Finally, Sonos has a subwoofer that’s more affordable and practical for smaller spaces, the Sub Mini. It only took 10 years to get here. Sonos’ original wireless sub, which debuted in 2012, has always been aimed at the most die-hard user. With an introductory price of $699, it was just as expensive as the company’s flagship Playbar, and its massive size made it overkill for apartments. (It’s now $50 more after Sonos’ recent price hikes.)
Casual Sonos fans were basically out of luck, especially as the company released more affordable soundbars like the Beam and Ray. You probably wouldn’t want to pair a $699 subwoofer with a speaker that costs $400 or less. Simply put, the $429 Sub Mini fills a huge void in the Sonos lineup. But is it really good?
- Excellent bass for its size
- Small and easy to move
- Relatively affordable
- Easily syncs with Sonos wired speakers
- Does not support the Sonos Move
Gallery: Sonos Sub Mini | 9 photos
Gallery: Sonos Sub Mini | 9 photos
If I could I would show you my cat’s shocked reaction when I exploded Baby Drivers Opening hunt on the Sonos Arc in my family room. Sonos might not be the most price-conscious company, but they’ve always made great speakers, reliably. The Sub Mini is no exception.
Now I know if you own an Arc you would most likely go for the beefier Sonos Sub. But I was still impressed by how much the smaller subwoofer helped, especially for a soundbar that already delivered fabulous low-end sound on its own. Muted shotgun fire at start baby driver shook my walls (and made a cat jump in the air). I could feel the roar of engines, the thump of car crashes, and the shifting of weight every time Baby applied the emergency brake for a sharp turn. The Sub Mini transformed the movie from something I was watching to something I was experience.
I was really surprised at how big the Sub Mini sounded, given it’s a relatively small cylinder. It weighs 14 pounds — 22 pounds lighter than the big Sonos Sub — and features two inward-firing 6-inch woofers. Its sealed design means it doesn’t eject tons of air like port subs, but it also provides tighter bass response. The Sub Mini can go all the way down to 25Hz – more than enough to make the opening Bladerunner 2049 hit me straight in the stomach.
While I wouldn’t call it portable, I appreciated how easy it was to move the Sub Mini around my house to test it in different rooms. (Trust me, that was a lot less fun with the massive Sonos Sub.) You can pair the new Sub with Sonos powered speakers like the Beam, Ray, and Play:5. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Sonos’ portable offerings.
That makes sense for the tiny Roam speaker, but I was genuinely disappointed to learn the Sub Mini doesn’t support the larger Move. This is a speaker that I’ve come to love lately as it’s such an easy way to bring music to my garden. It’s a shame Sonos couldn’t get the Sub Mini to work while the Move was sitting on its charging dock. (How is it different from a plug-in speaker at this point?)
Despite this annoyance, the Sub Mini seems to be a good fit for homes with lots of Sonos speakers. Transferring to a Play:5 in my living room took about 30 seconds. And once it kicked off, it immediately added an impressive amount of depth to some of my usual test tracks. Tan Dun’s “Night Fight” from the Crouching tiger, hidden dragon Soundtrack sounded like I was doing a traditional drumming concert at my house. A go-to track for low-end testing, Flying Lotus’ “Zodiac Shit” sent another of my cats into another room.
As great as it is for music, I’d best recommend most Sub Mini buyers pairing it with one of Sonos’ soundbars for better movie and TV sound. It certainly made a big difference on the first-gen Beam in my bedroom, which meanwhile sounded twice as big baby driver Chase. Obviously this isn’t a room I want to have booming bass in all the time, but it’s certainly nice to have the option.
This is my biggest snack. After a decade of waiting, Sonos fans finally have a viable option to boost their sound that isn’t obscenely expensive. And if you’re lucky enough to own multiple Sonos devices, you can easily spread that bass magic throughout your home. It may be called a sub mini, but really it’s all about maximizing sound where it counts.
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