Sonos is an award-winning speaker company that launched the Sonos Sub in 2016. This product is for high-fidelity sound within your home or place of work. Sonos can be used with other Sonos speakers to build a better audio experience. In this Sonos Sub Review, Hooke Audio discusses the design, performance, value, and more to provide readers with a complete understanding of this product.
Company And Product Overview
- At the highest levels, powerful and thunderous bass.
- At lower volumes, subtle anchoring at low frequencies.
- User-controllable bass levels.
- Attractive design.
- You can either sit vertically or lay flat.
- Easy integration into remaining Sonos systems.
- Only compatible with Sonos speakers.
Sonos has steadily built a loyal user base that values the quality of its wireless subwoofer line and the ease of using the entire system. The Sonos Sub is the final piece of the puzzle for many. While you don’t need to start with the speaker, it can be the part that will make the system even more enjoyable.
The Sub costs $699 and is not even close to affordable. It adds an excellent low-frequency depth. This includes subtle bass anchoring and deep bass thunder. The Sonos app allows you to adjust the bass level from your chair. The results are unquestionably great, even though the price is high.
The groundbreaking Sonos wireless music system was introduced in California almost 20 years ago. No one could have predicted that they would become the industry standard for high-performance wireless sound and speakers. The simple products appeal to music fans who are looking for great streaming audio.
With their amazing-sounding products, Sonos revolutionized the home theatre market.
In 2012, Sonos introduced the first wireless subwoofer. The Sonos Sub gen 3 is today’s great addition to any Sonos system.
Sonos Subwoofer Review
Available in glossy black or white models, the 15.3-by-15.8-by-6.2-inch Sub has an attractive shape with a bit of window (the “acoustic slot”) through the middle of its body. It looks almost like a display font, a blocky version of the letter O. It is very similar in size to many subs that we have seen, but it is much more attractive than an eyesore. This makes its PC tower-like footprint easier to accept.
The speaker has very few markings. The Sonos logo is on the front panel, while the Join button allows you to join a wireless network.
The Sub’s internal circuit uses two class-D amplifiers to power dual force-canceling drivers positioned face-to-face. The Sonos Sub can drop down to 25Hz and has a maximum crossover frequency of 110Hz.
The Sub’s face mustn’t be too close to any wall or obstructions. The Sub’s ported acoustic slots must be able to breathe for optimal driver performance. You can also place the speaker horizontally on the ground. However, you will need to apply felt feet.
To minimize vibrations from reaching the floor, the Sub is placed on four feet. However, your results may vary depending on the flooring. A recessed area is created underneath the speaker by the feet. This allows for two connections to be made, one for the power cable and the other for the Ethernet port. There are no accessories other than the power cable and the cleaning shammy.
An Ethernet cable to connect to the Ethernet port would be nice, considering the cost. However, Ethernet is not required. The Sub uses Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth. If you don’t want to use Ethernet, you will need an 802.11b/g router at 2.4GHz.
As is the case with all Sonos gear, setting up the speaker with an existing Sonos system is easy for the first time. The company’s biggest asset is its app. It streamlines the process of setting up any speaker. All you have to do is enter your Wi-Fi password. The app will walk you through the entire process.
The app will calibrate your Sub’s settings automatically. It will walk you through a process that measures the acoustics of your room and adjusts the Sub accordingly. You can also skip this step. You can also adjust the Sub’s settings within the app.
You can also adjust the Sub’s volume relative to other speakers, change the Phase between 0 and 180 degrees, and adjust the crossover frequency. The default crossover frequency setting (the frequency at the sub starts to output audio and the speakers cut off) is 80Hz. This parameter can be adjusted from 50Hz to 110Hz, depending on the room and your setup. It can also make a big difference in the overall sound signature.
The Sub can only be used with other Sonos speakers. This is not a surprise. However, it is a disappointment that the Sub cannot be used with the Sonos amp at this price. Although the Amp’s subwoofer connection would make it possible to combine the Sub and a set of other Sonos speakers, it will not work.
The Sub can be used with the Amp to power Sonos Architectural by Sonance speaker, but this is the only way. The wireless subwoofer has no physical connections to a sub output. It can also not work wirelessly with speakers other than Sonos that are physically connected with the Sonos Amp. This seems like a limitation at this price.
For setup, make sure to use the Sonos app s2 and pair it with a speaker also on s2. This Sonos Sub doesn’t work with any s1 speakers. You need to plug it into mains power and then tell the app which speaker to pair it with. A Wi-fi-based subwoofer can be wirelessly customized using the Sonos App.
After you have completed the setup, you can adjust the volume of your Sub to make it louder or quieter. You can also pair it with a Sonos soundbar to have night mode, which lowers the volume of the more audible sounds. This will ensure that your neighbors are happy.
When blending a sub into a system, it is vital to get the crossover point right. This is the point at which the subwoofer’s bass transitions to the Sonos sub and the main speakers’ mids and highs. If done correctly, it is possible to blend your sub and speakers perfectly. The crossover setting can make the sub sound bad.
The best thing about adding a Sub to a remaining Sonos system is that it works in most cases where the speakers are all Sonos. The app can match up the speakers to the sub, and the Sonos software will calculate the range for the crossover point.
Technology & Features
Two oval-shaped, racetrack-shaped Sub drivers face inward. The cabinet’s force canceling design ensures that it will not rattle no matter how loud you turn up the volume. Each sub driver is powered by an amplifier that Sonos has designed to maximize the performance of the dual speaker design. Sonos Sub 2.0 has more internal memory and a faster processor, which will enable Sonos to deliver future performance enhancements via system updates.
When blending a subwoofer into a system, it is vital to get the crossover point right. This is the point at which the bass transitions into the Sonos sub and the mids and highs are sent to the main speakers. If you do it correctly, you can blend your sub and speakers perfectly. However, if the crossover is set too high or low, this can lead to inferior sound quality.
The cool thing about adding the Sonos Sub in a remaining Sonos subsystem is that the app can match up the speakers to the subwoofer, and the Sonos software can calculate the range for crossover points. Trueplay is where the magic happens. The software will play a series of 3-minute test tones. It will adjust each speaker’s volume and determine the best crossover point.
Trueplay works even if you’re using Sonos Amp or Sub. You can adjust the volume of the Sub according to your preferences by simply opening the app.
We have tested the Sonos Sub with various setups, including the Arc and the new Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar. Also, we used a pair of each of the Sonos Fives and many speakers paired up with a Sonos Amplifier.
The Sub provides excellent, deep bass, which is very impactful and well-defined in music and movies. Sonos claims that the Sub can drop to 25Hz, which is impressive considering its size (though we don’t know how low it is). The bass is not loud and adds that deep, bottom-end sound, making music and movies more enjoyable.
The bass is removed from the main speakers, and the midrange opens up. This was especially noticeable on the Sonos Five and when we used another stereo pair with Sonos Amp.
Worth The Cost
The Sonos Beam compact soundbar offers extra benefits in the bass. It’s a costly upgrade. A Sonos sub that costs half the price of a Sonos Beam soundbar can seem intimidating. It makes a huge difference! It takes on a new dimension in film sound: it drones when needed, and sound effects take on a physical aspect.
Sonos Sub can also be used as a companion to Arc, the largest soundbar Sonos makes. The Sonos Arc can provide usable bass, but it cannot compete with the sub for deep frequencies.
We also noticed a significant improvement in the sound quality, especially in the midrange and treble. The smart soundbar doesn’t have to play the lowest notes to reproduce more of the sound mix, including Atmos effects.
Double Sonos Bass
We were excited to introduce Sub number 2 into the system. It can be overwhelming to use two subwoofers. In many cases, this will be true as well. Even a single Sub can deliver plenty of basses.
Our experience is that an additional subwoofer can make a room sound better. We were able to achieve better bass distribution by strategically placing subs in different areas of the room. The subwoofers were placed in the corners of the space in front of each other. This immediately created a more consistent frequency response.
The extra subwoofer inserts result in a bass reproduction that is significantly bigger, more powerful, and harder hitting. Even more remarkable is the fact that the bass feels firmer in the flesh. Big drums sound tighter, and pumping synth bass rhythms are even more so. The space is filled with deep organ sounds differently.
