Sonos comes with two new speakers at once

Sonos comes with two new speakers at once

We can’t remember Sonos ever releasing new speakers at the same time. But they do now. The Era 100 and Era 300 will usher in a new era for the speakerphone company, which is perhaps best known for the app as well as the speakers. Both new models have completely new software and hardware. Nothing was retained from the previous models.

– This is the next generation of smart speakers, says Finnish designer Aki Lin, who lives in the USA and was heavily involved in the development.


The new Sonos speakers, the Era 100 and Era 300, have amazing sound, but also a lot of new technology. Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

No help from Google

Some may react to the fact that the new speakers can’t be used with Google Assistant — only with Sonos’ smart voice control to control music and with Amazon Alexa. The consolation is that they’re working to get Google, too.

bluetooth

What’s new is that they both now support Bluetooth. It’s something Google has a lot of experience with on portable speakers: Move and Roam. Now it’s also about news by wire. Perhaps a little unnecessary for many who put it into a multi-room system at home. It’s not meant to be on the beach, but that means guests can log in without the Sonos app and play their own music. And then they can be taken to a party if needed, without having to set up the network again.

And speaking of networks. They have WiFi 6E support, which should give them plenty of capacity in homes where 2.4GHz is crowded. Now there are hardly many who have routers at home with 6E, but this is the trend moving forward, and it’s nice that the speakers are future-capable and can handle both 2.4, 5, and 6GHz.

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It might also be a good idea to have capacity galore, because both new speakers also support Dolby Atmos, which can use up to 1 Mbit/s throughput.

New calibration

Another novelty is that the speakers can also be calibrated with Android phones. QuickTune is available in the new version of the app and program starts in the speaker drivers and microphones to create an acoustic impression of the room. The sound is then automatically adjusted to fit where the speakers are placed. TruePlay is still the pinnacle of calibration, but it requires an iOS device to be moved in circles across the room.

Sonos gave up on creating TruePlay for Android because there are so many different models with different speaker and microphone characteristics. But according to Sonos, QuickTune does an almost as good job.

Easy to fix

Sonos has also jumped on the ease-of-fix bandwagon. In these speakers, they replaced the glue with the screws, so if the speaker needs to visit the workshop for some reason, the job is much easier.

And speaking of waves. Sonos maintains that it used as much recycled plastic as possible in the construction and made sure that the speakers can be recycled when they are out of service once in a while.

Era of 100


Sonos Era 100: It’s possible to pop out the larger speaker at the bottom of the cabinet made of clear plastic — and two speakers at the top, which output sound to either side. Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

The smallest speaker is a case the size of the Sonos One, but it’s been significantly upgraded. However, it looks a lot like the One, but it has grown quite a bit in length. Now it has two treble drivers instead of one—and a bass driver that’s 25 percent larger than one. Specifically, 4.4 inches in places versus 3.5 inches. It’s supposed to give out much more bass, and with two tweeters throwing sound in different directions, it should have a certain stereo separation.

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Sonos has also built a new volume control into both the new Era 100 and Era 300. Instead of clicking plus and minus signs, there’s now a recessed bar with a capacitive sensor on top of the speakers that you run your finger over. For those who miss the old way, you can tap on each end as well.

The Era 100 will replace the Sonos One, and it will cost NOK 2,799.

Era 300

This is a brand new speaker unlike any existing model. But this is a strong case with up to six drivers. It is slightly oval when viewed frontally and slightly narrower in the middle towards the rear. Kind of like an hourglass.


Sonos Era 300: Two bass and four trebles deliver loud sound. Photo: Odd Richard Valmot

Two basses point to opposite sides, and so do three. In addition, it has three triples, one pointing up and the other pointing forward. This should ensure a good acoustic separation, while higher frequencies, which are more sensitive to directions, spread well across the room.

Sonos thinks the Era 300 is a soundbar that will fit right in with one of their soundbars and a branch to enhance the Dolby Atmos effect. But if you’re meant to get deeper into the portfolio, the Era 100 is also a good option. The Era 300 will cost NOK 4,999 when it now appears in stores.

It looks enormous

We listened to both speakers, and they sound convincing. But these listening demos are well prepared, so an audition for both is coming soon.

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Sonos also comes with a USB-C line-in adapter that allows you to connect a record player with a go-to 3.5mm analog port.

Less electricity

This speaker is always on standby and waiting for the music. This means that they use some electricity all the time. Sonos has done a lot to reduce consumption, and now the Era 100 uses less than 2 watts, while its big brother is 2 watts.



Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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