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Sonos Move vs. Apple HomePod: Which should you buy?

White HomePod on a dresser
White HomePod on a dresser (Image credit: Apple)

Picking a winner in a battle of the Sonos Move vs. Apple HomePod essentially boils down to whether or not you want a portable speaker and which voice assistant you prefer. If you are all-in on Apple and have a subscription to Apple Music, the HomePod will offer a better overall experience with familiar Siri voice controls and stunningly good sound.

If you prefer Alexa/Google Assistant and other music services, or just want a great-sounding speaker that can go everywhere, then go with the Sonos Move.

Sonos Move vs. Apple HomePod: Breaking things down

The Sonos Move and HomePod are both high-quality speakers with excellent sound, AirPlay 2 whole-home audio, and smart capabilities, but that is where the similarities end. Before we dive into a deeper comparison, here's a breakdown of what these speakers offer and how they match up with it comes to the details.

Sonos MoveApple HomePod
Size9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96-inches5.6 x 5.6 x 6.8-inches
Weight4.08lbs5.5lbs
FinishesBlack, WhiteBlack, White
Weather ResistanceYes (IP 56)No
Built-in batteryYes (11 hours)No
Amplifiers27
Tweeters17
Woofers11
Wall mountableNoNo
Wi-FiYesYes
EthernetNoNo
BluetoothYesYes (not for music playback)
AirPlay 2YesYes
Multi-room audioYes (Sonos, AirPlay 2)Yes (AirPlay 2)
Audio outNoNo
Voice controlsYes (Alexa, Google)Yes (Siri)

At a glance, the Sonos Move is a much more flexible speaker, and not just because it has an integrated rechargeable battery and weather resistance. The HomePod, however, offers some impressive features and has the bonus of the Apple ecosystem to back it up, even if it is tethered to an outlet. So, it really comes down to your lifestyle. Let's look more closely at the details.

Sonos Move vs. Apple HomePod: Stay Home or on the Move

HomePod

HomePod top view (Image credit: iMore)

When it comes to music, the Move works with various popular services, including Apple Music. It gives users a choice as to which voice assistant to use, either Alexa or Google Assistant. Since Sonos has a ton of different speakers in its line, the Move can slide right in alongside an existing Sonos set up. With its portability, it actually makes a great home theater companion.

On the other hand, Apple's HomePod puts more of an emphasis on sound and simplicity. The HomePod only works with Apple Music and Siri, which immediately limits who can and can't use the speaker. The HomePod also only works indoors as it lacks weather resistance, and it doesn't have an internal battery, so don't expect it to withstand a dip in the pool or supply the tunes without an outlet nearby.

Despite its limited nature, the HomePod can be paired up with an additional HomePod to create a stereo pair, and AirPlay 2 allows it to stay in sync with other compatible speakers in the home. It packs in a ton of tweeters and amplifiers, which results in an unmistakable sound that is much louder and fuller than its tiny profile suggests. The HomePod can also handle basic voice tasks like settings alarms and timers. Plus, it can control HomeKit accessories, but it is meant for indoor use only.

Taking advantage of that impressive sound and other features, though, requires an Apple Music subscription as it doesn't work with other services like Spotify, and it requires using Siri, which isn't quite up to the same level of capabilities compared to Alexa and the Google Assistant.

Sonos Move vs. Apple HomePod: Go anywhere with the Sonos Move

Sonos Move carried outdoors

Sonos Move carried outdoors (Image credit: Sonos)

While the Sonos Move may not match the number of components inside the HomePod, it certainly is no slouch when it comes to audio quality. The Move delivers the signature Sonos sound that is automatically tuned and can still fill an entire room.

The Sonos Move also can work both indoors and out, with IP56 weather resistance. Combined with the integrated battery that can keep it running for up to 11 hours, the Sonos Move is an excellent option for parties or even camping with Bluetooth support. If you want a little more flexibility with your speaker, this may be the best choice. Unfortunately, the Homepod just doesn't have the mobility.

Which should you buy: Sonos Move or Apple Homepod?

If you don't mind its limitations and don't plan on switching from Apple anytime soon, then go with the HomePod, you won't be disappointed. However, if you like to switch your tech and services up, you will be much better off with the Move. The Move can choose between voice assistants, and it's compatible with most major music apps, including Apple Music. So, if you end up settling down on Apple's side, you are still covered.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.