era 100 vs era 300

  • 3 April 2023
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 2

I currently have an arc,gen3 sub,and play 1’s as surrounds. I plan to move the play1’s to the bedroom for music and I had planned to buy the era 300 for surround replacement. After hearing that the front driver is not working when in surround mode I am thinking of bypassing on those speakers. Now I am thinking about the era 100 for surround speakers. I listen to music around 20% of the time with my current setup and it sounds good but with the 300’s I am reading that music doesn’t sound good unless you’re listening to atmos music. So I was thinking that if it doesn’t sound that good with regular stereo music then it might not sound good for movies that aren’t Dolby Atmos. In fact with non Dolby atmos movies two of the drivers wouldn’t be working (front and upfiring)? That’s why I was thinking I should buy a pair of era 100’s for surrounds. All the drivers would be activated 100% of the time. I realize I wouldn’t be enveloped in a spatial sound bubble when playing Dolby atmos material but not all video and audio is Atmos. Appreciate any feedback regarding my thought process. Maybe I am way off base on my thoughts 

4 replies

Userlevel 2

So I just did a Google search and came across this thread.  I was researching era 100 vs 300 as surround’s because l actually just found out about the front drivers not working on the 300 as surrounds. I preordered the era 300s and got them last week.  Using them as surrounds with my Arc and full size sub.   Did the whole true play tuning after I connected.   The 300s as surrounds sound in my opinion a little bit lower vs the ones. I needed to turn up the surround volume to about a 7 or 8 to hear them.  For music I switched from ambient to full on the surround settings, the music as surrounds sound a bit better but I’m sure I would have gotten similar results with my old Sonos ones.  Honestly I think they are good speakers, but as surrounds I think they are overpriced.  Maybe a future software update will change the way they sound, I also think Sonos should give you the option to turn on the front driver when using as surrounds. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

I have an ERA300 in the kitchen and it sounds great for both Atmos and non Atmos music. Completely fills the room. I personally prefer it to the stereo pair of play 1s it replaced. 

I recently purchased two Era 300 speakers as surrounds to my Beam Gen2 and Sub Gen3 and I’m utterly disappointed. My sound bar is connected to the TV via HDMI Arc and I stream movies directly from Apple TV or Disney+ so the set up should support Dolby Atmos. In all honestly after connecting the pair of Era 300s I could barely detect any difference vs using the sound bar and sub alone. 
After reading you post I realised that the fronts of the speakers are completely silent and the sound is fired upwards by the back drivers, but you can barely notice it and it definitely does not provide the “submergive” experience that SONOS is promising.

When using the speakers for music I had equally disappointing experience. In the bedroom and dining room I have Play5 Gen2 and they preform way better. It could be that if you use the Era 300 speakers alone (without sound bar and sub) you get a much better performance. However,  based on my miserable experience I’m planning to return them and replace with a pair of Era 100s as surrounds to my home cinema.


Userlevel 2

I purchased a pair of ERA 100’s and used them for my surround sound home theater and they sound great. Maybe not all encompassing like a bubble but they sound great for all sound effects atmos,Dolby 5.1, etc. This is good since most movies and music I watch and listen to are not Atmos. Music really sounds good. I actually purchased another pair for my bedroom for strictly music.  It’s good to know that all the drivers in a speaker I purchased work and none are deactivated.