Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One: a new era for Sonos?


Mis à jour le 12 April 2023.

The Sonos Era 100 speaker is the brand’s new replacement for the iconic Sonos One. This bestseller has been improved with a completely new acoustic concept, a modernized design and acoustic calibration finally available on Android. Priced at €279, can this latest generation speaker propel the multiroom specialist into a new era?

The new Sonos Era 100 (left) is designed to replace the iconic Sonos One (right). It touts more powerful bass, a modernized design and a completely new acoustic design.

Sonos Era 100: packaging & accessories 

Sonos has been committed to creating sustainable and environmentally friendly devices for many years. This is evident in the packaging of the Sonos Era 100 speaker, which is made entirely of recycled cardboard. Inside, the speaker is held in place with pieces of cardboard and protected by a fabric cover. The box also includes a quick start guide and a power cable.

The Sonos Era 100 connected speaker comes with a standard power cable and a quick start guide.

Sonos Era 100: presentation

A more modern design

The American manufacturer has transformed the aesthetic of the Sonos Era 100 in favor of a simple, modern silhouette. Abandoning the almost quadrilateral appearance of the One, the Sonos Era 100 adopts a more cylindrical shape reminiscent of the Yamaha MusicCast 20 and that now matches the appearance of the Sonos Sub Mini. Slightly taller than the One (18cm compared to 16cm), it seems sleeker and less imposing. As a result, it can be installed more easily in any corner of the home.

The Sonos Era 100 (in the center) differs from the One (sides) with its cylindrical and taller design. Sleeker, it can be installed discreetly in any corner of the home.

The front panel and sides of the Sonos Era 100 speaker are entirely covered by an acoustic grille with tiny perforations. These holes, now much smaller and almost invisible at a distance, give the speaker a more refined look, creating a monolithic-like object. The brand’s logo is now embossed and positioned vertically, just like the Sonos Move speaker.

The many perforations of the Sonos Era 100’s acoustic grille are more discreet than on the One. This improves the speaker’s aesthetic, giving the impression of a monolithic-like object.

The white version of the Sonos Era 100 speaker has a more matte finish that is less prone to reflections. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, this characteristic comes from the use of more eco-responsible materials. The casing now uses 48% recycled plastic, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to sustainability. This is also reflected in a significantly reduced energy consumption in standby mode and during operation.

The white version of the Sonos Era 100 speaker is slightly less glossy, allowing it to blend into the decor without reflecting light.

The Sonos Era 100 speaker is also designed to be easier to repair. While all the components of the One were assembled using adhesive or soldering, the Era 100 features a screw system on the bottom. The manufacturer wants to make it easier to repair the speakers and offer a durable, more environmentally conscious device. However, it is not known at this time which components can be replaced or exchanged.

New touch-sensitive interface

The Sonos Era 100 wireless speaker features a redesigned touch-sensitive control interface on its top panel, similar to that of the Sonos Era 300. 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. This approach is much more intuitive, especially in the dark and for the visually impaired.

The Sonos Era 100 speaker features a new touch-sensitive control interface on its upper panel. The volume control is more intuitive, even in the dark.

A new acoustic design

The new Sonos Era 100 wireless speaker also benefits from an entirely new acoustic design. Without claiming to offer the Dolby Atmos listening experience of the Sonos Era 300, it promises a higher quality reproduction than the One. To achieve this, the Sonos Era 100 uses a midbass driver that is 25% larger to deliver more powerful and deeper bass. The difference is striking to hear. On either side are two tweeters to extend the soundstage and provide a broader stereo reproduction. Custom waveguides enhance this dispersion to offer an expansive sound field.

With a midbass driver that is 25% larger than that of the One and tweeters placed on either side, the Sonos Era 100 delivers deeper bass and a wider soundstage.

To get the most out of this configuration, the Sonos Era 100 features three class D digital amplifiers. The brand hasn’t disclosed their power, but it is enough to listen to music at a comfortable volume in a living room, a kitchen or an office, for example. 

TruePlay calibration for everyone

To further enhance its performance, the Sonos Era 100 speaker is compatible with Sonos TruePlay calibration. For the first time, this technology is available to Android users. The speaker now uses an array of far-field microphones 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. In both cases, it is possible to fine-tune the settings by adjusting the bass and treble, as well as the balance when using a stereo pair. 

Thanks to its built-in microphones, the Sonos Era 100 speaker can now perform TruePlay calibration for Android and iOS users.

