Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: Should you Upgrade?

When Sonos Gen 3 was released, people were confused if it was an actual upgrade or just a continuation of the Sub Gen series. So, before deciding to purchase Gen 3 or stay with Sub Gen 2, let’s thoroughly analyze Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3.

Sonos Gen 3 has improved hardware, faster processing power, more memory and is integrated with wireless radio. Although the sound quality hasn’t improved distinctively, the faulty wireless issue has been solved. Sonos Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3 nearly have a similar design.

Would you like to know about Sonos Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3 in detail? Then, read the article to the end to decide whether to upgrade or not. So, shall we start?

Sonos Sub Gen 3


Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: Specifications Comparison Table

SpecificationsSonos Sub Gen 2Sonos Sub Gen 3
Dimensions15.3 x 15.8 x 6.2 inches15.3 x 15.8 x 6.2 inches
ColorWhite & Glossy BlackWhite & Glossy Black
Weight36.3 lb36.3 lb
256MB NAND Flash
Control MethodAppApp
ConnectivityVia WiFiVia WiFi
Voltage100-240V (50-60Hz)100-240V (50-60Hz)
Ethernet1 * 10/100Mbps1 * 10/100Mbps
Release Date20122020

What is Sonos Sub Gen 2?

Sonos sub gen 2 is a wireless subwoofer developed for hardcore music lovers. Although this sound system was released in 2012, it is integrated with all the modern facilities.

Here is an overview of Sonos Sub Gen 2:

  • 128MB SDRAM memory.
  • WiFi connectivity available.
  • Controllable via the S2 app. (S2 is an app specially developed by Sonos)
  • Supports only AC current.
  • Two force-canceling drivers with class D amplifiers.

What is Sonos Sub Gen 3?

Sonos sub gen 3 is the successor of sub gen 2. It has solved some of the significant technical and software issues of sub gen 2.

Sonos sub gen 3 has better firmware and improved sound technology than Sonos sub gen 2.

Here is an overview of Sonos Sub Gen 3:

  • 256MB NAND Flash memory.
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
  • Two force-cancelling drivers with class D amplifiers.
  • Controllable via the S2 app.
  • Remote connectivity available through Bluetooth and WiFi.
  • BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and NFC (Near Field Communication) are available for easy setup.

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: [Detailed Comparison]

Looking at the spec. table of Sonos sub gen 2 and sub gen 3, you may feel both the products are identical to each other. So, why has Sonos introduced a new generation in the form of sub gen 3? Is it just a marketing gimmick, or sub gen 3 has unique features?

Below I will explain the significant differences between sub gen 2 and sub gen 3. So, don’t look around.


Both subwoofers, sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3, have the same dimension and weight. But if you hold sub Gen 2 on one hand and sub Gen 3 on the other, you would feel the sub Gen 2 a bit heavier.

Isn’t it mysterious? Both sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3 have equal weight, then how does one feel heavier than the other?

Sonos has beautifully distributed sub Gen 3 weight through its dimension. That’s why you are feeling it lighter than the sub Gen 2.

There was a variant of matte black sub Gen 2 in 2014 and 2015. But sub Gen 3 only comes in glossy black and white. Sonos thinks the glossy black color would give the listeners a piano-like vibe.

Sonos sub Gen 2 used to have rectangle buttons, whereas sub Gen 3 has a rounded Bluetooth pair-up button.

Additionally, sub Gen 3 has a flatform power cord so that it doesn’t get tangled with the other cables.

Sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3 has a rectangle hole opening at the center of the set. The reason behind this design is more technical than just being abstract. Two force-cancelling drivers sit opposite each other to eliminate vibration and rattle and offer distortion-less bass.


Between sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3, the later one produces extensive bass. Remember I mentioned the two-force cancelling drivers at the center of the structure? Sub Gen 2 has less dish space than sub Gen 3.

With more dish space, sub Gen 3 produces extra bass. So, you can easily show off with your sub Gen 3 at your home parties.

Are you scared of the neighbors?

