First look: Sonos embark on a new Era of speakers with next-level surround sound

Lady wearing an orange shirt stood next to sideboard using a mobile phone to turn a Sonos speaker on.
(Image credit: Sonos)

If you're someone who is dedicated to their home sound system, or you're even just looking for a smart speaker upgrade, you'll want to know about Sonos' latest offering. After many leaks and suspicions, today Sonos have unveiled their brand new speakers; the Era 100 and Era 300. 

The Sonos One speaker has remained their bestseller for years and is what many people know the brand for, so it's unsurprising that Sonos has decided to reinvent the wheel with not one, but two, new editions. The brand seems to be phasing out the One, and with the new features that come in the Era 100 and 300, it's a no-brainer to opt for the newer models. 

We managed to get our hands on the brand-new speakers last month to see what they're all about, and with sleek designs and updated technology, we're pleased to report that they're set to be some of the best smart speakers. So, what is the lowdown on Era 100 and Era 300? We've rounded up the top-line news below so you can work out whether you'll be wanting to invest come the 28th of March. 

What is the Sonos Era 100? 

Sonos Era 100 in black sat on a kitchen island worktop with person chopping veg in background.

(Image credit: Sonos)

The Era 100 is a remastering of the classic One; a sleek, oval-shaped smart speaker. It features all-new acoustics for stereo separation and a deeper base, and it comes packaged in a super elegant design. 

The main upgrade in this model is all in the architecture. It has dual-angled tweeters that distribute the sound completely evenly around a room, so you don't need to worry about where the speaker is placed or where you're sat to get the best possible listening experience. Sonos have also upgraded this model with a 25% larger woofer than Sonos One, which fills the room with a significantly deeper bass - great for parties or even as a TV sound system. 

Speed and ease of connection are one of the most important factors in a speaker, so Sonos have given the Era 100 a 47% faster processor and a new co-neural processor. This improves performance and makes it faster to connect via Bluetooth, so you can get your music playing within seconds. Like Sonos' other speakers, it has WiFi streaming but you can now also easily pair your Bluetooth devices, so it's easier for family and friends to have their turn at playing DJ.  

The Era 100 is a great compact size that makes it well-placed for the corner of a room or apartment living, but you can also pair up two devices in the same room for a richer sound, or even connect it to multiple speakers around your home.

Priced at $249, it's available to pre-order today and will be released on March 28th. It comes in two colors, black and white, so you can choose the look best suited for your interior style.

What is the Sonos Era 300? 

Person pressing the touch controls ona black Sonos Era 300 speaker.

(Image credit: Sonos)

The Sonos Era 300 is the larger model out of the two and has a flatter, oval design. Long-time Sonos fans will remember the Play::3, a 'mummy bear' type of model that sat at a mid-price range and was quickly outshone by the newer portable speakers, like the Roam. The Era 300 seems to be a sort of replacement for this, but with a brand new set of features. 

It offers an immersive audio experience thanks to drivers that are precisely angled around the top, bottom, and sides of the device. The center driver is the star of the show, and this is supported by custom drivers on either side for a consistent sound that is the same premium quality no matter where you're situated. Along with two high-performance woofers and an upward-facing tweeter, the Era 300 reflects sound off the ceiling and sides of the room to produce balanced bass and spatial audio. 

Another pull of this release is the multichannel surround sound potential. You can use the Era 300 as home theater rears by pairing two speakers with Arc or Beam (Gen 2) to unlock an exceptional Dolby Atmos experience. So for any film buffs, this will be a surefire way to create a professional viewing experience in the comfort of your own home. We were lucky enough to try this ourselves and the result was a sound that truly filled the room, placing you in the action. 

Focusing on the design itself, Sonos have developed a more user-friendly interface that has a 'touch and goes' volume slider, skip and replay buttons, and a Bluetooth button to easily pair devices. It also comes in two colors, black and white, depending on your taste and interior. 

This model does come at a higher price than the Era 100, but with the immense architecture and physical size difference, we can see why. It's priced at $449 and can be pre-ordered now for shipping on March 28th. 

Holly Cockburn
Former Features Editor

Holly is the former Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focused on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break.