Music can be enjoyed in various ways – for relaxation, while working, or on the move. Over the years, the way we listen to music has undergone significant changes. On one hand, music streaming has gained immense popularity, while on the other hand, vinyl records are experiencing a revival.
However, not everyone possesses the necessary equipment to play these records. One brand that has been at the forefront of these evolving trends is Sonos, known for popularizing multi-room systems and their collaboration with IKEA. In this article, we will delve into their latest product, the Era 300. Priced at $449 and available in black and white, this Wi-Fi speaker promises a remarkable audio experience.
Experiencing sound is a highly personal affair, akin to individual preferences in food and drinks. Opinions about Sonos products vary widely. While one can generally comment on their sound quality, the majority of us can agree that their main strength lies in their remarkable user-friendliness, making them accessible even to non-tech-savvy individuals.
Having a strong wireless network is definitely a must for using the Sonos network and connecting all your Sonos devices to your WiFi. People might encounter some issues setting up your Sonos speaker, especially in homes with multiple networks that can cause unexpected issues when connecting Sonos products. The support forums are overflowing with such cases. Fortunately, you can establish a dedicated wireless “Sonosnet,” a mesh network designed exclusively for audio. This solution generally works well, although the accompanying app could offer more assistance in troubleshooting common problems. Notably, the Era 300 comes equipped with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for enhanced performance.
A Room-Filling Audio Experience
The Sonos Era 300 boasts the term “room-filling” for its audio experience. Despite its compact dimensions, measuring 10.24in (26cm) wide, 6.30in (16cm) high, and 7.28in (18.5cm) deep, this speaker packs a surprising punch – weighing a substantial 10lbs (4.5 kg), it demands a stable surface.
On the top, conveniently placed buttons allow you to start or stop playback and adjust the volume.
Being a smart speaker, the Era 300 can be paired with Alexa and Sonos’ voice service, offering a convenient way to request songs or resolve issues, and a hardware mute button for the microphone ensures privacy whenever needed.
Taking over from the Play 3, the Era 300 holds its position among the Era 100 and the older One, with the slightly older Five positioned above it – coming with a $150 higher price tag than the Era 300.
Equipped with a USB-C port, the Era 300 enables seamless connections to devices with analog inputs, like turntables, and it can also be hooked up to a wired network.
The claim of delivering room-filling audio depends on the room type to some extent. Its innovative design, featuring speakers positioned to offer spatial audio, contributes to its unique sound quality. The Dolby Atmos Audio label attests to this feature, although spatial audio support is limited to Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.
Whether streaming from a music service or connecting via Bluetooth, the Era 300 accommodates various preferences, making it convenient for guests to share their favorite tunes. Apple users can also enjoy streaming through AirPlay 2.
What’s The Era 300 Sound Experience?
The Era 300 is a speaker that demands attention with its powerful and dynamic sound. It features four tweeters and two woofers, which combine to produce a rich and immersive audio experience. Many users find its sound quality highly enjoyable, although a discerning ear might detect room for improvement. The speaker’s tweeters excel at delivering crisp high frequencies, while the woofers dominate in the bass region. However, some users may notice that the midrange could be better represented, creating a slight imbalance in the overall sound profile.
The Era 300’s unique compression drivers contribute to its low distortion, making it a resilient performer even at high volumes. While Sonos doesn’t specify the speaker’s power, it is clear that six Class D amplifiers drive its impressive performance. Fine-tuning the speaker is made easy with Sonos True Play, utilizing your phone’s microphone to optimize the sound for the specific room it’s placed in.
Notably, the Era 300 supports Bluetooth 5.0, and an update to version 5.2 is on the horizon, promising even better connectivity.
Sonos aptly describes the Era 300 as “room-filling“, and rightfully so. Its sound boasts excellent definition, and the spatial effect adds depth to the listening experience. Although classical audiophiles might have some reservations, the Era 300’s audio output remains captivating. For those seeking an even more immersive sound, adding a second Era 300 significantly elevates the result, especially when playing music.
In smaller spaces, a single Era 300 is adequate, providing enjoyable background music during work or relaxation. However, for those passionate about premium sound quality, investing in a pair of proper speakers and an amplifier might be a more tailored choice.
For home theater enthusiasts, the Era 300 can be a valuable addition. Using two Era 300 speakers as rear speakers can create an immersive soundstage. Paired with a Sonos Beam or Sonos Arc soundbars, the setup delivers Dolby Atmos, ensuring an engaging cinematic experience. To complete the audio setup, incorporating a subwoofer enhances the bass response and completes the home theater environment.
Is The Sonos Era 300 For You?
The Era 300 is positioned in the middle of Sonos’ product lineup, available at a price of approximately 500 euros, making it a substantial investment. By choosing this speaker, you become part of Sonos’ ecosystem, allowing for future expansion of your audio setup. Overall, the Era 300 delivers decent audio tuning, though there is room for improvement in the midrange and bass. This opens up the possibility of considering the higher-end Era 500, the successor to the Five.
The Era 300 excels in providing convincing spatial representation, although it’s disappointing that the system only supports a limited number of music streaming services for Dolby Atmos content. While Dolby Atmos can be a delightful feature, it’s essential to ensure it aligns with your audio preferences before justifying the purchase of this model.
For those looking to create a home theater setup, integrating the Era 300 with one of Sonos’ soundbars is possible. However, keep in mind that these soundbars tend to be relatively large and more suitable for larger rooms.
If you opt for the Era 300 in a larger space, having a second unit is advisable to achieve a more dispersed and immersive sound experience throughout the room.
Interested in purchasing a Sonos Era 300?