Sonos Era 100 Review: A Worthy Successor to the Sonos One
We’ve been testing the all-new Sonos Era 100, the successor to the wildly popular Sonos One for the past couple of weeks. In this brief review, we’ll dive into the details of the Era 100 and also how it compares to its predecessor.
Design and Build Quality
The Era 100 sports a slim, modern design that is only slightly larger than the Sonos One, making it an attractive addition to any bookshelf, kitchen counter, desk, or nightstand. In white, the Era 100 is definitely ‘wife approved’ if your home is nothing but white as it blends in well with any decor.
While maintaining the classic Sonos aesthetic, the Era 100 features a new UI and a more sustainable build, using post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic and packaging made from 100% sustainably sourced paper.
The design looks more modern than the original Sonos One, this time a slightly taller oval shape, compared to the shorter square oval before. There’s now a physical Sonos logo stacked vertically at the front, compared to just a printed logo before.
Era 100 is slightly larger than the Sonos One, measuring 7.18 x 4.72 x 5.14 inches compared to the One’s 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 inches. The Era 100 is also a bit heavier, weighing in at 4.44 lb, while the Sonos One weighs 4.08 lb.
Sonos has upped the ante in audio performance with the Era 100. The speaker now boasts two angled tweeters for a richer stereo experience, and a 25% larger mid-woofer to deliver deeper bass. This upgrade is a marked improvement over the Sonos One’s single tweeter and mid-woofer combination, providing a more immersive audio experience overall.
The Era 100 also has three class-D amplifiers, one more than before and you can tell when you’re listening to music as the speaker can get very loud while maintaining clear sound.
Connectivity and Control
The Era 100 continues to support popular features such as Sonos Voice Control, the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay 2, and Bluetooth. However, the Era 100 also offers upgraded connectivity options, including WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and direct connection for other audio devices like turntables using an auxiliary cable and the Sonos Line-In Adapter, thanks to the USB-C port. An ethernet from the Sonos One is no longer available, which makes sense for today’s wireless world.
Besides the touch control on the top of the Era 100 to mute the mic for smart assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Control (
update: Google Assistant has been dropped, likely due to the legal disputes between both companies), there’s now a physical switch on the back. This ensures no one can accidentally turn on or off your mic from touch controls.
Correction March 28, 2023: Sonos explained to iPhone in Canada, Google changed the technical requirements for Google Assistant on 3rd party devices, hence it’s no longer available.
“We’re evaluating these requirements, but it’s a heavy engineering lift and we’ll continue to prioritize work that builds on our vision of voice assistants all working concurrently. We remain hopeful that Google Assistant will be part of this ecosystem one day, but that’s really up to Google,” explained a Sonos spokesperson.
One of the standout features of the Era 100 is its intuitive new user interface, which includes a capacitive volume slider for simple control. This makes it easy to adjust the volume by just sliding your finger left or right, or tapping.
Sonos has made strides in sustainability with the Era 100, engineering the speaker to consume less power (under 2 watts of idle power consumption) and incorporating an advanced sleep function to save energy.
Trueplay Expansion to Android
The Era 100 (and Era 300) now support Trueplay for both Android and iOS users, thanks to the integrated microphone array. This feature allows users to optimize the sound for their unique space with just a tap in the Sonos app.
A new ‘quick tuning’ option for Trueplay is much faster than before, as it measures sound with the tap of a button leveraging the mics on the Era 100. The other ‘advanced tuning’ method remains, which requires you to walk around the room feeling silly waving your iPhone or Android smartphone, measuring sound as you move.
Unboxing and Setting Up the Era 100
The box for the Era 100 is all cardboard and inside it’s the same story, no plastic is used whatsoever. Once you open the box, the Era 100 greets you wrapped in a cloth. Take out the hefty speaker and you’ll see the power cord sitting at the bottom.
Adding the Era 100 to your existing Sonos system is incredibly easy. Sonos deserves high praise for making its S2 app interface incredibly easy to use. It’s just so easy to add a new speaker to a new or existing room. We ran into no issues setting up the Era 100, it was very easy and straightforward.
Comparing the size of the Era 100 to the Sonos One
Here are some pictures comparing the Era 100 to the Sonos One. From the front, you can instantly tell this is a taller and newer Sonos speaker:
Here’s the view from the side:
…and from the back. Notice the Bluetooth button is now here like the Move and Roam. There’s a new physical switch to turn off all mics and now USB-C on the Era 100:
From the top, we see a cleaner look on the Era 100, with its new volume slider bar. You can also see how the Era 100 is a larger speaker than the Sonos One:
From the bottom, we see how there’s now a different setup for the power cords. Instead of four feet on the Sonos One, the Era 100 has a large round rubber area. I did find the Sonos One’s cable did integrate more seamlessly into the base of the speaker at its exit point:
How Does the Era 100 Sound?
Playing a song for the first time on the Era 100 and it was instantly noticeable this is a new speaker. The new larger mid-woofer makes an immediate impact as there’s now more bass than before (bass you can really feel in your chest). The Era 100 with its dual-angled tweeters delivers more stereo separation, making the soundstage wider than before. The Era 100 was able to easily fill our living room with large sound, offering booming bass and crisp highs and mids. It’s louder than the Sonos One and at max volume there was no distortion.
We tested a variety of suggested tracks from Sonos and of course, they all sounded fantastic, showing the capabilities of the Era 100’s larger mid-woofer and better overall performance than the Sonos One.
Vocals were super clear, the bass was plentiful at default EQ settings with loudness enabled (and more than enough by ramping up the EQ), and dual tweeters offered stereo separation the original is not capable of. Once you start listening to your favourite tracks with the Era 100 it’s hard to turn the speaker off.
We didn’t have a second Era 100 to compare a stereo pair to the original Sonos One pair we have here, but we can guess it will make a bigger difference in a large room.
The Era 100 sounds better than Apple’s HomePod and HomePod 2 and is also significantly cheaper, and comes with AirPlay 2 support. It also dominates Amazon’s Echo Studio, albeit the latter offers a tonne of bass (overpowering at times) with Dolby Atmos support at an intriguing price point.
Don’t fall for the HomePod 2 trap at $399 (at least wait for HomePod 3?). The Era 100 is a better speaker and it supports Amazon Alexa and Sonos Voice Control, plus you can also play Apple Music, Spotify and more. Siri is also useless on the HomePod and in general. The Sonos S2 app is a more enjoyable experience than the Apple Music app.
The Sonos One is no slouch of a speaker, but after listening to the Era 100, it was hard to go back to the predecessor. There is a big difference in bass and loudness. It’s not like comparing HomePod to HomePod 2, where it was very hard to tell which one was the new speaker. This time around, you know the Era 100 is a worthy upgrade.
If you’ve been eagerly waiting to upgrade your Sonos One, the Era 100 is ready for your spare cash. But the Sonos One is still a great speaker, however, the Era 100 takes it up another notch and is worth the extra money.
Sonos doesn’t mess around when it comes to next-generation upgrades and new product launches–they always manage to ‘surprise and delight’. It’s clear there’s an incredible team of engineers at Sonos. The Era 100 is a fantastic successor to the Sonos One and is another home run. The Era 100 costs $319 in Canada which is $50 more than the Sonos One, still available for $269 (it debuted for $249 CAD in the fall of 2017).
Click here to buy the Era 100—it launches on March 28, 2023, in Canada, along with the United States, Mexico, Colombia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Eastern Europe, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, and India to follow, says Sonos.