So you want a less expensive/smaller Sonos sub...well there's more to consider than just the asking...

  • 4 April 2019
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 7
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In this forum there have been countless requests that Sonos produce a less expensive/smaller sub. While the request for a less expensive model may have its merits; IMO smaller size does not.

Sonos did an excellent job in designing the current sub that IMO should check all the boxes for the audience in this forum and those outside of it looking for good low-end with music (without sounding muddy or booming) and enhanced LFE for movies_that don’t overpower. If one thinks about it designing a proper sub is probably more involved than designing a speaker.

Speakers are generally front firing with no need to consider phase control as with a sub. Speakers are meant to be heard; and it’s not a sin for your ears to determine from where the sound is originating.

Subs on the other hand are intended to disappear. If you can pinpoint where the low-end is coming from then that sub is poorly designed and quite frankly a piece of junk. Granted if you are standing on top of a sub (not literally) you may feel more of the vibrations but the acoustics should still be somewhat masked directionally. BTW, I make no apologies for my previous statement about “junk”.

Referencing a smaller size. A subs dimensions and overall design are not taken lightly. The Sonos sub with its seamless cabinet and dual facing cancelling drivers are IMO an engineering delight. Compact but still able to pull every bit of intended low-end from a recording or LFE from a movie.

Are there better offerings…well sure there are. But not at the price point of the Sonos sub that delivers clean bass without a bunch of electronic trickery. My point being is that if you want a smaller size sub don’t expect the same performance as is offered by the current model. There are limitations to everything. *

One last comment. I’ve also read it mentioned that the Sonos sub is “overkill for my space”. Any sub if not properly tuned can be considered overkill. That is one reason why TruePlay is an important option if one has an iOS device (or can borrow one).

Lets’ rattle the shingles off the roof…but ever so gently :8


* Not saying that it’s impossible to accomplish; but I doubt seriously it could be done at a price point less than the current model. Smaller products that deliver the same as their larger counterparts always cost the same or more. Ever price a counter-depth (compact) version of a refrigerator versus the full size version? You might be unpleasantly surprised.

6 replies

 Also it’s not great for music due to poor detail and some boominess. 

Not my experience at all; I had given up on subs for music for their poor integration with the main speaker pair, but I am very happy with how the Sub converts my play 1 units to a very capable system.

I also found Trueplay to be more effective for a Sub than for play units on their own, by removing the bass bloat and have it sound more real.

Userlevel 4
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The problem is the Beam is $399 and often discounted and it makes little sense to most people to buy a $699 sub to go with it.  I imagine Sonos is worried a smaller sub would cannibalize the $699 sub sales.  I can see a smaller sub selling well to people who want to combine it with Play 5’s or 1’s in a stereo pair.  They should drop the price of the Sonos sub anyway though.  It’s an old product.  Also it’s not great for music due to poor detail and some boominess. I’m testing the Sonos sub compared to an SVS 12 inch sub right now on my Amp. 

Userlevel 4
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The $399 SVS SB12-NSD has noticeably better detail and goes lower than the Sonos Sub.  I may still keep the Sonos sub for looks though as it matches the Revel Concerta 2 speakers attached to my Sonos Amp.  It is a lifestyle product after all.

Maybe they'll leave it to IKEA to produce a lower cost Sub. Something that blended into the furniture would be perfect.
Userlevel 7
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Maybe they'll leave it to IKEA to produce a lower cost Sub. Something that blended into the furniture would be perfect.

You mean like a rumble bed or sofa! Just not a kitchen table. LOL 😉
Something that blended into the furniture would be perfect.
Yeah...their version of the lazy boy, for watching movies with effects.