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

Userlevel 2
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Hello y’all👌

 

Today i got my package with the Era 300&the Five.

I only recive one Flexson-stand for the Five so i placed them in front becide the TV in my Home Cinema-setup in my livingroom upstairs. One on stand,one on a table.

I was not impressed by the sound. Both where placed horizontal(buttons on top).

Then i moved them to put them in the place i intended to have them…in my master-bedroom becide the TV. This time i place them on the TV-furniture in a vertical position with the buttons out to the side. The room is much smaller than the livingroom,but got those dropping sealing.

Here i really enjoy them. They play really well,but i did not crank up the volume since i assume they need time to break in(?) I don’t know what to do with the Flexson stands,cause honestly i think they become “too big” to be in my livingroom becide the TV. And probobly will be an issue with my Roborock Q7 robotvacuum-cleaner. Need to think bout it for a while.

The Era 300’s i set them up as surround in my livingroom(Arc/Dual Gen3). I had not so much time watch a movie so i need to listen a bit more. And my Sonos org.stands for them has not arrived yet. But i did watch a trailer(The Falcon and the winter solider) and i experience a bit of Atmos-effect. 
Well,i will keep you updated…

 

Be Well🤜

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#melvimble

 

Yes i know bout the @melvimble-kinda notefy,but i use #melvimble…

I’m trying to justefy the money spend in my bedroom-set-up. Rather than buy Sonos stand for my Era100(witch is as i mention $300+) i will replace the Era100 over the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2. Just to have the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp on my bed-side table(replace the Era100 witch is been used as surround in my Beam Gen2&Sub Mini set-up). So in picture you see the Era100 on top of my lamp. Not ideal. When i get the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp,the exsisting lamp will be gone from the bed-side table.

I have the Philips Hue smart-bulb and it will go in the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp. 

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@melvimbe 

Of course you need need the optimized listening position for atmos music. And maybe even more as for stereo. But with home theater sound it‘s the same. More audio channels mean the need of a position where they meet each other. 😉

Btw I totally agree… live recordings don’t „touch“ me. But a live concert really does. 😎

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.

I find it interesting to compare stereo and atmos music. For me it’s like with food… different tastes like italian or asian food but both can be great. 😉

Stereo still is my favorite but sometimes it’s a great change to listen to atmos music. But the quality of atmos tracks imho differs a lot. Some tracks sound horrible and others are such a pleasure. 

 

It might be a decent analogy to compare stereo/atmos similar to comparing studio recording/live recording?  I don’t know.  I tend to like atmos and not like live recordings, so...I don’t know what that says.  Also worth noting that atmos music, IMO, requires a distinct listening position more than stereo.  

#melvimbe

 

About my setup in my bedroom i think perhaps you misunderstand…Right now i had to put the Era100 on top of a lamp in order to have the speaker a little higher. But this is why i’m gonna replace this with the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2…i’ll let you see in a picture.

Or i could use $300+ for Sonos Orginal Stands and place them in each corner(the Era100)

 

FYI, in these forums @BOL74  will flag a specific user, and notify them that they have been reference them in a post, if they have notifications turned on (I don’t).

Yea, I don’t think the picture really changes anything.  You can’t just add a lamp module/feature to the top of Era 100s and 300s without changing the physical design, and features, of these products.  The symfonisk lamps relocated the hard button controls to the bottom, rather than top, and lose the mic.  Then there is a difference in woofers/tweeters in the device.  I would not be too surprised if a gen 3 of the ikea lamp comes out this year with the dual woofers like Era 100 has, and possibly a mic for voice control, etc.

Regardless, I understand why you’re wanting to switch to the lamps.  They are a good option to save space. 

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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.

I find it interesting to compare stereo and atmos music. For me it’s like with food… different tastes like italian or asian food but both can be great. 😉

Stereo still is my favorite but sometimes it’s a great change to listen to atmos music. But the quality of atmos tracks imho differs a lot. Some tracks sound horrible and others are such a pleasure. 

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#melvimbe

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#melvimbe

 

About my setup in my bedroom i think perhaps you misunderstand…Right now i had to put the Era100 on top of a lamp in order to have the speaker a little higher. But this is why i’m gonna replace this with the Ikea Symfonisk Lamp Gen2…i’ll let you see in a picture.

Or i could use $300+ for Sonos Orginal Stands and place them in each corner(the Era100)

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Hi folks….

Been a little buizy lately work on my grannys car change parts for an EU-control(MOT i belive it’s called in USA/England)…anyway.

Today i placed the order for……a pair of Era300 and a pair of Five. I did allso came across the Sonos orginal stads for the Era300 and i manage to get a pair of Flexson stands for the Five’s but one in seperate stores…let’s hope they’re the same.

I will probobly have the Five’s in my bedroom cause it’s the place i normally listen to music.

So i’m expecting my speakers next week i guess…and yes i ordered directly from Sonos. They are remarkable FAST in shipping.

 

Have a Great Weekend🙏

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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.

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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 😂😂😂

@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. 😂😂😂

@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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@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!

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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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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).

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

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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)

#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: 

 

Userlevel 7

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

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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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@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. 😎

#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.