I never really admired Sonos speakers for their real sound quality. Of course, the previous Play One and Five series speakers, the sound barssubwoofer and even the mobile roaming perfectly decent sound. But the main appeal of a Sonos speaker is the technology behind the grill. Boasting integrations with Alexa, Apple, Google, and virtually every music streaming service worth mentioning, the multiroom-enabled system is the most convenient way to listen to everything, anywhere, at once.
With the new Era 100, Sonos finally wipes the floor with its rivals when it comes to sound quality too. With stereo tweeters and a more advanced room tuning feature, this is a single speaker that easily holds its own with all but more expensive two-speaker systems. If you’re looking for an all-in-one compact speaker, the Era 100 is by far the best I’ve ever heard. I would happily spread them around my house like wildflowers if I was looking for a way to fill my house with sound.
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The 100 era sounds familiar. It corresponds to the second generation Sonos One and One SL speakers in size and shape. That makes sense, given that previous models already had a sleek design that blends easily into most rooms, and given that Sonos is committed to keeping its previous products relevant, both visually and technologically, for years to come. years and years.
Sonos also recently launched the Era 300, a larger and more expensive new Dolby Atmos speaker. The Era 300 replaces the Sonos Play: 3, which was discontinued prior to this revamp. These speakers are still supported, but it’s worth noting that the company has already had some hot water on discontinued support for other early models. That said, smart speaker technology has come a long way since those early Sonos models were forced into mothballs, and in my experience the company does its best to keep its products working the longest. possible. The latest generation Sonos speakers still work beautifully together.
The rectangular Era 100 speaker is available in black or white. It has a volume slider on the top, as well as a play pause button, so you don’t need to pull out your phone to do the simple things. The slider is a welcome change that many users would have asked for. The speaker has a rubber foot, which means it sticks to almost any surface you place it on. For those who don’t like voice assistants, there’s a switch on the back of the speaker, next to its USB-C input, that lets you physically disable the built-in microphone.
Pairing and setup is super easy. Pull out your phone, download the Sonos app, and add the speaker to your user profile. You can tell the Sonos app where the Era 100 lives in your home, create groups of multiple speakers, and connect to all your favorite streaming apps. I like the ease of integration with Spotify and Alexa (the streaming service and voice assistant I use). The speaker also has incredibly good microphones for voice commands; I replaced one Amazon Echo Show 8 with the Era 100 in my office, and it picked up my prompts better than Amazon’s own speakers, despite being just as far away.
Like the upgraded pickups, you won’t see many of the best improvements built into the Era 100, but they’re apparent as soon as you start playing music. Sonos enlarged the woofers by 25% and added a pair of angled tweeters to create true stereo sound. Previous Sonos speakers of this shape and size played only mono sound. You also get a 47% faster processor, which will help preserve this speaker’s ability to receive software updates for longer than the previous one. Sonos says it’s over-engineering the processing of these speakers, so to speak, so it can accommodate future performance upgrades for as long as possible. I’ve tested many Sonos speaker models together for years and never noticed any lag, but it’s nice to know they still have more room to improve across the board.