Era 300 vs Five

  • 23 January 2024
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Hello To All Of You

 

I’m planning to get The Era 300 soon for my Arc&dual Gen 3’s home cinema-system…as surrounds. I got the Beam Gen 2,Era 100&Sub Mini in my bedroom and i have the opertunety to purcase two pair of surrounds…BUT…i never heard a pair of Five’s play(or the Era 300). 
So i ask a simple question here. Do i leave my Beam-system as is and add a pair of Five’s in front to use for music or do i purcase two pairs of Era 300 and replace the two pairs of Era 100 in my Arc&Beam-surrounds?. For the Beam-system i only use it for Youtube…so not much of movies.

What does the audience(you guys’n girls) think?

 

Thanx….


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34 replies

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@BOL74

For your home cinema Sonos Arc system the pair of Era300 is a great choice and will bring it to its best. 
But for your Beam2 Setup imho the Era300 pair would be an overkill if you don’t use Atmos there at all. So if music is more important to you for this room, I strongly recommend the pair of Sonos Five. They are an amazing stereo setup. 😎

Also as a stereo setup they will offer you two analogue inputs as an option to connect devices like a phono or something else. 

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#Schlumpf

 

Thanx for the reply.

Well, i might have a special taste in music and how i prefere my Home Theater to sound. I got the Arc/Era100/dual Gen3’s but i’m not like impressed…do not misunderstand. There is a joy in my ears when watching movies but i think there is more potensial. Like i watched the movie “Ford vs Ferrarri”/Le Mans 1966 and there should be scenes that would impress me…but nah. In the movie “Bladerunner 2049” the Atmos-effect was better but the opening scene who everybody talks bout was not as good as i think it should. And the reason for me asking if i should purcase one of each or two pairs of Era 300’s was the idea to be able to try out the secound Era 300’s as stereopair with an Gen3 or a Sub Mini up front…yeah,i know bout the lag of 0.75ms. 
I have been really enjoying my Ikea Symfonisk Book Shielf speakers(Ikea BS red.anm). I have two of those in stereopair in my bedroom,but had to bring them over to my granny for my Ray/Sub Mini setup(read bout it in the other topics og mine if u care…) But down the road i will have a set of Fives anyway.

 

Oh please stop believing that stupid video that places Era 300’s as “fronts” in a Sonos home theater!  Those “fronts” are not fronts at all.  They are grouped, and as such they will play all channels - fronts, center, surrounds and Atmos heights - as a stereo downmix.  So the front left/center/right channels and any surround or Atmos effects are repeated in the “front” Era 300s as stereo only.   This adds nothing, it merely muddies up the original intent of the sound mix.  The front is spread out and dispersed, the directional surround effects are ruined, and any Atmos effects are now coming from in front of you instead of above. 

In short, it’s sonic mess, and that’s not even counting the echo from the delay, never mind the fact you are paying a premium for two Atmos capable speakers that aren’t even playing Atmos. 

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#jgatie

 

Good evening to you too…

So…what are your suggestion for me when i’m not happy with my setup(just missing the Era300’s surround) and to be honest i dubt it will “make me happy”…so you suggest i build a new room in my one year old house? Yeah,you know the anserw to that: Not Honna Happen‼️ Or you suggest i go for two pairs of round in cealing Sonance+ Sonos Amp? Or you suggest i go for another brand?

I might have a thing in my head of how sound should be and what to expect.

Like i’m now just purcased a nib Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2 and need to buy a brand new one down the way to replace the Era 100’s in my bedroom-setup. Good idea…probobly not,but there is a lack of placement for a tablelamp AND the Era100’s as for now they are on top of eachother. Soulution would be a kit of Sonos Stands for $300 and that’s basicly the price of 1 ½ Ikea Lamp’s. The Era 100 sounds great,but it’s not ideal placement as for now. If only Sonos could sell the top-piece for their stands to switch between the 100’ & 300’s it could make life a bit easier.

 

Thanx for reading my “things” anyway….

