The new Era 100 has an oval shape. The Era 100 is one inch taller than its predecessor and a tad heavier too (2.02kg vs 1.85kg) but it’s still a compact wireless speaker. It can easily fit onto any shelf, desk, table, or corner in the home – that’s near a mains socket, of course. The Era 100 comes in two variations that are a matte black or matte white finish, and the wraparound grille now stretches to the edges more than before for a seamless look. In the end, there are two angled tweeters inside with custom waveguides, alongside a woofer that’s 25 percent bigger than before. Sonos claims that this would deliver detailed stereo separation and deeper bass. All three drivers are powered by their own Class D amplifier.
The speaker’s interface and on-unit controls have been updated, too. Touch capacitive buttons return for music playback and voice control, and there’s a new volume slider in the form of a ‘trough’ in the top panel in which you can change the volume smoothly by sliding your finger along this trough. In the back, you’ll find the Bluetooth pairing button and a switch that turns the speaker’s mic on or off. On the top you can find a speech bubble icon which you can tap on/off to enable/disable voice control, Sonos has added this extra physical switch for full privacy and peace of mind if you never, ever want any voice assistant listening in. it also has a USB-C line-in connection for hard-wiring sources like a turntable or music player but its demerit is that you’ll need an adapter to complete the wired connection, but Sonos doesn’t include it in the box.
The Era range is the first Sonos product that has Bluetooth in its wi-fi-based home speakers and the flexibility is more than welcome. It has Bluetooth 5.0 and the standard AAC and SBC codecs are supported. Pairing is pleasingly smooth and the connection remains stable throughout. The Sonos control app is where the speaker’s numerous functions and features are unlocked. The current Sonos S2 platform makes the whole experience different smoother and more sophisticated. The app lets you add a huge amount of music sources, from all the major streaming services to various internet radio stations. You can also control every element of the speaker: its name, which room it’s in, playback, multi-room grouping, voice control, EQ settings, and more. The Era speakers are the first to host Sonos’s voice control alongside Amazon’s Alexa. Its voice control is prioritized on music playback commands, rather than controlling smart home or automation features. It reacts to its wake word (“Hey Sonos”) and natural speech well during testing. Another interesting feature is Sonos’s Trueplay room calibration tuning, which optimizes the speaker’s sound depending on its surrounding. There are some other features like you can link two Era 100s together as a stereo pair, which is great for home cinema fans.
The Era 100 has a very good sound quality crisp and detailed. It gives spacious sound, and deep bass – and cranks it up a dozen notches. It sounds so much bigger, more spacious, more detailed, and deeper in the bass, while still retaining a great handle on timing, dynamics, and even tonal balance. The dispersion of sound you get from what is still a fairly compact speaker is impressive. The delivery is powerful, with voices projected out into the room with confidence.
Few competitors compete with the Sonos Era 100’s quality and array of features at this price. Sonos’s gamble of making this speaker from scratch has paid off with winning results on the audio front. Those who have already experienced the Sonos ecosystem they will find the new Era 100 speaker difficult to resist, while those new to Sonos will find it a charming entry to a capable and feature-rich wireless speaker experience with plenty of extra goodies to play with.