Our customers have loved Sonos for their easy to use app and great sound. With the Era 100 and Era 300 introduction, Sonos has taken the audio quality and ease of use to the next level. With the Era 100 aimed at replacing the popular Sonos One and One SL while the Era 300 designed as a successor to the discontinued Play 3, these speakers promise to elevate your listening and fill a room with sound.
What Both The Era 100 and Era 300 Bring to the Table
The Era 100 and 300 set the standard for Sonos’ next generation of products. They have Bluetooth 5.0 to make it easy for anyone to play music from any device, even without the Sonos app. Additionally, they both have USB-C that allow users to hardwire an audio source if they choose.
Additionally, the buttons have slightly changed. The familiar play/pause, next and previous buttons are still on top. However, the volume buttons have a slider between the + and -. Like with the Sonos One, you can tap the + for volume up and – for volume down, but now you can slide your finger between the two for precise adjustments.
The real change is under the hood with the sound structure. Both these speakers have Sonos’ next-generation acoustic drivers and tuning. We consider them more of an evolution in sound quality rather than an evolution, but it’s a welcome change nonetheless.
Era 100: Now With Stereo Sound
People enjoy the Era 100 for its small footprint and ability to fill a room with quality sound. Compared to the previous generation Sonos One, the Era 100 offers a subtle yet discernible improvement. Most notably, stereo speakers are now in this small enclosure instead of the single mono channel of the Sonos One. Doubling the speakers helps fill a room with sound. Overall, the Era 100 is likely to be perceived as a speaker that delivers pleasing sound quality and an enjoyable listening experience that meets the SoundVision standard.
Era 300: Great Sound in an Odd Package
The Era 300 is the Era 100 on steroids. Sonos calls this speaker “Dolby Atmos ready,” thanks to having speakers in nearly every direction. It has a 25% larger woofer on each side and a tweeter on the left, right, front and top. The top is reserved for “Spatial Audio.” As of the time of writing, you can find some songs on Apple Music that support Spacial Audio, but it’s an emerging audio format.
The Era 300 offers great sound quality compared to the Sonos Five. The Era 300 delivers on its “Spatial Audio” promises by evenly dispersing music throughout the room, even when placed in the corner. Meanwhile, the Sonos Five gives no such illusion, clearly leaving the impression that your music is coming from a fixed speaker. The Era 300 midrange sounds less muted than on the Sonos Five with the music we listened to. However, whether this is an improvement will depend on your listening preferences. Regarding overall sound quality, the Era 100 is closer to the Five than the Era 300, putting the Sonos Five in an odd place for being $100 more than the Era 300.
Sonos also says these speakers make great surround speakers in a TV setup, thanks to the top-mounted tweeter. Unfortunately, we tried implementing this into a customer’s home, and they opted to return them because of their unworldly size. If the size isn’t off-putting to you, the unique shape might. It looks like a flattened pill with a design that can only be described with a photo. Either Sonos is a genius, and this will become beautiful with age, or it’ll be remembered for great sound in a questionably shaped enclosure. Only time will tell. If you’re interested in one of these Era speakers for your home or want to check out our Sonos-powered home-wide audio systems, call us at 415-456-7000.