A New "Era" of Sonos Speakers

  • 6 February 2023
  • 99 replies
  • 4173 views

Userlevel 7
  • Era 300
  • Era 100
  • Move (Gen 2)

https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/6/23588049/sonos-era-300-100-optimo-speakers-leak-features
 

UPDATE: https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/20/23606369/sonos-era-300-100-speakers-leak-features-price-photos


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99 replies

Optimo is a better name.  Era just doesn’t roll of the tongue.  Is it “Air-Ah” or “Ear-Ah”?  I get that this is supposed to be start of a new era of Sonos speakers, but that doesn’t mean you have to name the product such.  I guess Optimo was just one too many syllables.

Didn’t see any other new info about the speakers themselves.

 

Also, a Move Gen 2 is not terribly surprising.  Besides 4 years since Gen 1 release, there are clearly some easy features to adopt that Roam already has.  I suspect their won’t be a new form factor or significant change in battery.  But it would be rather impressive if the Move uses some of the new woofer tech they bought to improve audio in a smaller (or same) size, which should also improve battery life?

Likely there will be a radio upgrade too.

Wanted to add  that my big question on the Optimo...I mean Era, is whether or not these can be use for home theatre and how exactly that would work.

 

I fear though that the Era 300 is not a Five equivalent, but more directly competing against Homepod in terms of audio and price.   That would be disappointing.

Wanted to add  that my big question on the Optimo...I mean Era, is whether or not these can be use for home theatre and how exactly that would work.

 

I fear though that the Era 300 is not a Five equivalent, but more directly competing against Homepod in terms of audio and price.   That would be disappointing.

I haven’t heard the latest HomePod (yet), but I still personally think the Sonos One sounded better than the original HomePod, which I’ve always thought lacked clarity and sounded a little fuzzy, particularly in its mid-high range. My son-in-law has the original HomePod and he has switched to Sonos after hearing things side-by-side. The ‘One’ is much clearer/crispier sounding to my old ears.

I couldn’t actually gauge the size of the Optima/Era from the ‘rendered’ orangey image that The Verge posted some time ago, but it always struck me as being around the size of the old (discontinued) Play: 3 or somewhere between that and a Play: 5/Five - so if I had been asked to guess it’s name, I would have said a ‘Sonos Four’ - so that’s another wrong guess (yet again) on my part.. huh! 🙅 

Userlevel 1

Very excited for this. Hoping that the Era 100 delivers the Atmos sound that we’ve been lacking from the Sonos home theater system since the debut of the Arc. 

Wanted to add  that my big question on the Optimo...I mean Era, is whether or not these can be use for home theatre and how exactly that would work.

 

I fear though that the Era 300 is not a Five equivalent, but more directly competing against Homepod in terms of audio and price.   That would be disappointing.

I think that’s the point though, no? The ‘300’ I think is a direct reference to the Play:3, which would be the Homepod competitor. Sonos has an empty slot at that price point, so this year would be a good time to launch something, particularly with Apple bringing back the HomePod. 

 

If, and I use that word specifically, because The Verge has been wrong in the past, the Era 100 has some upward firing component, I would be willing to consider using the PLAY:1s I have as surrounds elsewhere, and getting a set of Era 100s for surrounds duty. But that means more bandwidth needs, as the Era 100s would need two streams, not just the surround stream of data, but also the disparates streams of Atmos, a whole ‘nother’ thing.  

I just bought an Arc in December and then 3 Ones and this last Saturday a Sub and a 4th One.  

How long should I expect these to continue to be supported now that something new is on the way?

We don’t know. Units sold in 2005 are still viable, although they cannot support the latest features.

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Badge +9

Just wonder if these new speakers can be added to the home theatre system to make it more complete…

 

We won’t know that, either, until Sonos makes the announcement, which usually happens within several weeks of the actual release. I wouldn’t expect too much too soon, this is a ‘leak’, and not an announcement.

To date, only the portable Sonos speakers, the Roam and the Move, are unable to be used as surround speakers. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

Just wonder if these new speakers can be added to the home theatre system to make it more complete…

 

Yes they can.

If, and I use that word specifically, because The Verge has been wrong in the past, the Era 100 has some upward firing component, I would be willing to consider using the PLAY:1s I have as surrounds elsewhere, and getting a set of Era 100s for surrounds duty. But that means more bandwidth needs, as the Era 100s would need two streams, not just the surround stream of data, but also the disparates streams of Atmos, a whole ‘nother’ thing.  

