Subwoofers seem to be impossible for me for years—only rich people, people in cars, or listeners who actually participated, and my family was not in one of those groups. After a lifetime of relying on terrible built-in speakers, my mother-in-law gave us the ability to hear from Definitive Technology, but even then I couldn’t see myself setting up the speakers via a Bluetooth connection. Fortunately, the Sonos Sub Mini doesn’t need much more than that to add more bass to an existing Sonos soundbar, but would it be powerful enough to fill my living room?
I replaced my current sound system with a Beam subwoofer (Gen 2) and a new Sub Mini, worrying that the space it saved would cost the room it filled. Much to my surprise, the Mini produced punchy bass and crisp sound. If you want a small way to add bass to your Sonos system, this is just the ticket.
I love that the Sonos Mini Subwoofer is wireless. Besides plugging it into a power source, you connect the Mini to your system through the Sonos app by adding it to your desired system. In my case, I added it to the “living room”, easily combining it with my Beam (Gen 2) with just one click. This makes it easy if you want to change systems, allowing you to place the Mini anywhere and add it to any other rooms you have set up. Most people may not have a subwoofer in their bedroom, but it’s so easy to move around that I consider pairing the Mini with my Sonos Ray quite often.
During your initial Sonos setup, you can connect the remote of your choice to your audio system. However, if you want to optimize your listening experience, the Sonos App is the way to go. Aside from setting the bass and treble, you can also adjust audio frequencies and heights, set volume limits, and add surround speakers to your setup.
It’s interesting that Trueplay Tuning, which allows speakers to tune themselves into your room, isn’t yet available with current iOS, but the Sonos feature is compatible with any non-iOS device at this point. That being said, the Mini still produces good sound throughout the room. There were times when I had to look like it was raining because the pitter-patters of my video naturally scattered.
But while the sub does a lot for clarity and detail in some images, I’d be remiss not to agree with what people want: that bass. Whether you’re hitting Biggie or blasting Thunder, bass can make all the difference if you like it. Every movie show is In the middle of the night listening was best enjoyed by the beat. Every hushed conversation and shout was fun, clear and low key. And every time a dragon came on HBO, it felt like it had walked into my living room.
All Cylinders Firing
In my experience, simple low-end physics (in general, a large speaker plus a lot of mass means a big bass) subwoofers are not small. The only thing I had was a heavy box that usually serves as a place to store extra tablets out of necessity. Instead, the Sonos Mini is small, round, and sleek (much like its other Sonos siblings).
The rich, full sound takes up a lot of air space in my one-bedroom, but the Mini could belong in any living room. Like the Sonos Ray, this subwoofer is perfect for bedrooms, small rooms, and entry-level systems. It packs enough punch to show whatever you’re playing without disturbing your neighbors or housemates, and it won’t disturb your house or apartment to the core.
My only complaint about the design is that the cylindrical shape can be difficult to maneuver in a room with Tetris-like furniture. Every corner in my house is important, and the circle doesn’t fit well around my rectangular recreation area. That being said, it looks like a subtle decoration, and with a little tweaking it fits perfectly.
My other minor disappointment with the Sub Mini is its price. At just under $450, it’s a great value for most sound systems, especially when paired with other expensive Sonos speakers like the Arc ($900) or the Beam ($450). But it is compatible with other wireless subs of its kind, and Sonos is known for higher prices than its competitors in exchange for its ease of use (à la Apple) unfortunately that is the nature of the beast here.
All money aside, I couldn’t believe how this little speaker welcomed my living room. It’s not a replacement for large family rooms, but if you’re furnishing your home or other small rooms and really want to enhance your listening experience, the Sonos Sub Mini is a great choice – no audiophile required.