Reviews

Review: Sonos Sub 3rd Generation – Elevating Audio Excellence with Enhanced Acoustics and Seamless Integration

Review: Sonos Sub 3rd Generation - Elevating Audio Excellence with Enhanced Acoustics and Seamless Integration- "Experience audio perfection with the Sonos Sub 3rd Gen—refined acoustics, seamless integration, and immersive bass."

Sonos Sub 3rd Generation Review – Elevating Your Audio Experience

Sonos has consistently stood as a benchmark in audio excellence, and the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation emerges as a key player in enhancing the auditory landscape. Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, this subwoofer not only carries the prestigious Sonos legacy but also boasts a design that challenges the conventional norms of subwoofer aesthetics. With dimensions that belie its powerful capabilities, the Sonos Sub promises to deliver both bass and an immersive, well-rounded auditory experience. In this review, we delve into the unique design elements, the wireless connectivity that seamlessly integrates with Sonos speakers and the performance that aims to redefine the role of a subwoofer in both Wi-Fi setups and home theater systems.

Crafting Acoustic Brilliance: Aesthetic Innovation and Functionality: Breaking away from the traditional mold, the Sonos Sub not only catches the eye with its sleek form but also introduces a novel acoustic approach. With drivers positioned to play bass tones toward each other, bouncing and emerging from a central opening, this subwoofer is designed to make a visual and sonic statement. Our exploration encompasses the innovative acoustics within, the ease of wireless integration with other Sonos products, and the simplicity of setup, promising a harmonious marriage of design and functionality. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation, evaluating whether it lives up to the lofty standards set by its predecessors and the broader Sonos ecosystem.

Sonos: Elevating Audio Excellence: Sonos is a pinnacle in the audio industry, synonymous with innovation and superior sound quality. Born in Santa Barbara, California, Sonos has redefined how we experience music and home entertainment. Renowned for its wireless speakers, soundbars, and subwoofers, Sonos blends cutting-edge technology with a minimalist design ethos. The brand’s commitment to creating an interconnected ecosystem allows users to craft immersive audio experiences tailored to their preferences. With a rich history of pushing the boundaries of audio engineering, Sonos continues to be a trailblazer, setting the standard for premium, wireless sound solutions.

Specifications

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

TipSubwoofer
Amplification typeActiva
UseHome use
Mounting typeOn the floor On the shelf
Number of speakers1
ConnectivityWi-Fi Ethernet
settingsI want to EQ the bass
Weight16 Kg
Package contents1 x Subwoofer
ColorBlack

SUBWOOFER

Subwoofer dimensions (W x D x H)158 x 402 x 389 mm
Subwoofer weight16 Kg

Distinctive Design: Breaking the Mold – Sonos Sub’s Unique Aesthetics

In audio equipment, where form often follows function, the Sonos Sub ventures into uncharted territory with its distinctive and captivating design. Unlike conventional subwoofers that adhere to boxy and utilitarian aesthetics, the Sonos Sub redefines the visual language of audio equipment. Its dimensions, measuring approximately 40 centimeters in width and height but a mere 16 centimeters in depth, challenge the preconceived notions of what a subwoofer should look like.

The standout feature of the Sonos Sub lies in its central opening, resembling a compressed donut, which serves a dual purpose of aesthetics and acoustics. Beyond being a visual focal point, this central void is deliberately designed to enhance the subwoofer’s acoustic performance. The unique shape facilitates an innovative phase-inverting configuration with two drivers positioned to face each other. This design allows bass tones to interact dynamically, bouncing off each other before emanating from the central opening. In doing so, the Sonos Sub breaks free from the constraints of conventional subwoofer shapes. It introduces a novel acoustic strategy, promising a sonic experience as distinctive as its outward appearance. The Sonos Sub doesn’t just aim to be heard; it endeavors to be seen as a statement piece, transcending the traditional boundaries of audio equipment design.

Innovative Acoustics: Inside the Sonos Sub – A Closer Look at Acoustic Engineering

Beyond its eye-catching exterior, the Sonos Sub distinguishes itself through a sophisticated approach to acoustic engineering that goes beyond the norm. Housed within its sleek frame are intricacies designed to redefine how we perceive and experience low-frequency sound. The dual-driver configuration, positioned to face each other within the subwoofer, represents a departure from conventional setups, introducing a phase-inverting design that allows for a more dynamic interplay of bass tones.

