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Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 (2023): How Are These Sonos Speakers Different?

Sonos welcomes a new era with the aptly named Era 300 and Era 100 speakers. The new devices are an important addition to the expanding lineup of Sonos multi-room audio systems. With its $250 price tag and cylindrical design, the Era 100 is poised to replace the Sonos One, arguably the ‘entry-level’ speaker from the brand.

On the other hand, the larger Era 300 sports a new-for-Sonos hourglass form while filling in the price point of the now-defunct Play:3. It also extends the lineup of Sonos devices with support for Dolby Atmos.

Aside from design and price, how else are these speakers different? Below, we unpack the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 to find out.

Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 Comparison Chart

ModelSonos Era 300Sonos Era 100
 
Price
Dimensions (HxWxD)160 x 260 x 185 mm182.5 x 120 x 130.5 mm
Weight4.47 kg2.02 kg
ColorsBlack, WhiteBlack, White
Power Cable Length6 ft.6 ft.
Audio SystemSix class-D amplifiers, four tweeters, and two woofersThree class-D amplifiers, two tweeters, and one mid-woofer
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-CWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C
Dolby AtmosYesNo
Adjustable EQYesYes
TruePlayYesYes
Apple AirPlay 2 CompatibleCompatible
Touch ControlsYesYes
Voice ControlsSonos Voice Control, Amazon AlexaSonos Voice Control, Amazon Alexa

Design

The Sonos Era 300’s design is a departure from the traditional Sonos aesthetic the Era 100 embodies.

Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 design
A look at the white variants of the Sonos Era 300 (left) and Era 100 (right)

While the two speakers belong to the new Sonos Era lineup, they couldn’t be more different in shape and size. The Era 300 has a cinched hourglass form that’s unlike anything Sonos has released. From its oval-shaped front and back plates, the speaker’s form gradually tapers towards the center to create a slim waistline. It’s almost like the Era 300 has a belt tied around the middle.

The front half of the Era 300 occupies about a third of the speaker. At its top, you’ll find capacitative touch controls. Meanwhile, the larger rear half of the unit is mostly a wrap-around speaker grill, except for the back plate. Sonos shares the new look isn’t just for aesthetics. It also arranges the Era 300’s internals to support spatial sound.

Sonos’s Era 100 offers a familiar face. It sports a cylindrical form like the Sonos One but with more rounded edges. The Era 300 is slightly taller and heavier than the Sonos One, too. There’s nothing striking about the new speaker. You get a traditional design here, with a grille that wraps around the entirety of the unit, except for where the ports and controls are housed.

Although they differ in size and shape, the Sonos Era 300 and 100 follow the minimalist design language Sonos is known for. Both speakers also come in a Sonos-esque matte finish and in the usual black and white colors. And if it’s hard to tell, an embossed Sono logo sits right at the center of their speaker grilles.

Hardware

The Sonos Era 300 houses more driver and amps than the Sonos Era 100.

Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 hardware
A top view of these Sonos Era speakers shows the capacitive touch controls

Given its size, the Sonos Era 300 houses more drivers and amps than the Era 100. It packs six Class-D amplifiers, four tweeters, and two woofers. The Era 300’s center driver handles vocals and instruments, while two custom drivers for full-room coverage. One of the tweeters is also upward-firing, allowing sound to bounce off the ceiling for a more immersive output. 

With this arrangement, the Era 300 can produce both stereo and spatial mixes. Sonos shares that the speaker also comes with custom waveguides to spread audio and create a more expansive soundstage.

While a bit more modest, the Era 100 is not any less impressive. For starters, the compact speaker houses three Class-D amplifiers. It also has two dual-angled tweeters on either side for a true stereo experience. Plus, it boasts a bigger mid-woofer (25% larger than the Sonos One) for deeper bass.

When it comes to connectivity, you get two new options on the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100. Both speakers now offer Bluetooth 5.0 support and a USB-C line-in. The latter can directly connect to any audio device but requires the Sonos Line-In Adapter and a separate auxiliary cable if you’re connecting to 3.5mm sources.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth support comes with a dedicated switch. As such, you can use the Era 300 and 100 as traditional Bluetooth speakers, a first for non-portable Sonos devices.

