Sonos Sub (Gen 3) Review: Pure Bass Subwoofer

Black Sonos Sub Gen 3 in between green plant and green bed

A good subwoofer makes the perfect home theatre. Subwoofers are better than those heavyweight loudspeakers that you cannot carry easily. They complete your audio system by providing lower frequencies that come from instruments or sound effects in movies. 

Speaking of subwoofers, Sonos Subwoofer (Gen 3) is the latest one available in the market. Sonos released it in June 2020 as an upgraded version of its predecessors – Sub (Gen 1) and Sub (Gen 2). 

As an upgrade, it retains all the previous generation features and comes along with some new ones.

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What is Sonos Sub (Gen 3)?

Sonos Sub Gen 3 is the most advanced subwoofer in Sonos’ Sub series. It improves your experience as if you are sitting in a theatre. By providing the lowest frequencies, it enhances the playback sound from the attached speakers.

The dynamic bass in Sub (Gen 3) system allows you to convert low frequencies into deep bass. Its noise-canceling speakers eliminate vibrations and project the energy inside the room, ensuring zero rattles.

Setting the Sub (Gen 3) in your room is easy due to its wireless connection. You only have to plug it in and press the button on the backside to connect. Open the Sonos app and add the Sub to your system.

Features

Sonos Sub (Gen 3) has powerful features that can enhance the audio quality of your system. These are as follows:

No buzz

The Sonos sub has two noise-canceling drivers right in the center that eradicate the rattling sounds and ensure a powerful bass. These drivers can control the lowest frequency of only 25Hz. 

Without the buzz or rattle, you can enjoy the delightful sound of your speakers. Many speakers or woofers do not have this feature, but Sub guarantees the perfect experience with its force-canceling speakers.

Design

The sub’s ergonomic design features a connect button at the back. It comes with a single power cord and avoids the tangling of multiple cables. Sonos released the sub (Gen 3) in two color variants – white finish and gloss black. The LED on the Sub indicates the connection and power status of the system. 

You can select the one that suits your interior and goes best with your home theatre system. The Sub is 15.3-inch tall, 15.8-inch wide, and 6.2-inch deep, and weighs 36.3 pounds. Its intriguing shape with a small window in the middle adds to the elegant design of the subwoofer.    

Moreover, you can keep it in a standing position or even lay it flat to give it a discreet look. It can perfectly fit into any space due to its flexible orientation. None of the positions will impact the sound effects and quality of Sub Gen 3. 

It also has an Ethernet port to connect with the WiFi router if a wireless connection is unreliable.

Wireless Connection

The only wire Sub comes with is the power cord. You just have to plug it in and press the join button on the back to connect it with your system. To add it to your system, you have to download the Sonos app and follow the instructions. 

The Sonos app will adjust the audio settings of the Sub to balance it with the system. Once connected, it ensures an advanced listening experience without any interruptions. 

Upgraded Internals

Sonos Sub (Gen 3) leaves its previous versions way behind in terms of internals. It has 256 MB of RAM along with a powerful Quad Core1.5 GHz processor.  

The Sonos S2 app is the latest generation application that allows easy setup and is compatible with the Sub’s internals. You can use it to control the Sonos Sub and other speakers as well. If that is not enough, the app manages other services, like Spotify and Apple Music, on your phone as well.

Sub features a high-power radio receiver that allows you to operate the system from a longer range. So you can listen to music while sitting in a different room away from the Sub. 

The flat power cord helps in avoiding the annoying cable tangling. Its auto-switching AC unit operates within the range of 100-240 volts and with power suppliers that supply a current of 50 to 60 GHz.

Performance

Black Sonos Sub Gen 3 close-up on cream carpet

The Sub works with Sonos products only. Whether it’s movies or music, the Sub brings an impactful and deep bass to the listening experience. 

The frequency response can go as low as 25Hz, which is extraordinary for a woofer this small. The bass does not make any loud and resonant sound and creates a theatre-like environment while watching movies. 

What makes it even better is the Sonos Trueplay software. Trueplay allows you to keep the Sonos Sub anywhere you want. Moreover, it analyzes the factors that might impact the sound quality of the system. These factors include room layout, décor, size, and speaker placement.

After analyzing, it adjusts the Sonos speakers’ sound settings to ensure that nothing affects the sound quality. The application also has a volume adjustment feature, allowing you to adjust the level with just a tap on your phone.

So, the Sub performs efficiently with the Trueplay and provides a delightful experience for your ears.

Sonos Sub (Gen 2) versus Sonos Sub (Gen 3)

Sonos Sub 2 came out in 2012 and became a hit with the audience. Eight years later, the company came up with an upgraded version. Below are some factors that will help you differentiate between the two. 