Two bass reflex tubes within the Sonos Sub complement this unique acoustic architecture. These tubes amplify specific bass frequencies further, contributing to a rich and resonant audio profile. Combined with the unconventional central opening, the interplay of these elements facilitates a sound propagation strategy that is as innovative as it is effective. As the bass tones bounce off each other within the subwoofer, they emerge from the central opening with enhanced precision and depth.

The result is a harmonious marriage of form and function, where the Sonos Sub not only captivates with its unique aesthetics but also delivers a superior auditory experience. In dismantling the traditional barriers of subwoofer design, Sonos has ingeniously engineered a device that produces sound and crafts an immersive sonic journey, marking a significant leap forward in acoustic innovation.

Wireless Connectivity: Seamless Integration – Partnering with Sonos Speakers

In the era of interconnected smart homes, the Sonos Sub distinguishes itself with a wireless connectivity prowess that seamlessly integrates into the broader Sonos ecosystem. Designed as a symbiotic companion to other Sonos speakers, the Sonos Sub communicates effortlessly through Wi-Fi, establishing a cord-free and clutter-free audio environment. Its minimalist physical connections reinforce the commitment to a streamlined user experience, featuring only a LAN socket and power plug.

The wireless integration of the Sonos Sub is not merely a convenience but a strategic design choice, allowing it to communicate wirelessly with other Sonos products. The Sonos app, available on iOS and Android devices, facilitates this harmonious connection, providing users with a centralized hub for managing their audio setup. This wireless synergy allows for a flexible and dynamic arrangement of speakers throughout the home, creating an immersive multi-room audio experience.

The Sonos Sub’s ability to seamlessly partner with other Sonos speakers is a testament to its role as a collaborative component within the ecosystem. This wireless connectivity not only simplifies the setup process but also enhances the adaptability of the Sonos Sub, ensuring it effortlessly integrates into various audio configurations, whether part of a home theater system or a distributed audio setup across different rooms. In embracing wireless connectivity, Sonos has elevated the ease and versatility of audio integration for an unparalleled listening experience.

Setup Simplicity: Effortless Configuration – From Unboxing to Trueplay Calibration

The Sonos Sub not only captivates with its design and acoustic prowess but also redefines simplicity in audio setup. The process, from the unboxing to the final calibration, is a testament to Sonos’ commitment to providing users with an intuitive and hassle-free experience.

The physical simplicity of the Sonos Sub is evident with minimal controls – a single button situated discreetly on the side, reserved solely for initial setup. From this point onward, all adjustments and configurations are seamlessly managed through the Sonos app, which is available on iOS and Android devices. The absence of complex buttons and controls emphasizes the user-friendly ethos of the Sonos Sub.

Upon initiating the setup process, the Sonos app is a comprehensive guide, ensuring that every step is straightforward and accessible. Whether pairing the Sub with the Sonos Arc other speakers or configuring it as part of an existing Sonos system, the app provides explicit instructions, reducing the setup process to a series of intuitive steps.

A notable highlight in the setup journey is the incorporation of Trueplay calibration. This feature, available to iOS users, optimizes the Sonos Sub’s performance based on the room’s specific acoustics. Using an iPhone or iPad, users are guided through a brief calibration process that fine-tunes the audio output according to the unique characteristics of the listening space.

The Sonos Sub’s commitment to simplicity extends beyond physical design to the entire user experience. Whether you are a seasoned audiophile or a casual listener, the Sonos Sub’s effortless setup ensures that the focus remains on the joy of immersive sound rather than the intricacies of configuration. In embracing simplicity, Sonos has made high-quality audio accessible to all, amplifying the pleasure of music and cinematic experiences for a diverse audience.

Trueplay Calibration: Optimizing Sound – Trueplay Room Measurement

At the heart of Sonos’ commitment to delivering an unparalleled audio experience is the ingenious Trueplay Calibration. This feature elevates the Sonos Sub’s performance by tailoring its sound output to the unique acoustics of any given room. Trueplay is a testament to Sonos’ dedication to achieving audio perfection, ensuring that the sonic nuances are heard and precisely tuned to deliver an immersive auditory journey.

Initiating the Trueplay calibration is a straightforward yet impactful process, requiring only an iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately exclusive to iOS users due to the need for consistent microphone values, Trueplay exemplifies Sonos’ meticulous attention to detail. The user is prompted to walk around the room, raising and lowering the device while the Sonos Sub emits test tones. This seemingly simple exercise captures the distinctive audio characteristics of the space, from room size and shape to furniture placement.

