Sonos Sub Mini Is A Smaller $429 Subwoofer To Fill One Big Hole

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Sonos is adding a second subwoofer to its wireless speaker line-up, with the Sonos Sub Mini promising a smaller, and more affordable option for those seeking more bass. Targeting both home theater and music listeners, the Sub Mini is close to half the price of the current Sonos Sub, and scaled to suit small to medium sized rooms.

The Sonos Sub, currently in its third-generation, isn't going anywhere. Priced at $749, it's a 36-pound behemoth with a distinctive rectangular design and a central cutaway. It's loud, heavy, and more than capable of keeping up with Sonos' Arc and Five soundbar and speakers.

Its problem is that it's also overkill for some Sonos users. Though you can pair Sub with a smaller Sonos soundbar, like the recently-announced Ray, or a pair of Sonos One smart speakers, you'd hardly be stressing its capabilities. Its price tag also puts it out of sensible reach for those applications, but that's where the Sonos Sub Mini comes in.

Smaller price, smaller subwoofer

Priced at $429, the Sonos Sub Mini is far more justifiable foil to a $279 Ray or a $449 Beam soundbar. Like the existing Sonos Sub, the Mini version has opposing woofers in an acoustically sealed cabinet. In this case, they're 6-inches in size with a 25 Hz frequency response, and each gets a Class-D digital amplifier. With each woofer firing at the other, the vibrations are cancelled out.

As the name suggests, though, it's much smaller. The cylindrical design — available in matte black and white — has a 9-inch diameter, and it weighs 14 pounds. That's less than half the weight of a full-size Sonos Sub. Like all subwoofers, its placement in your room is more flexible than for other speakers, and Sub Mini's 12-inch height should make finding a spot for it near a power outlet more straightforward too.

Setup uses the same simplified process seen in Sonos' other recent launches, with an NFC pad on the top to tap your phone against and have it join an existing Sonos system. Sub Mini uses a 5GHz direct connection to a Sonos soundbar for minimal latency, and supports 2.4/5GHz wireless to the rest of the network. Bass frequency and crossover levels are all automatically set, depending on what speakers Sub Mini is paired with, it'll work with any of Sonos' non-portable models. There's also Trueplay for tuning the subwoofer's DSP to suit the acoustic implications of a room's architecture and furnishings.

Scaled for small to medium sized rooms

Simplicity is the key here, Sonos says, though there'll be options still. The Sonos app will have a sub level slider, for example, for those who want to tweak the levels themselves. What you won't be able to do is link two Sub Minis into a single home theater setup. Sonos' argument is, in that case, you'd be better off upgrading to a single full-sized Sub.

In the same way, the existing Sub is recommended for use with Arc, Beam, Five, and Sonos Amp with larger speakers. Sub Mini is scaled more to suit Beam, Ray, One, One SL, Amp with smaller bookshelf speakers, and IKEA's Sonos-powered SYMFONISK range. It's not to suggest you can't use Sub Mini with, say, an Arc, but the soundbar may end up too powerful at higher volumes, with the smaller subwoofer unable to deliver matching bass grunt.

Generally, rooms under 300 square feet should be just fine for Sub Mini, though the architecture of the space will have an impact. Though Sonos is pitching Sub Mini as a perfect addition to small-to-medium home theater setups, it's also expecting music fans to be onboard too. Traditionally, Sonos has seen fewer people bonding a Sub to a pair of Play 1 speakers for music listening, Sam Feine, an Audio Systems Engineer at the company, told SlashGear. "It really wasn't a balanced setup there," Feine said. Sub Mini, however, should be a much better match for music.

Even apartment-dwellers should take a look

Similarly, though subwoofers might seem like overkill generally, especially in apartments or for low-volume listeners, Feine argues that there's a good sonic reason to consider one. "Bass really is the emotion of the sound bed," the engineer says, pointing out that soundbars and speakers simply can't deliver the lower frequencies that a subwoofer can. If you have a Sub Mini, even if the volume is set low, you'll hear parts of the music or soundtrack that you wouldn't otherwise.

A more affordable subwoofer has been missing from Sonos' line-up over the past few years, and the existence of a smaller version of the Sub has been a long-standing rumor. While certainly not as cheap as some of Sonos' other recent products, like the $179 Roam, it definitely shifts bumping up bass further within reach of the company's users for whom the full-size Sub is just too much.

Preorders open today, and Sub Mini will begin shipping on October 6th, 2022. Sonos will also have bundle deals. You'll save $35 when you buy Sub Mini and Ray together, or $45 if you get the subwoofer and a Beam. For surround-sound systems, there's $55 off if you buy Sub Mini, Ray, and a pair of One SLs for the rear wireless channels, or $65 off if you buy that bundle with a Sonos Beam instead.