Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300

Sonos has unveiled two new speakers as part of its next generation Era series. Two models make up the new series: the Era 100 and Era 300. They officially go on sale on March 28. 

The Sonos Era 100 is the direct replacement for the Sonos One smart speaker. The company is planning to phase out both the Sonos One and the Sonos One SL, but will continue to sell both models while supplies last. A company spokesperson confirmed that Sonos will continue to offer support for the Sonos One well into the future.

The Sonos Era 300 looks like no other speaker and is a brand new design to the Sonos range. It's the first Sonos speaker model to be purposefully designed for spatial audio music content, and can support Dolby Atmos soundtracks when used as the rear surround speakers in a Sonos home theater setup.

The feature-set for both models looks to rival some of the best smart speakers out there, including the new Apple HomePod 2, and both models are destined to become essential speaker components in many next-generation Sonos setups. 

In this Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300 comparison, I'll take a look at both speakers side-by-side to hep you decide which is the best Sonos Era model you.

Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Era 300 in white on display at demo

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300: Price and availability

The Sonos Era 100 will cost $249 / £249 / AU$399 when it goes on sale on March 28. By comparison, the Sonos One is $219, while the Sonos One SL (which doesn't have smart speaker capabilities) is $199.

The Sonos Era 300 is set to cost $449 / £449 / AU$749 when it also goes on sale on March 28. By comparison, the Era 300 sits directly below the continuing flagship Sonos Five ($549) premium speaker. 

Both Era speakers are available to preorder today (March 7) through the Sonos website in black or white color options.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Sonos Era 100Sonos Era 300
Price$249 / £249 / AU$399$449 / £449 / AU$749
Speakers2x tweeters, 1x woofer4x tweeters, 2x woofers
Smart assistantsAmazon Alexa, Sonos Voice AssistantAmazon Alexa, Sonos Voice Assistant
Wireless802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, AirPlay 2802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, AirPlay 2
Size7.2 x 4.7 x 5.1 inches6.30 x 10.24 x 7.28 inches
Weight4.44 pounds (2.2kg)9.85 pounds (4.47kg)

Sonos Era 100 in white at demo

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300: Design

The Era 100 doesn't look too dissimilar to the outgoing Sonos One, but has a slightly more rounded design and is a little larger. The Era 100 measures 7.2 x 4.7 x 5.1 inches, and weighs 4.4 pounds (around 2kg). 

The new models introduce new touch controls, and the small groove running through the middle lets you slide your finger to increase or decrease the volume. You can also tap on either side to achieve the same effect. Towards the front of the top of the Era 100 are buttons for play/pause, reverse, and forward.

Sonos Era 300 in black with female model using touch controls

(Image credit: The Verge / Sonos)

The design of the Sonos Era 300 is the more interesting form factor of the new Era series. The hourglass shape is for acoustical purposes, and allows sounds from the multiple speakers to radiate freely; this results in a speaker cabinet that has an elegant waistline. The unusual cabinet shape has been developed to make the most of spatial audio music content as well as to unlock a 7.1.4 sound experience when partnered with a Sonos Arc soundbar playing Dolby Atmos content in a home theater setup.

Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Era 300 side-by-side in white at Sonos demo

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300: Audio capabilities

Internally, the Era 100 is equipped with two tweeters angled left and right, and it has a 25 percent larger woofer driver than what's fitted to the Sonos One. This new driver arrangement enables stereo sound from a single speaker unit said to achieve 270 degrees of dispersion — although you can pair two Era 100s together for an even greater stereo soundstage — while the larger woofer driver aims to improve bass performance.

Meanwhile, the Era 300 has six custom speakers to create a 5.1 sound experience from a single speaker unit. The four midrange/tweeters take care of the directional musical elements, while two woofers maximize low-end output and are angled left and right to support stereo playback. Bass output is aided by directional horn, and the upward-firing tweeter reflects sound off the ceiling when playing Dolby Atmos content.

Trueplay and adjustable EQ are available on both Era models and the functionality is now compatible with both iOS and Android devices. With an Android device, Trueplay uses microphones built into the Era 100 speaker. Users with an iOS device can also use this method (referred to as Quick Tuning in the Sonos app) or the traditional method (referred to as Advanced Tuning) which uses the microphones in your iPhone or iPad and requires you to move around the room.

Sonos Era 300 connected to a turntable

(Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300: Connectivity and smart home features

Both Era speakers support Wi-Fi 6 and are Bluetooth compatible. They also work with AirPlay 2 on Apple devices using iOS 11.4 and higher. Instead of an Ethernet port, though, the Eras have a USB-C port on the back. Sonos will sell adapters that can provide an Ethernet connection and line-in to make it compatible with line-level turntables. A Combo Adapter providing Ethernet and 3.5mm line-in connectivity costs $39.99, while a USB-C Line-In Adapter costs $19.99. 

AI support runs to Alexa and Sonos Voice control. At the time of writing, there's no support for Google Assistant, but this may be added at a later date via a firmware update. Users can disconnect the microphone on both models via a switch on the back.

Sonos Era 100 vs. Sonos Era 300: Which model is right for you?

To find out more our reviews of the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Era 300 are now live.

If you're already a Sonos One owner (one of the best smart speakers), there's probably no need to upgrade to the Era 100 just yet; although I'm sure it would make a great addition if you're looking to expand an existing Sonos ecosystem.

The Sonos Era 300 is in another league altogether, though, and majors on the potential for a more immersive audio experience through spatial audio music content and Dolby Atmos.

And don't forget that Sonos has an upgrade program, which as of Monday, March 27, was offering up to 30% off new models if you trade in.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.