HomeTechSonos Sub Mini review: pickin' up the good vibrations

Sonos Sub Mini review: pickin’ up the good vibrations

Sonos’ latest product: the Sub Mini (Credit: Sonos)

Perhaps because it already offers the best multi-room music speakers in the business, Sonos is choosing to focus on home theatre.

Earlier this year, the audio company revealed the budget-friendly Sonos Ray soundbar and now, hot on its heels, comes this new subwoofer.

Thankfully, given the current economic climate and Sonos’ notoriously, ah, premium pricing – this new woofer is focused on affordability.

With a starting price of £429, it’s a more attractive proposition to many than the fully-fledged Sonos Sub, which is now on its third generation and will set you back £749.

Like all Sonos’ products, it integrates seamlessly into any existing setup and all that’s required is you plug it into the mains and tap your phone on the top so the NFC chip can connect it to your WiFi.

In my case, I was testing it alongside a Beam soundbar and I was up and running within about ten minutes.

The Sub Mini is pretty unobtrusive when it comes to design (Credit: Metro.co.uk)

If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone to hand, you can take advantage of Trueplay tuning which, essentially, uses the device’s microphone to map the acoustics of your room and tune the Sub Mini accordingly. You’ll be required to walk around your space and wave your phone or tablet in the air while a series of whines and blips are played so the system can understand how best to distribute the sound.

The payoff is worth it as adding the Sub Mini results in a noticable bump in resonance for whatever you’re watching. During my testing, I found it performed best with movies, TV shows and video games where there’s an added focus on dynamic low end.

Sonos has designed the Sub Mini with an elegant cylindrical design and a cutout that evokes its pricier Sub. The footprint is only 230mm in diameter and, with a height of 305mm, it can sit unobtrusively out of the way on the floor somewhere near your TV. Like all Sonos’ gear, you’ve got a choice of either black or white.

Inside the Sub Mini are dual 6-inch woofers facing inwards to create a ‘force-cancelling effect’ which, in layman’s terms, means you get deep bass without any trace of a buzz or rattle.

There’s a single button on the back of the device to help it connect if the app isn’t working, alongside a status LED that lets you know if anything’s amiss (Credit: Metro.co.uk)

If you leave the system alone – or use Trueplay – it will pick out the sound profile it thinks is best. However, it’s entirely possible to dig about in the settings of the Sonos app and adjust the sound to your own preference. Which I promptly did, and dialled the bass up significantly.

How much you can really let rip with the Sub Mini is obviously dependent on flatmates, neighbours, children, spouses, etc – but the test unit I was loaned was more than capable of filling a medium-sized room with a throaty rumble as cars raced and jet planes soared.

Just because it’s got ‘Mini’ in the name, doesn’t mean it’s not competent when it comes to producing a lot of sound. And, like all Sonos speakers, you can use it as part of a multi-room audio setup as well for listening to Spotify or the radio.

The only slight difference you may find is that the sound will obviously be affected by the kind of surface you place it on. A thick padded carpet is going to suck in more than a hardwood floor.

The Sub Mini is designed for smaller spaces and to be paired with one of Sonos’ existing soundbars (Credit: Sonos)

I was very impressed with the Sonos Sub Mini but whether or not it’s right for you will come down to a number of factors. Firstly, if you’ve already got Sonos’ flagship soundbar, the Sonos Arc, it’s probably unneccessary – that thing will handle plenty of bass all on its own. Secondly, if you’ve got limited budget you may prefer to invest in a couple of standalone Sonos speakers (like the Sonos One) and opt for a surround sound system first. Only then, would I suggest augmenting your kit with a subwoofer.

Ultimately though, the Sonos Sub Mini is evidence for why the company has built up such a reputation for itself. The hardware is fantastically engineered and both looks and performs excellently. The only niggles I came across where when the Sonos app unexpectedly crashed on me a few times – but I can’t blame the Sub Mini for that.

For those wanting a simple-to-use and great-sounding home theatre system, the Sonos package is very, very hard to beat.

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