 

PS: looking forward to see what Daniel(N.E.T.) coming up for in is next videoes…cause i will watch them🙃

#jgatie

 

Good evening to you too…

So…what are your suggestion for me when i’m not happy with my setup(just missing the Era300’s surround) and to be honest i dubt it will “make me happy”…so you suggest i build a new room in my one year old house? Yeah,you know the anserw to that: Not Honna Happen‼️ Or you suggest i go for two pairs of round in cealing Sonance+ Sonos Amp? Or you suggest i go for another brand?

I might have a thing in my head of how sound should be and what to expect.

Like i’m now just purcased a nib Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2 and need to buy a brand new one down the way to replace the Era 100’s in my bedroom-setup. Good idea…probobly not,but there is a lack of placement for a tablelamp AND the Era100’s as for now they are on top of eachother. Soulution would be a kit of Sonos Stands for $300 and that’s basicly the price of 1 ½ Ikea Lamp’s. The Era 100 sounds great,but it’s not ideal placement as for now. If only Sonos could sell the top-piece for their stands to switch between the 100’ & 300’s it could make life a bit easier.

 

Thanx for reading my “things” anyway….

 

PS: looking forward to see what Daniel(N.E.T.) coming up for in is next videoes…cause i will watch them🙃

 

Use the Era 300’s as rear surrounds, as designed.  Use the Arc as the front left/center/right, as designed.  Add a Sub, Subs, or Sub-Mini as needed. Then put any other speakers you have left over in another room, as designed. 

If you aren’t happy with that?  Well then realize all soundbars are a compromise. You either put up with the compromise in favor of the convenience of less space used, less wires, more streamlined look, etc. or you get a fully wired separates/receiver based Home Theater.  What you don’t do is expect a soundbar to be what it is not, like a center speaker for separate left/right fronts. 

As to that video, watch whatever you wish.  If you don’t mind misinformation and incorrect facts, all the more power to you. 

#jgatie

 

Good evening to you too…

So…what are your suggestion for me when i’m not happy with my setup(just missing the Era300’s surround) and to be honest i dubt it will “make me happy”…so you suggest i build a new room in my one year old house? Yeah,you know the anserw to that: Not Honna Happen‼️ Or you suggest i go for two pairs of round in cealing Sonance+ Sonos Amp? Or you suggest i go for another brand?

 

 

I don’t know how you came to any of those conclusions based on what @jgatie stated.  Simply put, grouping in a stereo pair in the front of your home theatre space isn’t going to be an improvement to the audio quality.

 

I might have a thing in my head of how sound should be and what to expect.

 

 

Sure.  And there’s nothing wrong with wanting more for your home theatre, specifically a wider stage from the front speakers, but Sonos simply doesn’t offer that currently.  Well, they do if you use an Amp up front, but you lose atmost capablity.  The point is that ‘forcing’ extra speakers in the front isn’t a solution.

Like i’m now just purcased a nib Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2 and need to buy a brand new one down the way to replace the Era 100’s in my bedroom-setup. Good idea…probobly not,but there is a lack of placement for a tablelamp AND the Era100’s as for now they are on top of eachother. Soulution would be a kit of Sonos Stands for $300 and that’s basicly the price of 1 ½ Ikea Lamp’s. The Era 100 sounds great,but it’s not ideal placement as for now. If only Sonos could sell the top-piece for their stands to switch between the 100’ & 300’s it could make life a bit easier.

 

 

There are bit more difference in the physical design of the ikea lamp and the Era speakers that plopping a lamp on top.  Especially considering the upfiring speakers on the 300s, which would obviously not work as well with a lamp shade mounted on top.  Instead, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the next gen ikea lamp has dual woofers like the Era 100s. Perhaps bluetooth and aux in as well.

 

 

Thanx for reading my “things” anyway….

 

PS: looking forward to see what Daniel(N.E.T.) coming up for in is next videoes…cause i will watch them🙃

 

Nothing wrong with a little creativity, but I wouldn’t kid yourself into thinking that more is always better, and every idea is a good one.

