A Buyers Opinion: Considerations When Upgrading to Sonos Era 300 or Era 100 Speakers

  • 15 May 2023
  • 7 replies
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Userlevel 7

Hello Everyone

There has been conversation regarding the logic of upgrading to the Era 300 or Era 100 speakers.  Below is my opinion as to when an upgrade to the Era Series Speakers may (or may not) be warranted given your current Sonos setup

The following is from an empirical view point and by no means should be considered as a rule of thumb: but more correctly as a guide. Everyone has their own reason(s) as to when, why and/or should an upgrade be considered. 

My personal reasons are that I like the latest and greatest tech; not just Sonos, but other electronic manufacturers  as well. Regarding Sonos, mine is by design to upgrade and sell the previous model to defer the cost of the new gear and get a decent ROI. 

Although Sonos products hold their value quite well...timing is also a key factor. People are more apt to buy used (pre-owned) electronics especially when the out-going product is still being sold on the manufacturer’s website and in stores at MSRP.  I might also mention that I’m a Sonos junkie desperately in need of professional help. 😊

I hope the following opinion/information proves useful and aides to make an informed decision when considering upgrading to the Era 300 and/or Era 100 speakers. There are caveats to be considered (cost is one) that are noted with special characters/symbols.

Note: Cost (price) is not always a factor of one’s ability to afford something. Sometimes it has to do with price parity in relationship to other factors/components. Consider a $250,000 home with a $350,000 auto in the garage. The price parity should be the opposite 😂. 

 

Era 300’s as Stand-alone or Stereo PairNot interested in Dolby Atmos (Spatial Audio)

Your Current Setup is….

  • Five x 1: Do not switch 
  • Five x 2: Do not switch
  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s
  • One SL x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s *

Era 300’s as Stand-alone or Stereo PairInterested in Dolby Atmos (Spatial Audio)

Your Current Setup is….

  • Five x 1: Upgrade to Era 300 **
  • Five x 2: Upgrade to Era 300 **
  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 300
  • One SL x 2: Upgrade to Era 300 *

Era 300’s as Surrounds in Home Theater – Not interested in expanding Dolby Atmos sound affects in rear 

Your Current Setup is….

  • Arc with Fives: Do not upgrade
  • Arc with Ones or One SL’s: Upgrade can be beneficial for expanded surround
  • Beam (Gen2) with Fives: Do not upgrade
  • Beam (Gen 2) with Ones or One SL’s: Upgrade can be beneficial for expanded surround ***

Era 300’s as Surrounds in Home Theater – Interested in expanding Doby Atmos sound affects in rear 

Your Current Setup is….

  • Arc with Fives: Upgrade to Era 300’s
  • Arc with Ones or One SL’s: Upgrade to Era 300’s
  • Beam (Gen 2) with Ones or One SL’s: Upgrade to Era 300’s ***
  • Beam (Gen2) with Fives: Upgrade to Era 300’s

Era 100’s as Stand-alone or Stereo Pair for General music listening 

Your Current Setup is….

  • One x 1: Upgrade to Era 100 
  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s 
  • One SL x 1: Upgrade to Era 100 *
  • One SL x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s *

Era 100’s as Surrounds in Home Theater with Arc or Beam (Gen2)

Your Current Setup is….

  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s - Recommended Era 300’s for complete Dolby Atmos experience; assuming cost is a non-issue
  • One SL x 2: Same as above 

Era 100’s as Surrounds in Home Theater with Ray

Your Current Setup is….

  • One x 2: Cost is the determining factor here as audible gain (based upon current opinion/review) may not be noticeable in all situations. The audible gain is likely more pronounced in a small room such as a bedroom. Of course everyone’s audible perception is different; therefore one should test extensively during the return window. Cost may not be a factor (nor audible gain) if you intend to repurpose the One’s, sell them to recoup some ROI or you have deep pockets 😊.
  • One SL x 2: Same a above *

 

* You must be comfortable with using the “hardware” button to cut power to microphones that disable/prevents use of TruePlay and voice assistants. If not; DO NOT upgrade.

** You should do a thorough in-home comparison versus Five(s) for general music (non-Dolby Atmos (spatial audio) listening if you intend to gift/sell them instead of repurposing for use in same room or elsewhere in your home. I mention this as the Five(s) sound fantastic for Stereo listening and due to the fact that music recordings in Dolby Atmos (spatial audio) are very limited at this time. A more prudent approach may be to wait until the Dolby Atmos (spatial audio) medium for music is more prevalent. Regarding moving from the One’s/One SL’s your listening experience will be greatly enhanced. So go for it!