 

On the subject of getting things wrong, I’m thinking Verge is wrong about the USB-C line in.  It just doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.  What could this be used for, and why is it better than an analog input?  Since Era 100 and 300 (not to be confused with an Eero router or a NASCAR race)  are not portable and will always be on our network, you will be able to stream audio from any iOS device via airplay.  If the rumor is true about bluetooth connectivity (which seems logical since the Roam can be on WiFi and BT at the same time)  then you would not need to wire an android device. So what device would you realistically use USB-C line in with?  Turntable?  PC?

Two possibilities is if the  Eras need the wired digital connection for atmos audio from iOS and android that can’t be done well wirelessly.  That makes some sense, but since Sonos can already get streaming atmos from Amazon and others, that seems doubtful.  The other possibility is that Sonos is ditching the analog inputs so that it does not have to convert to digital.  Anyone who has an analog course can get a converter cable for $10 on Amazon. I guess that last part perhaps is a strong enough reason to have USB-C input.  It might be good to see how customers react to this change, to see if the same can be done to the Port or Amp?

However, what makes more sense to me is that the Era speakers are powered via USB-C.  It’s entirely possible that the power usage for these speakers is lower than it’s predecessors due to improved tech, and a desire to be more environmentally friendly.  USB-C for power is very common now, and Sonos already does this with Move and Roam.  It likely reduce costs as well since Sonos will not have to provide different outlet plugs per region or have an internal AC/DC transformer.  They might even be able to sell without cables and charging block, if customers prefer to use their own.

Maybe the USB-C is both power and input, but that would mean that whatever input source would also have to provide enough power is well, or you have to buy some sort of additional adapter.   All speculation on my part.

If, and I use that word specifically, because The Verge has been wrong in the past, the Era 100 has some upward firing component, I would be willing to consider using the PLAY:1s I have as surrounds elsewhere, and getting a set of Era 100s for surrounds duty. But that means more bandwidth needs, as the Era 100s would need two streams, not just the surround stream of data, but also the disparates streams of Atmos, a whole ‘nother’ thing.  

 

You’ll notice in this piece I specifically emphasize that some of these features might not be present in the final hardware. I know not everything I first reported on the Ray made the product, but I swear I viewed internal documents that mentioned them. 😭 Obviously details are subject to change, but the broad strokes are accurate. 

If, and I use that word specifically, because The Verge has been wrong in the past, the Era 100 has some upward firing component, I would be willing to consider using the PLAY:1s I have as surrounds elsewhere, and getting a set of Era 100s for surrounds duty. But that means more bandwidth needs, as the Era 100s would need two streams, not just the surround stream of data, but also the disparates streams of Atmos, a whole ‘nother’ thing.  

 

You’ll notice in this piece I specifically emphasize that some of these features might not be present in the final hardware. I know not everything I first reported on the Ray made the product, but I swear I viewed internal documents that mentioned them. 😭 Obviously details are subject to change, but the broad strokes are accurate. 

 

Assuming that the Era speakers can be used for rear atmos surround, and will be released sometime this year, it doesn’t make sense for the Ray to do rear atmos as well...hindsight being 20/20 and all.  It very likely could have upset a lot of people who bought the Rays who would have preferred to wait for Eras.  As well, I bet Sonos would prefer customers to use the Eras instead of Rays.

Userlevel 7

New article from The Verge including more product details and actual photos!

https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/20/23606369/sonos-era-300-100-speakers-leak-features-price-photos

Userlevel 7

A VERY interesting post on Reddit from Chris Welch from The Verge:

“Sonos documents list an Arc, Sub, and two 300s as 7.1.4.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/sonos/comments/117f2ut/comment/j9bmmss/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

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Is the Era 300 supposed to be considered an upgrade to the Play 5?

Userlevel 7

Is the Era 300 supposed to be considered an upgrade to the Play 5?

Based on the article, it looks like the Era 300 will be in a separate class than the Five. The 300 is designed more for Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio whereas the Five will still be Sonos’ flagship speaker for the stereo purists.

Badge +2

Is the Era 300 supposed to be considered an upgrade to the Play 5?

