It can be pretty expensive to create an impressive sound system with Sonos for your living room. But thanks to the Sub Mini, is it now cheaper? Sonos debuted the Sub Mini in September 2022, as a cheaper wireless sub. It comes in at $270 less than the regular Sonos Sub. But the real question here is, what are you losing with that cheaper Sub Mini? And is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
Setting up the Sonos Sub Mini
Setting up the Sonos Sub Mini is super easy. If you already have a Sonos system in your home, just open the app and it’ll pop up a banner for setting up the Sonos Sub Mini. A nice touch that Sonos has is the ability to show you how long it should take to set it up. So if you don’t have a lot of time right now, you can set it up later.
Sonos’ newer speakers have NFC built-in, so you just tap your phone onto the speaker to pair them and start the setup process. This is so much easier than trying to connect to the speakers WiFi, like a lot of other smart home products try to do.
It takes about 5 minutes to setup, and then you’re all good to go. In my home, it’s paired with the Sonos Beam 2, so now in the app I see those two paired together all the time. Of course, if you have other Sonos speakers in your home like I do, you can also pair those when you want to. For instance, I have the Beam 2 and Sub Mini in the living room, and then a Sonos One downstairs on my desk. I can pair them all together to play music, or watch TV. That’s the beauty of Sonos.
How it looks
Sonos makes some really beautiful looking speakers. Their whole approach is to make audio products that fit into your home, rather than stand out. And the Sonos Sub Mini does just that. It is available in white and black – Sonos provided us with the black model. It’s a soft-touch plastic material, which means it won’t show dust as easily as the older Sub would. Since the older Sub was shiny plastic.
It’s a cylinder sub, with a hole in the middle, allowing for audio to come out at all angles. There’s a pairing button on the back, that you likely won’t ever need to use. The outlet is on the bottom, and since there are feet on this Sub Mini, it doesn’t actually sit on the cord. This is another nice touch, especially since a lot of living rooms are carpeted. The bottom also features an ethernet port, but you likely won’t need it.
There’s no other buttons on the Sub Mini. And that’s because you won’t be interfacing with it. You’ll be interfacing with the soundbar you have connected to it. Whether that is the Sonos Beam (1 or 2), the Arc or the Ray. Which have buttons on them for volume, play/pause and a microphone button. The Sonos Ray doesn’t have a microphone so there’s no button available.
How well does it perform?
So the big, $429 (plus tax) question is, how well does it perform? Is it worth buying? I’ve been using Sonos soundbars for quite a few years, so I didn’t think I’d notice a big difference. But after setting up the Sonos Sub Mini, I really noticed much punchier bass while watching a movie. And this was before bumping up the bass on the Sub. Which you can bump up to +15.
While you can push the bass up higher on the Sub Mini, it’s not really recommended. Just at +8, the floor in my living room was shaking. It was a cool experience, but a bit too much bass. So I usually keep it around +3. A bit more bass so you can actually feel it, but not so much that it is overpowering the soundbar. It is really nice that Sonos does allow you to control the bass on the Sub Mini independently from the soundbar (in my case, the Beam 2).
So bass here is incredible. And it’s wireless, so it can be placed anywhere you want. By using a Sub like the Sub Mini, it allows the soundbar to focus more on the mids and highs, making them crystal clear. While the Sub Mini handles the bass.
It’ll probably sound a bit odd, but watching College Football with the Sub Mini on, is a whole new experience. It’s an even cooler experience when watching an action movie with lots of explosions. Something like the Fast and the Furious or even Top Gun: Maverick will really make you appreciate the Sub Mini.
Should you buy the Sonos Sub Mini?
If you already have a Sonos soundbar, then yes, the Sub Mini is a great purchase. The Sonos Sub was a hard recommendation, since it was $699. That’s more than a lot of Dolby Atmos soundbars are these days. But with the Sub Mini at $429, it’s still expensive, but a much easier pill to swallow. Though, pairing the Sonos Beam 2 and the Sub Mini together is going to cost you nearly $900. But that’s $900 well spent.
Sonos speakers are not cheap, and that’s because they are such good speakers. Not only due to the multi-room features for sound, but the build quality of these speakers is top-notch. And they work with virtually every streaming music service out there. Additionally, they are still the only ones that allow you to choose Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, at the tap of a button.
So yes, if you do have a Sonos speaker and/or soundbar in your home already, it’s definitely worth it to buy the Sub Mini. You won’t regret that purchase.