Sonos Era 300: a Dolby Atmos experience


Mis à jour le 7 April 2023.

Released alongside the Sonos Era 100, the Sonos Era 300 connected speaker wants to revolutionize the listening experience with its Dolby Atmos compatibility and dedicated driver. The Sonos Era 300 relies on Spatial Audio to immerse the listener in a sound bubble with its ability to diffuse sound in all directions. Sold for €499, will the latest Sonos speaker really usher in a new standard for musical listening? Is it as effective for Spatial Audio as it is for Atmos home theater with a Sonos soundbar? 

The Sonos Era 300 connected speaker promises immersive and enveloping sound thanks to its Dolby Atmos compatibility and the dedicated driver located on the upper panel.

Sonos Era 300: packaging & accessories 

Like the Sonos Era 100, the packaging of the Sonos Era 300 is made of recycled cardboard. The speaker is held in place with cardboard inserts and is wrapped in a protective fabric cover. The box also contains a quick start guide and a power cable that is approximately 2 meters long.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker comes with a power cable that is approximately 2 meters long and a quick start guide.

Sonos Era 300: presentation 


The new Sonos Era 300 is unique in the Sonos connected speaker range. Contrary to rumors, it is not a successor of the Sonos Play:3, nor does it replace the Sonos Five, which remains in the brand’s catalog. It is alone in ushering in a new era and introduces a unique design and acoustic architecture. Its desire to revolutionize the music listening experience is embodied in a futuristic silhouette that resembles an inverted hourglass or a virtual reality headset. Proof that immersion is at the heart of this speaker. 

The Sonos Era 300 does away with the rectangular design of previous Sonos speakers in favor of futuristic curves.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker has a more curvy silhouette than the brand’s previous productions, with an ovoid front panel and sides that curve inward. In contrast to the discreet Sonos Era 100, which can be nestled in the smallest nooks and crannies, the Sonos Era 300 demands to be put on display to demonstrate its visual and sonic grandeur. Ideally, it should be placed on a piece of furniture or a shelf so that it can disperse sound in all directions, including towards the ceiling.

Thanks to its minimalist design, the Sonos Era 300 speaker can be easily integrated into any interior, whether it is contemporary or more classic.

The Sonos Era 300’s drivers are hidden behind an acoustic grille with tiny perforations. It covers the entirety of the front panel, and partially covers the sides and the top panel. Like the Era 100, the composition of the speaker features 48% recycled plastics. The brand’s efforts in sustainability are also embodied through a modular approach. Cleverly concealed underneath the speaker, a screw system allows for easy disassembly. The manufacturer has made it easier to repair the device, ensuring a longer lifespan.

The enclosure of the Sonos Era 300 speaker is constructed from multiple parts made of recycled plastic. Everything is meticulously assembled, reinforcing the device’s luxurious aspect.

Fingertip control

The Sonos Era 300 features a redesigned touch-sensitive control interface on its top panel. It still has the usual features of Sonos’ current speakers, such as volume control, play/pause control, voice assistant activation and next/previous track controls. However, the volume control buttons are now nestled in a slight recess. Simply swiping from left to right lets you increase the volume, and doing the opposite reduces it. As mentioned in the Sonos Era 100 review, this approach is much more intuitive, especially in the dark and for the visually impaired.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker features a new control interface on its upper panel. Because the volume controls are now placed in a recess, they are more intuitive, even in the dark.

A revolutionary acoustic design

The multi-room specialist has given the Sonos Era 300 a revolutionary acoustic design, and in doing so has created one of the first connected speakers to feature a dedicated Atmos driver. Located on the speaker’s upper panel, this Atmos driver promises three-dimensional sound by creating a vertical channel via ceiling reflection.

On its top panel, the Sonos Era 300 speaker features a driver that reflects sound off the ceiling to reproduce Atmos effects.

For total immersion, the Sonos Era 300 speaker is equipped with two midbass drivers and two lateral tweeters. They extend the soundstage and ensure consistent sound perception throughout the entire room. In addition, a central tweeter is tasked with reproducing vocals and the lead instruments at the center of the stage. It works alongside a custom waveguide that enhances dispersion to offer an expansive sound field. The six drivers positioned throughout the Sonos Era 300 speaker are powered by the same number of class D amplifiers.

