Sonos Sub Mini vs Sub Gen 3: What's the difference?

Looking to add an extra layer of bass to your Sonos setup, but not sure whether to add the new Sonos Sub Mini or Sonos Sub Gen 3

Well, look no further… We’ve put them head-to-head and tested them out with multiple different Sonos setups to help you make an informed decision when adding either subwoofer to your space. 

If you're looking for a short and simple answer: the Sonos Sub Gen 3 is the more powerful option and will be the best solution for those looking to add the most bass to their Sonos setup and fill a larger space. The Sonos Sub Mini is the more compact “smaller brother” and is therefore more suited to small-medium sized spaces or setups which don’t require the power of the Sub Gen 3.

However, there is more than meets the eye so if you’re still unsure, read on…

Sonos Sub Mini Hero Image Black Sonos Sub Gen 3 Hero Black

Sonos Sub Mini

RRP £429 (see latest pricing)

View Sonos Sub Mini

Sonos Sub (Gen 3)

RRP £799 (see latest pricing)

View Sonos Sub Gen 3

Sonos Sub Mini vs Sub Gen 3 price?

Kicking things off, with an RRP of £429 the Sonos Sub Mini immediately asserts itself as the cheaper option and more affordable subwoofer when compared with the original Sonos Sub Gen 3 which retails at £799.

After our rigorous tests, we’ve been amazed at what £429 can do to the performance of an entire setup, especially when combined with the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) which when paired with the Sonos Sub Mini offers a pretty killer combination. 

If you were to spend the comparable £429 on a standard subwoofer, there may be potential to get a better specifications list. But, the benefits of uplifting your other Sonos products, design and overall experience make the Sub Mini feel like very good value for money


However, despite being more expensive, the Sonos Sub Gen 3 still offers worthwhile bang for your buck when listening at higher volumes or in larger spaces

Ultimately, we think both subwoofers are great value when it comes to relative performance and neither is necessarily a bad purchase. However it’s important to consider your budget, space and listening habits before taking the plunge. 

Design Differences 

Straight out of the box, the aesthetic differences between the Sonos Sub Mini and the Sonos Sub Gen 3 are clear.

Standing at 305mm tall and 230mm wide, not only is the Sub Mini more compact than the Sub Gen 3 but its striking cylindrical design and flush centre tunnel immediately set it apart from other “black box” subwoofers on the market. 

The larger Sonos Sub Gen 3 at 389mm high and 402mm wide is notably larger than the Sub Mini in size and it weighs 11kg heavier too. 


With both subwoofers available in black and white colourways, we think the Sub Mini’s matte finish and streamlined curvature gives it the edge in terms of aesthetics but we’ll leave that final decision down to you. 

One design element worth noting is that the Sub Mini must be stood up vertically, though its compact size makes it easy to position almost anywhere in your room and remain discrete. By contrast, the Sonos Sub Gen 3 can be stood vertically or laid horizontally and hidden underneath furniture. 

Internals Breakdown

Internally, both subwoofers boast Two Class-D digital amplifiers to ensure they are both tuned perfectly for their acoustic architecture. 

The Sub Mini uses dual 6-inch woofers that face inwards to eliminate cabinet rattle and buzz whilst the Sub Gen 3 uses a pair of engineered force-canceling drivers to produce powerful bass with the same effect. 

sonos sub mini & sub gen 3 internals

Both Subwoofers offer a frequency response that can go as low as 25 Hz. And whilst their amplification is not stated by Sonos, we can presume that based on physics alone, the Sub Gen 3 is the more powerful unit of the pair.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, both the Sub Mini and the Sub Gen 3 can offer exceptional bass performance when applied to the right environment. 

In terms of low-volume listening, our testing has shown that the Sub Mini can compete really well.  We were surprised with its impact on low end performance but for a unit of its size, the Sub Mini offers clean and tight bass. The sealed enclosure appears to help maximise performance from the compact form factor.

Therefore, it could be argued that the Sub Mini may be the perfect addition for you if you enjoy listening at mid-low volume ranges or have a more compact space. 

Sonos Beam Gen 2 & Sonos Sub Mini Bundle Living Room

However, if you’re on the lookout for a subwoofer that can  fill a larger space, offer impactful and vibrant low-end and a bit more oomph at high volumes (budget-providing) the Sub Gen 3 could be the answer. 

On the whole, performance-wise the Sub Gen 3 is the better-performing subwoofer and choosing this sub to transform your setups low-end will never be a bad decision. It can be sure to deliver cinematic bass whatever you choose to pair it with. When watching Top Gun Maverick, we noticed that the immersion levelled up with the Sub Gen 3.

However, in a space too small it could be deemed as overkill and your money might be better spent on the Sub Mini.

Sonos Beam Gen 2 & Sonos Sub Gen 3 Bundle Living Room

When it comes to your decision, question how big is your space? What performance are you after? If you've got a large space and want room-filling cinematic bass then go for the Sub Gen 3 (if you have the budget).

For others, what you gain in bass-enhancement from the Sub Mini is, in our opinion, ample for a medium sized space where you're not craving bass that you feel right in your bones.

Ideal Product Pairings

Other than room size and listening style, we recommend taking into account the Sonos system or paired speaker that you’re planning on pairing with your Subwoofer as this can have a huge impact on overall performance.

