Sonos announced its most affordable soundbar to date last week. But some of the company’s loyal customers were disappointed by the lack of a less expensive subwoofer to go along with the new Sonos Ray. It felt like the perfect opportunity to announce a product that’s been rumored for months. The only subwoofer that Sonos currently sells is the $749 Sub, which costs more than both the Ray and Beam — so it’s hard to justify as an accessory at those terms.
But despite no announcement last week, The Verge can confirm that Sonos is coming closer to releasing a smaller, less costly subwoofer that will be able to wirelessly pair with the Sonos Ray, Beam, and Arc. Rumors about such a device popped up a few months ago after Sonos accidentally spilled some early details in its mobile app. At the time, screenshots revealed the product’s name — the Sub Mini — and The Verge is now able to further corroborate this branding.
More importantly, for the first time, after seeing an image of the upcoming product, I’m able to share a preview of the Sub Mini’s general design. In the earlier leak, Sonos described it as a “smaller, cylindrical subwoofer,” and The Verge’s 3D render matches that. The Sub Mini is Sonos model S37, coming directly after S36, which ended up being the $279 Ray.
Ask any Sub owner and they’ll likely vouch for what a huge difference the subwoofer makes when watching movies or even listening to music. When Sonos soundbars recognize a linked Sub, they adjust audio output to focus on higher frequencies, leaving the low rumble and floor-rattling bass to the dedicated subwoofer.
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The main thing that distinguishes the Sub Mini hardware is an elongated, pill-shaped vertical cutout right in the middle of the device. It just so happens that the regular Sub has a rectangular cutout, so Sonos seems to have settled on this both for functionality and as a design trait of sorts. In the case of the Sub, there are acoustic ports on both sides, so it would follow that the Sub Mini will have a similar internal layout — albeit with smaller, less powerful components.
Features, specific release timing, and pricing details for the Sub Mini could not yet be learned, and the same goes for the hardware’s actual size and dimensions. But the broad strokes design seen here should mostly resemble whatever Sonos announces in the coming months. The Verge has reached out to the company for comment.
During a February call with investors, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said, “In fiscal 2022, we are focused on launching new products in our existing product categories.” Like the Sonos Ray, the Sub Mini would meet those criteria and fit into the company’s home theater lineup.
Sonos’ fiscal year runs through September 2022, so any announcements in a completely new product category (like wireless headphones) will have to wait until the fall. Sonos has carried out five product launches so far in 2022, according to chief financial officer Brittany Bagley. That count apparently includes the second-gen Beam (released last September) in addition to the newer Sonos Roam SL, Sonos Ray soundbar, new colors of the standard Roam, and Sonos Voice Control.
Spence has recently expressed frustration internally with Sonos staff over a rise in leaks, according to people familiar with the matter. Aside from revealing the Ray’s design weeks before its official introduction, The Verge also spoiled Sonos’ announcement of its own voice control service, which will roll out to customers in the US on June 1st.
“I know it’s hard for all of you but ... we want to make sure that when we actually have it ready, we bring it out to the world, and that’s when we talk about it,” he said on last week’s earnings call when asked how a recent acquisition might factor into future Sonos products.