The Sonos Era 300 and the Sonos Era 100 are two completely different speakers, but they have something in common: they represent the changing shape of an American brand.
In what sense? The Sonos Era 300 are the first speakers to support Dolby Atmos technology (the Sonos Arc is too, but it’s the sound); The Sonos Era 100 are speakers that replace the popular Sonos One.
Both devices are designed from scratch. The Sonos Era 300 stands out for its radical and futuristic design, while the Sonos Era 100 are formally conservative, but technologically innovative: two tweeters are hidden inside them so that only one Sonos Era 100 has real stereo, not like other speakers that split the sound artificially.
In addition, both devices have some of the features that Sonos users have been demanding for years: in addition to connecting to a sound source via Wi-Fi, as is usually the case, they now have a Bluetooth connection and also a USB-C input port to connect any sound source via cable or analog adapter- or digital.
Sonos Era 300
Sonos Era 300 design
The design of the Sonos Era 300 is an interesting form factor and one of the best speakers on the market. The shape of the hourglass is used for acoustics, to freely diffuse sounds from several drivers, so the speaker has a luxurious and elegant shape.
The unusual shape of the case is not accidental. It’s designed to provide more space for listening to music, and unlocks a 7.1.4 sound experience on par with the Arco Soundbar when playing Dolby Atmos content in a home theater setup.
The Sonos Era 300 is certainly unlike any other smart speaker available, and despite its compact dimensions (it measures 160 x 260 x 185mm, and weighs 4.47kg) it’s equipped with six built-in speakers for an immersive listening experience. 360 degree sound from a single speaker unit.
The magic of spatial audio on the Sonos Era 300
As reported by Sonos, the center/woofers handle directional musical elements and are oriented to the left to display stereo playback, while the two woofers maximize bass output. The tenor output is amplified by the directional horn, and the tweeter fires up the sound from the ceiling when playing Dolby Atmos content.
This is where the magic of this speaker is appreciated. The Sonos Era 300 is designed to be placed in the center of the room (although it can be placed anywhere, as long as there are no obstacles within a radius of 20 centimeters) so that the music comes out in 360 degrees.
If the spatial audio experience is incredible with headphones, with this speaker it is something amazing. Music emerges in all directions with incredible clarity, even when the volume is turned up.
Something happened to me with the Sonos Era 300 that doesn’t usually happen to me with anyone else: I wanted to hear old songs that sound like they were mixed in Dolby Atmos. It’s not that they sound better or worse, it’s that they sound so different and so good at the same time that the experience of finding my favorite songs has been a real pleasure. So much so that all the poor souls who have passed through my house these days have undergone the same ritual: I have put the most beloved songs of the new speaker so that they can see the magic of spatial sound.
It seems that this music technique was specifically designed for devices like the 300 in the Sonos era, since it can be surprisingly appreciated. Obviously, this experience is much more enjoyable in the newer songs that were produced with this new format in mind, but the old songs sound great too.
The 300 Era audio space is enriched with some of the technologies that Sonos has invented over the years. One of them is the already famous Trueplay. The speaker ‘knows’ the dimensions of the room in which it is located through this configuration process that is carried out through the Sonos App: the user must move the trigger around the space while the bar emits sound. The program then interprets the comment, thus configuring the program to execute at that particular point.
The Sonos Era 300 also has a new calibration system called Quick Tuning, which spatially adjusts where the device should sound better (for example, if it senses a wall is close, it won’t send sound there) without the need to use a phone.
Sonos Era 300, great sound even in stereo.
The Sonos Era 300 audio space is compatible with Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, but not with Tidal Sound 360. What if Spotify, a platform that does not listen to any kind of music in space? Absolutely nothing, like millions of songs on all platforms that don’t have this kind of mix.
The Sonos Era 300 is also a fantastic stereo speaker that will make all of its internal drivers work in the old fashioned way, in mono. Clear and powerful sound.
Sonos Era 100, the new mono standard
Speaking of stereo, that’s the loud Sonos Era 100. The Era 100 is very similar to the company’s flagship speaker, the Sonos One. which is more powerful, with a new second internal tweeter for true stereo sound and a larger center channel for more powerful bass.
Sonos Sonos Era 100 rich, powerful and faithful. If you close your eyes and listen to the music that comes out of it, you will probably imagine that you are in front of a much larger art. It is the best that can be said for such a compact size.
Sonos Era 100
The Sonos Era 100 does not support spatial audio. Apart from this, both the Era 300 and the Era 100 share many features.
Sonos Era 300 and Era 100, connections and features in common
As usual with Sonos products, the Era 300 and Era 100 connect to sound sources via Wi-Fi (and are also compatible with the Wi-Fi 6 standard). As a new feature, both devices also have Bluetooth connectivity and a USB-C port. Obviously, with a Bluetooth connection the sound quality drops – the data connection is more compressed – and there is no spatial audio. This last format also does not work under AirPlay 2 connection on Apple devices.
So far the only speakers with Bluetooth to roam and move the laptop. Era speakers use Bluetooth version 5.0, compatible with AAC and SBC standard cod. In Era 300 it should be noted that spatial audio can only be transmitted via Wi-Fi, not via Bluetooth.
It’s best to play content through the Sonos app, which allows you to connect to all streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, etc.
More interesting is the USB-C port located on the back of both speakers. Sonos sell adapters that can provide an Internet connection and a line input to be compatible with analog devices like turntables. A combo adapter that provides Internet (for example to connect to your router) and 3.5mm line-in connectivity costs €39.99, while a USB-C line-in adapter costs €19.99. Unfortunately there is no RCA jack, only 3.5mm.
The Sonos Era 300 is compatible with Alexa and its voice assistant. Google Assistant is not provided as of this writing, but may be added later via a firmware update. Users can include the Era 300’s microphone, which is mounted on the back.
Both the Sonos Era 300 and the Sonos Era 100 can be paired with another speaker that has the same name. Both devices have a touch screen at the top that allows you to control the power and music volume of both games by rolling your finger, a very elegant system that works perfectly.
Sonos Era 300 and Sonos Era 100, conclusions
Sonos wanted to enter a new stage with a double launch. And without a doubt it was worth it. There is nothing like these two speakers on the market right now. The case of the Sonos Era 300 is special. It is truly an incredible piece of equipment that also has a very reasonable price: for 499 coins you can have the door to the future of sound, the size of a room, in your living room.
The Sonos Era 100 is a more standard speaker, but with great power and quality. It is very easy to install and it is also fantastic to place in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, or even in the bathroom. Its price is also very attractive: 279 are reported.
Both can be connected to Sonos sound bars and subwoofers like the Sonos Sub mini to create a powerful home theater. But this possibility in another analysis.