It's important to note that adding a Sonos subwoofer does more for your setup than just adding bass. Where the connected Sub takes the lower frequencies off your soundbar for example, it then frees it up to focus more on the other arrays for an overall enhanced performance.

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 can be paired with any Sonos soundbar, speaker or amplifier. It cannot pair with any of the Sonos portable speakers or the Sonos Port or Connect. The Sub Mini is compatible with all Sonos products running on the Sonos S2 app with the exception of the Sonos Port, Connect or any Sonos portable speakers.

Sonos Beam & Sonos Ray

From our testing, the Sub Mini when paired with either the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or Sonos Ray delivered brilliant results. The impact the Sub Mini had on the Beam was clear and we can see this duo becoming a killer combination for a lot of you. 

When paired with the Sub Mini, vocals sound more pronounced and the mid-range steps up a level. It adds more life to the Beam and adds a new layer of immersion.

Sonos Sub Mini Black Living Room

Anyone with an existing Sonos Beam setup (particularly the latest Dolby Atmos Gen 2 version) might have found the jump to a Sub Gen 3 too much for your budget, space or even for your neighbours. For you - this could be the solution.

Despite preferring the Sonos Beam and Sonos Sub Mini pairing, the way the Sub Mini seamlessly uplifted the Sonos Ray was also particularly impressive. Underpinning the overall sound with crisp and clear bass was a welcomed addition when combining the Ray and Sub Mini.   

We would rarely recommend pairing the Sonos Ray with a Sonos Sub Gen 3. However those with a Sonos Beam in a larger space may want to consider going for the Sub Gen 3 for a more powerful upgrade.

Sonos Sub Gen 3 & Sonos Beam Gen 2 Lifestyle

Sonos Arc

On the other hand, the Sonos Sub Mini struggled to provide the same overall impact when paired with the Sonos Arc. In our opinion, the Arc provides a much more expansive listening experience on its own and therefore the Sub Mini can get lost in this pairing especially in a larger space. 

Unless you have a smaller space, we would suggest that adding a Sonos Sub Gen 3 to the Sonos Arc will deliver a more balanced performance and you get the addition of truly room filling bass.

For us, the Sub Gen 3 feels like a better match for the Sonos Arc for most spaces, giving you more oomph in the low end in order to be a noticeable addition. 

Sonos Playbar

As requested, we also tested the Subs with the Sonos Playbar and this proved a more contentious pairing competition. The Sub Mini did offer an adequate level of bass when paired with the playbar and definitely is a viable option. 

However, as mentioned, if you’re looking to maximise bass in a larger space the Sub Gen 3 is arguably the better choice. 

Sonos Era 100

We know a lot of you also want to know how these subs stand up against each other when applied to a stereo pair. 

From our experiences, for those prioritising music listening and seeking to enhance their Sonos setup, pairing the Sonos Sub Mini or Sub (Gen 3) with a pair of Sonos Era 100 speakers is a very compelling option. This combination delivers both improved bass response and a wider stereo soundstage really upping the ante, regardless of the genre or style of music.

Sonos Era 300

Pairing the Sonos Sub Mini or Sub (Gen 3) with the Sonos Era 300 speakers is a brilliant way to unlock rich bass and enhanced Dolby Atmos performance.

This duo delivers deeper, fuller low-end frequencies, complementing the Era 300's ability to render immersive, multi-dimensional sound.

Whether you're enjoying Dolby Atmos music or standard stereo music, this combination provides a powerful and captivating sound that's very enjoyable to listen to.

Sonos One (Gen 2) /Sonos One SL

For us, combining the Sub Mini with a pair of Sonos One (Gen 2) speakers or Sonos One SL speakers did offer great bass and improved the overall stereo imaging. Definitely making it a combination you shouldn’t overlook and ignore.

It did offer a slightly different profile than when paired with the soundbars because they are optimised for this combination. However, for those looking to enhance a music setup, this selection is going to make a lot of you very happy.

Sonos Five’s 

We also compared the Sonos Sub Mini and Sonos Sub Gen 3 with 2 x Sonos Five speakers and concluded that the Sub Mini’s impact with them was similar to our experience with the Sonos Arc. You can tell performance has been enhanced and it does add extra bass but it didn’t blow us away. 

In our opinion, we would argue that the Sub Gen 3 pushes the Fives to a higher level than when paired with the Sub Mini, which left us wanting a bit more. 


Sonos Sub Mini vs Sonos Sub Gen 3 Lifestyle

For us, there is no right or wrong choice with either Sonos subwoofer. While the Sonos Sub Gen 3 does offer a more powerful performance, the more important question is; which is the best fit for your space. Weigh up what you are looking for, your budget, the speaker/s or Soundbar you are pairing with and how big your space is.

The beauty of the new Sonos Sub Mini is that it now gives us options. More Sonos users will be able to access added bass for their Sonos setup and we now have a choice of what sort of bass output we want to add to our setup and how much we want to pay. In our book, added choice can only be a good thing here.

Hopefully this comparison  has helped you gain a better understanding of whether the Sonos Sub Mini or Sonos Sub (Gen 3) is a better solution for your setup. If you would like more personal advice then feel free to reach out to our tech guides who would be more than happy to help!

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