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Sonos Era 100 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 20, 2023 at 11:52 am
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 21, 2023 at 04:00 pm
Sonos Era 100 Picture
7.4
Music
6.8
Videos/Movies
6.8
Podcasts
8.5
Voice Assistant
5.4
Outdoors

The Sonos Era 100 released in 2023. This premium home speaker has a wide array of built-in smart features to make the most of your listening experience. Alexa support lets you control the device with only your voice, and through the Sonos S2 app, you can connect it with compatible Sonos speakers to spread audio throughout your home. Alongside the larger and more premium Sonos Era 300, it's one of the few Sonos speakers to include Bluetooth connectivity. That said, it doesn't have Dolby Atmos support like the 300, so you can't enjoy more premium audio formats like with Dolby Atmos Music.

Our Verdict

7.4 Music

The Sonos Era 100 is satisfactory for music. The speaker has some features to adjust its output based on your room's acoustics, as with most premium speakers on the market. Its clean and balanced sound makes it suitable for listening to many different music genres. Since it's a stereo speaker, it has a wider sound than mono-only models like the Sonos One SL, with better instrument separation in the soundstage. Given its bass and treble adjustments, you have some ability to customize its performance, too.

Pros
  • Room correction tools.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • Not quite loud enough for larger rooms.
  • Some compression at max volume.
6.8 Videos/Movies

The Sonos Era 100 is fair for watching videos and movies. It supports Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity, as well as Bluetooth for easy streaming from your mobile devices. You can even purchase a separate Line-In Adapter to pair it with a computer or other audio sources or use the Sonos S2 app to connect it with your soundbar for a more robust home theater setup. Dialogue reproduces with clarity, and there's a fair amount of rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.
Cons
  • Not quite loud enough for larger rooms.
  • Some compression at max volume.
6.8 Podcasts

The Sonos Era 100 is fair for podcasts. Voices are clear and detailed right out of the box, meaning you can follow along with your favorite shows with ease. Bass and treble adjustments let you customize the sound, too, meaning you can get an even cleaner output. If you own other compatible Sonos products, you can set them up in the app to amplify your show across your house or move the audio from one room to the next as you walk through the house. However, this speaker isn't designed with portability in mind, given that it's wired only.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.
Cons
  • Not quite loud enough for larger rooms.
  • Some compression at max volume.
8.5 Voice Assistant

The Sonos Era 100 is excellent for voice assistants. Built-in Alexa lets you control the speaker using only your voice, and it can understand your commands, even if you're far away. The microphone mute feature is a great option for more private moments, too. If you're an Apple Music user, you can even set up Siri through the Apple Home app, though it's limited to music selection. It performs well, but it can struggle to hear your voice in noisier environments.

Pros
  • Room correction tools.
  • Microphone mute available.
Cons
  • Not quite loud enough for larger rooms.
5.4 Outdoors

The Sonos Era 100 is a wired-only speaker that's not intended for outdoor use.

  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.8 Videos/Movies
  • 6.8 Podcasts
  • 8.5 Voice Assistant
  • 5.4 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 21, 2023: Corrected the release year in the Intro box.
  2. Updated Apr 20, 2023: Review published.
  3. Updated Apr 13, 2023: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sonos Era 100 is available in both Black and White color variants. We tested the Black version, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. That said, since the only difference between the two variants is the color, we expect them to perform similarly.

If you come across another version of this speaker, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sonos Era 100 is a more affordable alternative to the Sonos Era 300. It's smaller and more compact, and while it doesn't support Dolby Atmos, it's designed for easy integration with compatible Sonos soundbars. Overall, this speaker offers a cleaner and more balanced sound compared to the Sonos One Gen 2/One SL, with additional features like Bluetooth connectivity. Those who already own products in the Sonos ecosystem will appreciate that they can connect this speaker to other devices. While it's versatile, it does come at a slightly more premium cost than other smart speakers on the market.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best smart speakers, the best home speakers, and the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers.

Sonos Era 300

The Sonos Era 300 is better than the Sonos Era 100. The 300 is a larger speaker with additional features, including Dolby Atmos support, which is great if you want to listen to Dolby Atmos music. On a smaller note, its voice assistant performs a touch better in noisy environments, which may or may not be important to you.

Sonos One Gen 2/One SL

The Sonos Era 100 is better than the Sonos One Gen 2/One SL. While they're both premium speakers designed for home use, the Era 100 has better sound quality. The bass doesn't leak into the mids as much, resulting in a cleaner sound. Plus, it can playback stereo content without downmixing it into mono, unlike the One Gen 2. There are additional features on hand, too, including Bluetooth connectivity and a Quick Tuning feature for Android users.

Sonos One SL

The Sonos Era 100 is a more versatile speaker than the Sonos One SL. Unlike the One SL, the Era 100 has built-in voice assistant support, and it allows for Bluetooth connectivity. Since it can playback stereo content without downmixing it into mono, it has better sound quality, too. The overall sound is cleaner, as there's less bass leaking into the mids. Android users get access to the Quick Tuning feature for room correction, which is a nice touch.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is more versatile than the Sonos Era 100. As its name implies, the Move is built with portability in mind, and since it's battery-powered, you can take it on the go with more ease than the wired-only Era 100. It's even rated for dust and water resistance in case you run into the elements, which the home-only Era 100 doesn't require. Both speakers support Bluetooth, and they both have built-in voice assistants. However, only the Era 100 supports stereo audio, resulting in a wider sound with better instrument separation between the right and left drivers.

