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Sonos Era 100 hands-on: Pricing, Features and Performance

    As the pioneer of smart speakers, Sonos has remained a formidable player in the audio industry. With the recent introduction of the Sonos Era 100, the company continues to push the boundaries of innovation. Set to launch on March 28, the Era 100 takes over from the Sonos One as the new entry-level smart speaker, offering a fresh range of features and improved performance that put it in contention with the best smart speakers of the year, including the latest Apple HomePod 2.

    Having had the opportunity to get hands-on with the Era 100, I can attest to its sleek and impressive design. The new model, available in black or white, bears a striking resemblance to the Sonos One, but with a few noticeable upgrades. These include a second tweeter for exceptional stereo sound from a single unit, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth connectivity.

    Sonos Era 100 hands-on: Price and availability

    While the Era 100 retails for $249 / £249 / AU$399, it’s worth noting that the Sonos One and One SL remain available for purchase. Though the latter is being phased out, both models will still be supported by Sonos.

    Sonos Era 100 hands-on: Design

    One of the most significant improvements to the Era 100 is its ability to function as a single music speaker or pair with the Sonos Arc, Sonos Beam, or Sonos Ray soundbar setup. This feature makes it an ideal addition to any home theater setup or an excellent standalone speaker.

    Introducing the Sonos Era 100 – a sleek and powerful smart speaker that offers an unparalleled listening experience. With a rounded design and slightly larger size than the Sonos One, the Era 100 measures 7.18 x 4.72 x 5.14 inches, weighing in at 4.44 pounds (around 2kg). Though it’s slightly heavier than its predecessor, the Sonos One, its footprint is relatively the same.

    But the Era 100 offers much more than just a pretty face. Its touch controls have been upgraded, featuring a small groove in the middle that allows you to slide your finger to adjust the volume, as well as tap controls for play/pause, reverse, and forward.

    Inside the Era 100, you’ll find two tweeters angled left and right, along with a 25 percent larger woofer driver than what’s fitted to the Sonos One. This configuration enables the speaker to produce a rich, stereo sound that reaches 270 degrees of dispersion. Plus, you can pair two Era 100s together for an even greater stereo soundstage, while the larger woofer driver enhances bass performance.

    Features and connectivity

    Sonos Era 100 also offers seamless connectivity. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, and it works with AirPlay 2 on Apple devices using iOS 11.4 and higher. The speaker has a USB-C port on the back, and Sonos offers adapters that provide Ethernet and line-in connectivity, making it compatible with line-level turntables. The Combo Adapter, which provides Ethernet and 3.5mm line-in connectivity, costs $39.99, while the USB-C Line-In Adapter costs $19.99.

    In addition, the Sonos Era 100 supports Alexa and its own voice assistant, though there is currently no support for Google Assistant. But don’t worry – you can always disconnect the Era 100’s microphone via a switch on the back.

    The Era 100 also offers Trueplay and adjustable EQ, which are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Trueplay uses microphones built into the Era 100 speaker for Android devices, while users with an iOS device can use either the Quick Tuning method or the traditional Advanced Tuning method.

    Sonos Era 100 hands-on: Sound quality

    With its dual tweeter setup, the Sonos Era 100 is a force to be reckoned with in the smart speaker market. During my hands-on experience, I was blown away by the superior stereo sound quality, which truly impressed when listening to tracks like Caroline Polachek’s “Billions” and Lizzo’s “About Damn Time”. The Era 100’s larger woofer driver also contributes to its superior bass performance, making it a must-have for music enthusiasts.

    While the Sonos Era 100 may look similar to the Sonos One, it boasts improved connectivity and performance features that set it apart. It supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, and AirPlay 2 on Apple devices, and comes equipped with Alexa and its own voice assistant. Trueplay and adjustable EQ settings allow for customization based on your preferences and surroundings. Plus, with the ability to pair two Era 100s together, you can take your listening experience to the next level.

    Sonos Era 100 hands-on: Outlook

    Although Google Assistant support is not yet available, the Sonos Era 100 is still a worthwhile upgrade for anyone in the market for an entry-level smart home speaker. And with the pending release of the Sonos Era 300, featuring spatial audio support, Sonos is raising the bar in the smart speaker arena. Don’t miss out on the next era of smart home audio – upgrade to the Sonos Era 100 today.

    Pros

    Superior stereo sound quality with dual tweeters and a larger woofer driver for improved bass performance
    Supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth, and AirPlay 2 on Apple devices
    Compatible with Alexa and its own voice assistant
    Trueplay and adjustable EQ settings for customized sound preferences
    Can pair two Era 100s together for an even greater listening experience
    Stylish and modern design
    USB-C port on the back for connectivity options

    Cons

    No support for Google Assistant at this time
    No spatial audio support (for that, you’ll need to consider the Sonos Era 300)
    Slightly heavier than the Sonos One
    USB-C Line-In Adapter is an additional cost if you want to connect a line-level turntable.

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