The Transfer is usually manufactured from plastic, though its entrance grill is metallic. Many of the different Sonos fashions have plastic grills; as a result of metallic can intrude with antenna indicators, the plastic building retains wi-fi efficiency secure. The Transfer’s 4 antennae are positioned close to the plastic backside of the speaker, so having a metallic entrance grill wasn’t as huge of a priority.
Even with all that plastic, the Transfer remains to be hefty. Sonos was attempting to design one thing bodily giant sufficient to supply full sound, however that wasn’t overwhelmingly enormous. What it landed on isn’t precisely a throw-it-in-your-tote-and-go gadget. However it’s additionally extra sophisticated-looking than loads of different Bluetooth audio system. There are not any bulging buttons, no bucket handles or loops. Even its darkish grey paint job was thought of: it’s not deep black as a result of that may make it scorching to the contact if disregarded within the solar for awhile. Which is what you’re imagined to do with it.
Sturdiness is a priority with any transportable speaker. Sonos says the Transfer has an IP56 ranking—waterproof sufficient to guard in opposition to rain and snow and mustard (Spence truly included mustard within the record he rattled off), although you gained’t need to take it into the swimming pool with you, since it could’t survive a full dunking. The underside portion of the speaker, which is coated in rubbery silicone, homes a 10-hour lithium ion battery. The lifespan of this battery is estimated to be about three years. After that, Sonos will promote you a alternative battery module, so you may carry on utilizing the identical speaker.
“We’re attempting to be as good and sustainable as attainable,” Spence says. “This isn’t a smartphone you’re going to interchange each two years. It is a five-to-ten-year proposition.”
The Sonos Transfer’s midrange driver is identical one that may be present in Sonos’ greatest speaker, the Play:5, and the basket that holds the motive force is constructed straight into the casing of the speaker. These design choices had been two-fold: the corporate wished to make sure the speaker may deal with huge, low-end sounds and never lose readability within the outdoor, and constructing the motive force straight into the casing is meant to make it extra sturdy. In case you drop that sonorific six-pack in your approach to the occasion, hopefully it gained’t break.
The 2 audio system that the Transfer most carefully resembles, the Sonos One and Play:1, each have two forward-firing drivers. Whereas the Sonos Transfer’s midrange driver faces ahead, the tweeter faces downward right into a custom-molded plastic waveguide that sends sound waves out of the speaker physique in a number of instructions. This design alternative is supposed to offer the speaker a large, even soundstage no matter the place it’s positioned, because the Transfer is designed, effectively, to be moved.
Within the first sound demo I heard, Sonos director of product advertising Ryan Richards performed the Tame Impala track “Borderline” by means of the Transfer. At medium quantity, it sounded nice, with clear highs and clear vocals, and a wholesome quantity of bass. Once I requested Richards to crank it up, some distortion crept in. However I used to be largely struck by how loud the factor will get. Richards mentioned the corporate realized from its early person testing that folks wished the flexibility to crank it loud in out of doors areas, so Sonos needed to do some software program customization work on the louder finish to make it sound respectable.
In one other a part of the demo, Richards confirmed off a brand new automated course of for Trueplay, the system Sonos makes use of to get a speaker sounding its finest irrespective of the place you plunk it. Usually, whenever you purchase a brand new Sonos, the app walks you thru the method of calibrating it through the setup. After you’ve positioned the speaker, the app asks you to wave your smartphone round over your head like a goofball for 45 seconds whereas the speaker and the cellphone “scan” the room and research how the sound waves behave within the house. The speaker’s audio is then robotically tuned by the app.