Sonos Goes Big with Spatial Audio: Introducing the Era 300

Mar 8, 2023, 6:04 PM UTC
3 mins read
Sonos Goes Big with Spatial Audio: Introducing the Era 300
Sonos Era 100 (left) and Era 300 (right). (Image Credit: Sonos)

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Sonos yesterday launched two new options: the Era 100 and the Era 300, indicating its growing interest in portable speakers and spatial audio. Sonos has been focusing on two categories for the past few years: portable speakers and home theatre products. Its main music-focused speakers, One and Five, are still in the market, but the Era 100 and Era 300 are the newest members of Sonos’ speaker line. The Era 100 is an upgraded version of the Sonos One and is priced at $249. The Era 300 is the first-ever Sonos speaker to support spatial audio, with a price tag of $449.

The Sonos Era 300, which is capable of the spatial audio, has an unusual shape that allows the upward-facing tweeter to produce more room-filling reflections. The speaker includes three more tweeters: one that is dead-center and forward-firing, and two that are pointing left and right. The Era 300 also includes a pair of woofers that provide plenty of bass. The Era 100, on the other hand, features a pair of tweeters for left and right stereo channels in a single speaker, as well as a woofer that is 25% larger than the One’s. Although the Era 100 lacks the Era 300’s spatial audio capabilities, it is still a significant upgrade to its predecessor.

Despite the different prices and capabilities of these two speakers, they have many common features. Both the Era 100 and Era 300 have USB-C ports that allow users to plug in a turntable or other audio equipment with an optional line-in adapter. These speakers also include Bluetooth, which is the first time Sonos has added this feature to a non-portable speaker. Additionally, both speakers have redesigned touch controls on top, with a little ridge that users can swipe their fingers across to adjust the volume. Sonos has also included a physical switch to disconnect the microphones for additional security.

The Era 100 and Era 300 both use microphones for Trueplay tuning, which optimizes audio for where users place the speakers in their living space. Previously, Trueplay required an iOS device to use its microphone to listen for optimizing the sound, which excluded Android users. This new feature means that more people will likely take advantage of Trueplay’s capability.

At a Sonos press event last month, people got a chance to listen to both speakers in a variety of configurations. The Era 100 doesn’t sound totally different from the One, but the larger woofer definitely gives it more bass presence. The two tweeters don’t give it true stereo separation, but they provide more clarity in the high ranges than the One. The Era 300, on the other hand, has significantly more volume, bass, and presence than the Era 100. Additionally, the Era 300 is the best way to hear the details of spatial audio mixes without needing a room full of audio gear.

Sonos sees spatial audio as the future of music playback, and the Era 300 is the company’s first foray into this area. The company claims that the Era 300 will be the best way to hear the details of spatial audio mixes without needing a room full of audio gear. As of now, Amazon and Apple are the two services that are compatible with the Era 300 for spatial music, but Sonos is hopeful that other music services, such as Spotify, will follow suit.

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