Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3: Specs And Differences

The  Sonos Sub Gen 2 was released in June 2012, and on June 10, eight years later, the  Sonos Sub Gen 3 superseded the Gen 2 model. Since the two subwoofers are very similar, potential buyers are often in a dilemma when buying. Although the subwoofers share many similarities, Gen 3 still has a few key differences from the Gen 2 save from the difference in price point.

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 Specs And Differences 1 Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3: Specs And Differences

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

Gen 3 is a newer and more improved model than its predecessor, the sub Gen 2. So, the two are very different in pricing with Gen 3 being more expensive. The Gen 3 offers more storage of up to 258 MB and a deep and more profound bass than the Gen 2. 

Since both subwoofers produce a high-quality sound which is quite typical of  Sonos products, comparing these two subwoofers based only on their music is impossible. Unless you are a real bass die-hard, noting the difference between the Gen 2 and the new model will be quite the task. It is no surprise that most people believe the two are the same product with different names and prices, which is far from the truth.

After careful observation and scrutinization of both subwoofers, here is all you need to know about the differences, similarities, and specs of the  Sonos Sub Gen 3 and 2. The difference and similarities will help you choose the ideal subwoofer for your needs. Read on to learn more about the 2 subwoofer models.

Differences Between The Sub Gen 2 Vs. Gen 3

When  Sonos Sub Gen 3 was released, it was unclear whether it was an actual upgrade or simply a continuation of the Sub Gen series. However, with time, it became clear that the Sub Gen 3, although quite similar to the Sub 2, was an upgrade.

While the two subwoofers share a handful of similarities, the manufacturer was keen to make this sub-woofer different from its predecessor. Here are the differences:

Enhanced Firmware

While it is common for most electronic equipment to experience bugs, the  Sonos Subs are not exempted. However, since Sub Gen 2 has been available for ten years,  Sonos sees little need to update any system flaws. The  Sonos Gen 2 upgrades occur less frequently compared to their successor.

The Gen 3, on the other hand, receives regular firmware updates and enjoys a seamless music experience. This way, you can keep up with the latest upgrades in technology.

Sound Quality

Gen 2’s audio capabilities are carried over to Gen 3 but with a more elevated version. The two force-canceling drivers on the  Sonos Sub Gen 3 with their Class-D digital amplifiers will amplify the Subwoofer’s bass to intense levels without rattling or vibration within the center chamber. Given its characteristics, the Gen 3 will produce powerful noise that can rock a room while remaining steady.

When paired with additional wireless speakers, the Gen 3 should be able to expand the sound, especially in larger rooms, similar to the Gen 2. With a frequency response as low as 25 Hz, the Gen 3 will surely provide depth to the low end of the sound performance, making it more audible, smooth, complete, and punchy. 

All volume levels will benefit from the Subwoofer’s additional bass, allowing the other speakers to concentrate more on the mid-and high-frequency content.

Once the Sub Gen 3 is properly installed, the sound of your wireless audio system will unquestionably be more robust. You can anticipate even more home theater-optimized immersive audio when combined with other  Sonos speakers.

Price Point

As expected, since the  Sonos Gen 3 is an upgrade from the Gen 2, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets when buying the Gen 3. The difference in price point is sponsored by, among many other aspects, improved sound quality, increased memory, and the ability to connect with other apps.

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 Specs And Differences 1 1 Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs. Gen 3: Specs And Differences


Compared to Gen 2, the Gen 3 RAM doubles from 128 MB to 256 MB.

Additional memory saves your processor a great deal of work, consequently conserving valuable clock cycles, resulting in enhanced subwoofer performance.


While the S2 application can control both subwoofers, you need not open the S2 app to run or utilize the Gen 3.

Sub Gen 3 is also compatible with Siri and Google Home, but unfortunately, Gen 2 is incompatible with any of these apps.

Even if both  Sonos Gen 2 and 3 are wireless-capable, if you’re experiencing wireless communication issues with the older Sub gen variant, the Gen 3 subwoofer may be what you require.

Idle Power Mode

In standby mode, the Gen 3 averagely consumes 3.2 and 3.3 watts of power, while the Gen 2 may use 3.8 and 4.0 watts in idle power mode on average.

