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Sonos Era 300 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Review updated Apr 12, 2024 at 04:05 pm
Sonos Era 300 Picture
7.7
Music
7.0
Videos/Movies
6.8
Podcasts
8.8
Voice Assistant
5.5
Outdoors

The Sonos Era 300 is a 2023 release from this manufacturer. Available in both Black and White, this stereo speaker is designed for home use, and it's easy to integrate with your existing Sonos products, including their soundbars. Along with the Sonos Era 100, it's the first speaker from the manufacturer to include Bluetooth connectivity in addition to traditional Wi-Fi support. Premium sound features like Trueplay room correction let you optimize the speaker's output based on the unique acoustics of your room, and now, Android users can take advantage of the 'Quick Tuning' option, too. Plus, Dolby Atmos support lets you make the most of Dolby Atmos Music on eligible streaming platforms like Apple Music.

Our Verdict

7.7 Music

The Sonos Era 300 is good for music. Like most premium speakers on the market, this device has a room correction tool designed to automatically optimize audio reproduction based on the unique acoustics of your room. It reproduces voices and other lead instruments with accuracy, making it suitable for many genres. The bass and treble levels are adjustable, too. There's a little less low bass than with the Sonos Five, but you still feel some rumble in the mix with bass-heavy genres like EDM. With its stereo sound, you get a wide and immersive soundstage. Also, if you want to listen to Dolby Atmos Music on your eligible music streaming service, it's one of the few speakers we've tested to support this technology.

Pros
  • Room correction tool.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Loudness tool to improve bass reproduction at lower volumes.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
7.0 Videos/Movies

The Sonos Era 300 is decent for watching videos and movies on its own. You can wirelessly stream audio to the speaker over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2, or purchase a separate Line-In Adapter from Sonos to connect a computer or other audio sources. Dialogue is clearly reproduced, and there's some rumble in the low bass for more action-packed scenes. If you purchase two of these speakers, you can pair them with compatible Sonos soundbars for surround sound.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Compatible with other Sonos devices.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
  • Touch less low bass than the Sonos Five.
6.8 Podcasts

The Sonos Era 300 is fair for podcasts. Dialogue is reproduced with clarity right out of the box, meaning you can follow along with your favorite shows easily. If you own other Sonos products, you can connect them in the S2 app to spread sound throughout your home or to move the podcast from one room to the next as you move around the house. The speaker gets loud enough for an average-sized living room but doesn't fill up larger spaces, so you'll want to keep it close by as you listen.

Pros
  • Room correction tool.
  • Compatible with other Sonos devices.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
  • Larger design.
8.8 Voice Assistant

The Sonos Era 300 is an excellent choice for voice assistants. Built-in Alexa lets you control the speaker hands-free, and she has no trouble hearing your commands, even if you're further away or in a noisy environment. The microphone mute button on the back of the speaker gives you the option for privacy. Plus, additional voice assistant features are designed to work with certain music streaming platforms, like Siri and Apple Music through the Apple Home app, and Sonos Voice Controller with services like Sonos Radio.

Pros
  • Room correction tool.
  • Compatible with other Sonos devices.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
5.5 Outdoors

As a wired-only speaker, this device isn't intended for outdoor use.

  • 7.7 Music
  • 7.0 Videos/Movies
  • 6.8 Podcasts
  • 8.8 Voice Assistant
  • 5.5 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 12, 2024: We've updated this review to ensure it's accurate and up-to-date and have added some new side-by-side comparisons based on trends in the speaker market.
  2. Updated Nov 27, 2023: Added market comparison for the JBL Authentics 500 in the Soundstage box.
  3. Updated Nov 21, 2023: Changed the USB Audio results in Wired from "Yes" to "No". While the speaker comes with a USB-C port, it can only receive audio through a line-in adapter sold separately.
  4. Updated Nov 17, 2023: Added market comparison with the Sonos Move 2 in the Portability box.
  5. Updated Apr 21, 2023: Corrected an inaccuracy in the Frequency Response Accuracy text. While we said that the Sonos Five is a mono speaker, it can play stereo when horizontal. Updated the release year in the Intro as well.
  6. Updated Apr 18, 2023: Review published.
  7. Updated Apr 11, 2023: Early access published.
  8. Updated Apr 04, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  9. Updated Apr 03, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  10. Updated Mar 28, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sonos Era 300 is available in both 'Black' and 'White' color variants. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see the label for our model here. Since the only obvious difference between the models is their color, we expect both the 'Black' and 'White' variants to perform similarly.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

The Sonos Era 300 is a premium home speaker with built-in Alexa support. It's the larger and more feature-packed alternative to the Sonos Era 100, with support for Dolby Atmos. It comes with many new features compared to older generations of Sonos home speakers, including Android compatibility with a modified version of Trueplay called Quick Tuning, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. With a wide and immersive sound, it's a great choice for listening to many different types of audio content in the comfort of your home. It's on the higher end of the smart home speaker market, with many unique features for compatibility with home theater setups, unlike other models.

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

Sonos Move 2

The Sonos Era 300 and the Sonos Move 2 are designed with different use cases in mind. The Era 300 is a wired-only home speaker, so it's not as portable as the Move 2 and isn't rated for dust or water resistance. Still, it has a better low-frequency extension and Dolby Atmos support, which the Move 2 lacks. If you want a battery-powered speaker to bring outdoors, though, the Move 2 is a better bet.

Sonos One Gen 2/One SL

The Sonos Era 300 is better than the Sonos One Gen 2/One SL. The Era 300 is a newer release that offers more premium features, including Bluetooth connectivity and Dolby Atmos capabilities. It's especially handy for those who want to listen to compatible Dolby Atmos Music or even pair up the speaker with a compatible soundbar to watch Dolby Atmos content. It's a stereo speaker, unlike the One Gen 2, which downmixes stereo content into mono to play it. Plus, the Era 300 gets louder.

JBL Authentics 500

The Sonos Era 300 and the JBL Authentics 500 are both premium home speakers with built-in voice assistant support. Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The JBL has better dynamics, whereas the Sonos has a better soundstage performance. Some listeners may prefer the JBL's retro design. If you already own Sonos products, you can integrate them with the Sonos Era, which is nice.

Sonos Era 100

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 Five

The Sonos Era 300 is a newer release from the manufacturer, and it's more versatile than the Sonos Five. Notably, it offers Bluetooth connectivity as well as built-in voice assistant support, whereas the Five only supports voice assistants through third-party devices. The Era 300 has a better dynamics performance. Also, it supports Dolby Atmos for compatible music and videos streamed through a paired soundbar, unlike the Five. The slightly larger Five can reproduce a more extended low bass.

Apple HomePod (2nd generation)

The Sonos Era 300 and the Apple HomePod (2nd generation) are both wired home speakers that perform very similarly. They have slightly different strengths, so choosing between them will come down to personal preference and which one integrates into your existing home electronics ecosystem. Both speakers are decently well-built and have balanced sound profiles that employ room correction tools to harness the acoustic potential of your room. However, the Sonos can get slightly louder and has slightly better directivity. It also features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, whereas the Apple can only connect via Wi-Fi. The Apple boasts outstanding voice assistant compatibility, with built-in Siri capabilities and excellent voice command recognition. It also has more intuitive controls, although its app isn't quite as easy to use as the Sonos.

Amazon Echo Studio

The Amazon Echo Studio and the Sonos Era 300 are both wired home speakers with voice assistant integration. The Sonos is a premium speaker with a premium price tag, and its feature set is indicative of this, but the more affordable Amazon still has its strengths. While both are similarly well-built and lack portability, the Sonos has a more balanced default sound profile, with a more prominent bass response. It also has better directivity, so audio sounds consistent across different angles. That said, they both get similarly loud but there's less compression present at max volume with the Amazon. While the Sonos features Apple Airplay support and has better speech command recognition, both speakers have built-in support for Alexa.

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Sonos Era 300 and the Bose Home Speaker 500 are both premium home speakers with similar feature sets. They're both reasonably well-built, can get quite loud, and feature both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. However, the Sonos has a more balanced default sound profile and features Trueplay Advanced Tuning room correction to get the most out of your acoustic space. While the two have a comparable soundstage performance, the Sonos supports Dolby Atmos Music for an extra immersive sound via certain subscription services. That said, the Bose has less compression present at max volume and has better voice assistant integration, with built-in support for both Google Assistant and Alexa.

Denon Home 350

The Denon Home 350 and the Sonos Era 300 are both premium home speakers with unique strengths. Each supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, with built-in Alexa support for hands-free control. The Sonos has a better soundstage performance, with a wider and more immersive feel to its sound. It supports Dolby Atmos, too, so you can listen to Dolby Atmos Music or Dolby Atmos content with a paired soundbar. However, it doesn't reproduce quite as much low-bass as the Denon.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a portable alternative to the Sonos Era 300. They're both premium smart speakers with built-in Alexa support for hands-free control. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, pairing both speakers to your mobile devices is easy. The Era 300 is a stereo speaker, though, and it has Dolby Atmos capabilities, unlike the Move. It's especially helpful if you want to listen to compatible music or pair the speaker with a soundbar to watch Dolby Atmos video content. The Move is battery-powered, so it's much more portable, and its IP56 rating for dust and water resistance is ideal for outdoor use.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Sonos Era 300 is a sleek and premium speaker available in both 'Black' and 'White.' It's meant to be placed horizontally, and you can purchase separate brackets from the manufacturer if you want. The mounting holes let you mount it to your wall. It's rather large, but given its plain design, it doesn't distract from your home decor.

3.9
Design
Portability
Volume
494 inยณ (8,088 cmยณ)
Weight
9.9 lbs (4.5 kg)
Power Source
AC Only
One-Hand Carry
No

The Sonos Era 300 is designed for home use and isn't meant to be taken outdoors. It has to stay connected to a power source to work, but that's not a big deal if you plan to keep it in one place. However, if you move it to another room, you'll find it's a bit heavy to move with one hand. The Sonos Move 2 is a good alternative if you want a speaker to take with you outdoors.

