Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: Which One Is the Best?

Norvan Martin
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This post is a complete comparison of the Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 models. The Sonos Sub Gen 2 and the Sonos Sub Gen 3 are two different speakers from the same manufacturer, both of them serving the same purpose: to enhance audio for your home audio system.

Features of Sonos Sub Gen 2

1. Design

The Sonos Sub is only available in one color, black. The top of the device includes a touch-sensitive panel that lights up with a white LED display when you interact with it.

2. Portability

Sonos has always been an extremely portable system, but this new product takes it to another level. It was designed to be easy to use and set up (there are no grilles or knobs) just a soft rubber surface the entire length of the device.

3. Pricing and Budget

Sonos products have always been a little pricey, but it is incredibly affordable for their capabilities. 

Sonos Sub - The Wireless Subwoofer for Deep Bass -...
  • The wireless subwoofer for deep bass.
  • Hear and feel the difference when you wirelessly connect Sub to your Sonos system.
  • Stand it upright, place it on its side, or tuck it under the couch.

4. Sound Quality

The Sonos Sub Gen 2 is almost half the size of its predecessor. It has more than twice the wattage, which means a vibrant and deep sound that fills even larger rooms with bass, heavy music.

5. Connectivity

Since this Sub was explicitly designed to work with the Playbase, you can hardwire it directly to the soundbar or connect wirelessly if you’d instead not drill holes.

6. Space Considerations

With its small size and lack of grille, the Sonos Sub Gen 2 fits perfectly in cabinets designed for TVs with built-in ports. The precise subwoofer design means that it needs little clearance around the sides.

Features of Sonos Sub Gen 3

1. Design

The Sub is a sleek, cylindrical design with a slim profile, so it fits easily into tight spaces, including bookshelves.

The grill has been updated to be more elegant and more appealing. This stylish black grill also serves as the bass radiator for the woofer within.

Two opposing passive radiators within the hood give Sub deeper low end in stereo mode. When using Sub in mono-blend mode, these passive radiators become one large bass radiator that delivers even deeper low end for cinematic sound effects or music sources with high dynamic range.

2. Portability

The new model of Sonos Sub is lighter at 33 pounds. It can be lifted by yourself when needed for moving purposes, although it may be more efficient to enlist help as moving it long distances is not recommended for this reason.

The weight change was made possible by improved materials that make Sub even more durable and less prone to damage if dropped.

3. Pricing and Budget

The cost of the Sonos Sub has been reduced from $799 to $499. This price cut makes it easier for consumers looking for better sound in larger rooms or individuals building a multi-room audio system.

Sonos Sub - Black - Wireless Subwoofer
  • All-new Sonos Sub - Hear and feel the difference with Sub, the wireless subwoofer for deep bass.
  • No buzz, just bass - Two force-canceling drivers at the center of Sub eliminate vibration and rattle so you...
  • Made to be seen and heard - The award-winning and versatile design features a slim, sculptural shape and...

More affordable pricing allows consumers with smaller budgets to taste the high-quality sound, deep bass reproduction, and excellent vocal clarity the Sub brings into the home.

4. Sound quality

Sonos states that their goal is “to get you closer to what you’re listening to” by using one speaker to replace two.

When paired with another Sonos speaker, the Sub brings deeper lows, more clarity in vocal range, and a solid sound stage that covers a much larger area than its compact size would suggest.

By taking over bass production from other speakers, the Sub frees them up to create crisper mid-range sounds where details are often lost behind vibrating cabinets.

5. Connectivity

The wireless connectivity of the Sonos sub is something else worth noting. No longer does it have to be connected directly to power or your receiver/amplifier unit to work correctly, as this subwoofer now has wireless capabilities so that you can place it anywhere within 150 feet of any compatible Sonos speaker.

This versatility allows you to place the Sub wherever it best suits your needs and altogether avoids any of those annoying wire tangles that always seem to occur.

6. Space Considerations

The slim cylindrical design of the Sub makes it well-suited for tight spaces like in between two couches or against a bookshelf. The volume control has been moved onto the wireless remote that comes with every purchase of Sonos Sub.

This volume control is very convenient as it can be placed anywhere in the room where sound is not impeded by furniture placement. Since this equipment does generate heat, ventilation is essential when placing it in small rooms or enclosed spaces to keep both your house and the equipment safe from over-heating.

Also, when selecting your Sonos Sub, keep in mind that the ports on the back of it should point downwards to ensure proper ventilation.

