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Sonos likely planning a smaller, cheaper Move portable speaker

FCC diagram showing a possible Sonos Move Mini

The Sonos Move is an excellent portable speaker, and so far, it’s the only Sonos model that sports the versatility of a Bluetooth connection. But if a recently spotted FCC filing is any indication, we could soon see a much smaller, and possibly less expensive edition of the Sonos Move — a Move Mini, perhaps.

As The Verge points out, the drawing contained in the FCC documents clearly illustrate a device with its own wireless charging cradle (a design that is similar to the existing Move) but that also has a round, cylindrical shape.

Other hints within the filing that point to a smaller Move is a circular label that will be laser-etched onto the bottom of the device, and a power requirement that is less than the Move. The Move’s charging base requires 18 volts and outputs 2.5 amps, but the label shown in the FCC filing lists 5 volts and 3 amps respectively. At 5 volts, the new cradle could be powered from a USB port on a computer or other USB power source, while the Move’s charger requires its own dedicated power source.

Like the Move, the new device has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.

A smaller, cheaper portable speaker would give Sonos the ability to compete with the relatively huge number of Bluetooth speakers that fall in the $100-$250 range that currently offer much greater portability than the Move. The Move sounds great, but it’s too heavy and cumbersome to grab for anything but perhaps a trip to the cottage. You certainly wouldn’t throw it in a backpack or a beach bag.

A Move Mini would likely go head-to-head with speakers from Ultimate Ears. The $250 UE Megablast seems like the most obvious competitor as it has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, giving it the same ability to be a smart speaker when at home and a wireless speaker when on the go.

One of the Move’s most interesting features is its user-replaceable rechargeable battery. There’s no indication yet if this will also be a feature on a smaller version of the Move, and there’s no way to know how long that battery will last. The Megablast lasts 16 hours between charges, which might be a good indicator.

One Move feature that seems almost guaranteed to return on a small model is the company’s Auto Trueplay technology which lets the Move self-calibrate when you reposition it using its internal microphones.

The Megablast’s IP67 rating offers more protection from dust and water than the Move’s IP56, so we think it’s likely that any Move Mini will also survive full immersion in water.

The $200-$250 range would be an absolutely killer price for a Move Mini, but we suspect that, knowing Sonos, it will end up closer to the high end of this range, or even $300.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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