As the calibration progresses, Trueplay processes the collected data to make real-time adjustments to the Sonos Sub’s output. The result is a finely tuned audio profile that adapts to the room’s acoustics, ensuring optimal sound reproduction without the pitfalls of booming bass or hissing highs. While Android users may miss out on this feature due to the diverse array of microphones in different devices, the Trueplay calibration is a powerful tool for Apple enthusiasts, allowing them to unlock the full potential of their Sonos audio system.

In essence, Trueplay Calibration transforms the Sonos Sub beyond being a mere speaker; it becomes a dynamic component that caters to the nuances of its environment. By embracing the intricacies of each room, Trueplay ensures that the audio delivered by the Sonos Sub is powerful and precisely tailored to create an immersive, true-to-life soundstage.

Performance: Sonos Sub in Action – Enhancing Your Audio Landscape

The true prowess of the Sonos Sub comes to life in its performance, where it seamlessly integrates with other Sonos speakers to create a symphony of sound that transcends traditional audio experiences. Paired with the Sonos Arc and two Sonos Ones in our testing environment, the Sonos Sub was more than a bass powerhouse; it emerged as a finely tuned companion that added depth and dimension to the auditory journey.

The synergy between the Sonos Sub and the Sonos Arc became evident in cinematic scenarios, such as the Oscar-winning sci-fi film Dune. Drum sounds reverberated with newfound life, showcasing the Sub’s ability to accentuate low frequencies without overshadowing the nuances of the soundtrack. The Sonos app, a central control hub, allows users to toggle the Sub on and off, enabling a direct A/B comparison to appreciate its impact. While the Sonos Arc, a standalone soundbar, demonstrated impressive bass capabilities, the addition of the Sonos Sub provided the final touch, augmenting the cinematic experience with palpable thuds and rumbles.

Moreover, the Sonos Sub’s performance extends beyond theatrical settings. Music playback reveals its versatility, seamlessly integrating with other Sonos speakers to provide a rich foundation for various genres. It doesn’t merely add bass; it intelligently identifies and complements the sonic gaps where other speakers might falter. The Sub, in essence, becomes the sonic glue that binds the entire Sonos ecosystem, ensuring a cohesive and immersive audio landscape.

One noteworthy feature during the evaluation was the impact of Trueplay calibration. The difference between Trueplay-enabled and disabled modes appeared more pronounced than adding the Sub. Trueplay, by fine-tuning the Sonos system based on the room’s acoustics, showcased its transformative capability, emphasizing that optimal audio performance is a synergy of hardware and intelligent calibration.

While the Sonos Sub may not compete with standalone, high-end subwoofers in terms of sheer bass power, it distinguishes itself by being a team player within the Sonos ecosystem. Its contribution is not overwhelming volume but precision, seamlessly elevating the overall audio experience. In the quest for a balanced, immersive soundscape, the Sonos Sub stands as a testament to Sonos’ commitment to delivering audio excellence in both home theater and music playback scenarios.

Size Matters: Sub vs. Sub Mini: Choosing the Right Fit – Sub or Sub Mini?

In audio perfection, the Sonos Sub and its compact counterpart, the Sub Mini, present a nuanced choice, highlighting that size matters. The visual disparity between the two is apparent, with the Sub resembling a monolith compared to the more demure Sub Mini. However, the decision between the two extends beyond aesthetics, involving considerations of room size, cost, and the desired level of audio performance.

The Sonos Sub, standing as a sonic monolith, not only boasts a commanding presence but also delivers a notable punch and precision in its audio output. Its larger frame allows it to reach higher levels without compromising on performance. However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that the Sub’s sheer size might hinder it from achieving its full potential in many spaces. As the search for the right loudspeaker often teaches us, “more” doesn’t invariably equate to “better.”

On the other hand, despite its compact dimensions, the Sub Mini surprises with its performance. Costing 350 euros less than its larger counterpart, the Sub Mini is a commendable alternative, especially for medium to small rooms or one-room apartments. In our tests, the Sub Mini demonstrated its capability to deliver a satisfying performance, even in a relatively large listening room, showcasing that size isn’t the sole determinant of audio excellence.

