Sonos announced its most affordable soundbar to date last week. But some of the company’s loyal customers have been disappointed with the lack of a cheaper subwoofer to match the new Sonos Ray. It felt like the perfect opportunity to announce a product that has been rumored for months. The only subwoofer 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 on those terms.
But despite no announcement last week, The edge can confirm that Sonos is closer to releasing a smaller, cheaper subwoofer that can pair wirelessly with the Sonos Ray, Beam and Arc. Rumors of such a device surfaced a few months ago after Sonos accidentally spilled some early details into its mobile app. At the time, screenshots revealed the name of the product – the Sub Mini – and The edge is now able to further confirm this branding.
More importantly, for the first time ever after seeing an image of the upcoming product, I can share a preview of the Sub Mini’s overall design. In the earlier leak, Sonos described it as a “smaller, cylindrical subwoofer”, and The Verges 3D render fits in with that. The Sub Mini is Sonos model S37, which comes right after S36, which eventually became the $279 Ray.
Ask any Sub owner and they will probably vouch for the huge difference the subwoofer makes when watching movies or even listening to music. When Sonos soundbars recognize a paired Sub, they adjust the audio output to focus on higher frequencies, leaving the low rumble and floor-rattling bass to the dedicated subwoofer.
The main thing that sets the Sub Mini hardware apart is an elongated, pill-shaped vertical cutout in the center of the device. It’s just that the regular Sub has a rectangular cutout, so Sonos seems to have chosen this for functionality as well as a design feature 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 have yet to be learned, and the same goes for the actual size and dimensions of the hardware. But the wide-lined design seen here should largely resemble what Sonos is announcing in the coming months. The edge has contacted the company for comment.
Speaking to investors in February, 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 range.
Sonos’ fiscal year runs through September 2022, so any announcements in an all-new product category (like wireless headphones) will have to wait until fall. Sonos has so far completed five product launches in 2022, according to CFO Brittany Bagley. That count apparently includes the second-generation Beam (released last September) alongside the newer Sonos Roam SL, Sonos Ray soundbar, new colors of the standard Roam, and Sonos Voice Control.
Spence recently internally expressed frustration with Sonos staff over an increase in leaks, according to people familiar with the matter. Aside from revealing the Ray’s design weeks before its official launch, The edge also ruined Sonos’ announcement of its own voice control service, which will be rolled out to customers in the US on June 1.
“I know it’s hard for all of you, but … we want to make sure that when we actually get it ready, we bring it out to the world, and that’s when we talk about it,” he said during last week’s earnings call. week when asked how? a recent acquisition could play a role in future Sonos products.