If you already own a small Sonos soundbar, then the new Sonos Sub Mini could be a must-buy upgrade for your home theatre.
However, this also depends on what soundbar you have, how ample your space is and what type of content you plan to consume with it. I’m not saying the Sub Mini is bad, but its price, combined with what it adds to an audio experience, might not be for everyone.
There’s a case to be made that the cheaper Sub Mini will push Sonos’s subwoofers out of the high-end home theatre realm into something more approachable, but that didn’t quite happen.
That said, the Sub Mini does solve the main pain point associated with getting a full Sonos 7.1 surround sound setup. Previously, the only Sonos subwoofer you could buy was just under $1,000 in Canada. This pretty much doubles the cost of two surrounds and a Sonos Beam soundbar, which makes it a hard sell for a lot of people.
To remedy that, we now have the slightly more affordable Sonos Sub Mini, which comes in at $549, and still sounds great. I’ve been testing out the unit for a little over a week, and it significantly stepped up the Beam (gen 2) I use with my TV and the Sonos Ray I use for music in my office.
There’s not much else to say about the Sub Mini. The setup is fairly seamless and even moving the sub around my house to different testing environments is easy enough. I did need to disconnect the sub in the app each time and then re-add it to the room I was in, but it always worked, which was convenient.
The subwoofer pairs nicely with the Beam, in my experience, and once the bass is offloaded to the sub, the soundbar becomes clearer and offers a much more compelling sound. The added bass from the larger woofer in the sub is a nice treat when action scenes start. Watching movies with this combo during the day was excellent. At night I often found that the bass could make noisy scenes even louder, which is a bit of an issue, but the Sonos Night Mode works well to level this off.
Using the subwoofer with the Ray is a little less impressive, but since I mainly utilize this combo with music and in a small room, it’s more difficult to feel the benefit since the music doesn’t need to be very loud to fill such a tight space. Before I started testing the Sub Mini, I had the Sonos Move in this room, and it filled it with a great sound all the same.
Sadly, the sub can’t connect to the Move, which makes sense since it’s portable, but it would have been a nice addition since I use the Move so often.
If I had the choice between the Sub Mini + the Ray, or the Sonos Beam (gen 2), I’d go with the Beam. The larger soundbar offers a more complete sound with a welcome touch of Sonos magic. The Ray is a little dryer on its own, and adding the Sub Mini to it is probably only necessary if you crave huge bass hits.
Adding the Sub Mini to the Beam is a nice touch, but like with the Ray, you’ll really want to weigh out how large your room is, and the amount of bass you need to fill it. Also, if you’re in an apartment like me and spend a lot of time with Night Mode, it may not be worth the investment.
There’s a case to be made that as Sonos starts to dip more into the mass market with its lower pricing, its products face stiffer competition, especially in this sub $600 range where you could get a full soundbar and subwoofer for that price.
However, I’ll keep mine attached to my Beam when I want to watch blockbuster movies. Overall, it offers a welcome upgrade, and the modularity of Sonos’ ecosystem means that I’ll be able to find a use for it somewhere in the future.
If you want to upgrade your home theatre, the Sonos Sub Mini costs $549 in Canada.