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Sonos introduces Sub, a $699 wireless subwoofer (hands-on)

Sonos introduces Sub, a $699 wireless subwoofer (hands-on)


Sonos introduced the Sub today, a $699 subwoofer that integrates with the Sonos wireless audio system.

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Sonos SUB
Sonos SUB

Sonos added to its product lineup this morning, announcing the Sub subwoofer during New York's Design Week. The Sub is designed to add some serious power to your Sonos setup, and look good in the process. Sonos reps told us that in its research, the company found that most people don't like their subwoofers because they're too large and ugly, so Sonos designed one that can go almost anywhere, and that's easy on the eyes if you don't want to hide. The Sub is a square donut, with two force-cancelling drivers facing each other in the cut-out center — all the sound comes out of that center chamber, which means you can place the Sub against a wall or under a couch without disrupting or distorting the sound. It's as easy to integrate into your system as any other Sonos device; just search for the device, and press a button to get them connected. There's a simple setup wizard that helps the system adjust for its placement — if it's in a corner, for instance — and once it's connected you can tweak settings pretty easily.

We demoed the Sub in a hotel room in New York City, and it sounds great — reps said they'd been yelled at by the hotel staff for being too loud, and we're not at all surprised. From the scattered bass notes in Aphex Twin's "Flim" to the massive low-end in The Knife's "Silent Shout," the Sub pumped out clear, thunderous audio. We listened to the Sub along with two Play:3 speakers in a stereo pair, and the subwoofer rounds out and punches up the audio nicely. The bass shakes the room, but the device itself hardly vibrates; the two drivers completely cancel each other out, and a glass of water on top of the speaker barely even rippled at full volume.

It's certainly a nice (if expensive) addition to your Sonos system, and the company's modular approach makes the price easier to swallow — rather than spend $1,300 on a similar Sonos setup, you can do it over time as you need new components or outfit new rooms. The Sub is compatible with every Sonos device save the Connect, but since it won't easily integrate with non-Sonos home theater audio sources, it becomes a very expensive music-only subwoofer. A glossy, black Sub model will be available June 19th for $699, online and from some specialty audio retailers. A black matte model is coming in October, and will cost $599.

Thomas Houston and Thomas Ricker contributed to this report.

Sonos SUB subwoofer hands-on pictures