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This is my home cinema-room so you can get an idea of how it looks like. Pay attention that it is deep-windows in the sealing on both sides. Both Gen 3’s are placed in the corner of the sofa.

This is my home cinema-room so you can get an idea of how it looks like. Pay attention that it is deep-windows in the sealing on both sides. Both Gen 3’s are placed in the corner of the sofa.

 

What does the shape of your room have to do with using the correct number of speakers as they were designed? 

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#jgatie

I’m not a rocket-scientist but i do belive the Atmos effect got something to do with how the room is shaped and how it reflect back…don’t you agree. So what i’m thinking that this is a big part of my problem why i’m not “happy” with the performance…and that is for the Gen3’s as well.

That’s why i wonder if i should try add that Era 300’s stereopair up front that it might solve something rather as some of the communety say it will just create a mess. This setup is btw not happy with music. For that i prefere the bedroom with Beam Gen2/Era100/Sub Mini and soon either Era 300’s or Five’s.

#jgatie

I’m not a rocket-scientist but i do belive the Atmos effect got something to do with how the room is shaped and how it reflect back…don’t you agree. So what i’m thinking that this is a big part of my problem why i’m not “happy” with the performance…and that is for the Gen3’s as well.

That’s why i wonder if i should try add that Era 300’s stereopair up front that it might solve something rather as some of the communety say it will just create a mess. This setup is btw not happy with music. For that i prefere the bedroom with Beam Gen2/Era100/Sub Mini and soon either Era 300’s or Five’s.

 

No, adding a stereo pair will not fix the “I’m not happy” problem.   You are correct that the ceiling shape, and lack of full side walls, are not good for bouncing audio off of.  I don’t know that I would bother with atmos at all for that room.  Regardless, throwing 2 stereo channels at the front doesn’t fix that.

Have you done trueplay tuning on the room?

 

As far as Gen 3s (I assume you are referring to the sub), you may want to try moving one of them to the front of the room.

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@BOL74

As your idea seems already to be manifested in your mind, I think you will try this anyway. 😉

Just be aware of the loose of real channel separation, but if it sounds satisfying to your ears in the end, that’s ok. 
Otherwise you have tested it and can open your mind for other alternatives. 😎

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#Schlumpl

 

Yeah,i think you’re right. And if i don’t like it i can use the secound pair of Era300’s in my bedroom either switch out the exsisting Era100(witch is sitting on top of a lamp on my bed-table) or have them as a stereopair in front…for pure music.

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HI

@BOL74 

First I’m going to describe my setup in my Main Media Room, next in my Master Bedroom and finally in a Guest Bedroom.

Main Media Room (Video)

  • LG 65 inch TV
  • Arc plus Sub x 2 and Era 300 surrounds
  • ATV 4K
  • Panasonic Ultra HD Disc player

Main Media Room (Music)

  • Five x 2 with Sub (Music Streaming)
  • Project Debut Turntable (Sonos Edition) > Cambridge Pre-amp > Sonos Amp > Definitive D3 Speakers (Vinyl)

Master Bedroom (Video & Music) *

  • LG 55 inch TV
  • Arc plus Sub and Era 300 surrounds
  • ATV 4K
  • Sony Ultra HD Disc player

Guest Bedroom (Video & Music*

  • Sony Bravia 46 inch TV (circa 2014)
  • Beam 2 plus Sub-Mini and Era 100 surrounds
  • ATV 4K

 * Music is listed only because it’s possible when and if desired. At the end of the day video is the primary use.

The reason I provided the above information is to illustrate the versatility of Sonos. As you can see the Main Media room has multiple Sonos sub-rooms located in the same area; each with a specific purpose. The other rooms while primarily for video can also be used for music.

Sonos’ versatility is its Achilles Heel in that it's assumed one can do whatever they want (as a configuration) and still expect Sonos to perform as intended. Not True!! 

Ask yourself...would Sonos not market setting additional speakers upfront left and right of an Arc, Beam2 or Ray (if it were doable) to enhance the listening experience? I believe you are an intelligent person and the answer is therefore obvious. 