Pros of Sonos Sub Gen 2

  • Bigger Buttons
  • More Powerful Bass sound
  • Better Midrange Sounds
  • Easier setup
  • Reasonable Price
  • Less Power Consumption

Cons of Sonos Sub Gen 2

  • A short power cord is provided ( ~ 6 feet ), which reduces flexibility in placing it around the home theater setup.
  • Bass is less deep than similarly priced subwoofers ( ~ 20 Hz vs. 30 Hz).

Pros of Sonos Sub Gen 3

  • Voice control with Alexa or Google assistant
  • WiFi-enabled to play music via phone, tablet, or laptop
  • The subwoofer comes in sleek black color
  • It comes with a remote for convenience
  • It can be paired with any other Sonos wireless speaker to amplify the low end

Cons of Sonos Sub Gen 3

  • The sound of the Sonos Sub Gen 3 is not as powerful compared to other brands in its price range
  • There are no buttons on the Sonos Sub Gen 3 for you to adjust how loud or low you want it to be

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3 – How Do They Differ?

1. Gen 3 Has Locking Covers On The Controls And Rca Jacks, While Gen 2 Does Not Have Them

This may seem like not such a big deal, but it is. This change has to be because of an issue with their previous model (Gen 2).

The locking covers are not something you can ignore as they protect your settings, buttons, and ports. With the Gen 3 Sub, Sonos has made these vital interfaces completely safe by protecting them with a cover and a lock.

2. Gen 3 Has A Different Type Of Power Cable, While Gen 2 Uses An Iec (Australian/Asian Standard)

This may seem like not much of an issue, but it is also essential for this reason: standardization.

Standardization makes it easier to repair, replace, or upgrade components in devices. Without proper standardization, earlier models will become obsolete due to a lack of available parts or accessories. This is precisely what happened with the 3rd generation Sub.

Gen 2 Sub, on the other hand, will not be so easily replaced by its successor. This is because it uses an IEC power cable which is not very common. However, there are still many third-party options to choose from if your Gen 2 Sub runs out of battery or you want to upgrade later on.

3. Gen 3 Will Not Support Analog Inputs, But Gen 2 Supports Them

This may seem like nothing, but digital inputs are essential for modern devices nowadays. Digital interfaces are more precise, cost-effective, and efficient when compared to their analog equivalents. Not only this, but they provide better sound quality – something that is very useful if you are a true audiophile.

Since analog inputs have been removed on Sonos Sub Gen 3, this means that you will not be able to connect it to older devices that use this type of interface. This includes other speakers or amps that make use of RCA connectors and your TV, DVD player, or even video game console.

In the end, both models are still decent enough for most people, and choosing between them will depend on your particular needs and budget. If you do not mind the differences mentioned above, then go ahead and get yourself Sonos Sub Gen 3.


1. How many watts is the Sonos Gen 3 subwoofer?

Important Characteristics:  125 Watts per channel provide high fidelity performance, floor standing, in-wall, and in-ceiling power.

The Sono Gen 3 has 125 watts in its subwoofer. 

2. Is the Sonos soundbar’s quality better than Bose’s?

The Bose soundbar performs somewhat better, giving a surround-sound effect, while Oscar-winning sound experts have calibrated the Sonos soundbar to improve human voice and speech. Both of these soundbars are excellent and superior to your TV speakers. However, take these sound variances in mind while making your selection.

3. Which Sonos models are no longer supported?

The four product lines no longer supported are the original Zone Players; the first Play:5 Sonos speaker; the CR200, a physical controller that predated smartphone-app control; and the Sonos Bridge, which was used to connect two Sonos speakers wirelessly.

4. Is Sonos Sub overkill for beam?

The bigger Sonos Sub may be unnecessary if you have a smaller soundbar, such as the Beam Gen 2 or the Ray. YOu can choose either of the two. 

5. What is the difference between Sonos Sub Gen 1 and Gen 3?

Gen 1 and Gen 3 are similar when it comes to functionality. However, there are slight differences between these two: The Gen 3 has greater memory, when compared to Sub Gen 3. More advanced technology and better performance is seen in Gen 3. 


If you’re in the market for a Sonos Sub and can afford it, we suggest purchasing Gen 3. We all know how convenient the new gen is with its wireless connectivity and app control while still having access to Night Mode and line-in features.

However, if you do not have the extra cash for a new unit and will only be using it occasionally, then you can settle with Gen 2.

If you are looking for regular Sonos speakers, check out our guide to Sonos One Gen 1 vs Sonos One Gen 2

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin