Sonos Sub Mini review: Good bass

Sonos Sub Mini

The Sonos Sub Mini is the long-awaited compact wireless subwoofer from the audio brand. It's intended to pair with Sonos' more affordable soundbars, and is designed for smaller spaces. While it's cheaper than the Sonos Sub (Gen 3), the Sub Mini still costs a fair chunk of change. But if you're looking for a subwoofer to complete your Sonos system — and have a small or medium-sized room — it should be good enough to stand in for its larger sibling.

Quick specs

  • Inward-facing dual 6″ woofers for force-cancelling effect
  • Sealed cabinet architecture
  • Frequency response: as low as 25Hz
  • Dimensions: 305 (H) x 230mm (D), 6.35kg

At around 6kg, the Sonos Sub Mini weighs less than half of the bulkier Sonos Sub (Gen 3). It's much easier to move the Sub Mini when you are trying to find the right spot to place it. I suggest putting it at the front of the room at either side of the TV. Clad in matte black or matte white, the Sub Mini looks good enough to fit any home. It is designed for small and medium-sized rooms, with Sonos saying that it's ideal with the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or Sonos Ray soundbars. Of course, you can still choose to pair the Sub Mini with the high-end Sonos Arc soundbar. But unlike the Sub (Gen 3), you cannot pair two Sub Mini units in a dual subwoofer setup. The Sub Mini also doesn't work with Sonos' portable speakers, like the Sonos Move or Sonos Roam.

Sonos Sub Mini
The Sub Mini next to the larger Sonos Sub (Gen 3). Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Sub Mini uses a sealed architecture, unlike the ported design in the larger Sub. Generally, a sealed subwoofer design tends to have tighter, less boomy bass compared to a ported design. The former also makes for a more compact build, which is likely a reason for it being used here. Like the Sub (Gen 3), the Sub Mini's two inward-facing drivers create a “force-cancelling effect” that results in almost no rattle or vibration from the physical unit. But reach inside the oval-shaped gap to touch the woofers with your hand, and you'll feel them vibrating strongly. The Sub Mini, like its bigger sibling, goes as low as 25Hz.

Sonos Sub Mini
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

What's it like to have the Sub Mini in my home, along with the Sonos Beam and two surrounds? Well, the bass is subtle, especially with Sub Audio level set to 0 in the Sonos app. I just feel a presence that makes the audio seem fuller and rounder. But push up the Sub Audio to 5 and above, and you can definitely tell the difference. The sound is punchier, and feels more oppressive. For example, The Batman soundtrack with its low strings and timpani, is suitably dark and ominous. Bass-heavy tunes like Billie Eilish's bad guy and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean also sound better with the Sub Mini. In comparison, the larger Sub — at the same volume settings — feels a touch less tight, and more boomy while playing music. But the Sub has a larger presence in movies, and you can add a second one, too.

What I find incongruous about the Sub Mini is its local price (S$869). It's actually more expensive than the Beam (S$799). In fact, Singapore is one of the few places where it's the case. The Beam and Sub Mini cost the same (€499) in Europe, for example. If you currently have a Sonos Beam or Ray, and looking to upgrade your home theatre experience, getting rear surrounds (a pair of Sonos One SL or the Symfonisk bookshelf speakers) seem more impactful, and more value for money. The Beam, for one, has pretty decent bass for a compact soundbar. However, the Sub Mini sounds close enough to the larger Sub, at least in my medium-sized living room, that I can see users choosing the Sub Mini to save S$380 over the S$1,249 Sub (Gen 3). You can buy the Sonos Sub Mini at the TC Acoustic website, Lazada and Shopee.

See Also
Shargeek Retro GaN 35W

Note: Review unit provided by Sonos.

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Smaller, cheaper alternative to Sonos' top subwoofer.

Buy it from TC Acoustic
Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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