Apple HomePod (2nd generation)

The Apple HomePod (2nd Generation) and the Sonos Era 100 are both very premium smart speakers, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. First, if you already own products in either the Apple or Sonos ecosystem, you'll find it's easier to integrate them with their respective speaker. For example, the Sonos speaker is designed to work with Sonos soundbars. Also, the Sonos is more customizable, with bass and treble adjustments on hand, and it supports Bluetooth, unlike the Apple speaker. However, the Apple can reproduce a better low-frequency extension, so you feel more thump and rumble in your audio.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sonos Era 100 is a sleek home speaker available in Black and White color variants. It has a similar cylindrical design to the Sonos One SL. It's smaller than the Sonos Era 300, too, so it takes up less space in your living area. The cable is long and thick, and it connects underneath the speaker for a more discreet look. Plus, there's a threaded mounting hole if you want to place it on a tripod or the separately-available Era 100 Stand.

5.3
Design
Portability
Volume
176 inยณ (2,892 cmยณ)
Weight
4.4 lbs (2.0 kg)
Power Source
AC Only
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is pretty small and lightweight. However, since it's wired-only, it isn't meant to bring your music with you on the go. If you're moving it from room to room, it's easy enough to carry in one hand.

6.4
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
No

The Sonos Era 100 has a solid and sturdy build. It's mostly made of plastic. Even the grilles in front are made of plastic, unlike the metal grilles you find with the Sonos One SL. Since it's meant for indoor use, it isn't rated for dust and water resistance. That said, if you want to use it near your shower or sink, the manufacturer does say that it can withstand high humidity.

7.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Tactile)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Tactile)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Tactile)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

On top of the speaker, you find the controls. They're quite easy to use, and they offer some feedback. For example, the green light on the Sonos logo stays solid when you reach the lowest volume setting. There's an audible cue for min and max volume as well. Also, a light on top of the speaker lets you known when voice services are enabled. You get an audible chime, and a blue light appears when you pair and connect to a device.

  • Press or swipe across +/- buttons: Controls the volume.
  • Press once: Plays/pauses audio.
  • Press and hold play/pause button: Adds audio that's playing in another room.
  • Press Fast Forward button: Skips to the next track.
  • Press Rewind button: Skips to the previous track.
  • Press Voice Services button: Enables/disables voice control.
  • Press and hold Bluetooth button: Pairs a new device.
  • Press Bluetooth button once: Connects to a previously-recognized device.

There's also a microphone on/off switch on the rear of the speaker. When the microphone is off, all features that use the device are disabled, including voice services and the Trueplay tuning.

Design
In The Box

  • Setup guide
  • Power cable (6.4 ft / 1.9m)
  • Sonos Era 100 speaker

Sound
7.6
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
1.05
Std. Err.
2.71 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
43.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.3 kHz

The Sonos Era 100 has a good frequency response accuracy. As with the Sonos Era 300, it has two room correction optionsโ€” iOS users can opt for Advanced Tuning, while Android users are limited to the Quick Tuning tool. The difference is that Quick Tuning uses only the microphones in the speaker, while the Advanced Tuning feature also runs microphones through your phone to adjust the speaker's sound. For our testing, we ran the Advanced Tuning tool. Its sound is quite balanced, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. It's a cleaner sound than you get with the Sonos One Gen 2/One SL, with less bass bleeding into the vocals. The clearer vocals are especially noticeable on tracks like Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy". Plus, since it's a stereo speaker, the overall sound is wider than you get with the One Gen 2. You do notice a touch of extra brightness on some tracks, though. However, you can always use the bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.4
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
2.96 dB
Stereo
Yes

The soundstage performance is excellent. It's a stereo speaker, so you don't need a second model to get stereo sound. Plus, its 360-degree design provides a wide and immersive sound, and you get good separation of instruments between the right and left channels.

5.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
87.7 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.31 dB

This speaker gets loud enough for an average-sized living room. There's some compression at max volume, though, just like with the Sonos One Gen 2/One SL. The compression impacts the clarity of audio reproduction.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
No Battery
Battery Powered
No
9.1
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
Yes
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Decent

Thanks to built-in Alexa, you enjoy a fantastic voice assistant performance with this speaker. It doesn't have any trouble hearing your commands, even if you're further away. It doesn't perform as well as the Sonos Era 300 in noisier environments. That said, if you have the Apple Home app, you can set it up to ask Siri to play audio through Apple Music. You can't use Siri for other voice assistant functions, though.

9.3
Active Features
App
App Name
Sonos S2
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
Yes

The Sonos S2 app is a handy tool, especially if you want to control the speaker from your phone or another mobile device. It lets you perform lots of different functions, like Trueplay tuning or adjusting the bass and treble. Advanced Tuning with Trueplay is only available with iOS devices, while Android users are limited to Quick Tuning. If you like to listen at lower volumes, you can check out the Loudness tool. Your ear can struggle to pick up certain frequencies, like the bass, when the volume is low, and this feature is designed to compensate for that by boosting those same frequencies. You can also connect the speaker with other compatible Sonos devices through the app. For a full tour, you can check out our video here.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
Yes
Other Ports
No

There's a USB-C port on this speaker. It's designed for both audio playback and Ethernet connections, though you have to purchase Sonos's compatible Line-In Adapter or Combo Adapter separately to connect your devices. Unfortunately, you can't use the USB-C port to charge other devices.

7.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
173 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
235 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

Unlike previous Sonos speakers, this device supports Bluetooth connectivity. You're able to stream audio from your phone to the speaker wirelessly. Though we measured a fair amount of latency, especially with Android, we didn't notice much delay when watching real-life content. Some apps, like Youtube, compensate for latency, which may explain part of the difference. Depending on the status of their servers, the latency could vary.

7.7
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz & 5GHz
Wi-Fi
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
131 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker is Wi-Fi compatible, making it easy to stream audio over your home network. If you own an Apple device, you can also stream to the speaker using Apple AirPlay 2.