This means that, with the Gen 2, you will incur an additional annual cost of around $2. While this may appear insignificant, saving a few bucks in the current economy goes a long way.


The Sub Gen 2 and  Sonos Sub Gen 3 are equipped with 1GHz single-core and quad-core processors, respectively, making them distinctly different.

The apparent advantage of quad-core CPUs is their increased performance. Not by raw speed as determined by clock speed but by the capacity to complete more significant tasks without interruption.

Similarities Between The Sub Gen 2 Vs. Gen 3

After examining the differences between these two subwoofers, it is only fair to see how similar they are. Unfortunately, the similarities between these two subwoofers outweigh the differences. Here’s how similar they are:


Both subwoofers are similar in size with dimensions of 15.3 x 15.8 x 6.2 inches and weigh 16 kilograms (33.8 pounds). 

Although the size and weight are the same, if you held the  Sonos Sub Gen 2 with one hand while holding the SubSub Gen 3 with the other, the sub-Gen two would feel slightly heavier. While this may seem to contradict the previous statement of the subwoofers being the same weight, it is true.

While manufacturing the Gen 3,  Sonos smartly distributed the Subwoofer’s weight throughout its dimensions. Because of this, you perceive it to be lighter than its counterparts.


Both subwoofers come in a glossy black and white, which is assumed to give the owners a piano-like feeling.

Although a matte black version of the sub-Gen 2 existed back in 2015,  Sonos discontinued it.

Sonos App

The EQ settings on the  Sonos Sub Gen 3 and Gen 2 are both programmable through the  Sonos app. Additionally, you may link Alexa with both.


While both subwoofers have the same “O” in a square shape design, in contrast to the Gen 2, the Bluetooth pairing button on the Gen 3  Sonos speaker is rounded. The Sub Gen 3 includes a power cord with a flat shape to prevent tangling with other cables.

It also has one 10/100 Ethernet port, two Class-D digital amplifiers, and two force-canceling drivers arranged in opposition to decrease vibration and rattle and offer distortion-free bass.

Both subwoofers also feature a rectangular hole opening in the set’s middle.

Due to its whole structure, the  Sonos Gen 3 maintains the 6.2 depth that allows the subwoofers to be positioned upright or on their side. Consequently, it remains a good, aesthetically beautiful subwoofer that can be placed virtually anywhere in the room.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for a dramatic revamp of the new speaker, there are high chances that you may be disappointed by the new model.


The sound produced by both subwoofers is crystal clear and distortion-free, reverberating in your bones. Both models sound similar, even to self-proclaimed speaker gurus.

Both subwoofers will make a statement to your guests when hosting.

Trueplay App

To assist the Sub Gen 3 adapt to the room’s acoustics, iOS users will still have access to the Trueplay program, just like the Sub Gen 2.  Sonos still strived to ensure that they maintained their product’s convenience even as they made their upgrade.

Which Subwoofer, Gen 2 or Gen 3, Should You Purchase?

While both subwoofers are visually highly similar, there is no doubt that many individuals are frequently confused when deciding which one to purchase. Before picking which one to take home, you must determine what you truly desire. Which characteristics are most important to you, and which can be compromised?

Additionally, having a budget is equally important. It helps ground you and narrow down your options. Once you have these two very crucial factors in mind, you may proceed to make your decision.

The most prevalent difference between Gens 2 and 3 is the amount of bass both subwoofers produce. If you are a true bass enthusiast, your search ends here. Choose the Gen 3. As a result of Gen 3’s smaller force-canceling drivers, Gen 3 offers significantly more bass than Gen 2.

If you don’t care much about the bass, you can opt for the SubSub Gen 2 since both subs are nearly identical in appearance, connectivity, and relative characteristics. All things considered, there is not much difference to make you throw away your Gen 2 for Gen 3 Sonos subwoofer.

However, if you have extra funds and wish to remain current, do not be discouraged from purchasing the Gen 3 subwoofer. It is an equally remarkable subwoofer and will serve you tremendously.

Finally, if you loved the Sub Gen 2, you will love the Gen 3 even more since the previous specs that you loved on the Gen 2 have either been maintained or elevated to ensure you are hooked to the  Sonos products.

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