Thanks to the six drivers located throughout the speaker, the Sonos Era 300 disperses sound in all directions to immerse the listener in the heart of the music.

How to enjoy Dolby Atmos sound

For now, only a few users will be able to enjoy a Dolby Atmos music experience with this speaker. Currently, it is only available to those with an Amazon Music or Apple Music subscription and only concerns tracks mixed in Dolby Atmos. The manufacturer has indicated that it is working on adding support for Tidal’s spatial audio content, but hasn’t given any indication of when this long-awaited feature might arrive.

Aside from Amazon Music and Apple Music, the vertical drivers reveal their full potential when the Sonos Era 300 speaker is paired with an Atmos-compatible Sonos soundbar, such as the Sonos Arc or Sonos Beam (Gen 2). You can then enjoy rear Atmos and surround effects with movies and concerts. Moreover, if you connect the soundbar to a TV or an Apple TV, you’ll be able to listen to tracks mixed in Atmos via Tidal.

In addition to Spatial Audio via Amazon Music, the Atmos driver can also be used to reproduce movie, series and video game soundtracks when the speaker is paired with an Atmos-compatible Sonos soundbar.

Android and iOS TruePlay calibration

Aside from its supercharged acoustic design, Atmos compatibility and unique look, the Sonos Era 300 has the same features as the Sonos Era 100. Like the latter, it now integrates an array of far-field microphones for Sonos TruePlay calibration. This means that TruePlay calibration is available to Android users for the first time. As a reminder, this feature allows you to measure the room’s acoustic characteristics and adapt the reproduction accordingly. For iOS users, these measurements are still taken using the microphone of an iPhone or iPad so that the calibration is done from the listening position.

Thanks to integrated microphones, Sonos’ Trueplay calibration is now available to Android and iOS users. This way, any user can automatically adjust the settings of the Sonos Era 300 speaker.

Whether the calibration is carried out directly by the speaker or with an iPhone, it is possible to fine-tune the settings by adjusting the bass and treble, as well as the balance when using a stereo pair. With the Sonos Era 300, there is also a new vertical audio setting that can be adjusted by +/- 10 dB. This allows you to modify the Atmos effects.

WiFi and Bluetooth 

After its experience with the Sonos Roam and Sonos Move, the American manufacturer has finally added dual Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity to its connected speakers. The Sonos Era 100 and 300 are the first models to benefit from this new feature. Thanks to Bluetooth, it is now possible to stream music from a smartphone, tablet or computer without using the network.

In addition to WiFi, the Sonos Era 300 speaker can receive music via Bluetooth from any smartphone, tablet or computer. Pairing is done by pressing a discreet button on the back of the device.

While Bluetooth is a convenient feature, it is recommended to connect the Sonos Era 300 speaker to the internet network to fully enjoy everything it has to offer. It then benefits from the same features as the American manufacturer’s other devices. Playback is controlled from the Sonos app, which is one of the main reasons for the company’s success. It allows you to play music shared over the local network, access the vast majority of online music services such as Deezer, Spotify and Apple Music, and even services like Qobuz, Amazon Music and Tidal that offer Hi-Res tracks. You can access countless internet radios through TuneIn or via Sonos’ own web radios. Last but not least, Apple users can enjoy the AirPlay 2 protocol to stream sound from any app to the Sonos Era 300.

The Sonos app provides access to the majority of online music services. It is also possible to stream music from any mobile app using the AirPlay 2 protocol.

AirPlay 2 and Sonos multi-room

Like all the brand’s devices, the Sonos Era 300 speaker is multi-room compatible. It can work alone, be paired for stereo sound, or added to a Sonos or AirPlay 2 multi-room group. When paired with a soundbar, it can even be used as a surround speaker to create a wireless Sonos home theater system. However, only the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and Sonos Arc models will provide Atmos effects. With the Sonos Ray soundbar, only surround effects are reproduced.

Voice assistants

Since the launch of the first Sonos One in 2017, the American manufacturer has put great emphasis on voice control for its speakers. The new Sonos Era 300 follows this trend and features microphones so that it can be controlled using Amazon Alexa or the recent Sonos Voice Control. The latter makes privacy a priority by favoring a completely local use (see the article: Sonos Voice Control: a respectful voice assistant). However, it is a shame that the manufacturer no longer includes Google Assistant.

If you are worried about privacy, it is possible to deactivate the microphones at any time. To do this, there is a dedicated control on the top of the speaker that turns off voice control while keeping the microphones active for TruePlay calibration. A second control on the back of the device lets you completely deactivate the microphones.

Versatile USB-C port

The new generation of Sonos speakers marks the end of the Ethernet port. Now, the speakers are connected to the local network and to the internet via WiFi. That said, with a USB-C to Ethernet adapter, the USB-C port provides a wired network connection. Unfortunately, this Sonos adapter is sold separately for €45. Note that other adapters like the Octavio Ethernet are also compatible, but don’t feature the mini-jack analog input present on the official adapter. The latter allows you to connect a variety of wired sources, such as a preamplified turntable, a CD player or a TV, for example. These sources can then be steamed to the speaker, but also to other Sonos equipment in multi-room mode. Before, this feature was only available with the Sonos Port, sold for €449.

Thanks to the Sonos adapter, it is possible to use the Sonos Era 300’s USB-C port to connect an Ethernet cable or an analog source via mini-jack.

Sonos Era 300: key specifications

  • WiFi and Bluetooth speaker
  • Dolby Atmos compatible
  • Streaming services
  • AirPlay 2 and Sonos multi-room
  • TruePlay calibration with microphone
  • 6 drivers
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 260 x 160 x 185mm
  • Weight: 4.47kg

Sonos Era 300: configuration

Ease of use has always been at the core of Sonos equipment. The new Sonos Era 300 connected speaker is no exception, with an intuitive configuration that takes less than 2 minutes to complete. Although it has a Bluetooth controller, a network connection is necessary for the initial setup. This is done in the blink of an eye via the Sonos app for iOS and Android, which guides the user through each step. After creating a Sonos account and turning the Sonos Era 300 on, the app automatically detects the speaker and the configuration begins. At this point, the speaker emits a chime containing an audio PIN code to automatically pair with the smartphone. You can then connect the speaker to the WiFi network and indicate the room in which it is installed. The procedure is exceptionally simple and fast. Sonos’ greatest strength!

The Sonos Era 300 speaker is automatically detected as soon as the app is launched. It is quickly set up in a few easy steps.

Once the Sonos Era 300 speaker is connected and updated, the user is welcomed by the Sonos app’s well-designed interface. From this platform, you can perform a TruePlay calibration, customize the sound reproduction (bass, treble, loudness, vertical audio), link your favorite online music services and activate the Alexa or Sonos Voice Control assistants.

You can launch TruePlay calibration, modify the equalizer (bass and treble), activate the Loudness feature and adjust the level of the Atmos channel in the Sonos mobile app.

Sonos Era 300: listening impressions


The Sonos Era speaker provided an immersive listening experience thanks to an extremely wide sound distribution. The music was perceived uniformly within a range of over 180° around the speaker. Every listener in the room heard the music the same way. Regardless of whether we were facing the speaker or to the side, vocals were clear, natural and always distinct. Instead of being centered as they are in a traditional stereo system, they seemed to extend laterally to both sides of the speaker, providing greater amplitude. The soundstage enveloped the listener, creating a beautiful sense of airiness and space.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker delivers a sound reproduction greater than 180° to ensure an immersive and consistent sound throughout the room.

The Sonos Era 300 connected speaker abandoned any sense of directionality in favor of an enveloping and very wide horizontal soundstage. However, the Atmos spatialization was more discreet. While these effects were present, they were slightly indistinct compared to the rest of the soundstage. Nevertheless, they provided greater immersion, with a slightly more encompassing sound. With the album After Hours by The Weeknd, the Dolby Atmos edition available on Amazon Music was more spacious and expansive than the stereo version. The music unfolded freely and seemed deeper. The singer’s voice remained firmly in place, but some of the effects accompanying the tracks stood out with more precision, without giving the impression that they were actually emanating from the ceiling.

The driver built into the top panel of the Sonos Era 300 speaker added more depth and amplitude.

