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Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2): What's the difference?
We put the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos One (Gen 2) head-to-head to find out what’s the difference and which smart speaker you should buy.
Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2): Worth the upgrade?
Multi-room home audio specialist’s Sonos are renowned for their award-winning ecosystem with a range of the best soundbars, wireless speakers and portable speakers. The Sonos One (Gen 2) was a staple in their lineup, but 6 years on, Sonos have decided to discontinue it and release a replacement.
On the 28th March 2023, Sonos launched the Sonos Era speakers, marking a new generation of smart speakers for the brand. The Sonos Era 100 is an upgraded version of the Sonos One (Gen 2), bringing a refreshed design, upgraded bass, a second tweeter and Bluetooth connectivity. Sonos also launched their first ever Dolby Atmos speaker, the Sonos Era 300, which is a brand new entry into the Sonos lineup that sits between the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Five in the range.
In this Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2) comparison we’ll put both speakers head-to-head to help new and existing Sonos users see what improvements have been made and whether the upgrade is worth it.
Price & availability
The Sonos Era 100 comes with an increased RRP price of £249 (£50 more than the original RRP of the Sonos One Gen 2). However, when you consider the benefits of sound performance, features and design, we would argue its worth it.
It's worth knowing, despite being discontinued, there are still Sonos One (Gen 2) speakers available to purchase from various retailers - for now, at least! If you’re looking to grab a bargain on a Sonos speaker, this would be a great time to make the most of any last-minute deals. But be warned, although there will still be support for bug updates from Sonos, there won’t be any new features added anymore.
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|Sonos Era 100
RRP £249 (see latest pricing)
Sonos One (Gen 2)
RRP £199 (see latest pricing)
Pros and cons
|Sonos Era 100
|Sonos One (Gen 2)
|✅ Immersive stereo sound with deeper
✅ More connectivity options with both WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.0
✅ Line-in connection for an external audio source
|✅ More affordable entry into the Sonos ecosystem
✅ Support for Google Assistant voice control
|❌ More expensive than the Sonos One (Gen 2)
❌ No Google Assistant
❌ No Sonosnet
|❌ No bluetooth or line-in
In this Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2) comparison, when it comes to design, both the Era 100 and One (Gen 2) offer a similar footprint and compact size.
Sonos have refreshed their design in more recent years to a more modern, sleek approach and the more curved shape and wraparound grille of the Era 100 provides a more aesthetic appearance. It's worth knowing both Sonos speakers are available in a choice of black or white to suit your space.
Measuring 7.18in tall, 4.72in wide and 5.14in deep, the Era 100 is slightly taller and deeper than the Sonos One (Gen 2) coming in at 6.36in tall, 4.69in wide and 4.69in deep.
Both speakers provide versatile placement options in nearly any space, and they are both humidity resistant, allowing for use in a kitchen or even in a covered outdoor area.
A notable update on the Sonos Era 100 is the redesigned top panel controls. While maintaining similar playback controls, Sonos has replaced the volume controls with an indented volume slider groove. This modification enhances intuitive volume control, making it easier to select and adjust the desired volume with precision.
The Sonos Era 100 features enhanced internals to provide an upgraded sound performance over the Sonos One (Gen 2). Inside, there is one mid-woofer that is 25% larger than the woofer in the One for better mid-range vocals and deeper bass. The Era 100 is also now a stereo speaker thanks to a dual tweeter setup with two angled tweeters which deliver the high frequencies and stereo separation. There are three Class-D digital amplifiers powering the speakers and custom waveguides which help further disperse sound.
In comparison, the Sonos One (Gen 2) features a single tweeter for the high-frequencies and one midwoofer for the mid-range and low-end. There are two Class-D digital amplifiers in the One.
The Sonos Era 100 also features new and improved connectivity options making this a much more versatile speaker. We still have WiFi on this speaker but it’s been upgraded to WiFi 6 which will give better pass through when connected to a WiFi 6 router and future proofs the speaker for potential updates down the line.
Like the Sonos One (Gen 2), the Era 100 also boasts Airplay 2, Spotify Connect and voice control via either Sonos Voice or Amazon Alexa. One key difference is that the Era 100 does not offer support for Google Assistant due to ongoing issues between the brands so if you use Google Assistant, the One (Gen 2) is a safer option.
In other big news, Sonos have added Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity to the Sonos Era 100. You do need to set the speaker up on the Sonos S2 app via WiFi first but you can then connect to a Bluetooth device for control. Bluetooth has been a long requested addition to Sonos’ smart speakers and it appears the demand has been high enough to add it to their new range of speakers. One benefit is that, once the Era 100 is paired via Bluetooth, it can be used as a gateway to stream the audio to other Sonos speakers around your home.
