If the reply to ‘What’s Sonos?,’ you’ve got been caught listening to Sonos audio system inside. Not solely does the Sonos Transfer, the primary moveable Sonos gadget, pack anticipated Sonos-quality sound, however its built-in battery makes it one of many greatest good audio system for indoor-outdoor use we have seen. It additionally has Google Assistant and Alexa, making it a helpful companion for voice-operated smart-home management, plus IP56 water resistance. So it is one of many greatest waterproof audio system as nicely — not unhealthy for a primary attempt.
The Sonos Transfer ($399) sports activities a brand new Sonos know-how known as Auto TruePlay, which makes use of microphones to robotically tune the speaker for its environment. Bluetooth management and 11 hours of battery life (because of a current software program replace) make it a worthy moveable model of the stellar Sonos One, and one of many greatest Bluetooth audio system with premium audio. However with that, it comes at a premium value.
Sonos Transfer value and availability
The Sonos Transfer prices $399.99 is offered to buy as of this writing. It initially launched in a single, Shadow Black end, however Sonos has since added a Lunar White possibility with UV safety. In different phrases, it should not yellow within the solar.
Sonos Transfer overview: Design
In comparison with the Sonos One, the Sonos Transfer is the cooler cousin. Its matte almost-black end and grille mixture is trendy sufficient for a contemporary house with out hiding its function. It is tall, broad and oval in form. It is a true development from the basic Sonos design.
I docked the Transfer on my white marble kitchen island, the place it fielded consideration with grace. My Sonos One, by comparability, is camouflaged with the remainder of my residence leisure gadget on my TV stand.
A good two-thirds of the Transfer’s exterior holds the speaker grille, whereas the again panel incorporates a up-facing claw-grip deal with. Additionally on the again is the ability button, a button that allows you to swap from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, and a button for connecting the Transfer to different Sonos audio system in your sound system.
The highest has quantity, pause and play controls, in addition to two standing lights: one indicating when the speaker is on and one other when the Transfer’s four-microphone setup is listening.
Measurement and weight are the Transfer’s obvious design setback. With greater than 6 kilos packed into its 10-inch tall physique, it is a dense gadget. It is disagreeable to hold the Transfer whereas making an attempt to carry the rest. Even the journey as much as my residence’s rooftop with the Transfer in a single hand and a espresso mug within the different felt awkward. Transporting the Transfer wherever a couple of minutes away is a two-handed job.
So schlepping this factor to the seaside is likely to be unrealistic — take a look at our listing of the greatest Bluetooth audio system for extra moveable choices — however shifting round totally different elements of a house or exterior to the yard are extra believable.
Sonos Transfer overview: Audio efficiency
Relating to engineering audio system, Sonos has a stellar monitor report. The Transfer gives a melodic listening expertise with its tweeter, woofer and two amplifiers. Relying in your choice, the speaker can present delicate background noise, booming dance bass and the whole lot in between. Even at its loudest, the Sonos Transfer sounded balanced thumping out Billie Eilish’s “Unhealthy Man.”
On the rooftop of my block-long residence constructing, the Transfer’s music crammed the elevated open air. At full quantity, neighbors on the other facet of the patio came to visit to inquire concerning the social gathering. What they discovered was me, alone, enjoying Spotify’s “Dance Hits” radio by means of an extremely highly effective speaker.
As for listening choices, the Sonos Transfer gives 100 streaming companies managed from the Sonos app, utilizing voice, or with Apple AirPlay 2. However solely when the gadget is linked to your Wi-Fi. As soon as you turn to Bluetooth, you may play audio direct solely from music service apps like Spotify and Pandora.
Sonos Transfer overview: Auto TruePlay
When you’ve got a Sonos speaker, you might have used TruePlay through your smartphone to synchronize the gadget for the house it sits in. The Transfer replaces that guide configuration with Auto TruePlay, a brand new know-how from Sonos that lets the speaker robotically tune itself by means of built-in microphones. Sonos says it isn’t as exact as the standard guide setup with its different audio system, nevertheless it’s much more handy.
Not all out of doors areas have the identical acoustics, so Auto TruePlay is meant to regulate sound settings to greatest suit your environment. Whether or not you are at a packed yard social gathering, an open-aired beachfront or a tiny balcony, the Sonos Transfer ought to ship a balanced audio expertise.
I put Auto TruePlay to the take a look at in a couple of indoor locales and observed delicate adjustments. I undocked the Transfer from my counter and put in an open bed room shelf, the place it barely decreased the bass in Zedd’s “Readability” to subdue the echo. Once I left the room and shut the door behind me, I hardly heard the digital anthem at medium quantity, which I am positive my residence mates appreciated.
Outdoors is the place Auto TruePlay shines. On my residence’s rooftop patio, the Transfer’s audio sounded flawless. It drowned out the sound of site visitors and trains under, however did not impede on that face-to-face dialog I had with my neighbors. I by no means wish to manually calibrate a speaker once more after utilizing the Transfer, and I hope Auto TruePlay is in all Sonos audio system going ahead.
