Sonos fans have been waiting ages for a home theater subwoofer that’s cheaper than the $749 Sub, and now it’s here. After design leaks and a delayed launch, Sonos today is officially introducing the Sub Mini. It’s priced at $429, which is honestly lower than I was expecting; I figured this thing wouldn’t go for less than $499, but I’m glad to be wrong. The Sub Mini is available for preorder today and will be released on October 6th. It comes in either black or white, both featuring a matte finish.
Just how “mini” is the Sub Mini? It weighs 14 pounds, less than half of the 36.3-pound Sub. It stands 12 inches tall compared to the Sub’s 15.3 inches, and the cylindrical design has a 9.1-inch diameter. Those size and heft differences mean that Sonos’ two subwoofers now have their own recommended use cases.
Sonos says the Sub Mini is designed to be used in small- to medium-sized rooms; the regular Sub is still best equipped for bigger spaces. The company envisions the Sub Mini being paired with the Beam or Ray for home theater audio. If you’re buying it for music, the Sub Mini goes well with a single or stereo Sonos One speakers or Ikea’s Symfonisk products. “Sub Mini is also recommended for smaller bookshelf speakers powered by Amp,” Sonos says in its website FAQ.
But those seeking the very best audio experience should still opt for the existing Sub. If you own the flagship Arc soundbar or one (or two) Sonos Fives, that’s the way to go. The same will likely be true of the company’s planned Five successor.
There’s nothing stopping you from using the Sub Mini with any other Sonos product — even the short-lived Playbase is supported — but the line of separation is clear. If you own a top-end Sonos speaker, the Sub is for you. If you’re trying to save money or your system is in a smaller space, the Sub Mini could be the more practical solution.
Both the Sub and Sub Mini share similar design traits. The Sub Mini has dual force-canceling 6-inch woofers that produce “surprisingly deep, dynamic low end while minimizing buzz, rattle, or distortion so you feel more immersed in every scene and song,” according to Sonos. The cutout in the center maximizes airflow to improve bass response.
Each of Sonos’ subwoofers can reach as low as 25Hz, but loudness is really what separates them. Product manager Scott Fink told me that the Sub can deliver output that’s three to four times as loud as the Sub Mini. But there are other differences. You can include multiple Subs in a home theater setup for the ultimate bass experience, but that’s not possible with the Sub Mini. It’s just one per soundbar.
Like with the standard Sub, Sonos creates a dedicated 5GHz wireless connection between the soundbar and subwoofer to prevent dropouts and other audio frustrations. You can adjust bass level in the Sonos app, and similar to the company’s other recent speakers, adding the Sub Mini to your system should require just a quick tap of your phone at the top of the product.
Like any other home theater setup, adding a Sub to your Sonos system can really take it to the next level. Doing so lets the subwoofer handle the lows while allowing your soundbar or speakers to focus much more on treble and mids instead of having to juggle the full frequency range. Hopefully the same will prove true with the Sub Mini — only on a smaller scale. Stay tuned for our full review coming soon.
With its home theater portfolio now rounded out, Sonos will soon turn its attention to other products. Last month, I detailed the company’s next flagship desk speaker, codenamed Optimo 2, that’s set to arrive in the coming months.