Tivoli Audio appears ready to take on Sonos with its latest addition to its tabletop family of audio products: The Tivoli Audio Model Sub, a superslender subwoofer that can pair wirelessly to a Tivoli Model One Digital, or via a standard wired connection to any other piece of audio equipment.
The Model Sub will cost $400 and can be purchased at tivoliaudio.com or through select retailers starting Monday, November 6. It stays true to the styling cues that Tivoli established 17 years ago when it introduced the first Model One, with real wood cabinets and furniture-quality fabric speakers. It’s also surprisingly versatile for a subwoofer. Your placement choices include free-standing, or wall-mounted using keyhole slots carved into the sub’s backside. These are ideal not only for maximizing sound, but also for enjoying the Model Sub’s good looks. But if space is at a premium, or maybe you just think audio gear should be heard, not seen. At only 3.5 inches tall when placed on its back, it can easily slide under almost any piece of furniture.
Inside the Model Sub, you’ll find one active and two passive drivers, and a built-in crossover. Outside, there’s an independent volume control, and a switch that lets you select wireless or wired as the connection method. While we’re confident the Model Sub will help fill out the low end of a Tivoli One system, don’t expect furniture-shaking, window-rattling bass: The unit is only rated for 25 watts — hardly the kind of power that will bring neighbors knocking on your door.
Though Tivoli has made sure that this new subwoofer will work with all kinds of audio gear, via the 3.5mm analog line input, it’s equally clear that its primary mission is to complement the company’s ART line of speakers for the Model One Digital — a stylish collection of wall-mountable and free-standing speakers that resemble models from Bang & Olufsen and Bose.
The Model Sub, just like the Model One Digital itself, can be controlled through the Tivoli Audio wireless app, which sports a user interface that has been inspired by Sonos. You can choose music from your phone, or favorite streaming services, and manage all of your speakers and sources. It’s an impressive set of capabilities when you consider the Model One’s humble beginnings.
Should Sonos be worried? Probably not, but for Tivoli fans the news is good: They can stick with their preferred audio system without giving up the best of the wireless audio world.