Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: which wireless speaker is best for you?

After months of rumors, Sonos has officially unveiled its two latest speakers. But which is the right pick for you – Sonos Era 300 or the Sonos Era 100?

We have a separate hands-on Sonos Era 300 review and hands-on Sonos Era 100 review if you're looking for our initial impressions of them individually, but we'll sum up our opinions so far here.

Objectively, the Sonos Era 300 is the better, bigger and bolder speaker, delivering spatial audio from a design that looks aesthetically very different to any of the best Sonos speakers that have come before it. 

In contrast, the Sonos Era 100 is a more compact and affordable smart speaker, an upgrade of the Sonos One that's built to take on the best smart speakers available to buy today thanks to Alexa and Sonos Voice Control support.

So the question of which is better is a subjective one – price will be a huge factor, naturally. In this guide we'll be weighing up the key differences between both devices, to help you work out which Sonos speaker is right for you: the Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100.

The Sonos Era 100 in black pictured on a wooden shelf next to a yellow turntable

The Sonos Era 100 is designed to be small enough to fit into most spaces in your home.  (Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: Price and availability

Both the Sonos Era 300 and Sonos Era 100 will be available in most territories from March 28, 2023.

The Sonos Era 300 costs $449 / £449 / AU$749. That's expensive, but not as pricey as the Sonos Five ($549 / £499 / AU$799), which Sonos explains is still the top choice if you're after high-fidelity listening and powerful bass. The Sonos Era 300 is for those who want spatial audio and a more immersive home theater experience.

The Sonos Era 100 costs $249 / £249 / AU$399. This is significantly cheaper than the Era 300, but that's because it's got a very different job to do. The Era 100 is a smart speaker for small spaces. In both cases, it's worth checking out any Sonos promo codes currently available to save on your purchase. 

Rather than compete with room-filling surround sound systems, the Era 100 is priced to square up against the likes of the Bose Smart Speaker 500 ($399 / £399 / AU$599) or the Apple HomePod 2 ($299 / £299 / AU$479).

The Sonos Era 300 pictured on a wooden cabinet while a woman leans against it and uses her smartphone

The Sonos Era 300 can beef up your home theater system, but you can use it as a powerful speaker in its own right, too.  (Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: Features

Like all of the Sonos speakers that came before them, the Sonos Era 300 and Sonos Era 100 are packed with fantastic features. They both boast Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. You can also connect any audio source using an auxiliary cable and a line-in adapter.

They have capacitive touch controls, a Bluetooth button for simple pairing and an on/off switch to turn the microphone off easily – a small but very handy feature.

You'll be able to use the fantastic Sonos app with the Era 300 and Era 100, which lets you make EQ adjustments. You'll also find Sonos' TruePlay tuning feature here, a way to set up your new speakers that'll tailor the sound to the room you're in. Both Android and iOS users can now use TruePlay, but you'll still get a better experience with iOS.

The only major feature difference here is that the Sonos Era 300 supports Dolby Atmos Music to bring you spatial audio. However, at launch that's limited to Amazon Music Limited – Apple Music support will arrive later.

The Sonos Era 100 in black on a kitchen work surface as someone prepares food in the background

The Sonos Era 100 is small enough to move to wherever you need it, allowing you to use smart assistants or listen to music and audiobooks as you do the chores. (Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: Sound quality

The Sonos Era 300 is designed to bring you immersive sound, especially when paired with other Sonos devices to create a truly wonderful home theater system. It has six powerful drivers that can direct sound to the sides, forwards and upwards, creating that spatial audio effect. TechRadar's had hands-on time with the Sonos Era 300 and Sonos Era 100, though you'll have to wait for our full review.

When listening to the Era 300, we noted that the audio is crammed with detail and one of the most well-dispersed sounds from a single speaker we've ever heard. During a home theater test, the Era 300 was paired with an Arc and Sub, which leads to a dramatically improved height effect, and a clearer and more dynamic sound overall than any other Sonos home theater setup so far. 

In comparison, the Era 100 offered a more bassy quality than expected, especially compared to the Sonos One, with lovely and sharp details and an overall expansive sound. It doesn't quite achieve its goal of offering a stereo effect from a single speaker, but it sounds broader and wider than most speakers do. Naturally, it simply doesn't have the same dynamic range of sound that the larger Era 300 can offer.

Two Sonos Era 300 speakers positioned in a room with a Sonos soundbar

You can pair two Sonos era 300 speakers together with a Sonos soundbar and Sonos Sub to get surround sound. (Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: Design

The Sonos Era 300 represents a departure from previous Sonos designs. It looks a little like the chunky and squat Sonos Five, but it's been rounded and then squashed down in the center. The result is a more organic look, that some find more aesthetically-pleasing, but some may not.

Measuring 6.30 x 10.24 x 7.28 in (160 x 260 x 185 mm), it's wider and deeper than the Era 100 and almost double its weight at 9.85lbs. Then again, the Era 300 isn't designed to be moved around as much as the Era 100 might be.

In comparison, the Sonos Era 100 has a simple, cylindrical design that's very similar to the Sonos One that came before it. Measuring 7.18 x 4.72 x 5.14 in (182.5 x 120 x 130.5 mm), it's compact enough to slide onto a bookshelf and fit in tight spaces. It might not be the smallest smart speaker on the market, but it can certainly compete with dinkier models, like the Apple HomePod Mini.

Sonos Era 300 vs Sonos Era 100: Conclusion

It's clear that the Era 300 is a huge upgrade to any home entertainment setup, and a great option if you're building out your Sonos ecosystem – we think it could turn out to be the best pound-for-pound single-unit speaker out there, but we'll need to test that in full. 

Whereas the Sonos Era 100 is a great option if you have the budget for a higher-priced and better-performing smart speaker than what rivals can currently offer. It may well be the best-sounding speaker at its size, but we'll test that thoroughly when we can.

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.