Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3 – Which is Better (2022)


Sonos has built two models of different generations with comparable designs, and it’s almost like they intentionally wanted these two subwoofers to compete against each other. In any case, you’ll be learning about these two models in detail and find out which one is best for you.

Gen 2’s revolutionary design that avoids buzz and oscillation while generating extremely strong and expressive low-end sound has been carried over to Gen 3.

Although the Gen 3 has a faster processor and other small enhancements over the Gen 2, you shouldn’t upgrade unless you’re having problems with your Gen 2 at home, such as connectivity issues.

Sonos Sub Gen 2

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The Sonos Sub Gen 2 was released in 2012 and rapidly became a renowned wireless subwoofer for home cinema systems. Since the launch of the flagship Sonos Sub Gen 3, the price has dropped significantly, making it a more accessible alternative for people on a tight budget.

You can use the Gen 2 with other Sonos hardware, so it’s not just a terrific complement to home cinema devices. Also, it delivers deeper bass to any Sonos speaker on its own.

What’s in the box? 

  • Sonos Sub Gen 2.
  • Power cable.
  • Documentation.

Sound quality 

The Gen 2 works in harmony to increase gain or volume, and you can modify EQ levels and loudness using the Sonos app at the touch of a button. Also, Sub Gen 2 offers lots of depth to your music regardless of the speakers you’re using, and unlike other subwoofers, it minimizes rumble.

Various speakers focus on the mid and high-range frequencies when coupled with the Sub, but the Sonos Sub Gen 2 focuses on the lowest frequencies and performs better.

Build quality 

This subwoofer has a huge kit and a heavy build, but it is well-designed. You can choose between a black gloss with a white Sonos logo and a white gloss with a black Sonos logo. As the light hits, it shimmers and shines because of its glossy coating.

The Sub gen 2, like other Sonos products, is designed with a minimalist aesthetic in mind. It has a small single pairing button on the side, a rectangular hole in the center with trim and rounded sides, and the Sonos logo on the front.

Key Features 

  • Class-D digital amplifiers.
  • Dual acoustic ports.
  • Its frequency response is as low as 25 Hz.
  • Automatic equalization.
  • Sonos App adjustability.
  • Trueplay tuning.

Setting Up

Here’s how to set up your Sonos Sub Gen 2 step by step. If you’re experiencing trouble and would like to follow along with a video lesson, try this tutorial on YouTube.

1. Plug It In

Plug your Sonos device to power it up and wait until you see the green indicator flash. Once it starts flashing, that means it’s ready to pair.

2. Connect Through The Sonos App

On the Sonos app on your mobile device, tap on the following in order: More > Settings > Add speaker or sub.

You will notice that your Sonos device has been detected after a few seconds of scanning. Next, tap on “Continue to set up this speaker” to move on to the next step.

3. Press The Button On The Side

To confirm the pairing, press the button on the side of your Sonos device.

4. Choose A Room

Next, you’ll be asked to select a room for the speakers linked to your Sonos device to play in. You may pick from many speakers in various rooms if you have them set up.

5. Add other Sonos Devices

Then, you’ll be prompted to set up more Sonos devices. You may repeat the setup process if you have more that you want to use, and you’re good to go.

Pros and Cons 

Pros 

  • Great bass.
  • Lovely design.
  • Easy setup.
  • Trueplay compatible.
  • Excellent addition to a Sonos system.

Cons

  • Too big for minimalistic setups.
  • Expensive.

Sonos Sub Gen 3 

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The Sonos Sub Gen 3 improves the well-received Sub Gen 2. It has a faster CPU and more memory. Upgrading to a Sonos Sub Gen 3 ensures the long-term reliability of your Sonos ecosystem.

With Gen 3’s clear, pulse-pounding bass, you can hear every rumble, growl, and thump you’ve been missing out on. 

The Sub Gen 3 handles the lowest frequencies, allowing paired speakers to focus on the mid-range and high frequencies, resulting in a richer, more powerful sound experience with zero distortion all around. You can check out the Sonos Sub Gen 3 on the Sonos website.

What’s in the box? 

  • Sonos Sub Gen 3.
  • Power cable.
  • Documentation.

Sound quality 

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 can provide powerful sounds with crystal-clear bass and minimum vibration, much like its predecessor. In fact, the audio features of Gen 2 are carried over to Gen 3.

Two force-canceling drivers with their Class-D digital amplifiers may increase the bass to higher levels without any rattling or vibration. 

Gen 3’s specifications indicate that it can produce tremendous music that will shake the entire room while remaining stable. 

Build quality 

The internal components have been changed and upgraded, but the Gen 3 remains compatible with the same Sonos ecosystem as its predecessor. 

