Sonos boosts bass in small spaces with its cylindrical enclosure

Sonos boosts bass in small spaces with its cylindrical enclosure

Make some noise! With his new Sub Mini, Sonos is launching a subwoofer suitable for small areas and for those who, despite having small accommodation (and unresponsive neighbours!), wish to transform their living room into a small cinema. The Sub Mini that “20 Minutes” was able to test can be used in addition to Sonos soundbars Beam Gen 2 or Sonos Raybut also, and quite simply, with classic speakers from the American manufacturer, such as the One or One SL.

An elegant and space-saving cylinder

It’s a whole ecosystem that can be built brick by brick. New stone in the Sonos building, the Sub Mini. This small subwoofer stands out in the world of rectangular or square subwoofers (and often quite massive and unsightly), served by most manufacturers of audio products. The Sub Mini is cylindrical.

The Sonos Sub Mini subwoofer can find its place in the corner of a room. – His bone

Available in black or white, measuring 30.3 cm in height and 23 cm in diameter (for 6.35 kg), it also stands out for its design. Perforated in its center, it incorporates two 15 cm loudspeakers facing each other. The principle is now known, it is that of “force cancellation”, which reduces distortions. This makes it possible to raise the volume very significantly without the audio quality degrading, nor there being any effect of saturation or vibrations.

The cylindrical design of the box, it seems to be a pure aesthetic bias, even if Sonos, which we questioned on this subject, retorts that it “makes it possible to make the mechanics more rigid to produce a cleaner sound”. That is. Remains a beautiful object that will not distort in a decoration in the living room.

Compatible with Ikea speaker

It only takes a few minutes to install the device, which does not need to be near the TV (but only a short distance from an electrical outlet). Owners of products from the American brand will simply add it, via the application and via Wifi, to their system already in place. Others will need to create an account and set it up. But let it be said: without any other Sonos speaker, the Sub Mini has no interest whatsoever. At a minimum, a One SL (199 euros) or One (229 euros) speaker is required. Or even one of the Sonos speakers Symfonisk sold at Ikea (from 119 euros).

For our tests in a living room of around 20 square meters, we associated the Sub Mini with the small Ray soundbar (299 euros) from the manufacturer, connected to our television in optics, but also to a Sonos ecosystem already in place. To optimize the sound reproduction of a room, Sonos offers its True Play function. By activating it in the application, it allows, thanks to the microphone of its smartphone which one will move in its living room, to perfectly calibrate the subwoofer depending on the walls and furniture around it. Strangely, True Play, which has existed for years, is still only reserved for iPhone owners…

In a new dimension

Immediate observation: the Sub Mini adds an indisputable presence to any type of content (audio or video). The device does not just impose a bass reinforcement when listening to music, when playing games, or when watching a film or a series. It becomes the cornerstone of an audio system, whether more or less developed. Thanks to him, a new acoustic balance is taking shape in the living room.

You can obviously adjust the volume of the small subwoofer in the application and obtain a very punchyas we saw while watching the series Notre Dame, the part of the fire, on Netflix. It’s full of custom-made scenes for bass that impress. And there, the Sub Mini impresses, despite its small size. Its bass (up to 25 Hz) turns out to be massive, without cluttering the listener, and lets the soundbar (or the speakers) assert itself more in the mids and highs.

The Sub Mini, from Sonos, sold for 499 euros.
The Sub Mini, from Sonos, sold for 499 euros. – His bone

With the Sub Mini, it is also possible to expand musical listening, to strengthen and widen a sound stage, and to give it more flesh, like a new dimension. The Sub Mini imposes a real transformation, even if the investment demanded at the time of its purchase for simple listening to music in streaming can be considered a real luxury.

A closed ecosystem

We can obviously regret that Sonos does not offer more settings for its system in its application. Here, an adjustment of the volume, as well as the level of bass and treble in a far too modest equalizer is the only possible one. The manufacturer prefers to impose, if not its sound signature, at least a real simplicity of use. It doesn’t bother with any frills. And we deplore as always that the Sonos system is locked from the inside. Impossible to succumb to the aesthetics or performance of the Sub Mini if ​​you don’t already have a foothold in the brand’s ecosystem, or if you don’t want to invest in it for the long term.

Sonos has understood this well, which offers his website packs that include the Sub Mini and the Ray soundbar (758 euros, instead of 798 euros), or the Sub Mini and the Beam (948 euros, instead of 999 euros). Even complete home cinema packages that add to the subwoofer and to one of the two soundbars, two Sono One SL speakers. They will serve as speakers surround.

As much as you are tempted, the best, in our opinion, is to go step by step, according to your budget and your needs, and to gradually familiarize yourself with the ecosystem of a brand that has known like no other over the years, democratizing multiroom sound.