Versatile USB-C port

To connect to the local network and to the internet, the Sonos Era 100 favors WiFi. The Ethernet port that was present on the One has been replaced by a USB-C port. However, thanks to a Sonos USB-C to Ethernet adapter, it is still possible to use a wired network connection. Unfortunately, this Sonos adapter is sold separately for €45. It is a shame that it isn’t included with the speaker. That said, this accessory also features a mini-jack analog input to connect a preamplified turntable, a CD player, a TV or any other wired source. These sources can then be steamed to the speaker, but also to other multi-room Sonos equipment. Before, this feature was only available with the Sonos Port, sold for €449.

Thanks to the optional Sonos USB-C adapter, it is possible to use the Sonos Era 100’s port to connect an Ethernet cable or an analog source via mini-jack.

WiFi and Bluetooth 

In addition to WiFi, the Sonos Era 100 is the first Sonos connected speaker to feature Bluetooth. Up until now, this dual WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity was reserved for the Sonos Roam and Sonos Move portable models. This new feature allows you to stream music from a smartphone, a tablet or a computer that isn’t connected to the local network. 

Once connected to the network via WiFi or Bluetooth, the Sonos Era 100 speaker benefits from the same features as the American manufacturer’s other devices. Playback is controlled from the excellent Sonos app, one of the main factors behind 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 100.

The Sonos app provides access to the vast majority of online music services. Streaming can also be done via AirPlay 2 from any mobile app.

Like all the brand’s devices, the Sonos Era 100 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 Sonos Ray, Sonos Beam (Gen 2) or Sonos Arc soundbar, it can even be used as a surround speaker to create a wireless Sonos home theater system.

Voice assistants

Ease of use has always been at the heart of Sonos’ devices. The new Sonos Era 100 is no exception and can be controlled vocally in addition to the touch-sensitive interface and mobile app. To do this, it uses the same microphones as those used for TruePlay calibration. They ensure good voice pickup, even when the speaker is at a distance. Sonos has now decided to do away with Google Assistant, preferring Amazon Alexa, in addition to the recently launched Sonos Voice Control which makes privacy a priority (see the article: Sonos Voice Control: a respectful voice assistant). 

The voice assistant’s microphones can be turned off at any time to preserve your privacy. To do this, there is a dedicated control on the top of the Sonos Era 100 speaker. It mutes the voice control, while keeping the microphones active for TruePlay calibration. To completely disable the microphones, a second control is located on the back of the speaker.

Sonos Era 100: key specifications

  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Streaming services
  • AirPlay 2 and Sonos multi-room
  • Touch-sensitive interface
  • Sonos Voice Control and Alexa
  • 1 x midbass driver, 25% larger than that of the Sonos One
  • Dual angle tweeters for stereo sound
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 120 x 182 x 130mm
  • Weight: 2.02kg

Sonos Era 100: configuration

While the Sonos Era 100 speaker has a Bluetooth controller, a network connection is necessary for the initial setup. This is done in a few minutes 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 100 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. One of Sonos’ greatest strengths!

The Sonos Era 100 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 100 speaker is connected and updated, the Sonos app’s interface allows you to perform a TruePlay calibration, customize the sound reproduction (bass, treble, loudness), link your various online music services and activate the Alexa or Sonos Voice Control assistants if you want to benefit from these features.

Sonos Era 100: listening impressions


The Sonos Era 100’s ability to produce extremely powerful bass in a compact package was astonishing. This next generation speaker explored the lows with even more conviction and authority than the Sonos One. The bass was solid, punchy and energetic. It was phenomenally powerful, giving the impression that a small subwoofer was accompanying the speaker. The bass was even more pronounced when the loudness mode was activated and the Sonos Era 100 was positioned close to a wall. The bass perception was uniform, with good distribution throughout the room and no box effect.

The Sonos Era 100 was able to deliver much more powerful, deep and generous bass than the Sonos One.

The Sonos Era 100 speaker also sounded wider, with a soundstage that unfolded horizontally with greater ease. Even when used alone, the Sonos Era 100 speaker produced a very pronounced stereo effect, with a more effective distribution of the music. With Pink Floyd’s Money, the sound of the cash register was perfectly delineated and moved smoothly from one side of the speaker to the other. The transparent vocals were clearly rendered at the heart of the soundstage.

Thanks to the lateral tweeters, the Sonos Era 100 delivered a more pronounced stereo effect, with a more effective distribution of the music on either side of the speaker.

By creating a stereo pair with a second Sonos Era 100 speaker, we enjoyed a listening experience that was even more immersive and detailed. With this setup, the soundstage became considerably wider, allowing the various instruments and the vocals to be more precisely positioned.

With a pair of Sonos Era 100 speakers, we enjoyed an even wider soundstage with more precisely placed vocals.

However, the Sonos Era 100 wasn’t quite as balanced as the One. Its more demonstrative character in the lows was achieved at the detriment of the low mids, which were sometimes withdrawn. Nevertheless, it is possible to reduce the bass level slightly in the mobile app to recover some information in the mids. To go further, you can even pair the speaker with a subwoofer, such as the Sonos Sub Mini. The latter will relieve the Sonos Era 100 of the bass reproduction so that it can focus on the midrange. In doing this, we achieved a very balanced 3-way system. The soundstage remained bright, but we enjoyed more detail and information in the mids, which became richer and more textured. Overall, the sound was more uniform and nuanced.

Home theater

When paired with a Sonos Arc soundbar, the Sonos Era 100 wireless speakers plunged us into the heart of the content we were watching. The surround sound effects we efficiently distributed throughout the room and created a more spacious soundstage. The power of the Sonos Era 100 ensured that the various surround effects were clearly audible, whether the speakers were placed in close proximity to or several feet behind the listener. It is possible to adjust the distance between the two speakers in the app to adapt this power to the layout of the room. 

Paired with a Sonos Arc soundbar, the Sonos Era 100 speaker (mounted on an old Sonos One stand here) provided a perfect reproduction of surround sound effects. They were always audible, whether the speakers were placed close to or further away from the listening position.

The Sonos Era 100’s increased dynamic range compared to the One resulted in a more lively reproduction. Sound effects in action scenes were expressed with conviction. In addition, the Sonos Era 100’s synchronization with the Sonos Arc was exemplary: never once did we notice any disruption or delay with the image.

The Sonos Era 100 speaker was perfectly synchronized with the image on the screen, which it brought to life with great realism.

Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One 

The Sonos One, the multi-room specialist’s bestseller, is destined to be discontinued in the coming months as soon as stocks run out. It will then be replaced by the Sonos Era 100. Although it is €50 more expensive, this new generation has many arguments in its favor. Its modernized design allows the speaker to be integrated more seamlessly into any interior. The new touch-sensitive interface is more functional thanks to a more intuitive volume control, and the mobile app is still flawless. Voice pickup is more precise with voice assistants, but we’re disappointed that the company has removed Google Assistant. Lastly, the Sonos Era 100 speaker’s new acoustic design provides phenomenally powerful bass and broadens the soundstage to ensure an even more captivating listening experience.

The Sonos Era 100 is more aesthetically pleasing, more musical and more intuitive to use than the Sonos One due to its cylindrical shape, new acoustic design and new touch-sensitive interface.

Sonos Era 100: who is it for?

The Sonos Era 100 is a versatile speaker that can be used for a variety of purposes and will meet the needs of any user. Compact and elegant, it can be discreetly integrated into the smallest spaces of your home to play ambient sound, liven up parties or simply add music to your everyday routine. Used as a pair or in a multi-room group, it allows you to enjoy a very realistic stereo sound or to add music to any area in the home. Last but not least, its real strength lies in its ease of use, which allows anyone, experienced or new to Sonos, to easily play all their favorite music, radios, podcasts and tracks.

The Sonos Era 100 connected speaker provides a simple, intuitive and powerful solution to play all your music. It knows how to liven things up throughout your home, whether it is used alone, as a pair or in a multi-room group.

Sonos Era 100: conclusion 

Revisiting a bestseller is always a risky bet. The American manufacturer has brilliantly succeeded in this challenge with the Sonos Era 100, a worthy heir to the Sonos One. Every aspect has been refined, with a modernized design, even more intuitive use, and enhanced musicality. This next-generation Sonos speaker is bursting with energy, delivering ultra-powerful bass (which can be attenuated if necessary), strong stereo sound and a clear soundstage. All of this makes the Sonos Era 100 one of the most powerful, well-rounded and functional speakers in its price range.

We liked:

  • The incredibly powerful bass
  • The modernized design
  • The new touch-sensitive interface
  • The TruePlay calibration for Android

We would have liked:

  • Better balance in the mids
  • To have kept Google Assistant
  • For an RJ45 and mini-jack adapter to have been included

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