It includes a rounded pairing button integrated into the Sub’s cabinet for a more ergonomic design, as well as a flat-form power cord that is less likely to tangle with other wires. 

Sonos has expanded memory and processing capabilities on the Gen 3 with 256 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz CPU. The internals of Sonos S2 is also compatible with the new Sonos control platform.

Additionally, the range and connection of a high-power radio receiver have been improved. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and NFC (Near Field Communication) are also included in the Gen 3 for quicker and faster setup.

You may choose between a glossy black or a glossy white finish. It is about 15 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and weighs 36 pounds. The Sonos Sub Gen 3’s relatively slim cabinet design allows you to hide it in almost any application or lay it on its side if necessary.

Key Features 

  • Class-D digital amplifiers.
  • Dual acoustic ports.
  • 25 Hz Frequency Response.
  • Automatic Equalization.
  • Sonos App adjustability.

Setting Up 

Here’s how to set up your Sonos Sub Gen 3 step-by-step. If you’re having difficulties following along, you can watch the video tutorial above.

1. Power It Up

Plug your Sonos device into a power source. You should see a green indicator light up. The flashing green indicator means your Sonos Sub Gen 3 is ready to pair.

2. Connect Your Sonos Sub Gen 3 To The Sonos App

Use the Sonos app on your mobile device. Within the settings, tap on “Add speaker or sub” and allow your mobile device to scan for your Sonos Sub.

Once your device has finished the scan and has detected your Sonos Sub, Start connecting to it by tapping on “Continue to set up this speaker.”

3. Press The Button On The Side

To confirm the pairing, press the pair button on your Sonos Sub Gen 3. This Button is located on the side of your Sonos device. It should look like an upright oval.

4. Choose A Room

Next, you’ll be notified by the Sonos app to choose a room or environment for the speakers to play your audio. It would be best to ensure that these speakers are connected to your Sonos Sub Gen 3. 

You may pick from all the connected speakers in various rooms if you have them set up. If you only have one sound system connected, that would be enough for your Sonos Sub to function.

5. Add other Sonos Devices

Once you have picked a room, you should be able to freely play your audio and enjoy your Sonos Sub Gen 3. 

You may notice that the Sonos app has prompted you to set up more Sonos gear. Just repeat the setup process on multiple devices if you have more than one Sonos device that you want to use for your enjoyment.

Simply follow the steps mentioned before, and you’re good to go. You should be able to enjoy high-quality audio with your new Sonos Sub Gen 3 audio setup.

Pros and Cons 

Pros 

  • Excellent upgrade from lower-quality sound systems.
  • Superior audio quality.

Cons

  • Imposing small rooms.
  • Heavy.
  • More expensive than the Gen 2.

Which is better?

There are not many new features in the Sonos Sub Gen 3 to significantly differ from how the Gen 2 performs. Its RAM has been increased from 128MB to 256MB, and the Gen 3’s CPU has been improved. And the new wireless radio should improve connectivity to the Gen 3.

Aside from that, most of the features remain the same. The Sonos Sub Gen 3 and Gen 2 include EQ settings that may be adjusted using the Sonos app. 

You can use both in conjunction with Alexa. The Trueplay program will still be available for iOS users to help adjust the Sub to your room’s particular acoustics. You’ll also benefit from the smooth integration with the Sonos system.

You can check out this article for more information on the differences between Sonos Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3.

FAQ 

In case you have more concerns that have been left unanswered, maybe your query has been asked before. Below are frequently asked questions from users like you.

How do I know if my Sonos is Gen 2 or Gen 3? 

The hardware on the Gen 3 sub has been enhanced, and it performs better. You’ll also notice that Gen 3’s pairing button is rounded, whereas the button on the Gen 2 is squared off. Aside from that, there isn’t much of a difference.

Will a Second Sonos Sub Make a Difference? 

A second subwoofer may enhance the low-end of any audio stream by adding warmth, clarity, and depth. The peaks and dips caused by a single sub are even when two subs are used. 

An additional Sub will make a difference if you are an audiophile or simply a great admirer of the Sonos sound.

Can I Lay my Sonos Sub on its Side? 

The Sonos Sub is made to give the best sound quality no matter where or how you position it. So the answer is yes, the Sub can be positioned vertically or horizontally.

Conclusion

Many people will notice that the Sub Gen 3 looks almost comparable to its predecessor. However, when all of the Sub Gen 3’s minor enhancements are evaluated, it’s clear that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

If you’re upgrading to a system with high-quality audio, you might want to consider adding the Sonos Sub Gen 2 to your system to avoid downgrading on base. The Gen 3 Does not introduce anything new other than a few minor upgrades, so you’re good to go. 

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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