Bluetooth.
The Transfer 2 additionally has built-in microphones so you’ll be able to command the speaker with both Alexa or Sonos’ personal voice assistant. These additionally let the speaker routinely tune audio output to optimize sound high quality. This auto Trueplay characteristic first arrived on the Transfer 4 years in the past and is now out there on lots of the firm’s merchandise. In my expertise, it positively improves the speaker’s output, so I all the time flip it on. It’s notably helpful on a conveyable speaker that’s always utilized in totally different spots.
Lastly, the Transfer 2 is constructed to resist the weather; its IP56 score means it’s mud and water-proof. You’ll be able to’t really drop it right into a physique of water (in contrast to the smaller Roam, which might survive a dip within the pool), however it’s simply high-quality getting hosed down. It could additionally stand up to a large temperature vary — Sonos stated the primary Transfer labored between 14 levels F and as much as 131 levels F (-10 to 55 Celsius) and confirmed that the Transfer 2 has the identical climate resistance as the unique. That’s not one thing most individuals might want to fear about, however the Transfer 2 ought to survive an evening exterior within the winter for those who overlook to carry it in.
Whilst you’d be forgiven for mistaking the Transfer 2 for the unique, there are some vital modifications on the within (and a few delicate ones on the skin). The speaker’s prime contact controls have been redesigned to match the structure Sonos launched earlier this yr with the Period 100 and 300. Flanking the play / pause button are observe ahead and again buttons. Beforehand, you needed to double-tap the play button to skip songs, and that is positively simpler. The amount controls at the moment are a slider, however it’s also possible to faucet the left or proper aspect of the amount space for little changes. Lastly, there’s a button to mute the speaker’s microphones. And for additional safety, there’s additionally a bodily change on the again of the speaker that cuts energy to the mics fully.
There’s additionally a USB-C port round again that can be utilized for charging or, with the precise dongle, as a line-in jack. I hooked the Transfer 2up to my turntable with no points, similar as I did with the Period 100 and 300. My slight annoyance at needing a dongle is greater than tempered by having this feature in any respect — a yr in the past, solely the $550 Sonos 5 speaker had line-in, and now it’s out there on many of the music-focused audio system Sonos sells.
Oh yeah, and the Transfer 2 is available in olive inexperienced along with black and white!
Finally, there are two massive modifications that outline the Transfer 2: an improved battery and all new speaker parts. Sonos says that the Transfer 2 ought to final for “as much as 24 hours” — and it appeared to blow previous that in my testing. I had the speaker taking part in music over Wi-Fi for 22 hours and 50 minutes once I went to mattress, and the speaker nonetheless had a whopping 46 % of its battery left. After I checked in once more 10 hours later, the battery was depleted, so it died someday between these check-ins. Nevertheless it’s secure to say you need to get the 24 hours Sonos guarantees and extra. That’s greater than double the previous Transfer, and greater than adequate for a speaker like this. I’m nonetheless testing the Transfer’s battery and can try to be awake when it dies subsequent time so I can get a greater deal with on simply how lengthy it lasts.
Sonos once more included a charging “ring” that you may simply place the Transfer 2 in to energy it up. It’s a sublime resolution that requires no twiddling with cables. At first, I thought of that it could be good to have two of them round the home, however actually the battery lasts so lengthy that I didn’t discover it essential to arrange two “dwelling base” spots. And you’ll cost it by way of USB-C, too. It’s not as clear and aesthetically pleasing as utilizing the charging ring, however helpful in a pinch.
The brand new speaker parts appear to be impressed by the Period 100. Like that speaker, there are two angled tweeters to supply a semblance of stereo sound, in addition to one midwoofer. The unique Transfer, then again, had a single downward-firing tweeter and a midwoofer. Because of the 2 tweeters, the Transfer 2 is technically a stereo speaker, however as with the Period 100 it’s nothing just like the stereo separation you get from a pair of audio system. The truth that there’s no left-right steadiness management within the app for the Transfer 2 signifies that there’s solely a lot true separation between the 2 channels right here, a truth of life given how shut collectively the 2 tweeters are.
My go-to observe for testing these stereo capabilities is “Such Nice Heights” by The Postal Service, and the ping-ponging digital intro and hard-panned vocals that bounce between the left and proper channels nonetheless kind of seemed like they have been coming from a single spot. There’s slightly house between them, however it doesn’t sound all that totally different from taking part in the track by means of the mono Sonos One speaker.
That quibble apart, the 2 tweeters within the Transfer 2 present improved readability over the unique. It’s a transparent, well-balanced speaker that faithfully reproduces sound throughout all ranges of the spectrum. Bass is distinguished however not overdone, and the excessive finish is distinct and detailed, particularly in comparison with the unique Transfer, which might get muddier than I favored. The Transfer 2 replicated the intricate particulars in delicate albums like Daughter’s Stereo Thoughts Recreation and Finish, the most recent from Explosions within the Sky, and dance ground tracks like Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Begin Now” and Tove Lo’s “No One Dies From Love” had loads of low finish energy.
It’s additionally a really loud speaker. Inside the home, I by no means actually wanted to show it above 50 %, besides once I merely needed to listen to what it might do. Going a lot above 70 % will get downright startling. However as with the previous Transfer, Sonos gave this speaker additional oomph for outside areas the place sound dissipates a lot simpler.
The principle subject with the Transfer 2 is that you simply nonetheless sacrifice sound high quality for portability. The Transfer 2 prices $449, the identical value because the Period 300. That speaker has 4 tweeters and two woofers and might play again audio in Dolby Atmos. The entire spatial audio expertise will be hit-or-miss relying on the standard of the combo, however even with out that, there’s little doubt in my thoughts that the Period 300 is a extra succesful speaker.
One other manner you may spend that $449 could be to get an Period 100 ($249) and Roam ($179). That will get you an indoor speaker that sounds simply pretty much as good because the Transfer 2 plus a conveyable speaker that’s a lot smaller and simpler to take with you. To be clear, the Transfer 2 is much extra highly effective than the Roam, with higher sound high quality and the amount to fill a big outside house. The Roam, then again, is for transportable, private use. It comes right down to what you suppose you’ll want extra: portability or energy.
Regardless of my emotions that the Transfer 2 is considerably of a distinct segment system, a fast have a look at the market exhibits there are many competing merchandise with comparable value factors and options. Audio system just like the JBL Boombox 3, Final Ears Hyperboom and Bose Transportable Sensible Speaker all supply comparable characteristic units to the Transfer 2, and the Transfer 2’s vastly improved battery life means it ought to fare higher than the sooner system in these comparisons.
As a result of its value and measurement, the Transfer 2 isn’t the best transportable speaker for everybody. However that’s OK, as a result of it does succeed as a speaker that you may depend on for high-quality and critically loud audio. It’s well-suited to being your predominant speaker inside the home in addition to one thing you’ll be able to take to the porch or yard to energy a celebration. And whereas it gained’t comfortably slip right into a backpack, it ought to make a superb highway journey companion. I might positively see tossing it within the automotive and bringing it on my summer season trip with me.
The battery and speaker upgrades make it a worthy enchancment over its predecessor, as effectively, although I’m disillusioned to see Sonos increase the value but once more on one in every of its merchandise. However for those who’re on the lookout for one speaker that may cowl as many bases as attainable, the Transfer 2 suits the invoice — and it’ll be that rather more helpful if in case you have different Sonos merchandise to pair it with.