*** You should consider the cost of the Era 300’s which are twice (2x) the cost of the Beam (Gen2); so be sure you really want Dolby Atmos effects in rear. It’s a moot point if you intend to repurpose the One’s or One SL’s for use elsewhere in your home (or sell them to recoup some of your initial investment).

^ Cost factor is not discussed here as monies were spent to purchase Five’s which suggests deep pockets 😊


7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @AjTrek1 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

 

Era 300’s as Stand-alone or Stereo PairNot interested in Dolby Atmos (Spatial Audio)

Your Current Setup is….

  • Five x 1: Do not switch 
  • Five x 2: Do not switch
  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s
  • One SL x 2: Upgrade to Era 100’s *

Era 300’s as Stand-alone or Stereo PairInterested in Dolby Atmos (Spatial Audio)

Your Current Setup is….

  • Five x 1: Upgrade to Era 300 **
  • Five x 2: Upgrade to Era 300 **
  • One x 2: Upgrade to Era 300
  • One SL x 2: Upgrade to Era 300 *

 

For music only rooms where you currently have 1 or a pair of 5, I think you also should consider the Five can produce a higher volume and has better bass than the Era 300.  If you like bass and don’t currently have a sub, your going to see a downgrade when switching to Era 300s. So you have to weigh your interest atmos  against bass.  If you have a sub or plan on getting one with the Era 300s, than it’s not a factor.  Likewise, if you have a very large room, maybe an open plan  living/kitchen/dining room space with high ceilings,  then Fives are going to perform better than Era 300s for that space.  You aren’t going to get the same volume output or hear the atmos effects well  in that space anyway.

 

I think @AjTrek1 alluded to this already, but saying it a different way, figure your upgrade strategy.  He’s an admitted Sons junkie who wants to upgrade everything to the latest and greatest and doesn’t mind (maybe enjoys) selling his unused Sonos.  Not at all saying there’s anything wrong with that.  In contrast, I’m a slightly different junky who doesn’t really care for selling things much. I’m not going to buy all the new Sonos now because I know I’ll get the itch to buy again in the fall and want to leave some room for future upgrades.  I want to spread it out more, because I enjoy the process (hobby?) more that way.  It also tends to mean I don’t have to sell used equipment as much (although I do need to).   Nothing wrong with buying it all or once or spreading it out, just what your personal preference.

Related to above, we all have guesses as to what Sonos future products will be.  If you think there’s going to be an Era 500 coming out a year or two from now, it makes sense to wait, or figure you can relocate or sell the Era 300 you want for now.  We also know that Sonos bought new woofer tech (Mayht) a while back that should allow them to create speakers in smaller form factors.  In other words, balance your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with your fear of upgrading too early (acronym for that?)...ignoring budget and spouse approval factor.

 

Userlevel 7

@melvimbe 

Thanks for your input!!

If an Era 500 comes out (that’s better than a Five) I’ll sell my Fives x 2 to defer the cost 😊

FYI, I do like upgrading and selling my gear. I’m just a different kind of junkie versus your profile. 😂

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I currently have 2 Sonos Ones in the kitchen and they are awesome. I'm wanting a bit more bass. Should I get the mini sub or 2 Sonos ERA 100's? Sadly I cannot afford both. Thanks for any advice.

Userlevel 7

Hi

Definitely the sub. The Era 100’s will offer a wider sound stage and bit more low-end but not that you would notice a dramatic difference in low end.

Of course listening is a personal consideration so you could buy both (temporarily) and decide for yourself and keep the one that meets your need. However, still recommend the sub mini 😊.

I currently have 2 Sonos Ones in the kitchen and they are awesome. I'm wanting a bit more bass. Should I get the mini sub or 2 Sonos ERA 100's? Sadly I cannot afford both. Thanks for any advice.

I agree with @AjTrek1 - there’s not that much to gain by switching to Era-100s and the Sub-Mini is much the better option, given those choices available. Also perhaps checkout Sonos ‘refurbished’ from time-to-time and the new year sales on Sonos.com as they can be quite cost-saving too.

https://www.sonos.com/en-gb/shop/certified-refurbished

Userlevel 2
Badge +6

Hi there….

 

First of all i wanna tell you that “my first Sonos” was a pair of Era 100’s. and man….i do not regret….they play’ed AWSOME. Sorry to say,but i’m not a big fan of the Play:1,but many of the communety has begger experience with them than i do😉

One of my latest purcase is the Sub Mini,and it is GREAT(for music). But something to keep in mind is your room…. You could perhaps notice that the Sub Mini does not sound at all in certain area of you room.

The way i would go,i would get the Sub Mini but keep inmind that you could fail to enjoy the Sub Mini cause it’s picky where you’ll be placing it. 
 

You’re gonna be happy one way or the other…Don’t worry

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