We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Sonos Sub Gen 3 vs Gen 2 (2020): Is The New Model An Upgrade?

Sonos is launching the latest generation of its subwoofer—the Sonos Sub Gen 3this June 10. Part of the brand’s multi-room wireless audio system, the newest model is set to replace the Sonos Sub Gen 2. Despite sporting practically the same design, the Gen 3 will come with updated internals, including increased processing power, memory, and even a new wireless radio. But will these enhancements be enough to choose the Gen 3 over the Gen 2?

Sonos Sub Gen 3 vs Gen 2 Comparison Chart

ModelSonos Sub Gen 3Sonos Sub Gen 2
 Sonos Sub Gen 3Sonos Sub Gen 2
PriceCheck Price

at Amazon

Check Price

at Amazon

Dimensions389 x 402 x 158mm389 x 402 x 158mm
Weight16kg16kg
ColorWhite or Black GlossWhite or Black Gloss
Audio2x Class-D digital amplifiers
2x force cancelling drivers
2x Class-D digital amplifiers
2x force cancelling drivers
Memory256MB128MB
Frequency ResponseAs low as 25hzAs low as 25hz
PowerAC 100-240V, 50-60Hz, universal inputAC 100-240V, 50-60Hz, universal input
Ethernet Port1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet port1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
Release Date20202012

Design

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 looks exactly like the Sonos Sub Gen 2

Both subwoofers sport a minimalist design in glossy black and white finishes. 

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 and Gen 2 share essentially the same, instantly recognizable frame. Even the dimensions and the weight of both subwoofers are unchanged. The Sub is still square-shaped with rounded corners, punctuated only by a rectangular hole at the center. Apart from this central chamber where much of the sound of the Sub is directed, the rest of the subwoofer is the same polished, seamless body.

Likewise, if you’re someone who wants a Sub in matte finish, the Gen 3 will only come in the same glossy black or white. The Black Matte Sub was discontinued five years ago, and there is no evidence it will make a comeback with the Gen 3. While it shouldn’t be an issue for those more concerned about sound quality, the piano-like gloss may not exactly blend with the discreet, lusterless finish of other Sonos devices like the upcoming Five, or the minimalist soundbar, the Arc.

As it stands, those looking for a radical update in the appearance of the new Sub may be disappointed with the new model. Nonetheless, because of the relatively unchanged frame, the Gen 3 still brandishes a slim 6.2” depth that allows it to be positioned upright or on the side. So it’s still a versatile subwoofer that’s easy on the eyes, and one which could be placed almost anywhere in the room.

Sound

Like its predecessor, the Sonos Sub Gen 3 can deliver a thunderous audio with crystal-clear bass and minimal vibration.

 

Looks can be deceiving, as the Sonos Sub Gen 3 can deliver room-rattling sound even with its unassuming place in the corner of a room. 

Much like the design, the Gen 2’s audio features are carried over to the Gen 3. Inside the central cavity are two force-cancelling drivers with its own Class-D digital amplifiers that can boost the bass to powerful levels without any rattle or vibration. Given the specs, the Gen 3 can put out thunderous audio that would rattle the room while the subwoofer itself stays steady. As a result, expect your neighbors to be perturbed when using it at max levels.

Paired with other wireless speakers, the Gen 3 should be able to widen the sound especially in larger rooms, just like its predecessor. With a frequency response that can go as low as 25hz, the latest model will certainly add depth to the low end of the sound performance, making it not only more audible but also smooth, full, and punchy. This leaves the other speakers to concentrate more on the mid and high frequencies while the Sub provides the extra bass that should compliment all volume levels.

Set up properly, the Sub Gen 3 will definitely add richness to the sound of your wireless audio system. Paired with the Sonos Playbase, Playbar, and Beam, then expect an even more immersive sound that’s definitely made for a home theater.

Additional Features

The Gen 3 includes updated internals and the same Sonos ecosystem compatibility as its predecessor. 

 

The Sonos Sub’s versatile design means you can position it anywhere, in any orientation, without loss of sound.

That being said, there aren’t enough new features in the Sonos Sub Gen 3 that would deliver a noticeable change from the existing Gen 2 already performs. The memory has been doubled from 128MB to 256MB, and the Gen 3 will now be getting an enhanced CPU. In addition, the new wireless radio should also make the Gen 3 better in terms of connectivity.

Other than that, most of the features will be the same. Both the Sonos Sub Gen 3 and Gen 2 come with adjustable EQ settings through the comprehensive Sonos app. Both can be integrated with Alexa, too. For iOS users, the Trueplay software will still be available to help tune the Sub according to the unique acoustics of your room. On top of that, you’ll still enjoy the seamless compatibility with the Sonos system

Verdict

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 is practically the same as the Gen 2 except for updated hardware that should make it more future-proof.

In terms of design, there is nothing appreciably different between the Sonos Sub Gen 3 and the Sonos Sub Gen 2. Both are still slim, squarish models in glossy finishes that should be less visually-obtrusive than a regular subwoofer. Both will still deliver room-rattling sound with zero-cabinet buzz. There’s an updated processor and increased memory in the upcoming model, although most consumers will probably not be able to tell the difference. While these enhancements will future-proof the Gen 3 more, the latest iteration will essentially work and sound the same as its predecessor.

For most users, the Gen 2 should suffice in adding some deep bass that will augment your current Sonos setup. So unless there are new software updates that the Gen 3 will handle better than the Gen 2, the current model should still be just as good while also coming in at $100 less.

FAQs

📌 Is the Sonos Sub Gen 2 worth buying?

The Sonos Sub Gen 2 has a sleek design that’s backed by high-quality performance. Best of all, Sonos has made it easy to setup their best selling subwoofer.

📌 Does the Sonos Sub Gen 3 come in matter black?

Sonos discontinued the matte black variant of the Sub Gen 2 back in 2015. As expected, the latest Sonos Sub Gen 3 continues the trend, and will only come in a glossy white or black finish.

📌 What’s the difference between Sonos Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3?

The Sonos Sub Gen 3 builds on the features of the Sonos Sub Gen 2, offering updated internals as well as expanded memory that should make it more future-proof compared to its predecessor.

📌 Is Trueplay available on Android?

The Trueplay feature on the Sonos app is only available to iOS or iPadOS devices.

RELATED  Sonos Five vs Sonos Play:5 (2020): Should You Trade In Your Old Speakers For New Ones?
Mari Bassig
Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.