The videos espousing non-conventional Sonos setups for Home Theater (HT) are IMO hacks and rubbish. On second thought remove the “IMO” from the previous sentence as I believe others will agree that the videos are hacks and rubbish.

The human ear is a complex listening organ. Sonos HT setups reproduce the soundtrack of a movie as close to what the sound engineer intended using a single box that contains left, center and right channels. Now with the Arc and Beam2 reflected side channels for both and height channels with the Arc. Nothing less and most certainly not more (i.e. adding additional front left and right speakers).

However, if you want to spend your money on a Charlatan’s alchemy video (for Sonos HT) then by all means do so. On the other hand if you’d like keep your hard earned money for more practical use(s); then take mine and the advice of others in this thread. Stick with the intended setup for Sonos HT.

Final notes regarding the shape of your room. 

  • If you have (or have access to) an iOS device you can use Trueplay to adjust the sound to your environment. Also know that Trueplay is not a silver bullet.  In some rare cases it can make the sound worst. 
  • Also, having dual subs does not necessarily improve the low-end. Placement of a single sub and/or dual subs is critical. I would start with a single sub in various spots to determine the best location. Trueplay to determine if it helps. When you are satisfied introduce the second sub placing it in different locations to determine if it improves the overall low-end or not. A second sub in some instances can make the room too boomy.

Note: You can Trueplay each sub during the above process

#jgatie

I’m not a rocket-scientist but i do belive the Atmos effect got something to do with how the room is shaped and how it reflect back…don’t you agree. So what i’m thinking that this is a big part of my problem why i’m not “happy” with the performance…and that is for the Gen3’s as well.

That’s why i wonder if i should try add that Era 300’s stereopair up front that it might solve something rather as some of the communety say it will just create a mess. This setup is btw not happy with music. For that i prefere the bedroom with Beam Gen2/Era100/Sub Mini and soon either Era 300’s or Five’s.

 

Once again, there will be zero Atmos effects from Era 300s grouped as Fronts.  None at all.  They will play in stereo and stereo only.  The Atmos upfiring channels will be completely silent.  This was proven by another poster who believed the nonsense in that silly video, until we challenged them to try a video of  Atmos test tones.  To their surprise, every channel, front left/right, center, surrounds and Atmos, all came out of the front drivers of the 300s.  The other drivers, including the upfiring Atmos drivers, were silent.   The youtube video was wrong, the "front" Era 300s "effect" was purely a placebo.

See this thread from this point on: 

 

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…for the moment i’m speachless. But that’s how it is…

If i inderstand you guys right…if i have a set of Era300’s i front of my Arc/Era300/Dual Gen3’s setup i some sort of loose the Atmos effect? 
Sorry bout this topic getting a little side-tracked here….and i’m a part of it,no worries. The real question was: Is the Five’s waaaaay better than the Era300’s for music listening. So now if i choose the Five&Era300 combo i will of course try the Five’s in front of my Home Cinema setup,but then i might be dissapointed and regret i did not went for the Era300’s. Yes,i get it… if Sonos wanted the comsumer to have free opertunety….. 

 

PS: what does IMO stand for? I might obay? Just as same as i call the Ikea Symfonisk Book Shielf speaker Ikea BS and from the moment someone was confused i ran an explaining in every tread i post…so how bout explain those tree letters please What comes around,Goes around.(Addis Black Widdow)

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Imo or imho = in my opinion or in my humble/honest opinion

If you do like the video you watched and add Era 300s grouped with your Arc as front speakers, they will add zero, zilch, nothing, nada to the Atmos effects.  Matter of fact, the only thing they can do to the Atmos effects is ruin them by taking the Atmos channels which are supposed to bounce off the ceiling as height channels and mixing them into the fronts (along with all surround and front channels) which are aimed straight ahead.  That's just not how a surround sound track is meant to be heard no matter what a silly video says.

IMO is In My Opinion.