Features

The Sonos Era 300 and 100 have several shared features except for spatial audio support, which the latter lacks.

Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 features
Stream music from your phone to the Era 300 (left); pair two Era 100s for a wider soundstage (right)

While they’re new in name, the Era 300 and Era 100 enjoy holdover features from other Sonos speakers. For instance, both devices have built-in microphones for voice control. The Era 300 and 100 do have Sonos Voice Control onboard, but there’s also support for Amazon Alexa’s smart home control.

The Era 300 and 100 also employ its mics for Sonos’s TruePlay tuning, which adjusts the sound output based on the room and its surroundings. It’s a standard feature in most of Sonos’s audio devices but requires an iOS device. If you own an Android phone, don’t fret. Sonos has also introduced Quick Tuning to calibrate your Era speakers without an iPhone.

As expected, the Sonos Era 300 and 100 can join existing Sonos setups. They also sync to multi-room playback, a highlight feature of Sonos products. And if you’re into the Apple ecosystem, it’s good to know that the speakers work with AirPlay 2 on iOS 11.4 and higher.

Where the Era 300 has the edge over the Era 100 is spatial audio. According to Sonos, the speaker supports Dolby Atmos and is compatible with Apple Music Spatial Audio. You can also get full Dolby Atmos surround sound with a pair of Era 300 speakers connected to the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or Sonos Arc. The Era 100 can also deliver a wider soundstage, but only if you pair two or add a Sonos Ray, Beam, or Arc into the mix.

Accessories and Pricing

The Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 are compatible with proprietary stands and mounts. They’re also available as standalone purchases, pairs, or bundles.

Sonos Era 300 vs Era 100 accessories and pricing
A look at a pair of Sonos Era 300 set up on stands

Since they’re new, the Sonos Era 300 and 100 have few proprietary accessories. Currently, the company offers only two ways to set up the speakers. You can either opt for a stand or a wall mount. Sonos says that the stands for the Era 300 and 100 place the speakers at ear level. They also allow access to all ports and controls and feature a weighted base for stability.

If you opt for the wall mount, you get the same discreet profile that gives access to the touch controls and ports of the Era 300 and Era 100. They also come with ball-and-socket joint swivels that adjust up and down as well as left and right. Plus, there’s a wall clearance for the Sonos Line-In Adapter.

As for the price, the Era 300 sells for $449, while a pair costs $898. On the other hand, the compact Era 100 retails for $249, while its two-room set costs $498. Sonos also offers both speakers bundled with other products.

Verdict

Buy the Sonos Era 300 if you want an immersive speaker with spatial audio. Opt for the Sonos Era 300 if you prefer a versatile smart speaker.

While it would be nice to purchase both speakers, some consumers may have to choose between the Sonos Era 300 and the Sonos Era 100. Here, it all boils down to your need and budget.

The Era 300 represents Sono’s latest jab at spatial audio for your home. It offers true surround-sound performance and features a striking design.

In contrast, the compact Era 100 is ideal for those looking to get into the Sonos ecosystem. And though it’s pricier than similar speakers like the Apple HomePod, the Era 100 is a more versatile option, owing to its connectivity options.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ When did the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 go on sale?

The Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 went on sale last March 28, 2023.

πŸ“Œ What is Sonos known for?

Sonos is known for its range of high-quality, smart wireless speakers and home audio systems that offer seamless integration with popular music services and can be controlled through a mobile app or voice assistants. Their products are designed to enhance the audio experience for music, movies, TV shows, and other types of entertainment.

πŸ“Œ Can you adjust the EQ on Sonos Era speakers?

Yes. Sonos allows users to customize the EQ of the Sonos Era 300 and Era 100 through the Sonos mobile app.

πŸ“Œ Is the Sonos Era 100 made from recycled plastics?

Part of it. Sonos shares that the Era 100 features 48% post-consumer recycled plastics.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.