Design

In terms of design, Sub Gen 2 and Sub Gen 3 look the same. They both come in glossy white and black finish. You can instantly notice the similar frames that these subwoofers share. 

Not only the structure, but Sonos did not even change the weight and dimensions of the subwoofers. The square shape, rounded corners, and the window in the middle all look the same. 

Sonos originally released the Sub Gen 2 in a matte finish. However, the company discontinued the color in 2015 and decided against it with Sub Gen 3 too. The sound quality would matter more to you, but remember that its glossy color will not mix with your Sonos setup’s discreet finish. 

So, if you were looking forward to an upgraded design, the Sonos Sub Gen 3 might disappoint you. However, due to the unchanged frame, you can still position the new model vertically or lay it down, whatever suits the layout.

Audio

Like the previous model, the Sonos Sub Gen 3 delivers blaring sound with clear, deep bass and minimum vibration. Like the design, the sound quality of both the subwoofers has neither improved nor declined. 

There are two noise-canceling digital amplifiers inside the Sub that enhance the bass level and eliminate the rattles and vibrations. 

The Sonos Gen 2 became popular because of the wireless subwoofer that complemented the home theatres. However, after Sonos Sub Gen 3 was released, people saw a considerable drop in price levels, making it a more affordable subwoofer than the previous model. 

Once connected with the speakers, Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3 both can widen the sound no matter the room size. The new model’s frequency response that goes as down as 25 Hz can add to the sound quality by making it smooth and effective. 

While the subwoofer concentrates on the bass, the speakers can focus on high frequencies. If you pair the Sub Gen 3 with Sonos Playbar, Beam or Playbase, get ready for more immersive audio made for the perfect home theatre.

New Features

The latest model comes with upgraded internals and is compatible with the Sonos ecosystem like Sub Gen 2. With its flexible orientation, you can keep it anywhere you want without compromising the audio quality. 

The memory saw a significant change in Sub Gen 3. The earlier version had only 128 MB of RAM, whereas the Gen 3 offers 256 MB. Sub Gen 3 also has an enhanced Quad-Core 1.5 GHz processor. 

Apart from that, Gen 3 has the same features as Gen 2. You can even connect them with Alexa. The iOs users can use the Trueplay app to adjust the volume and balance it with the system’s settings. Their compatibility with the Sonos ecosystem will surely improve the listening experience.

Should you buy Sonos Sub (Gen 3) ?

If you already have a Sonos Playbar, Arc, or the Beam, you are probably wondering whether the Sonos Sub is a great addition or surround speakers would do the work. Both will have a different impact on the home theatre system. 

The Sub is less expensive than a pair of surround sound speakers. The former will give you an immersive theatre-like feel to your movies and music. The surround speakers, however, focus more on the TV. They allow you to be in the center of the action. So, what you should buy depends on what you would prefer more. 

The Playbar alone can offer excellent performance. Adding a sub or surround speakers will enhance the listening experience. So, both of them are great choices as a complement to the Playbar. Again, it depends on your preferences as what works for you might not work for others.

What speakers can you pair with the Sub (Gen 3)?

Black Sonos Sub Gen 3 near wooden rack

Sonos has a variety of speakers that can work more efficiently with the Sub paired. Sub gen 3 is suitable for movies due to the extraordinary sound effects. It amplifies these effects and provides a better experience. 

The explosions and violent action scenes will seem more realistic with the immersive audio that the Sub offers. 

Sonos soundbar can be a great pair for the Sub. Sonos manufactures the soundbar with a 270-degree ellipse-shaped object that ensures the optimized performance of the woofer. However, having an additional subwoofer that can take over the lowest frequencies will take your movie dates to a new level. 

Another great option would be Sonos One speaker. The Subwoofer will add a dramatic effect to the sound quality of your music. If the Sub is out of your budget, you can complement it with another One or One SL speaker. 

Sonos Five is an ideal option only if you down own a pair. A sub added to a pair of Five will be a bit too much because the latter is already capable enough to manage the bass. However, if you want to keep them in a large room, then a sub can be a great addition to the system. 

The combination will work great at parties and also eliminate any background noise. 

Ceiling speakers are also a good choice to pair with a Sub. These speakers, empowered with Sonos’ amplifier, will connect wirelessly with the Sub. A subwoofer is a great option since the ceiling speakers do not have a powerful bass. If you are on a low budget, the Sonos amplifier has its subwoofer. So, you can use it for the bass.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Final Verdict

The Sonos’ Sub (Gen 3) is a perfect addition to your home theatre system. It will amplify the sound effects and make your home theatre experience even better. So, buying a Sonos Sub (Gen 3) might be one of your best decisions.

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