The Sonos Era 100 is the latest multi-room speaker product from Sonos, and compared to the earlier Era 300, the Era 100 focuses more on providing a high-value audio experience. It can be considered an upgrade to the Sonos One, which made its debut in 2017. While the Era 100 may seem simpler in comparison, it should not be underestimated, as it offers robust performance and features, making it a top choice for multi-room audio.
The design of the Sonos Era 100 embodies Sonos’ consistent minimalist aesthetic. In comparison to the earlier Sonos One, the Era 100 has undergone some subtle improvements in its appearance. One of the most noticeable changes is the iconic Sonos logo, now vertically aligned on the front panel, aligning it with other Sonos speakers. Additionally, the Era 100 is slightly taller, deeper, and a bit wider but still fits comfortably in the same space as the original Sonos One.
The touch control panel is located on the top of the Era 100 and has also been redesigned. The addition of dedicated track forward and backward buttons provides more options for music playback control. The volume control has transitioned from the previous button-style design to a central capacitive touch volume slider, allowing for easy volume adjustments through touch or swipe gestures, enhancing daily usability. Furthermore, the control panel includes a microphone mute button to address user privacy and security concerns.
There have been some significant changes to the rear of the speaker as well. The Ethernet port and setup button are no longer present, replaced by a USB-C port. Through this port, you can connect a line-in adapter or a combination line-in/Ethernet adapter, priced at $20 and $40, respectively. While the need for these adapters might be seen as an inconvenience by some, it marks the first time Sonos has offered line-in functionality in a speaker at this price point, providing users with more connection options. Additionally, the rear of the speaker includes a microphone mute switch and a Bluetooth button for initiating pairing mode.
Overall, the Sonos Era 100 maintains Sonos’ consistent minimalist style while introducing some practical improvements. While some users might miss the Ethernet port, most of these changes are positive. Ideally, offering a direct line-in port on the speaker without the need for additional adapters would have been more convenient, but at least these options are now available.
Setting up the Sonos Era 100 and getting it up and running is straightforward, even if you have no prior experience with Sonos systems. First, you need to download and install the Sonos app on your smartphone and create a Sonos account. Once these steps are completed, the app will automatically detect and connect to your speaker. Next, you’ll need to sign in to your preferred music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Afterward, you can start using the Era 100.
The setup process for the Sonos Era 100 is intuitive and user-friendly. You can use the Sonos app to search for and play music, but if you prefer to use other music apps like AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, you can easily switch and use those as well.
While setting up the Era 100, there are some optional but practical features to consider. First is Trueplay, a feature that automatically adjusts audio output based on the actual placement of the speaker. Trueplay has existed in the past but required manual adjustment using an iPhone. You had to play test sounds and move the phone around the room for the app to analyze and optimize the sound.
However, the Sonos Era 100 introduces a new convenience by having a built-in microphone that can perform Trueplay adjustments automatically, without manual intervention. Furthermore, this feature is now available to Android users as well. While the previous manual method might yield slightly better results, this automated approach is undoubtedly more convenient and faster.
Additionally, you can add voice assistants to the Era 100. It supports Amazon’s Alexa as well as Sonos’ own voice assistant. Setting up the Sonos voice assistant is relatively simple, as it doesn’t require linking to an Amazon account, but Alexa is also an option. Both assistants are easy to set up and use.
It’s worth noting that while previous Sonos speakers with microphones also supported Google Assistant, the Sonos Era 100 currently does not support Google Assistant. This is reportedly due to a patent dispute between Sonos and Google. However, Sonos has expressed a desire to support Google Assistant again in the future, pending Google’s decision. For users who prefer using Google Assistant, this may be a slight disappointment. Nevertheless, for most users, the Sonos Assistant and Alexa offer sufficient functionality.
The audio performance of the Sonos Era 100 is impressive, and it significantly enhances the audio experience compared to the Sonos One. Firstly, the Era 100 can reach extremely high volumes, far beyond the ordinary. It delivers exceptional sound intensity while maintaining clarity even at high volumes without noticeable distortion.
The Era 100’s sound quality is well-balanced, with excellent mid and high tones. Regardless of the music genre, the sound is clear and transparent, leaving a lasting impression. Notably, the Era 100’s bass performance is also quite impressive, especially considering its relatively compact size. It delivers sufficient bass effects, even without an external subwoofer, meeting the needs of most music enthusiasts.
Of course, if you’re a true audiophile, you may want to invest in a larger, high-end audio system for a higher level of audio performance. However, for a standalone multi-room speaker, the Sonos Era 100’s sound quality is undoubtedly excellent and more than adequate for the majority of users.
Sonos is renowned for its multi-room audio capabilities, and the Era 100 continues this tradition, offering users a convenient multi-room audio experience. You can place multiple Era 100 speakers in different rooms and connect them using the Sonos app to play music simultaneously or have different music playing in different rooms.
This feature is perfect for family gatherings or situations where you
want uniform music throughout your entire house. You can easily control the volume and playback content of each speaker through the app without needing manual adjustments in each room. This makes the Era 100 a versatile audio system ideal for home entertainment.
In summary, the Sonos Era 100 is a high-value multi-room speaker with excellent sound quality, easy setup, and multi-room audio capabilities. While it may not match higher-end Sonos speakers in certain aspects, it delivers outstanding performance and functionality for most users, making it a highly recommended choice. If you’re looking for an all-around multi-room speaker, the Era 100 is definitely worth considering.