Don’t worry. Force-cancelling drivers are designed to avoid vibrations and rattles. So, you can upscale your bass as much as you want with the sub Gen 3.


Both the subwoofers can be controlled via the S2 app; there are some minor differences between sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3.

Sub Gen 3 is compatible with Alexa and Google Home, whereas sub Gen 2 does not have the necessary features to be compatible with these two products.

Firmware Updates

No product is free from bugs. As both sub Gen 2 and Gen 3 are smart products, their software bugs can happen quite often. As sub Gen 2 is a 10-year-old product, Sonos feel little necessity to fix any system bugs.

Not just that, software updates come less frequently than sub Gen 3.

On the other hand, sub Gen 3 users receive regular firmware updates and enjoy a seamless music experience.

Ease of Use

The degree of comfort has no end. People once thought a remote control app would remove all the hassle. Both sub Gen 2 and sub Gen 3 can be controlled via the S2 app.

But to control or use sub Gen 3, you won’t have to open the S2 app to control this subwoofer. You can control it with Siri or Google assistant. Sub Gen 2 doesn’t provide this privilege.

Idle Power Mode

Sub Gen 3 draws 3.2-3.3 watts while in idle power mode. On the contrary, sub Gen 2 draws 3.8-4.0 watts while being in idle power mode.

The difference is almost 19.2 watts per day, 576 watts per month, and 6.9 Kilowatts of power per year. That’s hardly 2 dollars of extra cash you would have to spend per year if you use sub Gen 2.

The amount may sound too little, but with sub Gen 3, you can save a chunk of energy.

Memory and Processor

Sub Gen 3 has a 256MB NAND flash memory, whereas sub Gen 2 has a 128MB SDRAM memory.

Not just that, sub Gen 2 has a 1GHz of single-core processor, and sub Gen 3 has a 1GHz of quad-core processor.

Other Related Sonos Products Review

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: Similarities

If I have to tell the brutal truth, there are more similarities between Sonos Sub Gen 2 and Gen 3 than dissimilarities. You may have got the sniffest of the idea about these two products’ similarities. But then again, I will list them down for proper understanding.

  • Sub Gen 2 and Sub Gen 3 weigh 36.3 lb and have a dimension of 15.3 x 15.8 x 6.2 inches (L * W * H)
  • Both Gen 2 and Gen 3 can be controlled via the S2 app. Sonos itself has developed this app.
  • The Gen 2 and Gen 3 subwoofers support frequencies as low as 25Hz. That much low frequency provides clean and pulse-pounding bass.
  • Both the subwoofers have a single port 10/100 Mbps ethernet port.
  • Sonos provides a 1-year warranty for both products.

Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3: Which One Should you Buy?

Both the audio system conveys top-notch sound quality. So, it’s challenging to separate them just by hearing music from these two products. But, you can only purchase one. So, the question is if you should opt for sub Gen 2 or sub Gen 3.

If I have to draw one distinctive difference between Gen 2 and Gen 3, it is the amount of bass both the subwoofers generate.

So, if you are a true bass fan, then look no further. Go for the Gen 3. Gen 3 provides considerably more bass than the Gen 2 version as the force-cancelling drivers of Gen 3 has fewer dish space.

But if you don’t have that much attachment with the bass, you can go for the sub Gen 2.

Because other than this, the appearance, connectivity, and relative factors are quite identical between Gen 2 and Gen 3.

Why would you fancy spending extra $150-200 dollars to purchase Gen 3 when you have no issue with fewer bass.

Then again, if you have extra cash to splash and want to remain updated, I would not discourage you from going for the sub Gen 3.

Final Verdict

After reading this long but not tiring Sonos Sub Gen 2 vs Gen 3 article, have you come to a conclusion? Let me ease it up for you.

I would like to ask, are you a hardcore heavy metal, death metal, or rock music fan? If yes, go for the Gen 3.

And, if you are on a tight budget and a softcore music lover, sub Gen 2 is a better option for you.

So, what do you think? Which one are you going to buy?

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