Based on the article, it looks like the Era 300 will be in a separate class than the Five. The 300 is designed more for Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio whereas the Five will still be Sonos’ flagship speaker for the stereo purists.

Makes sense. Thanks!!

Reports suggest that the 100 has a line in using USB C. How will that work, or, what will that work with?

I have always believed that the Play 1/One would have been a better product than what it already is, if it had a line in jack. But I am not sure what the 100 is reported to have, is that feature.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Losing Google Assistant would be very bad, especially since neither Alexa nor SVC work in my native language (dutch).

Reports suggest that the 100 has a line in using USB C. How will that work, or, what will that work with?

I have always believed that the Play 1/One would have been a better product than what it already is, if it had a line in jack. But I am not sure what the 100 is reported to have, is that feature.

 

Doing a quick search, there are tons of dongles out there that convert USB C to 3.5mm jacks or RCA, so I suspect this won’t be an issue.  Also, I would guess that you can connect android phones with USB-C  ports to the Era speakers without a dongle.  Since Apple is supposed to switch to USB C in the near future, those too.  Of course, with airplay and bluetooth, this doesn’t seem 100% necessary, unless the wired connection handle can do things that wireless cannot.

On the same subject, although nothing is confirmed yet, history would tell us that the USB-C input, and bluetooth are unlikely to be turned on when the Era speakers are used as rear surround speakers.  Again though, nothing is confirmed.  I just wouldn’t assume that to be true.

Userlevel 1

Reports suggest that the 100 has a line in using USB C. How will that work, or, what will that work with?

I have always believed that the Play 1/One would have been a better product than what it already is, if it had a line in jack. But I am not sure what the 100 is reported to have, is that feature.

 

Doing a quick search, there are tons of dongles out there that convert USB C to 3.5mm jacks or RCA, so I suspect this won’t be an issue.  Also, I would guess that you can connect android phones with USB-C  ports to the Era speakers without a dongle.  Since Apple is supposed to switch to USB C in the near future, those too.  Of course, with airplay and bluetooth, this doesn’t seem 100% necessary, unless the wired connection handle can do things that wireless cannot.

On the same subject, although nothing is confirmed yet, history would tell us that the USB-C input, and bluetooth are unlikely to be turned on when the Era speakers are used as rear surround speakers.  Again though, nothing is confirmed.  I just wouldn’t assume that to be true.

 

The bigger question is if this will be a true zero latency line-in or if it will still be a 75ms minimum delay because of the Sonos software.

Is the Era 300 supposed to be considered an upgrade to the Play 5?

Based on the article, it looks like the Era 300 will be in a separate class than the Five. The 300 is designed more for Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio whereas the Five will still be Sonos’ flagship speaker for the stereo purists.

 

This seems odd at first. but makes more sense the more I think about it. A Five with spatial audio would likely be way more than needed for rear surrounds  and likely cost $600+.   I don’t know that I’d pay that much for rear surrounds, or for music only ‘front’ speakers.  A smaller speaker makes more sense for rears and would cover a fairly big music only room.  The question is, is there room for an Era 300 and Fives in the lineup?  The play:3 did not get a 2nd generation, so maybe not.

 

Overall, I’m not terribly excited. about this news.  I was hoping, though doubtful, that the Era 300 would be Five sized output and can be used as separate front speakers. Seems extremely unlikely.  That was a huge ask anyway, so I can’t say I’m disappointed...just not excited.  Then again, the perhaps atmos music is less in need of stereo separation in the front speakers...I don’t know.  Atmos music over the Arc sounds amazing.  

I’ll likely get the Era 300, but I don’t know whether I’ll use it as rears or a separate music room.  A lot depends on how it’s packaged in sets perhaps, or what information is yet to come on the product.

The Era 100, seems like it’s a great new entry product.  I have little need for aux inputs, as I never use them, and the extra tweeter isn’t that big of draw to me since I always stereo pair.  But if you have no Sonos speakers, are not comfortable with WiFi streaming, this seems like a really good place to start.

Compact soundbars and rear speakers are a nice convenience and are a great choice for the mass’s. It’s a much smaller market, but I prefer full size, well placed speakers. If these new speakers perform similarly to FIVE’s I’d welcome them in a full L/C/R/surround with some discrete height channels overhead. I realize that this is not for everyone.