Lily Katz / Android Authority
- Sonos unveils the Era 300 and Era 100 smart speakers.
- The Era 300 is focused on spatial audio, while the Era 100 replaces the beloved Sonos One.
- The Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 will be available on March 28, and retail for $449 and $249, respectively.
Sonos, known for its minimalist smart speakers and soundbars, announced the Era 100 and Era 300 smart speakers. Though the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 share the same name, they are vastly different products. Designed from the ground up with spatial audio in mind, the Era 300 aims to provide an immersive media experience. Meanwhile, the Sonos Era 100 replaces the Sonos One (Gen 2) with completely revamped acoustics.
The bulky, unibody design of the Era 300 is a departure from Sonos’ other speaker silhouettes. A bowtie-like shape maximizes the volume output and accommodates six class-D amplifiers, two woofers, four tweeters, and waveguides. These waveguides can throw sound farther to the left, right, center, and above. Set into a directional horn, a top tweeter reflects sound off the ceiling for Dolby Atmos content.
Anyone who is a fan of the Sonos Five can rest easy: the Era 300 is not replacing the Five. Sonos still touts the Five as its Hi-Fi home speaker with greater bass extension. The Five also costs $100 more than the Era 300. Meanwhile, the Sonos Era 300 fills the spatial audio niche. While the Era 300 supports spatial audio through Apple Music and Amazon Music, it stands tallest in cinematic experiences.
Unlike the Era 300, the Sonos Era 100 is not a spatial audio speaker. Instead, it sets out to replace the beloved Sonos One (Gen 2). Aside from the similar dimensions, the Sonos Era 100 is wholly different from the One. Three class-D amplifiers power the two side-firing tweeters and a center mid-woofer. You get stereo sound from a single Era 100 and can pair two Era 100 speakers in the same room for a wider soundstage. Sonos decks the Era 100 out with a mid-woofer 25% larger than the Sonos One’s mid-woofer. This size increase yields better bass reproduction.
Lily Katz / Android Authority
Both the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 support Sonos Trueplay which optimizes the sound to your room. Android phone owners can finally take advantage of Trueplay, kind of. Trueplay’s Quick Tune feature uses the speaker’s embedded mics to calibrate the sound. You can use Quick Tune with an Android phone or iPhone. On the other hand, iPhone owners can enjoy Trueplay Advanced Tuning. This method uses the iPhone mics as you move the phone around the room. Quick Tune is better than nothing, but Advanced Tuning gives the speaker more accurate information when optimizing the sound.
The Era 300 and 100 support Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and USB-C, giving the listener plenty of ways to connect. Seeing how most people will stream music over Wi-Fi, it’s no surprise the Era speakers support just the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. iPhone owners can stream music to the speaker with AirPlay 2. Sonos sells two accessory cables for connecting the Era 300 and 100 to other devices.
The Sonos Combo Adapter houses an ethernet port, while the Sonos Line-In Adapter houses an ethernet port and 3.5mm input. These are the only adapters that work with the Era’s USB-C line-in connection. (Other adapters are line-out only.) The USB-C line-in opens the door for compatibility with future connections and technologies.
Listeners can connect two Era speakers to a turntable for stereo playback. If you own a Sonos Ray, Beam, or Arc, the Era speakers are an easy way to expand your home theater setup. A pair of Era 300 speakers with an Arc and a subwoofer will create a grand 7.1.4 surround sound experience. When connected with other Sonos products, listeners can enjoy multi-room audio with either Era speaker.
Sonos Voice Control manages your music through the Sonos app, where Sonos lets you manually adjust the EQ. While these are smart speakers, the Era 300 and Era 100 will only support one smart assistant: Amazon Alexa. Using Alexa is not mandatory, but it’s useful if you own other smart home devices. Of course, you can always mute the mic. Each speaker houses a mute switch on the back, and toggling it immediately cuts power to the microphone hardware.
Both speakers use the same post-consumer recycled plastic, and the Sonos Era eschews adhesives for screws. This accessible hardware extends the product’s life. Buyers don’t have to bin the speaker if something stops working.
You can pre-order the Sonos Era 300 and Sonos Era 100 today, and they will be available on March 28. The speakers come in matte black or matte white. The Era 300 will retail for $449, £449, €499, and AU$749. The Sonos Era 100 will cost $249, £249, €279, and AU$399 — $30 more than the Sonos One (Gen 2).