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Hi @BOL74 

Here’s your answer to IMO and another...IMHO

  • IMO = In My Opinion
  • IMHO = In My Humble/Honest Opinion

Per Sonos marketing (and I agree; as I have a stereo pair of both) the Five’s are still the choice for traditional Hi-Fi Stereo listening  (Click here).

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@BOL74

And to answer your last question… YES, you are loosing the strictly channel separation of any (not just Atmos) multichannel setup, because (as explained before) a grouped stereo setup in the front includes ALL channel information of the multichannel signal in a downmix. As a result you would hear rear channel information from the rear speakers but also as part of the stereo downmix in the front. Same with the center channel… from the middle out of the center speaker as part of the soundbar and also as part of the stereo downmix from the left and right. 

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@BOL74 

To say that the Five’s are waaaaay better than the Era 300’s for music is a stretch that can only be qualified by the listener. If you want to be convinced (one way or the other) I suggest you visit a retailer that sells both products and listen for yourself. 

I’m done here as I can’t continue this back and forth to try and help/advise someone that appears to want answers bent to their pre-conceived notions/perspective. Good luck and I wish you well in your quest to achieve the Sonos setup that meets your expectations.

Cheers!

@BOL74

To say that the Five’s are waaaaay better than the Era 300’s for music is a stretch that can only be qualified by the listener. If you want to be convinced (one way or the other) I suggest you visit a retailer that sells both products and listen for yourself. 

I’m done here as I can’t continue this back and forth to try and help/advise someone that appears to want answers bent to their pre-conceived notions/perspective. Good luck and I wish you well in your quest to achieve the Sonos setup that meets your expectations.

Cheers!

 

It’s going off into the weeds a bit, but I think, but the question of what’s better for music sources got more complicated with atmos music factored in.  For stereo sources, Fives are definitely better, but that gap is closed if you are in a smaller room and/or add in a sub or mini sub. 

The Fives don’t do atmos music though, so for atmos sources, era 300s are better. obviously.  Another drawback is when you group rooms for music.  If you group a room of Fives with an room with Arc (or Beam G2, or 300s) for music sources, every room will play stereo only.  the lowest common denominator wins in this case, pretty much by necessity as stereo and atmos tracks are typically completely different tracks.  If you group a room of 300s with a room with Arc, then you get atmos music in both rooms.

That said, if you are thinking of putting 2 Sonos rooms in the same physical room, one for music sources, and one for TV sources, using Era 300s for the music rooms doesn’t make any sense, IMO.  An Arc + surrounds is a better atmos music player than a pair of Era 300s at this point, mostly due to the additional surrounds.  It makes more sense to use Fives just for stereo music sources in that physical room, or when you intend to group with other rooms in the house that are only stereo capable (because Fives sounds better for stereo than Arc).

Yes, it gets complicated now with so many different options with different capabilities.  I’d say one of the biggest gaps in what Sonos offers right now is the ability to have an atmos capable home theatre with separate front left and right speakers, so that you get the best experience for atmos and stereo sources. 

As well, I think I’d like to see Sonos allow grouping of stereo and atmos capable rooms with each playing at their highest level.  I say ‘think’ because I’m not sure I’d want to get a downgraded mix of stereo rather than original recording of stereo.  Ideally, a music source track would contain both stereo and atmos versions that can be played together in sync...but I don’t know that even that would make sense as it would add a restriction and complication  in the production of these tracks...for what is ultimately a minimal requirement.

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@melvimbe 

Thanks a lot for pulling my post to start your novella.😊Can’t catch a break in this community. 😂😂😂

@melvimbe

Thanks a lot for pulling my post to start your novella.😊Can’t catch a break in this community. 😂😂😂

It was personal. /s

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@melvimbe

Thanks a lot for pulling my post to start your novella.😊Can’t catch a break in this community. 😂😂😂

It was personal. /s

Hadn’t seen “/s” used in a millennia…how old are you? However the fact that remember it dates me also 😂😂😂

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I’m going to have to make an effort to find and listen to some Atmos music.

I’m a big Play 5 / Five fan but the 300s do open up something I’ve not really considered.