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

The Sonos Era 300 has a fairly premium build. It's mostly made of plastic, including the grilles covering the drivers inside. Since it's meant for use indoors, it isn't rated for weather resistance. It's advertised to be humidity resistant, though, like the Sonos Five, which is handy if you want to use it in a high-humidity room like a bathroom with a shower.

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

The controls are on top of the speaker and are easy to use. There's a physical microphone switch on the rear of the speaker, which disables microphone-centric features like Trueplay room correction and voice assistants.

    '+/-' buttons:

  • Single press or swipe: Controls the volume.
  • Play/pause button:

  • Single press: Plays/pauses audio.
  • Press and hold: Adds audio that's playing in another room.
  • Fast Forward button:

  • Single press: Skips to the next track.
  • Rewind button:

  • Single press: Skips to the previous track.
  • Voice Service button:

  • Single press: Enables/disables voice control.
  • Bluetooth button:

  • Single press: Connects to a previously-recognized device.
  • Press and hold: Pairs a new device.

You hear audible cues when you reach min or max volume, and the green light on top of the SONOS logo lights up when you're at the lowest volume setting. Plus, the light on top of the speaker lets you know when Voice Services are enabled. There's also an audible chime as well as a blue light when you pair and connect devices over Bluetooth.

Design
In The Box

  • Setup guide
  • Power cable (6.4 ft / 1.9m)
  • Sonos Era 300 speaker

Sound
7.8
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.22
Std. Err.
1.93 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
40.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
15.8 kHz

This speaker has very good frequency response accuracy. We tested it with the Trueplay Advanced Tuning room correction feature, which automatically adjusts the speaker's sound based on your room's unique acoustics. Overall, it has a balanced sound suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. Voices and lead instruments reproduce accurately, and voices are crisper and more controlled than what you get with the Sonos Five. However, it reproduces a touch less low bass than the Five, so its sound isn't quite as thumpy and thick. That said, there are options in the companion app to adjust the bass and treble levels if you want to tailor the sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.6
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
2.68 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Sonos Era 300 has an excellent soundstage. It has great directivity, and the reproduction is stereo, so you have a clear separation of instruments between the right and the left drivers.

As with other premium speakers, like the JBL Authentics 500, this speaker supports Dolby Atmos Music, which is available through certain subscription music services like Apple Music. Given that the speaker already offers a pretty immersive sound with non-Atmos music, there isn't a huge difference in the sound with Atmos content. Certain tracks, like Money by Pink Floyd and Bad Guy by Billie Eilish, seem a bit wider as instruments and other sounds stretch closer to the walls of the room. This effect seems a bit overprocessed at some parts of certain tracks, though this is typical of virtual surround-type features.

6.3
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
90.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
4.01 dB

The Sonos Era 300 gets fairly loud, filling an average-sized living room with sound. That said, there's some compression when you push it to max volume, which impacts the overall clarity of your audio and creates some pumping artifacts.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
No Battery
Battery Powered
No
9.4
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
Great

Built-in Alexa offers an incredible performance. It won't have trouble hearing your commands, even if you're further away or in a noisy environment. If you have the Apple Home app, you can use an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to ask Siri to play audio through Apple Music. However, Siri can only control the music through this setup. Similarly, the Sonos Voice Control feature is only available through certain music services, like Sonos Radio and Amazon Music. You can ask it to play certain tracks, artists, or albums, adjust the volume, and move music to certain rooms in your home.

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 to control your speaker from the comfort of your couch. You can adjust the bass, treble, and height levels. Plus, you can enable the room correction feature called Trueplay, which automatically optimizes audio based on your room's unique acoustics. The full feature is only available with iOS, but Android users can use the Quick Tuning tool instead. Quick Tuning only uses the microphone in the speaker itself, while the full feature uses the microphones in your iPhone/iPad, too. Also, the manufacturer advertises the Loudness tool to boost certain frequencies, like the bass, when you want to listen to your music at lower volumes. It's designed to make up for normal changes in the ear's sensitivity when listening to audio at low volumes.

As with other Sonos speakers, the app lets you connect with compatible devices to spread audio throughout your home. For a full video of the app, check here.

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

The USB-C port is designed for ethernet connections or for playing audio from another device. However, you need to purchase a Sonos Line-In Adapter or Combo Adapter separately to do so, as they aren't included in the box.

7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
160 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
206 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

Unlike previous Sonos speakers, this device supports Bluetooth connectivity. You can stream audio wirelessly from your mobile devices. Though we measured some degree of AV synchronization error, this won't matter if you're just streaming a podcast or music. Even with videos, in our subjective impressions, we found that it wasn't very noticeable with regular content. Some apps, like YouTube, compensate for latency, which may explain part of the difference. Depending on the status of their servers, the AV synchronization error could also 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
130 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

The Sonos Era 300 supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, unlike the Sonos Five. This frequency band is faster than 2.4GHz, though it doesn't work over quite as long of a range, so the flexibility to choose between the two is handy. It also lets you stream audio from your Apple devices over Apple AirPlay.