Adding to the Sonos line of smart speakers for 2023 is the Sonos Era 300. It is the bigger brother of the Sonos Era 100 and has been positioned as a premium device with a price tag on the leagues of other premium smart speakers such as the second-gen Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo Studio, Google Nest Audio, and the Bose Home Speaker 500.
Pros and Cons of Sonos Era 300: Reasons Why You Should and Should Not Buy
Capabilities and Limitations
The Sonos Era 300 is a tabletop smart speaker engineered to provide its users with surround and immersive sound. It is an ideal companion to music streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon Music. It can also be integrated with an entire home entertainment setup, paired with other Sonos speakers, and placed as part of a smart home system. The following is a rundown of its main features and their descriptions:
• Sound: This speaker does not only fill a room but also makes sure that the sound can be heard in equal volume in all directions across a given area. It supports Dolby Atmos surround sound technology for spatial sound. The listening experience is both loud and immersive with remarkable highs and lows and deep bass. This is achieved through its 6 class D amplifiers, four angled tweeters, and two angled woofers. The downside is that sound can feel compressed at maximum volume.
• Controls: Interfacing with this smart speaker can be done through touch controls or via the dedicated Sonos app available in iOS and iPadOS, Android, and Fire OS. Take note that this app is not available on Windows and macOS. The device can also be controlled through voice commands and it also supports Apple Play 2. The built-in Amazon Alexa means that it can control other smart devices. A notable drawback of this smart speaker is that it does not have Google Assistant and Chromecast.
• Design: A notable disadvantage of the Sonos Era 300 is its design which might take some getting used to. The device is heavy at 4.5 kg but this is understandable because it is meant as a tabletop rather than a portable speaker. It is not the best-looking smart speaker on the market. The entire look is awkward with its weird trapezoid-like form factor that seems a deviation from the minimalist design trend. It still has two redeeming qualities. These are the use of recycled plastic materials and humidity resistance.
• Connectivity: This speaker is compatible with Wi-Fi 6. It can also be paired with another device via Bluetooth although it uses the older Bluetooth 5.0 hardware. An interesting feature of this device is that it has a USB-C port that can be used for wired Ethernet connection using the Sonos Combo Adapter or for connecting an audio source or device without wireless connectivity using a 3.5 mm auxiliary cable using the Sonos Line-In Adapter. Take note that these two accessories are sold separately.
Final Verdict and Takeaways
The Sonos Era 300 is not an attractive smart speaker from an aesthetic perspective. But form should not get in the way of substance. It is one of the best-sounding speakers in the market that lets its users become immersed in sound. The listening experience is incomparable and should not be compared with smaller and more inexpensive smart speakers.
However, for those with budget constraints, it is important to note that this device retails for USD 449.00 but this price can go down in the near future. It is still an expensive piece of smart tech. The lack of support for Google Assistant is a major deal breaker for users or homes that use the Google and Android ecosystems for their smart system setup.