With Era’s The Live Experience album, the Sonos Era 300 used its Atmos driver to perfectly reproduce the atmosphere and acoustics of the venue. The vocals were wider and provided a sense of spaciousness. The instruments unfolded with greater aplomb and benefited from a subtle and pleasant echo that intensified the magnitude of the soundstage. It was almost as if we had been transported to the concert hall. Which just goes to show how important it is to provide the Sonos Era 300 with music that has been expertly mixed in Atmos to enjoy the very best performance.

Era’s The Live Experience concert revealed how effective the Sonos Era 300’s Atmos driver is in providing an immersive experience and reproducing the atmosphere of the venue.

Compared to the smaller Sonos Era 100, the Sonos Era 300 offered a much more balanced listening experience, with a richer midrange. The mids were natural and revealed beautiful nuances. The vocals were characterized by their clarity and their consistent legibility. The highs were remarkably smooth, without the slightest trace of aggressiveness or sibilance. All this was topped off by tight, energetic and perfectly controlled bass.

Compared to the Sonos Era 100 (left), the Sonos Era 300 (right) was more balanced and offered an excellent reproduction of every frequency range.

Home theater

After our music listening sessions, we used a pair of Sonos Era 300s as surround speakers with a Sonos Arc soundbar and a Sonos Sub (Gen 3) subwoofer to create a 5.1.4 channel home theater system. Placed behind our sofa, the Sonos Era 300 speakers reinforced the immersion by creating a larger soundscape. By slightly increasing the level of each speaker, we enjoyed a better perception of sound effects. They were delivered with dynamism and precision, highlighting the minutest sonic details with formidable efficiency.

Used with a Sonos Arc soundbar, the Sonos Era 300 speaker pair deliver a more extensive soundscape and a perfect reproduction of surround effects.

The Sonos Era 300 speaker created a vast soundscape. The surround effects were widely distributed and were perfectly placed. The Atmos was a bit more discreet than with the soundbar, but it still generated a sound bubble that placed us at the heart of the action. The introduction scene of the movie Underground 6 was reproduced with a phenomenal amount of energy. By increasing the level of the vertical channel, the helicopter seemed to fly overhead and the sound effects came from every side of the room. The sound was truly enveloping and very immersive.

In home theater, the Dolby Atmos effects added height to the soundstage and immersed un in the center of a sound bubble.

Sonos Era 300: compared to…

Sonos Five: available for €649, the Sonos Five speaker remains the American manufacturer’s most powerful model. The listening experience it offers is typically hi-fi, with a more directional sound, deeper bass and finer details. However, the Sonos Five needs to be paired to offer a true stereo reproduction, while a single Sonos Era 300 is able to create a wide and enveloping soundstage. 

The Sonos Five (right) provides a balanced and generally more detailed soundstage, but is more directional and less enveloping.

Denon Home 250: available at the same price as the Sonos Era 300, the Denon Home 250 speaker’s sound is narrower with faint stereo effects. The reproduction is dynamic and generally balanced, although the mids are highlighted somewhat. The high frequencies are slightly withdrawn and the bass a little shy. 

Sonos Era 300: who is it for?

The Sonos Era 300 is an excellent device if you want to enjoy a consistent, wide and enveloping soundstage throughout the listening room without having to use several speakers. Its Atmos compatibility is an appealing feature for an even more immersive experience, as long as you have an Apple Music or Amazon Music account and carefully select the tracks you listen to. In a home theater configuration, these speakers provide much better immersion than the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos One, with more energetic surround effects and a genuine sound bubble thanks to the Atmos driver.

The Sonos Era 300 is an excellent connected speaker that knows how to fill a room with enveloping music thanks to its ability to disperse sound in all directions.

Sonos Era 300: conclusion 

The multi-room specialist’s new Sonos Era 300 speaker disperses sound in every direction to provide a more immersive and enveloping listening experience than before. Without being overly powerful, the Atmos driver extends the soundstage and reinforces the spacious feel. The benefits of spatial audio vary depending on the tracks you listen to, but this issue is shared by all Atmos systems. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that Atmos audio is currently only available to Amazon Music and Apple Music subscribers. In home theater configurations, the three-dimensional experience is truly convincing and transports the listener to the heart of the action.

We liked:

  • The broad soundstage
  • The immersive sound
  • The feeling of space created by the Atmos driver with music

We would have liked:

  • More powerful Atmos effects
  • For the RJ45 and mini-jack adapter to be included

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