Sonos is back! Head-banging into your room again with the latest Sonos Era 100. In this review, I will let you know the differences between the Sonos One and the Sonos Era 100, to help you make the right choice for your audio needs.
In the box, there is the quick start guide, the warranty information, a 6-ft power cable, and the speaker is wrapped in white cloth – a very typical Sonos-like experience.
If you have missed my unboxing of the Sonos Era 100, be sure to check it out on my IG and TikTok, which I will leave links down below.
I have to say, the design of the Era 100 has me all 😍! It’s like a cute, little, sturdy powerhouse – just a smidge taller and slimmer than its cousin, the Sonos One.
And can we talk about the Sonos logo running down in the middle? It’s like a mind-bending magic trick because if you tilt your head, or the speaker (left or right), it still reads Sonos the right way!
Now, behind the device, there is the USB-C Line-in port; but yeap, do not mistake this for a power port. No no no, because here is where you can connect it with a separate USB-C to 3.5mm jack dongle to connect it with other analog devices but keep in mind that you will need to get the official Sonos dongle, so you can’t get those random ones that you can find from places like Amazon, Shopee, Lazada or any other online stores.
Then there is a physical mute button to disengage the voice assistant microphone to ensure that Amazon Alexa is not listening to your world domination plans.
Now, speaking of domination, Google has apparently changed their plans not to support the speaker, probably because they know that their smaller speakers sound like crap?
Another thing to note is that the Ethernet port… is gone! Adios! Bye bye! Unlike most previous Sonos speakers. But, honestly, it never really bugged me. I mean, I never ever even used the Ethernet port on any of my Sonos speakers, even during my Sonos Play:1 days!
And that confidence from Sonos comes in the form of WiFi 6 support on the Era 100, so you are guaranteed to get the best possible wireless connection.
Then up top, there is the play, pause, volume, previous and next track control, as well as another voice services control for turning it on or off. Now, the major difference is this indentation for the volume control.
Now I had no issues with the previous Sonos One’s controls, but this was surely more useful than I thought it would be. It is just a simple thing but for me, it is quite ingenious because it surely elevates the experience of using this Sonos speaker, where you can just swipe through to get the EXACT volume that you want.
Now, the insides are where the real magic happens because right now, the woofer is 25% bigger than the Sonos One, and there are two tweeters on the Era 100 instead of one. Well, how does it sound compared to the Sonos One and the Play:1? Well, you will find out later on.
So how about connectivity then? Well, for Sonos, Wi-Fi has always been the name of the game since, according to them, it’s better than using Bluetooth and I would agree myself because after reviewing a gazillion Sonos products (maybe not that many… but you get the point), I’ve gotta say that I’m head over heels for audio via Wi-Fi too!
However, Sonos have seem to have thrown a bone to our Bluetooth-obsessed buddies and decided to include Bluetooth 5.0 in their speaker. Now, Bluetooth 5.0 is not the latest and shiniest version of Bluetooth, but hey, it does get the job done for home use.
So yes, if your friend’s sister’s brother-in-law’s son’s uncle’s friend drops by your house for a party, it is definitely easier for them to connect through Bluetooth to play some tunes instead of giving them your super secret WiFi password.
Other than that, there is also AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect with voice control either using Amazon Alexa as mentioned earlier, or even use Sonos Voice.
And believe it or not, I only use Sonos Voice if I ever need to control the speaker with my voice. You know why? Because the voice actor is none other than the legendary Giancarlo Esposito! Yup, that’s right, Gustavo Fring from “Breaking Bad” and Moff Gideon from “The Mandalorian” himself! So who wouldn’t want him commanding your audio experience, right?
Also mentioned earlier was the non-existence of Google Assistant and this is because of some reports over a patent legal battle between Google and Sonos. But who knows, once everything is a-o-k, it might come back with an Over-The-Air or OTA update.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Sonos has registered with Matter but no device has been officially supported yet. But do you know who you could officially support? Us at Adam Lobo TV! So do subscribe to the channel if you guys haven’t done so!
Also, let’s keep the conversation going on our Discord channel, whether it’s all about tech things, or how “The Mandalorian” Season 3 was just… meh.
Join my Discord here: https://discord.gg/taRdMMwBYk
Now I am dedicating a small section to Trueplay. If you are unfamiliar, it’s Sonos’s method of detecting the room surrounding the speaker, so it can tune itself to give the best sound quality for your specific room or space.
There are now two modes right now – Quick tuning, where the speaker transmits tones from itself to detect the surroundings with a click of a button.
The other one is Advanced tuning, where it gets a bit funny, where in case you do not know, or not familiar, it is where you’ll need to wave your phone up and down and walk around the room while the speaker does its magic.
Now, Trueplay used to be an iPhone or iPad exclusive, but right now it is also available on Android too! But wait, do not ditch your iPhone or iPad just yet, because I found that Trueplay on the iPhone, or even on my iPad, is actually more accurate at detecting the room and optimizing the sound. That being said, I still think that it is way better than Quick Tuning, which I did not find much of a difference when I was doing the tuning, to be honest.
All right, so here is how I have been testing the speaker for a month, for my use case, I usually connect this via AirPlay 2, which I would say about 98% of the time, and the rest is the occasional Wi-Fi connection.
Now, because I have switched to Apple HomeKit towards the end of last year, so I don’t use Amazon Alexa at all, but just for fun, I like to hear Moff Gideon’s voice which works really well to play the music of my choice, which I have got my Apple Music account linked.
Compared to the Sonos One, this speaker’s upgraded woofer and the tweeter combo really hit the mark. You’ll notice clearer high notes and some extra oomph in the bass department.
So the result is a beefier sound that does not skimp on the high-end clarity. The audio is incredibly detailed, and that added punch from the bass creates a fuller sound stage across the spectrum.
So yes, if you’ve heard the Sonos One before and you’re a fan of the warm, natural sound of the speaker but you do crave a little more bass, then this speaker would be the perfect match.
If you do own the Sonos One, a more sensible upgrade for sound quality might be to pair this with the Sonos Sub Mini. You can check out my in-depth review of the Sonos Sub Mini here https://youtu.be/pyjgzN2z5c4
However, if you are looking to use the Sonos Era 100 to complete a surround sound setup for your Sonos Beam, for example, this could be a very viable option. Watching movies with a pair of this setup behind you would definitely give you a more immersive experience compared to the Sonos One due to the sound improvements as mentioned earlier. However, if you’re planning to use the Sonos Era 100 as your rear surround speakers, the Bluetooth functionality could no longer be used.
My overall thoughts are this – the Sonos Era 100 is definitely worthwhile to get over the Sonos One if you haven’t owned a Sonos One yet, as the Sonos Era 100 is just like a scrumptious audio speaker that is begging to be tasted.
Sure, with a price tag of RM1,599, it’s not exactly pocket change, but that extra RM300 compared to the Sonos One gets you a sweet symphony of sound improvements and those nifty Bluetooth capabilities!
And stay tuned for the Sonos Era 300 speakers, which I’ve got TWO, which you’ll find out why in my next video!