Intended as a more smaller, affordable variant of their signature Sub subwoofer, the aptly named Sonos Sub Mini is a compact, barrel-shaped design that’s intended to offer as much bass in as compact a form factor as possible but is it worth its still lofty RM2,999 asking price? Our Sonos Sub Mini review puts it to the test to find out!
Sonos Sub Mini review – Build and Design
Sonos has filled their roster of soundbars with offerings to meet almost every conceivable size and price point from the top of the line Sonos Arc all the way to the compact Beam Gen 2 and modestly priced Ray all the way to ultraportable speakers like the Sonos Roam though they only had one subwoofer model, the aforementioned Sub which is the subwoofer equivalent of a tactical nuke in subtlety and application seeing its immense form factor, big bass and equally huge RM4,299 price tag.
The Sonos Sub Mini is intended to offer much of the Sub’s bass performance with some concessions to cost and it does shave a fair penny off at RM2,999.
To be clear, the Sonos Sub Mini isn’t intended as a replacement for the larger Sonos Sub and while it has an equally low frequency response at 25Hz, the Sub Mini is ideally meant for smaller rooms and more compact setups like a bachelor pad or apartment which makes it ideal for most urbanites like us.
On paper, the Sonos Sub Mini is a complement to an existing Sonos speaker like the Ray or Beam Gen 2 for gaming, movies and music though the Arc itself is sufficiently powerful enough on its own that it needs something larger like the Sub to match it.
In terms of design, the Sonos Sub Mini is shaped like a miniature beer keg and employs a sealed enclosure along with two symmetrically emplaced, inwards facing 6-inch subwoofers with Class D digital amplifiers inset in an oblong hole in the middle of the design.
This gap in the chassis and its subwoofer placement isn’t just on a whim but is done to ensure that both speakers cancel vibrations out from each other when in use to ensure cleaner bass.
On the underside of the Sub Mini, you get a port to power it and for wired Ethernet while a button on the side allows it to pair it up with other Sonos gear . Under the hood, it has support for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi connectivity.
To be clear, Wifi is the preferred means of connecting a Sonos speaker to a network though the wired Ethernet port acts as a redundant back-up just in case things go pear-shaped and that particular part of your home you intend to set it up in has wonky connectivity.
As you’d likely surmise, the Sonos Sub Mini does not work on its own and you’ll need to first invest in another Sonos speaker or soundbar whether it’s the Ray, the Beam Gen 2 or the Arc for current generation designs or, assuming you’re starting from the ground up, with the Sonos One or One SL.
It also has a minor caveat in its design, chief among them that it cannot pair with another Sub Mini or a larger Sub in a given room network though it’d be unlikely in any case if you need that much bass in a home theatre.
In keeping with other Sonos designs, our Sonos Sub Mini review sample features outstanding build quality with an exceptionally sturdy polycarbonate case done up in a matte white that contrasts nicely with its matte black innards seen through the oblong-shaped cut-out though it can also be acquired in a shade of matte black too that resists fingerprints nicely.
The box contents are minimalistic and along with the Sonos Sub Mini itself, you get a charging cable to keep it powered and a quick start guide.
Sonos Sub Mini Review – Setup and Performance
Setting up our Sonos Sub Mini review sample was a doddle in keeping with their other designs. To set it up, you’ll need to connect to your home WiFi network and the Sonos S2 app in order to recognise and pair a set of Sonos speakers up into a network in a given room. This took a matter of minutes and updates to the Sub Mini were pushed in an efficient fashion in the time it took to make a cup of coffee.
Once set up, we paired it with a Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar for mids and highs with bass tasked to the Sub Mini. As with other Sonos devices, you’re able to optimise acoustics for a given room setup in order to get clearer, better sound by using an iOS device be it an iPad or an iPhone to sonically map out a room via their TruePlay tech.
It’s well worth the trouble to do so though it’s a bother especially for those who don’t own anything from Cupertino. Unfortunately, even if you have already used TruePlay on an existing setup, you’ll have to do it again when you add the Sub Mini to the network. It’s well worth the trouble and makes a noticeable difference in performance.
In terms of setup, we plonked our Sonos Sub Mini at the base of the floor just below the Beam Gen 2 and just above a 4K TV with an easy chair to create a modest solo home entertainment array. The magic here is that unlike the larger Sub, the Sub Mini is compact enough that it can be deployed in most places around the home without having to do any drastic remodelling.
On its default settings without any tuning from the Sonos app, our Sonos Sub Mini review sample immediately made its presence known especially when it comes to music, movies and gaming.
Romping through the nine realms with Kratos and Atreus in God of War Ragnarok on the PS4 made for a more visceral experience as the addition of the Sub Mini lends audible subsonic weight to the music and the action onscreen.
When going through a variety of tracks, the Sub Mini proved to be a capable affair that added a richer, deeper note to music. Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams’ with its deep bass-heavy synth opening was rendered in a whole new light with the Sub Mini as the deepest registers in the song were revealed; something only a dedicated subwoofer would be able to show.
Needless to say, the perfect way to test the Sub Mini for movies is with something from Michael Bay and Transformers Dark of the Moon with its gratuitous explosions and sheer mechanical carnage was a treat. Even under intense action with explosions and Decepticons meeting their maker willy-nilly, the Sub Mini didn’t so much as rattle or buzz.
To their credit, the Sub Mini doesn’t overpower the Beam Gen 2 and leaves adequate room for its mids and highs to show in movies, gaming and music alike. Even on its default settings, the bass and treble were sufficiently deep and distinct enough though personal preference had us knocking up the bass by a couple of notches for a bit more oomph.
Should you buy the Sonos Sub Mini?
The Sonos Sub Mini is a compact, high-performing wireless subwoofer that complements an existing Sonos soundbar to deliver deeper, richer bass than what a solo Sonos speaker is capable of.
While it’s intended for more compact setups and as a more affordable alternative to the full-sized Sonos Sub, it’s a serious performer in its own right and its benefits, especially in terms of experiencing richer, deeper lower notes in movies and music are immediately apparent. If you have the cash to spare and already own, or know someone who owns a Sonos soundbar, this is a lovely addition to the end-year holiday shopping list.
Sonos Sub Mini Review – Specifications
Speaker 2 x 6-inch inward facing subwoofer with Class-D digital amplifier
Frequency response 25Hz
Connectivity WiFi 5 802.11/b/g/n, Ethernet port
Size/Weight 305 x 230 x 230mm / 6.35kg
Sonos Sub Mini review sample courtesy of Tat Chuan Acoustic. To purchase, please visit https://trysonos.my/products/sonos-sub-mini
Sonos Sub Mini
Sonos Sub Mini
The Sonos Sub Mini is a compact, high-performing wireless subwoofer that complements an existing Sonos soundbar to deliver deeper, richer bass than what a solo Sonos speaker is capable of. While it’s intended for more compact setups and as a more affordable alternative to the full-sized Sonos Sub, it’s a serious performer in its own right and its benefits, especially in terms of experiencing richer, deeper lower notes in movies and music are immediately apparent. If you have the cash to spare and already own, or know someone who owns a Sonos soundbar, this is a lovely addition to the end-year holiday shopping list.
Exceptionally easy setup
Big bass belying its small size
Compact and sturdy build quality
Can’t pair two Sub Minis together
TruePlay still needs an iOS device to work
Only works with Sonos speakers