Another key differentiator with the Sonos Era 100 is the addition of a USB-C line-in port. You can purchase a separate Sonos dongle to use the USB-C port for connecting to an external audio source such as a turntable. This setup would be the most affordable solution for adding a turntable into your Sonos setup and you can then send the audio around the rest of your Sonos speakers.
Note: both Bluetooth and the line-in connection are disabled when the Era 100 is used as rear surrounds in a Sonos home cinema setup.
Both the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos One (Gen 2) support Trueplay Tuning, Sonos’ room correction software. This feature measures the speaker's surroundings and adjusts the acoustic performance to ensure the speaker sounds best in your space.
However, you must use an iOS device to perform Trueplay on the Sonos One (Gen 2). The Sonos Era 100 offers 2 options for Trueplay. Advanced Trueplay requires an iOS device and is the most effective option. But Android users now have the choice to use Quick Tuning which utilises the microphones in the speaker.
Is the Sonos Era 100 more energy efficient than the Sonos One (Gen 2)
In a move to make the Era 100 more sustainable, Sonos have used less virgin plastics and more screws instead of glue. They have also made the packaging 100% recyclable.
In an upgrade from the Sonos One (Gen 2), Sonos claim the Era 100 is also more energy efficient both when playing and when idle. We put this to the test and found that, when playing music at 50% volume, the Era 100 and One (Gen 2) speakers used similar power (between 5 and 10 watts). This costs around 7p per day if you were to have them playing at that volume for 24 hours.
However, there’s a notable difference when the speakers are idle, which for most of us is the majority of the time. The Sonos One (Gen 2) used 3.47 watts which works out around 3p per day whereas the Era 100 used around 1.76 watts, around 1p per day. So over a year, you’re looking at £10 for the Sonos One compared with £4 for the Era 100. For reference these figures are based on 34p per kwh.
Sound - single and stereo pair
What have we found in our Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2) sound test? First things first, we’ve always been big fans of the sound performance of the One. It’s a well balanced sound and the vocals and details are good. But the bass could be better and it’s a fairly directional speaker.
The Sonos Era 100 provides a notable upgrade in performance, as hinted at by the new acoustics. There is instantly more powerful, deeper bass and a wider performance thanks to the stereo sound presentation. We found it gave a richer, livelier performance and it almost feels like you get another layer onto your audio with this speaker.
The bass is nice and tight and there is good separation between different elements of the track. The balance of sound is slightly different and the vocals feel like they are set better within the overall performance of the 100 rather than projected forwards more in the One.
When comparing the stereo performance of a pair of Sonos Era 100 speakers vs a pair of Sonos One (Gen 2) speakers, again the bass and separation is notably improved. Two Era 100s provide a more immersive experience for your audio and is probably worth the additional budget.
Both the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos One (Gen 2) speakers can be used as surround sound rears to a Sonos soundbar so long as it’s on the Sonos S2 app. That includes the Sonos Arc, Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and Sonos Ray as well as the (now discontinued) Sonos Playbar and Playbase.
Overall the Era 100 offers a more expansive rear surround performance. One of the most notable changes was when there was a bass heavy effect coming from behind you. A good example is a scene in James Bond No Time To Die when they are being shot at in the car. The shots coming from behind you have more weight in them which gives more impact to the scene.
I think if you’re looking for the best upgrade for a Sonos soundbar then yes, the Era 100s are a more powerful addition and are a great pair of surround sound rears. However, if you already have Sonos One or Sonos One SL rears and are considering upgrading then I don’t think you’ll get enough of an upgrade for an additional £500.
If you have the option to move your current rears to a different zone in your home then that would be a good solution. For those looking to upgrade their existing setup, then adding a Sonos Sub Mini for £429 would have more of an instant impact.
Is it Worth upgrading?
From our testing and our review of the Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One (Gen 2), we would say now is a great time to be considering either of these speakers as you have the option to get a great deal on the Sonos One (Gen 2) or access the upgraded performance of the Sonos Era 100.
For those coming in fresh, you will need to weigh up what you’re looking for. If you’d benefit from the additional connectivity options such as Bluetooth or line-in, are looking for the best sound performance for your budget and would appreciate the more modern design then the Sonos Era 100 is the way to go.
If you aren’t bothered by the new upgrades, are looking for Google Assistant connectivity, don’t mind the slightly more dated appearance and are looking for the best deal then the Sonos One (Gen 2) might be the better solution.
For existing Sonos One (Gen 2) owners wondering if the Era 100 is worth the upgrade then it will depend on your usage and whether you would benefit from having an additional Sonos zone in your home. After all, it’s not a replacement but an opportunity to do a “speaker shuffle” and add extra zones of audio into your home.
I think if you like the performance of the Sonos One (Gen 2), you’ll love the enhancements to the performance of the Era 100 and, if budget allows, it would be a great addition to most Sonos homes.
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