Sonos Sub Mini review: Boost your sound system with richer bass


o soundbar – no matter how good it is – will still rock your room and shake the pictures on your wall.

That’s because it’s physically limited by the size of the TVs it’s designed to work with. So when it comes to creating seismic subwoofer for your movies or music, the only answer is a self-contained subwoofer.

Simple you might say, but it is not. Bad submarines – and there are plenty of them – inevitably cause more problems than they solve. They may explode excessively and/or not play well in time with the music – sometimes it feels like they are struggling to keep up.

That’s why they’re not as popular with high-end audio enthusiasts as one might think. Pumping up the bass is easy enough, but controlling it is not. Getting it right requires smart design, careful attention to detail, and careful tuning by expert sound engineers.

On this point, Sonos is in good shape. Its £749 sub is designed to fit into the Sonos ecosystem and complements products like the Beam soundbar very well. But it’s a big old thing, and also expensive – which is why the company has just launched the new £429 Sub Mini.

Look and feel

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You might expect a shrunken Sub – almost as if it had shrunk in the wash – but no, Sonos has come up with a completely different look. The Sub Mini is cylindrical, which means it will fit more easily into small spaces and looks less bulky. And at 6.35kg it weighs less than half the weight of its big brother, and much smaller too at H305xW230xD230mm.

This cylindrical shape provides both aesthetic and sonic benefits. Especially the white finish (black is also available) which will blend in a room much better than the larger, boxier designs. Additionally, the curves of its cabinetry have the effect of reducing what acoustics call “standing waves,” the natural echoes within the cabinetry. This means less superfluous bass and a more controlled low end sound.

Best of all, the Sub Mini’s enclosure is sealed, which is unusual for a subwoofer these days. Most modern designs use “reflex ports”, small holes in cases that allow air to flow freely from the interior to the room. But this little Sonos does the opposite, however, keeping the air tight inside the cabinet to better control its drive units. In the small spaces where it’s most likely to be used, it gives tighter, faster and crisper bass.

The sound

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Sonos designed the Sub Mini to integrate seamlessly with products like the Beam soundbar, rather than trying to outshine them. When you play the two together, you can barely tell the sub works – which is exactly how it should be. It’s only when you turn it off that you realize what you’re missing!

It seems a bit counterintuitive – why invest in a subwoofer just to not hear it? But the best of these designs still dissolve into your room and let you enjoy music or movie soundtracks better, rather than drawing attention to themselves. Cheap subwoofers that slam and crash all the time quickly become tiresome to listen to, and the novelty quickly wears off.

So whether you’re listening to Goldie’s seismic drum’n’bass Timeless or the singing majesty of Beethoven Pastoral Symphony, you end up with a smooth and even tonal balance. The Sub Mini is also great for action movies or general TV viewing for precisely the same reason. The dual 6-inch inward-firing speakers and bold Class-D amplifier can pump out tons of flared bass when needed, but things never sound overdone or out of control.


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The Sonos app does a great job of adapting it to the beam and the room, using the latter’s built-in microphone. The Sub Mini connects wirelessly, needing just one mains cable to work with everything; it will also pair with a Ray, One, One SL or SYMFONISK speaker. You can adjust the sub-bass level through the app, but many won’t even care because its Trueplay adjustment tech does such a good job on its own, right out of the box. The app makes setup easy and even offers multi-room functionality if you need it.


The new Sonos Sub Mini might seem a bit pricey at £429, but it’s a real class act. It works perfectly, never draws attention to itself, and keeps you enjoying your TV and music. Ideal for small to medium sized rooms, it’s a great addition to any Sonos system.

£429 | His bone – Available from October 6


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