Sonos Transfer overview: Out of doors use
Most good audio system want Wi-Fi to work, in order that they develop into lower than helpful when you’re exterior the vary of a community. Sonos solved this quandary by putting in a swap within the Transfer that lets customers select whether or not they’d just like the function the speaker over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. Urgent the button overrides the usual Wi-Fi management in order that customers might pair their smartphone to the Transfer.
However when you’re on Bluetooth mode, you are not utilizing a sensible speaker. Apart from its Sonos-quality sound, it is the identical as every other moveable speaker. Alexa and Google Assistant are checked at your own home Wi-Fi’s door, and the Sonos app is rendered ineffective. You possibly can’t even pair two totally different gadgets to it for a number of DJs.
The Transfer’s motion has limits, and I feel it is so far as your Wi-Fi reaches. Transfer it to your yard, patio or porch –– just about wherever the place you may nonetheless get the great Sonos library and might make voice instructions.
Sonos Transfer overview: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
The Sonos Transfer packs two fashionable digital assistants: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Establishing each (you may’t use them concurrently) on the Transfer is easy, and when you allow your assistant of selection, you may ask the Transfer for issues like your native climate, a newscast and your schedule for the day. You can even function a number of of your smart-home gadgets with voice instructions in case your Transfer is in vary.
On my residence Wi-Fi community, the Transfer responded to various the greatest Google Assistant abilities requests with out hesitation. I switched playlists, discovered present site visitors circumstances earlier than I left for dinner, and turned off my lounge’s good mild bulbs utilizing my voice.
Nevertheless, there are some limitations when in comparison with good audio system made by Amazon. For example, just like the Sonos One, the Transfer does not assist calling or the Alexa Drop-In intercom function. Nonetheless, it is ready to make use of many of the greatest Alexa abilities.
Sonos Transfer overview: Charging and battery life
The Transfer’s battery life lives as much as Sonos promise of 10 hours on a full cost. For this overview, I performed quite a lot of genres at totally different noise ranges nonstop from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. as I went about my day. The battery steadily drained by 10% each hour or so.
The Transfer additionally switches to droop mode when it isn’t getting used, permitting it to protect battery life for as much as 120 hours, in response to Sonos.
When it ran out of juice, I recharged the Transfer by setting in on the included ring energy base. Although it may be charged on-the-go with a suitable USB-C journey charger, too. Nevertheless, not like another moveable Bluetooth audio system, you may’t use the Transfer’s battery to cost different gadgets.
Sonos Transfer overview: Sturdiness and drop take a look at
With any moveable speaker, sturdiness is a should. The nice outdoor is not at all times tech-friendly, so you may wish to know in case your gadget can face up to climate and roughhousing earlier than you carry it out of the home. With an IP56 ranking, the Transfer is dustproof and waterproof sufficient to face up to coarse sand or a wet evening when forgotten exterior.
I did not wish to tough up the Sonos Transfer an excessive amount of, however I put it in opposition to the weather I face frequently: liquids and slippery fingers. A splash from a water bottle proved innocent to the Transfer. I would not depart it too near the pool’s edge, nevertheless it’ll fare fantastic doused with typical out of doors social gathering drinks and condiments.
With weight being a priority of mine, I needed to know that the Sonos Transfer would not expire with an unintended drop. I let it fall from my hand three toes within the air. The sigh of reduction I exuded was nearly louder than the Transfer, which, a lot to my delight, nonetheless labored after the concrete collision. It earned some minor exterior battle wounds upon nearer inspection, however they weren’t apparent.
If out of doors efficiency is a priority, then you too can take a look at our listing of greatest out of doors audio system.
Sonos Transfer overview: Worth
In case you’re searching for good audio system with an open thoughts, you won’t wish to make investments $399 earlier than figuring out the way it may combine into your good residence. Though we have not examined it but, the Bose Moveable House Speaker additionally has Alexa and Google Assistant, however prices $50 much less and is a couple of third of the load.
And the stationary Sonos One will set you again simply $179. In different phrases, you might get two Sonos One audio system (a well-liked surround-sound leisure setup) for the value of the Sonos Transfer.
However the Sonos One cannot accompany you outdoor. In case you spend a very good chunk of your time residence in your yard, you would possibly wish to go for a speaker you may carry round.
Sonos Transfer overview: Verdict
The Sonos Transfer is a strong good speaker, however I’d name it a wi-fi good speaker earlier than calling it a transportable one. With the ability to transport it across the residence and instant out of doors areas is beneficial, however its weight and lack of smarts on Bluetooth mode would discourage me from packing it for a day journey.
Nonetheless, there’s a greatest moveable good speaker title to be earned, and the Sonos Transfer makes a convincing argument with its distinctive audio high quality and Auto TruePlay tuning. It is up in opposition to the bucket-handled Bose Moveable House Speaker ($349), which additionally has built-in assist for Alexa and Google Assistant. The stationary Sonos One remains to be a greater possibility as an in-house good speaker, however the Transfer provides a long-demanded dynamic different to the Sonos lineup.