The choice between the Sub and Sub Mini becomes even more nuanced when considering the audio preferences and room dynamics. For those seeking the ultimate film sound and possessing a larger room, the Sonos Sub might be the optimal choice, especially when paired with the Sonos Arc. Conversely, the Sub Mini is a fitting alternative in smaller spaces, pairing seamlessly with compact soundbars like the Sonos Beam or Sonos Ray.

Ultimately, the decision concerns individual preferences, room size, and budget constraints. While the Sonos Sub commands attention with its imposing presence and enhanced performance, the Sub Mini proves that compactness doesn’t necessarily compromise audio quality. Thus, the quest for the perfect fit becomes a subjective journey, echoing the sentiment that size matters. Still, the thoughtful consideration of that size truly defines the audio experience.

Usability and Unique Functions: Unraveling the Sonos Sub’s Practical Brilliance

The Sonos Sub not only captivates with its design and performance but also shines in terms of usability, boasting a range of unique functions that set it apart in the competitive landscape of audio equipment. Sonos, known for prioritizing user experience, has crafted the Sub to seamlessly integrate into users’ lives, offering a blend of practicality and innovative features.

Wireless Simplicity: At the core of the Sub’s usability is its wireless connectivity, allowing hassle-free integration into the broader Sonos ecosystem. The absence of cumbersome wires contributes to a clutter-free aesthetic and facilitates effortless placement within any room. The Sub communicates seamlessly with other Sonos speakers via Wi-Fi, streamlining the setup process and offering users the flexibility to curate their audio environment effortlessly.

Centralized Control with Sonos App: The Sonos app emerges as a pivotal tool, serving as the centralized command center for users to manage and customize their Sonos Sub. Available on iOS and Android devices, the app provides a user-friendly interface for adjusting volume settings and initiating the Trueplay calibration. This centralized control simplifies the overall user experience, ensuring intricate adjustments are just a tap away.

Trueplay Calibration for Tailored Sound: Trueplay calibration is a unique function beyond the conventional realm of subwoofers. By leveraging the microphone capabilities of an iPhone or iPad, Trueplay adapts the Sonos Sub’s output to the room’s specific acoustics. This personalized fine-tuning ensures that the Sub delivers an optimized audio experience, considering the nuances of different listening spaces.

Seamless Integration with Other Sonos Products: The Sub’s usability extends to its role as a team player within the Sonos ecosystem. Whether paired with the Sonos Arc other speakers or added later to an existing setup, the Sub effortlessly integrates into various audio configurations. This modular approach allows users to expand and adapt their audio system over time, tailoring it to their evolving preferences.

One-Button Setup and Minimalist Controls: Emphasizing simplicity, the Sonos Sub features a single setup button, facilitating the initial configuration process. The absence of complex controls or buttons aligns with Sonos’ commitment to an intuitive user experience. Beyond setup, the minimalistic approach extends to the physical design, allowing users to focus on the audio experience rather than navigating a myriad of controls.

The Sonos Sub’s usability is a seamless marriage of simplicity and sophisticated functionality. By prioritizing wireless convenience, centralized control, personalized calibration, and integration into a broader ecosystem, Sonos has engineered a subwoofer that delivers exceptional audio and does so with a user-centric approach, making it a standout choice in the world of premium audio equipment.

What’s New in the Third Generation Sonos Sub: Deciding Whether to Upgrade

Introducing the third-generation Sonos Sub brings forth several notable enhancements, making it worthwhile for users to consider upgrading, especially if they seek an elevated audio experience or aim to stay at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.

1. Improved Acoustic Design: One of the key upgrades in the third-generation Sonos Sub lies in its refined acoustic design. The engineering enhancements aim to deliver even more precise and powerful bass, contributing to a richer and more immersive audio experience. If you are a discerning audiophile or value nuanced sound quality, the improved acoustic design could be a compelling reason to consider an upgrade.

2. Enhanced Wireless Connectivity: With each iteration, Sonos consistently refines the wireless connectivity features of its products. The third-generation Sonos Sub will likely benefit from wireless communication improvements, ensuring a more stable and seamless connection with other Sonos speakers. If you prioritize a robust and reliable wireless setup within your Sonos ecosystem, enhanced connectivity might be a persuasive factor for an upgrade.

3. Advanced Calibration and Tuning Features: The third-generation Sonos Sub is expected to come with updated calibration and tuning features, aligning with Sonos’ commitment to optimizing sound based on individual room acoustics. If you value personalized audio experiences and want to leverage the latest calibration technology, the improved tuning features could make an upgrade appealing.

