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Sonos’ Sub Mini goes from rumor to the FCC

With the recent launch of the Sonos Ray, a small and (by Sonos standards) affordable soundbar, questions about the company’s plans for a smaller, more affordable subwoofer kicked into high gear. We now have the first tangible evidence that such a speaker — likely called the Sonos Sub Mini — is on the way: The product was spotted by Protocol’s Janko Roettgers, in a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, which is usually a strong sign that an announcement is imminent.

FCC label diagram for an unreleased Sonos speaker that is probably the Sub Mini.
FCC / Sonos

The documents are light on details — there’s no mention of the new product by name and no product photography — but they do shed some light on a few aspects. According to a diagram indicating the required FCC ID label placement, the speaker — which goes by the Sonos model designation, S37 — is cylindrical. We can see the bottom of the unit, which appears to be a perfect circle, along with what looks like four “legs” or supports.

This is consistent with a previous report from The Verge‘s Chris Welch, who presented renders that he claimed were based on seeing photos of the actual speaker.

In the center of that circle is a racetrack oval cove, with an Ethernet port and a power input, both of which are standard features of every Sonos speaker to date. There’s no channel cut into the bottom of the speaker for routing those two cables, but that’s likely because the subwoofer’s feet provide enough clearance to make that unnecessary.

The diagram also confirms that Sonos plans to offer the new speaker in both black and white, something it has done with many of its home theater products, including the Sonos Ray, Sonos Beam, Sonos Arc, and Sonos Sub.

But the document also gives us one more hint about the Sub Mini — its size. We don’t know how tall it will be, but given the listed dimensions of the label, at 34.96 millimeters, we can extrapolate using the rest of the diagram to arrive at an approximate diameter of 203mm, or 7.99 inches. That would make the Sub Mini, very “mini” indeed.

But despite such a small footprint, the Sub Mini could still be quite potent for low-end sound. KEF’s KC62 shows just how powerful a tiny wireless sub can be, as it manages to pack 1,000 watts of peak power into an enclosure that measures 10 inches per side — not that much bigger than the as-yet-unreleased Sonos model.

So how much will the Sonos Sub Mini cost, and when will we finally be able to buy it? Both are still unknowns, but we can certainly hazard a few educated guesses. With the Sonos Ray already for sale, it would surprise me if Sonos waited much longer than the end of the summer to bring the Sub Mini to market, and it will almost definitely be available before the key 2022 holiday shopping season.

Price-wise, the speaker has to make sense both in the context of Sonos’ existing $749 Sub and its two lower-end soundbars, the $449 Beam and $279 Ray. I think that strongly suggests a price no higher than $499, and possibly as low as $399.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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