Sonos has finally made the much-leaked Sub Mini official, and it looks like exactly the update I was hoping my sonos arc would get, bringing the two-driver design of the full-size Sonos Sub to a smaller, more affordable version.
The Sonos Sub Mini will be available from October 6 and will cost $429 / £429 / AU$699. It will be available in black or white, to match the overall Sonos aesthetic.
Its round design is a bit different from other Sonos products, but it still fits nicely with products in general. Sonos pointed out to us that the cutout oval shape is the same shape as the Sonos Beam 2nd generation Y sonos lightning when viewed from above. And the Sonos Arc also has a round design, albeit sitting on its side rather than upright.
It measures 12 inches tall and 9.1 inches in diameter, so it really is a small little thing that should be easy to find near your TV. And, unsurprisingly, it seamlessly connects wirelessly to your existing Sonos system. Sonos has even added an NFC pad on top that you can tap your phone on, to make it easier to set up. However, there is an Ethernet port if you prefer that to wireless.
Sonos says that the Sonos Sub Mini is recommended with the Sonos Beam, Sonos Ray, or Sonos One units…and says that while it works with the Sonos Arc or Sonos Five, they already have “powerful bass” so have less impact with they. But let’s be clear, it will work with any of them, and I suspect that in a situation like mine, it will suit the Sonos Arc just as well as the smaller soundbars.
I use a Sonos Arc because of its excellent dynamic range and wide array of speakers for producing directional sound, but the full-size Sonos Sub is too big, too powerful, and too expensive to be a sensible addition to my modestly sized living room. But I do notice the Arc’s lack of bass extension, especially when compared to other soundbars I’ve reviewed. I’ve written about exactly this before, with a Samsung soundbar/sub combo that included exactly the kind of small subwoofer Sonos has now released.
I think the Sub Mini could be huge with Sub Mini owners for this reason, assuming they pair well in practice (as I’ll soon find out when I test it), and Sonos would perhaps be missing out on a big trick if it doesn’t promote it to Sub Mini owners. Arc, as well as the owners of Beam. (I’m having trouble imagining many Sonos Ray owners opting to buy a subwoofer that costs more than the actual soundbar, but I’ll try that with the Sonos Ray, too.)
When you connect the Sub Mini to your system, your soundbar will change its sound profile so that the subwoofer can handle the lower frequencies it’s designed for, and there should be a perfect crossover between them, though we’ll test that ourselves soon.
Sonos also gives you the option of manual EQ if you want to adjust the intensity of the bass in your setup, and the Sub Mini will work with TruePlay tuning, but you’ll need to retune your room if you’ve already done so.
Analysis: use forced cancellation
$429 / £429 for the Sub Mini is a bit higher than I was expecting, but Samsung has packed in the kind of high-end tech I’d want from a small subwoofer that will do the job just fine, so I can’t complain. too.
Like the full-size Sonos Sub, the Sub Mini is designed around a force-canceling two-driver design. There are two six-inch woofers (each powered by its own class-D amplifier) that promise to go down to 25Hz, and they’re facing each other in the center, with the intention that this cancels out any extra unwanted vibration.
When you have a large speaker driver, like a woofer, that moves a lot of air through vibration in the forward direction, this causes reactive vibrations in the opposite direction (i.e. in the cabinet it’s in) . Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is what makes a stereotypical big subwoofer rattle and shake walls, and it’s not good for the sound, it’s unnecessary.
In a forced cancellation design, you have two identical speaker drivers that reproduce exactly the same sounds placed exactly across from each other. This means that when the vibrations of each hit the body that contains them, they meet identical vibrations coming from the other side. The two sets of vibrations cancel each other out, so you get powerful sound without rattle.
This type of setup means that a subwoofer can be small and relatively light, but still have a lot of power, without walking across the room due to its vibrations.
The only significant drawback I’ve noticed with the Sub Mini so far is that you can only have one unit in your setup, which is a change from the regular Sonos Sub, which allows you to have two in one system. the new Sennheiser Ambeo has pioneered the option of using up to four small subwoofers to deliver fuzzy bass in a room without a large unit dominating the physical space, and I was hoping Sonos would provide the same option, but it doesn’t. Sounds like Sonos would rather you spend that money on the big Sub.
We hope to review the Sonos Sub Mini soon, but if you have one of the best tvs and a Sonos soundbar underneath, it sounds like exactly the upgrade we needed.