4. Compatibility with Future Sonos Ecosystem Updates: Sonos frequently releases software updates and introduces new features to enhance the functionality of its products. The third-generation Sonos Sub will likely be designed with future compatibility in mind, ensuring that it seamlessly integrates with upcoming innovations and improvements within the broader ecosystem. If staying at the forefront of technology is a priority, the promise of compatibility with future updates might sway your decision.

Considerations for Upgrade: While the enhancements in the third-generation Sonos Sub are enticing, the decision to upgrade should be based on individual preferences, priorities, and budget considerations. If you are content with the performance of your current Sonos Sub and don’t feel compelled by the new features, upgrading may not be immediately necessary. However, if you are an audio enthusiast seeking the latest advancements for an even more immersive experience, the third-generation Sonos Sub could be worthwhile.

Ultimately, the decision to upgrade depends on your specific needs and the value you place on the new features introduced in the third generation. If the improvements align with your audio preferences and usage scenarios, upgrading to the latest Sonos Sub could be rewarding.

Final Verdict: Is the Sonos Sub Worth It?

In the realm of premium audio, the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation is a testament to the relentless pursuit of sonic excellence. With its distinctive design, refined acoustics, and seamless integration within the Sonos ecosystem, this subwoofer redefines the standards for immersive sound experiences. The thoughtful additions, such as improved wireless connectivity and advanced calibration features, elevate its performance, catering to the discerning audiophile and casual listener alike. Whether paired with other Sonos speakers for a home theater extravaganza or as a standalone powerhouse in a music setup, the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation demonstrates that exceptional audio quality can be sophisticated and user-friendly.

While the decision to upgrade hinges on individual priorities, the third-generation Sonos Sub undeniably introduces enhancements contributing to a superior audio journey. With improved acoustics, advanced calibration options, and future-proof connectivity, it beckons those seeking the pinnacle of audio innovation. For existing Sonos Sub owner’s content with their current setup, the decision to upgrade may be a matter of preference. However, for those yearning for the latest audio technology and a heightened auditory experience, the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation beckons as a compelling and rewarding upgrade.
Reasons to Buy the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation:

  1. Immersive Audio Experience: The third-generation Sonos Sub promises an enhanced and immersive audio experience with refined acoustics, delivering precise and powerful bass that complements a wide range of music genres and cinematic soundscapes.
  2. Seamless Integration: Designed to integrate with other Sonos speakers seamlessly, the Sub 3rd Generation becomes a key player in creating a cohesive and synchronized multi-room audio setup. Its wireless connectivity ensures a hassle-free and clutter-free environment.
  3. Future-Proof Compatibility: With an eye toward the future, the Sub 3rd Generation will likely be compatible with upcoming Sonos ecosystem updates and innovations, ensuring that your audio setup remains cutting-edge and adaptable to evolving technologies.
  4. Advanced Calibration Features: The inclusion of advanced calibration and tuning features, including the Trueplay functionality, allows users to tailor the audio output to the unique acoustics of their room, providing a personalized and optimized listening experience.

Reasons Not to Buy the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation:

  1. Cost Consideration: The premium quality and advanced features of the Sub 3rd Generation come at a price. If budget constraints are a significant factor, it might be worth considering whether the additional features justify the higher cost, especially if your current audio setup meets your needs.
  2. Sufficient Bass with Current Setup: If you are already content with the bass performance of your existing audio setup, particularly if you own a previous Sonos Sub, the incremental improvements in the third generation may not warrant the investment.
  3. Limited Compatibility Outside Sonos Ecosystem: The Sub 3rd Generation is optimized for use within the Sonos ecosystem. If you prefer a broader range of compatibility with non-Sonos audio devices or ecosystems, you might explore alternative subwoofers that offer more versatility in connectivity.
  4. Space Constraints: The Sub 3rd Generation, like its predecessors, has a substantial form factor. Suppose space is a premium in your living environment. In that case, the size of the subwoofer may be a consideration, and the more compact Sub Mini or other space-efficient alternatives might be more suitable.

Ultimately, the decision to buy or not buy the Sonos Sub 3rd Generation should be based on your specific audio preferences, budget, and compatibility requirements. If you prioritize top-notch audio quality, seamless integration, and the latest in audio technology, the Sub 3rd Generation could be a valuable addition to your setup. However, if your current system meets your needs and budget or other considerations come into play, exploring alternative options might be worth considering.

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