Sonos signals sound revolution with latest speakers

Reviews

Home showroom surprise gives greatest space for the latest surround sound reveal.
Woman and man with popcorn chilling to the sound of Sonos | Image source: Supplied
Chilling to the sound of Sonos | Image source: Supplied

The Uber dropped me outside a house in a suburban street in Sydney. At the end of the driveway was a kid’s basketball hoop. I was early, so I walked 100 metres to some stairs that took me to one of the Lower North Shore’s most beautiful beaches and I sat for a while then wandered back, wondering if I was in the wrong place. A colleague called and I asked him to stay on the line while I worked out where I was meant to be.

Then someone appeared in the driveway. Dressed in black, they invited me in. “Welcome to the Sonos sound presentation,” said a voice that dripped with intrigue. Down the stairs, I crossed the square of perfectly manicured lawn and beyond the crystal blue swimming pool was an outdoor space where I was offered woodfire mushroom and parsley pizza, Yuzu sparkling water and Smoked Cola. When our group was ushered into the house, the space was a spectacular den with squishy cushions on a couch that seated us around a huge TV screen, a turntable and some speakers.

I say ‘some’ speakers, but they turned out to be SOME speakers. Sonos is launching some new speakers. They are an evolution of the Play:1/Sonos One – becoming Era 100 – and the latest surround sound module – the Era 300. They are more than sound.

We listened to music both digital and from a turntable and watched video on screen where the sound entirely drowned us in the living space, in a good way. There was bass and voice and separations of sound I could not have imagined possible from small speakers that did not intrude on but enhanced the aesthetic of the room. Whose room, I do not know, but that was the point. This could be my living room, any living space, bedroom, media room or personal space that required a sound set up for pure indulgence. Table-top, wall or ceiling mounted or on their own stands, these speakers could enhance any listening experience in any home.

Sonos White Era 300 | Image source: Supplied

Dressed in black and white, the Era 300 is surround-sound beyond what I expected. The cinched hourglass design enhances the direction and dispersion of sound, and it is the brand’s first speaker that delivers multi-channel surround sound when used as home theatre rears. Movie fans can pair two speakers with Arc or Beam (Gen 2) to create a supercharged Dolby Atmos experience that draws them deeper into the action. Sonos worked closely with its community of leading artists and creators – including Sonos Soundboard members – to meticulously fine-tune Era 300 so listeners can enjoy sound straight from the studio that’s true to the artist’s intent.

The Era 100 has two angled tweeters to send crisp high frequencies left and right for a rich stereo experience, while a larger midwoofer creates stunning bass that’s unexpected from a single compact speaker. Both have slide and tap controls on board for skipping and volume, as well as remote control, Sonos Voice Control, the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth®.

Sonos Era 100 connected to turntable | Image source: Supplied

Era 100 and Era 300 are made with post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic and packaged in 100% sustainably sourced paper, while also engineered to reduce power consumption with under two watts idle power consumption and a new advanced sleep function. Both speakers are built for serviceability by reducing the use of adhesives and transitioning to screws for easy disassembly and repair.

The Era 100 ($399) and Era 300 ($749) are available in Australia from 29 March 2023.

Slide controls on Sonos Era 300 | Image source: Supplied

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