Sonos unveils the SUB

by Volker Weber

After six months I can finally tell you about a secret, that was very difficult to keep. Sonos has been developing a subwoofer that augments the amplified zoneplayers CONNECT:AMP, PLAY:3 and PLAY:5. I cannot post any reviews that would pretend to be a test, and strictly speaking, I am still on beta software.

What I can say though is that SUB is the best Sonos product I have ever used, both in terms of design as well as build quality. You just have to trust me on that. If you ever get the chance to listen to one, you want it right away. At least my guests wanted. And one of them has two floor standing Klipsch horns.

What does SUB do? It reproduces a very deep bass, down to 25 Hz. When you associate SUB with a PLAY:3 or PLAY:5, or a pair of them, it automatically configures itself. When working with a CONNECT:AMP, nee ZP120, you have to tell it what kind of speakers you have, so it knows which frequency band goes where. There are also manual controls, that I won't get into now, just in order to not make it a test report.

I can confidently state two things:

  1. You want one.
  2. Your neighbors will hate hate hate you.

More >


Thooooomaaaas! :-)

Andreas Braukmann, 2012-05-22

Hmm. I'll give them kudos for Class-D, but no mention of wattage and only goes down to 25hz leaves me thinking there are better options (HSU, etc).

Difficult to tell for sure, as their site is throwing errors when I click on any of their players. I wanted to see what kind of outputs they have.

Personally, I went Squeezebox, but I'm a bit of an audiophile. Logitech has amplified players, and I've been contemplating one for one room, but my main concern was getting the audio to my existing systems.

Mike McPoyle, 2012-05-22

Well, I am certainly not an audiophile. Which makes me happy. What was the wavelength of a 25 Hz audio signal? 12 meters?

Volker Weber, 2012-05-22

Wer möchte, kann vorbestellen. First come, first serve:

Thomas Lang, 2012-05-22

700 Euro? Meine Fresse.

Und ich dachte schon, ich könnte den etwas enttäuschenden Klang des Play:5 (im direkten Vergleich zu meinen uralten Canton-Boxen ohne jeglichen audiophilen Anspruch) aufmotzen. Da muss dann wohl doch ein Connect her und die Anlage lebt noch weiter.

Oliver Regelmann, 2012-05-22

Sonos: "No wiring. No programming. Press one button, follow the simple prompts on your Controller "

Is this really true, or do they mean no Ethernet wiring? If true, what sort of batteries does it eat and how quickly?

John Keys, 2012-05-22

Power lead, and if you want an Ethernet wire. Same as any other Sonos player.

Oliver, it's hard to beat in Eur/kg. ;-) But I do agree: 700 seems a lot.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-22


Bruce Elgort, 2012-05-22

Oh, non-newtonian fluid?! :)

Markus Jabs, 2012-05-22

Next: Announcement for Sonos brand home cinema system in 10, 9, 8...

(A 7.1 speaker setup would be quite expensive, though.)

Hanno Zulla, 2012-05-22

Hanno, that's becoming quite obvious. But I don't know this yet. ;-)

Btw: if you don't need a glossy finish and you can wait until October, you can save a hundred €.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-22

I'm just guessing around here (but yes, it's obvious):

There is a transmission delay in the Sonos mesh. A Sonos-based home cinema needs to sync the video to the audio delay, so it'd need put a HDMI delay box controlled by the Sonos mesh between your digital video source and your screen/projector. Or maybe a Sonos-brand digital video player (or a box that acts as both).

Anyway, 5 or maybe 7 Sonos speakers, one Sonos subwoofer, one Sonos HDMI box/video player - all this adds up to quite a bit of $$$. I really really like my multiroom Sonos system at home, but that's a tad too expensive for me.

Hanno Zulla, 2012-05-22

Nachdem hier noch ein alter Yamaha Subwoofer mit ordentlichem Bums am Connect:Amp rumsteht, kann ich meine Liebste sicher nicht zu einem Sub überreden. Lieber nehme ich 2x Play:5 und baue die Abdeckung im Haus aus. :-)

BTW: ich finde den Sub nicht so hübsch.

Gerald Schmidhuber, 2012-05-22

Alles gut. Nur eins: der SUB sieht spektakulär aus.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-22

it is interesting to watch Sonos move their chess pieces in place. I can't see myself using this with my entertainment center, as I have the Connect (not connect:amp) and a pretty decent sub there already. I could see using this in an office or bedroom. $699 seems pricey in the US even for the amazing Sonos experience and software. And I wonder how it will work on carpet ;)

I would really like to see a PLAY:1, something waterproof for the bathrooms (with a mounting kit inside the box), and something outdoors ready. Those would be easy purchases for myself.

John Head, 2012-05-22

Good move that Sonos is still serving the more high-end minded audience. However I have a BIG JBL Sub in my living room already and I will not allow my daughter to extend her system with a Sonos Sub :-).

Axel Koerv, 2012-05-22

At that price point I'd probably get better value pairing 2 Play:5s than going Play:5 + Sub.

Rob Koppe, 2012-05-22

Just when I was wondering if I could actually bring myself to spend $700.00 for one of these, I had to read this non-review... Now the hardest part is just having to wait to spend my money ;)

Reid Partlow, 2012-05-22

Hmm. I envy all of you who .don't. have to worry about making neighbours hate you. Those of us in flimsy British 1960s flats have to think of these things....

Nick Daisley, 2012-05-22

Rob, the second player delivers better stereo separation. SUB adds the power you need for dance tracks or movie sound. I demo the speaker with "Golden Eye". There is a base line hidden in the track that you can't even hear without SUB.

And a word of caution. SUB is like a 500hp BMW. It gets you into trouble really quickly. Nick is right. You better live in your own house.

Volker Weber, 2012-05-22

My Bose gets angst.

Bodo Menke, 2012-05-23

Want to build a cheap Push/Pull sub? Here's the old Isophon DIY Push/Pull case preferably driving two GDN-75 a.k.a. "Materialschlacht aus (dem?) Baltikum" and you can get it done for around 200 Euros without WiFi capabilities of course.

There is a melody hidden in the baseline of all Pink Floyd tracks, and you are able to 'see' that baseline without any psychedelic drugs by simply having the space to run a Push/Pull system with a lower resonance frequency of 15Hz.

But as Volker mentioned you have to be at least 12-20 meters away which is tricky in inner city apartments these days. I once mounted two GDN-75 in the retaining wall of a VW Multivan pretty much for the Lulz using the rear of the van as the resonance which didn't work except inducing retina vibrations and general motion sickness in all passengers while driving, however once we parked up, opened the rear door, reversed the subwoofer opened the sitedoors containing the tweakers and the kickers and sat down 20 meters from the van the sound was great.

Martin Schroers, 2012-05-23

As I live quite close to Horgen (Switzerland) and their HQ is there, I am a bit of an aficionada for PIEGA. but then they dont make WIFI stuff, so for my (bought) holiday home i got Sonos and for my (built from scrap) house I got PIEGA. now everytime i switch locations I miss something.... when Your in the price range of the Piega, the SUB plays along really nice. so go on over to Thomas and get that stuff :-)

Chris Frei, 2012-05-23

Bodo, my Bose has it since some time ago when I heard it first... not to mention saw it first.

Thomas Koester, 2012-05-24

Hi, kann leider den Specs die Grösse des Chassis nicht entnehmen - wieviel Zoll hat denn der Treiber ? 10 " ?


Eric Bredtmann, 2012-05-31

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe