Sonos Era 100 review

Sonos marks a new Era

₹ 29,999

When you get a Sonos product, you know you get great sound, awesome design and amazing streaming features at a competitive price. At least that was what the Sonos One achieved way back when it was launched in 2020. The Sonos Era 100 seems to be a more evolved Sonos One. But is it just old wine in a new bottle?

Sonos Era 100 review: Design and Build

The new Era 100 doesn’t look anything like the One. It takes a more rounded oval shape yet retains that clean minimalistic look that we love from Sonos.The Era is available in matte black or matte white and the grille encompasses the unit almost entirely. It sits pretty on any surface you put it on, be it a side table, your centre console or even a dedicated stand. The bigger oval shape makes way for additional drivers - three in total. 

Sonos has added two angled tweeters with custom waveguides and a woofer that is about 25 percent bigger than the unit in the Sonos One. The main reason for doing so is to give the speaker stereo sound ability. Each driver has a dedicated Class D amp and Sonos isn’t mucking about here.

On top of the unit are the touch controls that allow you to pause/play and a rather sensitive groove for volume control that lets you slide your finger through it and increases or decreases the level accordingly. At the back is a dedicated privacy switch that allows you to switch the mic off physically to disable voice commands and there’s also a USB Type-C port which acts as a line-in if you want to physically connect a source to the Era 100. You will need an adapter though as it isn’t included in the box and Sonos sells one separately.

Sonos Era 100 review: Features

The Era comes with all the bells and whistles that are synonymous with the Sonos family and then some! For the first time in the history of the company, Bluetooth has been included in the new Era series! It is just great when a company listens to its customers and feedback! Well done Sonos. With that being said, there’s Bluetooth 5.0 on board with support for AAC and SBC and Sonos claims you can even stream 24-bit audio via local files.

We love the fact that Sonos hasn’t included any gimmicks like Spatial audio in a speaker this tiny as it would just make no sense whatsoever. What you do get is Sonos’ Trueplay that calibrates the speaker’s output depending on where in the room it is placed and now even Android users are included in the party. Apple users still get to tune it via the mic in the iPhone but Android users have to rely on the Speakers microphone itself.

Both tuning methods work well and there’s a noticeable difference when tuning is on versus off. Depending on placement, the Era diminishes certain frequencies and highlights others for a more balanced sound. For example, we placed it in a corner which resulted in a boomy lower end, which was magically corrected with the tuning. 

The Sonos Control app is where all the magic happens. It lets you integrate your music apps seamlessly and offers a host of other functions. You can rename the speaker, assign it a room, group it with other Sonos speakers if you have them and also custom tune the EQ. Sonos also has given the Era 100 the ability to act as a surround unit for their soundbars, which is a neat touch. ‘Hey Sonos’ activates Sonos’ own voice assistant which is mostly tasked to control music, however there’s Alexa on board as well.

Sonos Era 100 review: Sound Quality

From the moment you hit play, the Era 100 makes it clear that its sound far belies its size. It has no problem filling up the room with great sound without reaching the harsh party volume level. We play The Expert by Yello and the sense of control, rhythmic drive and detail left us dancing! It sounds so spacious and the bass line is greatly detailed all while keeping an immaculate tonal balance. 

We put on some Lorde and once again are swept away by how textured the bass is. It’s not at all unpleasant or boomy and the Sonos Era 100 captivates you in its sonic performance right from the start. It manages to chalk out each instrument as a different layer while separating the vocals from it all, yet portraying the track as a unit in its entirety. This sort of sense of space is consistent no matter the genre of music played.

What really impressed us though was the Era’s ability to seamlessly blend into the background without poking at your ears and causing fatigue. You could easily play it for hours on end without feeling the need for a break. However this can be achieved only at a medium to high level of volume. If you pump it up, you tend to notice a harsh edge to the music that takes away from the otherwise crisp presentation. But we are talking about party level of volume here.

Sonos Era 100 review: Verdict

If the Era 100 is going to be your first ‘Smart Speaker’ then it’s an absolute no-brainer. There’s so much on offer here, you will be pleased with your purchase. If you are thinking of upgrading from a Sonos One, you might want to consider that the One itself is a powerhouse performer and while the Era improves on it, we wouldn't just do away with the One. There is a certain richness in the mid range of the One that the Era seems to be missing. However there’s no reason you can’t have both. And if you already have a Sonos soundbar, it is almost imperative to turn it into a proper home-theatre setup

Stuff Says

Big sound with big features and a dollop of detail. The Era 100 is a winner
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Great sense of scale

  1. Rich open sound

  1. Detailed presentation

  1. Superb features

  1. Nuanced delivery

  1. Nothing at this price

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 (SBC, AAC) Wireless/wi-fi AirPlay 2, wi-fi 6
Features: Stereo pairing, Sonos voice control, Amazon Alexa voice control, Trueplay tuning, Adjustable EQ, USB-C line-in
Dimensions (hwd): 18.25 x 12 x 13.05cm
Weight: 2.02kg