After months of speculation and leaks, Sonos has finally officially taken the wraps off its new multi-room speakers: the Sonos Era 100 and Era 300.
As expected, the audio technology brand today unveiled two desktop speakers: the Spatial Audio that supports Era 300, and the mid-range Era 100 that is a direct replacement for the venerable Sonos One.
And we’ve tried them both – read our first impressions of both in our hands-on Sonos Era 100 review and our hands-on Sonos Era 300 review.
The Era 300 has an unusually shaped, two-cornered frame that houses six Class-D digital amplifiers, six hefty drivers, two subwoofers and four tweeters, allowing sound to be fired forward, upward, left and right. .
In addition to being able to create spatial stereo, the Era 300’s tweeters are also capable of reflecting sound off walls and ceilings, enabling the device’s calling card support for immersive Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio.
For an even bigger soundstage, the Era 300 can be paired with the Sonos Arc soundbars as rear speakers to create what is likely to be a very powerful and indeed expensive 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos home theater setup.
There’s an all-new user interface, with a capacitive volume control plus dedicated skip and replay buttons, and a Bluetooth button for pairing devices to the speaker. Sonos Voice Control and Alexa Assistant are back on board, though Google Assistant support is noticeably absent, likely thanks to Sonos’ long-running legal dispute with the search engine giant.
Privacy-conscious users can temporarily deactivate their voice assistants by tapping the new speech bubble controls or completely disconnect power to the built-in microphone by sliding a switch on the back of the device.
There’s also one of the widest range of connectivity options we’ve seen on a Sonos device, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi for lossless streaming, Apple AirPlay 2 and USB-C line-in.
Unlike the Sonos 5, there is no dedicated 3.5mm input, but the Era 300 can be connected to other audio devices such as turntables via a separately available Sonos Line-In Adapter in conjunction with an auxiliary cable.
As always, Sonos’ Trueplay setup feature is built in, which measures the room’s acoustics and automatically adjusts the EQ to optimize the output for the room, while Sonos claims the Era 300’s overall sound is tuned and adjusted by a lots of big names. audio experts including Coldplay engineer Emily Lazar and mixing specialist Manny Marroquin, who has worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Kanye West and John Legend.
Another new era
Today, the more compact and conventional-looking Era 100 was finally announced.
The cylindrical speaker is slightly deeper and wider than its predecessor, the Sonos One, and can now provide a stereo soundstage thanks to an angled dual tweeter array in the larger enclosure, while a 25 percent larger mid-woofer provides enhanced low-end.
While the Era 300 doesn’t support spatial audio, it does boast a similar range of connectivity, with Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi and Airplay 2 streaming, plus a similar USB-C line-in setup.
The Sonos Era 300 costs $449 / £449 / €499 / AUD $749, while the Era 100 costs $249 / £249 / €279 / AUD $399. Both speakers are available now from the Sonos website and will launch on March 28, 2023.
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