Earlier this year, Sonos had launched the company’s new lineup of smart speakers, the Era 100 and Era 300. Billed as a “remastering” of the iconic Sonos One, the Sonos Era 100 features a faster processor and a larger subwoofer in a similarly sized package over the predecessor.
Sonos Era 100 Specifications
|Sonos Era 100
|Height: 182.5 mm
Width: 120 mm
Depth: 130.5 mm
|3 x class-D digital amplifiers
|Yes , with On/Off switch
|Yes, Android and iOS
|Yes, via Sonos app
|WiFi 6, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4 GHz/5 GHz
Apple Airplay 2
What’s In The Box?
- Sonos Era 100 Smart Speaker
- Power cable
Similar to other Sonos speakers, the Era 100 comes in a cylindrical shape, albeit being slightly taller than the Sonos One. You get a choice between black and white colourways. At the top, you will find the capacitive touch playback controls, volume slider, and voice control on/off button.
The perforated speaker grille houses a dual tweeter + midwoofer audio system. Sonos also included a physical microphone kill switch for added security and peace of mind. It is located at the back alongside the USB-C line in port. The power connector is hidden at the bottom of the device with a channel to route the power cable for a neat look. The bottom is also rubberised to keep the speaker in place.
The Sonos Era 100 is easy to setup using the companion app. Before I could begin the setup process, I had to create a Sonos account. After that, it was smooth sailing and I could get the speaker running in less than 5 minutes. However, to get the best audio experience, I had to setup Trueplay separately (more on this later).
Sonos is one of if not the only brand in the market that makes home audio products easy and convenient to setup for consumers. While other brands’ home theater systems involves a great deal of setting up with messy cables, Sonos prides itself with a simple to use app to connect and group speakers into individual rooms.
For starters, the entire setup process can only be done via the app, and I set this speaker for my bedroom. I could also connect my Spotify account to the app, and control my speakers from there instead of selecting playback device on Spotify.
If I want to connect the Era 100 to another speaker for a true stereo experience, I can use stereo pairing on the app as well. This feature extends to subwoofers as well.
The Sonos Era 100 has a good audio quality out of the box. It can get quite loud to fill up a mid sized room.
While a dual tweeter + midwoofer combo qualifies as a 2.1 stereo sound on paper, it would be unfair to expect a stereo listening experience on a single speaker. What it does do however, is to project sound in a wide area so that users can get a decent listening experience regardless of the listerner’s position in the room.
That being said, I find the Sonos Era 100 to sound the best when I am directly in front of the speaker at about 4 feet apart. The midwoofer does a good job at handling bass as it sounds tight and has a noticeable “oomph” to it. However, the lower mid-range tends to muddy up a bit especially when there are multiple instruments occupying the mid-bass to mid-range section. Sound separation from the upper mid-range onwards sound great though.
Pairing the Era 100 with another speaker and adding on a Sonos Sub Mini subwoofer could improve the sound quality and overall listening experience, as the midwoofer no longer need to perform double duty. However, you will be spending upwards of RM6,200 for that combo.
Sonos Trueplay is the company’s own room correction algorithm. While most brands would require a technical personnel to come to your home and setup the home theater system using a laptop and an array of microphones to tune the sound, Sonos Trueplay eliminated the need for such complex setup.
It works by playing a sequence of sounds from the speaker, and measures the response on a smartphone’s microphone. It has always been exclusive to iOS devices until now. The Sonos Era 100 has its own microphone, allowing it to perform Trueplay tuning on its own via the app, Android users included.
Turning on Trueplay works wonders as it takes into account how the sound bounces off the walls and adjusts its audio playback for a better listening experience. I have a large window panel behind the speaker, and it sounded much better with Trueplay enabled.
For RM1,599, the Sonos Era 100 does not come cheap. But as a standalone speaker it offers a great listening experience with tons of room for upgrades. The main draw of the Sonos ecosystem is that you can deck your entire house with Sonos speakers for complete your audio system. As of now, even the 5 year old Sonos One is still supported, which is a testament to the longevity of their ecosystem.
For more information of the Sonos Era 100, please visit the official product page here.
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