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Exclusive: These are the new Sonos Era speakers

Sonos continues to finalize details for a pair of new smart speakers coming to market in the coming weeks The edge has now obtained marketing images of the products and knows approximately how much they will cost. The spatial audio-focused Era 300 is expected to be priced in the $450 ballpark, making it cheaper than the company’s flagship Sonos Five. As such, the Five will likely remain part of Sonos’ lineup beyond the upcoming hardware announcements.

But the same can’t be said for the Sonos One, which will almost certainly be replaced by the upcoming Era 100. Sonos has talked about pricing that speaker at around $250, a slight increase in price compared to the $219 One. But customers should get several improvements for the extra money.

Sonos has reportedly locked down the Era 300 and Era 100 for a simultaneous release in late March.

Through several people familiar with Sonos’ plans and product roadmap, The edge has learned extensive information about both speakers, including more details on how they fit into home theater systems.

There also seems to be a gap with Apple, which has positioned itself as a leader in spatial audio. While the Era 300 was designed from the ground up to emphasize music in spatial audio, it’s unlikely to support Apple Music’s tens of thousands of Dolby Atmos tracks at this point. And amid Sonos’ ongoing legal battle with Google, Google Assistant could potentially be dropped from the company’s latest smart speakers.

Much of what I reported back in August (including Bluetooth audio playback and USB-C line-in) can be reaffirmed for the Era 300. Additionally, I can now report that the Era 100 Also offer both conveniences, making it much more versatile than the Sonos One. You can run external sources such as a turntable directly through an Era 100, which was not possible with its predecessor. You can see this in the image below, where a second cable runs into the speaker on the left.

A marketing image of two Sonos Era 100 speakers with a turntable in the middle.

The Sonos Era 100 will include Bluetooth and line-in audio, two features the Sonos One lacks.

Combined with the introduction of Bluetooth for both home speakers, Sonos seems to be deliberately embracing choice and flexibility with its new products. In 2023, the retention of physical input, even if it’s not as simple as a 3.5mm aux jack, is refreshing. Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Nest Audio lack any sort of I/O and rely on wireless streaming at all times, though Amazon’s Echo and Echo Studio have a traditional aux input.

Both Era speakers include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and support for AirPlay 2. Sonos will separately sell a line-in adapter for USB-C audio and a “combo adapter” for connecting over Ethernet; there is no built-in connection on either device.

A marketing image of a white Sonos Era 300 speaker.

Both Era speakers are available in black or white finishes.

As I’ve been saying for months, the Era 300 is designed to showcase spatial audio and Dolby Atmos by producing immersive, room-filling sound. The size of the speaker is between the current Sonos One and Sonos Five. It contains a total of six drivers that send the sound forward, left, right and upward. When used with the Arc or Beam (Gen 2) as rear surrounds, a stereo pair of Era 300s delivers immersive Atmos surround sound including upward-firing audio.

A marketing photo of two Sonos Era 300 speakers being used as rear surround speakers for a Sonos Arc soundbar.

The Era 300 can be used as rear surrounds for Sonos’ Dolby Atmos soundbars, including the Arc and Beam (Gen 2).

As for music, you can stream spatial audio tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited, but of which The edge understands, Sonos has not yet reached an agreement with Apple to play Apple Music’s Dolby Atmos library on a standalone Era 300. For now, that functionality remains exclusive to the HomePod. (It should be noted, you can play Apple’s spatial audio library through an Apple TV 4K and the Arc/Beam – but that’s true of any Atmos setup.) This could always change in the coming weeks or by the time the Era 300 hits shelves.

A marketing image of the Sonos Era 100 on a white table.

The Era 100 is similar in size to the Sonos One, but now produces true stereo sound.

Until now, less was known about the Era 100. But the images and details I’ve learned tell a clear story. The Era 100 is not tuned for spatial audio and does not contain up-firing drivers. Rather, it’s best to think of it as an evolved Sonos One with (ideally) better performance. The company added a second tweeter to the new speaker for true stereo sound and enlarged the mid-woofer for more powerful bass response.

As you can see in the pictures, The Verges original mockup of the Era 300 remains accurate, and while the Era 100 borrows design cues from the One, it has a rounder overall shape. Sonos has tweaked the volume controls with a new indented bar that should be easier to feel and slide your finger over.

Both speakers have a new speech bubble button below the standard Sonos controls that lets you temporarily mute the built-in microphones; there’s also a physical switch on the back of each that completely disconnects power to the microphones. Voice assistant options include Sonos Voice Control and Amazon Alexa; it’s unclear at this stage if Google Assistant is still supported. Sonos’ internal marketing materials directly mention Alexa, but not Assistant. Sonos Voice Control and Alexa can work simultaneously, so it’s possible that Sonos is de-emphasizing Google’s service for that reason.

Trueplay on Android (sort of)

The Era 300 and Era 100 will be the first time Sonos supports this Trueplay tuning on Android phones. But unlike iOS, it’s the speakers themselves that do the room analysis and sound optimization using their built-in microphones. Internally, Sonos calls this “quick tuning”, while the regular walking around the room with your phone is still available as “advanced tuning” – and still an iPhone and iPad exclusive.

Durability and easier repair

With the latest speakers, Sonos wants to highlight the progress it has made in the field of sustainable design. Among the changes, both Era devices use more screws and less glue, making them easier to disassemble and repair if components need to be replaced. The company has also significantly reduced power consumption: the Era 300 and Era 100 each consume less than two watts when not in use and will include a new more efficient sleep mode.

Sonos has not yet officially announced the Era 300 or Era 100.

I’m excited about both products and look forward to comparing them to the field of Apple, Amazon, Google, Bose and more. With so many connectivity options – Wi-Fi streaming, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and USB-C – plus the redesigned internals, Sonos is clearly trying to establish itself as the leader in smart speakers. Of course, the most important thing is how they sound, and that’s the one thing I can’t talk about yet.

The eras represent just the beginning of Sonos’ plans for 2023; the company has said it will launch a device in an entirely new product category by the end of the year and plans to enter three more categories in the future.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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