We also notice that the bass is much more evenly distributed. The bass can be moved around on the sofa without changing its character.
A subwoofer can also make movies sound better: Star Trek: Odyssey’s Enterprise travels at warp speed, and it feels as if all of space is being filled with a pressure wave. Subs don’t cause vibrations to floors, windows, or other movable objects. This is a fantastic combination.
You can also experiment with different locations using two subwoofers. We were able to get a great response from the corner placements in the front. However, a subwoofer placed in the front or a listening position in the rear can also give excellent results. It was common to notice that the bass fills more space and is more difficult to find.
In a small listening area with Beam or smaller speakers, a dual Sub setup is unnecessary. We would instead upgrade the front or surround speakers first.
If you are looking for a way to add powerful, deep bass to large spaces with two subwoofers, this is the best option.
A double Sub solution can cost you PS699 per unit. You can start with one Sub and upgrade later. You can also find the second subwoofer on the used market, as only one needs to be the most recent generation.
Sonos Sub Gen 2 Vs. Gen 3
The Sonos Sub gen 3 is the third generation of the Sonos. It’s priced the same as the previous generation. You can choose from gloss black or white. You can pair it with any Sonos speaker (ceiling speakers are also a good choice to pair with a Sub), except the new Sonos Sub Move. This will unlock deeper bass and create a tangible feeling.
First, there are very few design changes between gen 3 and gen 2. These changes are primarily cosmetic. These aren’t the most significant changes we’ve seen. The flat power cable has been replaced to ensure it doesn’t tangle or curl anymore. This was feedback from previous generations. The join button has been updated to make it more intuitive and in line with the newer products.
Perhaps more important is that the internals have also been updated with a quad-core CPU processor and the most recent memory chip. This doesn’t mean much to the end-user right now. It’s still ready to go for whatever Sonos has in store for the future.
The gen 3 will still sound the same as the original gen 2, so there is no sound quality upgrade. If you already own the Sonos Sub gen 2 and are wondering if it’s worth upgrading to the Gen 3, I recommend keeping your gen 2 until you find something that you can do with gen 3. It will only be time.
Recommended Sonos Speakers to be Paired with the Sub
Let’s now move on to the most popular Sonos speakers that you can use with the Sub. To make up the final sound level in surround sound, we recommend a Sonos TV speaker like a beam or Arc. Because there are many sound effects you may hear, the Sub is especially useful in movies. These sound effects are enhanced by adding a sub to the mix. You will be more immersed in the movie if you have subs.
Soundbar manufacturers face the challenge of designing soundbars that are slim enough to fit under your TV without being too bulky. Sonos has designed the arc soundbar with a 270-degree elliptical design that maximizes its woofers’ performance. This will make movie night more enjoyable by adding a separate subwoofer for the lower frequencies.
The Sub can also be used with one stereo pair of Sonos Ones or one SL. These Subs will make a huge difference in the quality of your music if you are using them as a dedicated music system. For the average listener, however, a pair would suffice.
You might be wondering if it is worth adding a sub to a pair of fives. A sub to a pair of fives is likely to be too much nine times out of ten, especially since the fives can play bass by themselves. A sub could be worth buying if you have a large room you might use for parties. The Sub will reduce background noise and increase the volume.
A sub should not be added to any single speaker, such as a One, OneSL, or Five. The Sub will likely cause excessive volume for the speaker. To create stereo, you would spend your money on a second speaker.
If you are installing ceiling speakers in an extension or renovation and powering them with a Sonos sub, this is the last setup I recommend. Sonos amp. The Sub can pair wirelessly to the amp. The Sub will pair wirelessly with the amp because ceiling speakers cannot provide as much bass as traditional audio systems. This allows you to enjoy the beauty of ceiling speakers while not worrying about the bass.
If you don’t want to spend as much money on the Sonos sub, you can still use your active subwoofer. It doesn’t matter if you use the Sonos amp or other brands like Kef, Monitor Audio Bronze 500 desktop speaker, etc.
The Sonos Sub is a great addition to the home music system if you need powerful bass and high volume. This product is an easy way to transform your current speaker system into a near-professional system. We hope this article can help you more understand Sonos. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.