Test of the Sonos Sub Mini: finally, the one I was waiting for!
For $549, you can now upgrade any Sonos sound system, adding deep bass and upgrading the quality of the speakers you already own. Be careful though, its effect is more marked in some configurations than others.
The Sub Mini was until now one of those mythical concepts that we hear about for a long time, but which never really materialize, like autonomous cars, unicorns and places in CPE.
Fortunately, the wait is coming to an end, as the Sub Mini will be launched in Canada on October 6th. But what is it worth? To be sure, I tested it over the past few weeks in five different configurations: with a Ray soundbar, a Beam soundbar, a Sonos One, a Sonos SYMFONISK from Ikea and a Sonos Play: 5 .
Design and function
The design of the Sub Mini allows the power cable to be placed as desired.
In terms of design, this cylindrical subwoofer, available in white or black, does not have a speaker at the front or below as is often the case, but rather two speakers of six thumbs hidden inside a slot, a design that helps reduce vibration.
To use it, we put it anywhere on the floor, plug it into an electrical outlet and follow the on-screen instructions in the Sonos app, which asks us which room we want to add it to. It is then possible (and recommended) to calibrate its speakers with the Trueplay functionality, which will optimize the sound according to your specific environment.
The two woofers of the Sub Mini.
By delegating the low frequencies of your Sonos system to the Sub Mini, you will have two advantages: the bass will be better (and much more powerful) than with your current speakers, and the latter will be able to concentrate their energy on the mid and high frequencies, which will also sound better.
All of this is nothing new. It's actually the exact same concept as with the regular Sub, Sonos' other subwoofer. At $949, however, the Sub is too expensive for the majority of users.
Favorites with the One and the Beam bar
The Sub Mini is likely to be popular with Sonos One owners.
Let's start with the positives, I had a big crush using the Sub Mini with the Sonos One and with the Sonos Beam soundbar.
When combined with a One, I was first struck by how restrained Sonos engineers were. The Sub Mini doesn't magically transport us to Laval's now defunct Fuzzy, and you won't feel like a mini earthquake occurs as soon as a double bass makes an appearance in a song. The bass is deep, yes, but well balanced.
The Sonos One also sounds louder than before, and all audible frequencies seem to pick up. The quality of a One with a Sub Mini exceeded in my opinion the quality of a Play:5 (and probably a Five, which I don't have on hand).
A side note: I unfortunately haven't tried the Sub Mini with a pair of Sonos One, which should be a popular combination, but I will have the opportunity to do so soon, and will update this text.  ;
I also really liked the Sub Mini with the Beam soundbar, which then seems to be several inches wide. The left channel seemed to be a little more to the left, the right, a little more to the right. Here, too, the sound quality was considerably superior, especially when listening to music. For TV, however, the improvement was more subtle.
It's a detail, but Sonos' default bass balance is perhaps a little less suitable for watching TV than for listening to music. When I watched the Top Gun 2 trailer, I was forced to manually level up the Sub to really feel the planes. Fortunately, the maneuver only takes a few clicks, but I would like it to be done automatically (to have a different level of low frequencies depending on whether you are listening to TV or music, for example).
A harder purchase to justify with a Five or a Ray bar
The Sub Mini enhances the Ray soundbar, but is it enough?
I was less thrilled with the effect of the Sub Mini on the entry-level Sonos Ray soundbar, which is one of the configurations suggested by Sonos.
Here, too, the sound improves, and the bar seems wider than before, but not wide enough, and I find that there is an imbalance between the excellent bass of the subwoofer and the other correct frequencies, nothing more, the main enclosure. The set is better, of course, but it is not worth $900.
I did not have this disappointment with the Sonos Play: 5 (the result would have been essentially the same with its successor , the Five), but the improvement, although appreciated, was more subtle, and the purchase price of the Sub Mini is then difficult to justify, especially if, like me, the money does not come out of your ears .
I also tried the Sub Mini with the SYMFONISK speaker from Ikea. The sound improves, of course, but the imbalance I observed with the Ray bar is even worse. This is not a configuration that is likely to be popular anyway, since those who are interested in sound quality will choose a speaker other than the SYMFONISK anyway.
The good news for Sonos and its users is that the Sub Mini mainly stands out with the company's most popular products, the One speaker and the Beam soundbar. If you own either, the Sub Mini is the best option for relatively inexpensive (compared to buying superior speakers) upgrading the sound quality of your audio system.
> The Sonos Sub Mini.
- The simple and refined design, which fits into any decor.
- Allows you to significantly improve the quality of your existing audio system, without having to replace your speakers.
- Simple installation.
We like less
- The limited interest of the Sonos Five with the Sub Mini may displease those who listen to vinyl records with their Sonos system.
- Without being overpriced, $549 represents a fair amount for a device that only improves the quality of its system audio, without allowing to add room.