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Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One: Which smart speaker should you buy?

The Sonos Era 100 is the company's latest smart speaker, but is it a worthy upgrade from the Sonos One? Here are the key reasons to buy one over the other.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kerry Wan
Sonos Era 100 vs Sonos One

Sonos Era 100 (left) and Sonos One (right)

Sonos | Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Sonos just launched a brand new line of smart speakers in the Era 100 and Era 300 The pair of speakers offer completely revamped hardware and software to give many existing Sonos speakers a run for their money. 

The Era 100 is Sonos' first replacement speaker for the immensely popular Sonos One, considered by many to be the best smart speaker on the market. But the company isn't positioning the Era 100 as just a replacement; the new speaker is a major upgrade in virtually all ways. 

Also: Best Sonos speakers: One, Arc, Beam, and more compared

If you currently own a Sonos One and wondering if the Era 100 is worth the upgrade, or if you're eyeing a new smart speaker and don't know which of the two to buy, let this comparison guide you to making the best purchase decision.

Specifications


Sonos Era 100Sonos One
Price$249$219
Amplifiers3 Class-D digital amplifiers2 Class-D digital amplifiers
TrueplayFor iOS and AndroidFor iOS only
MicrophonesFar-field, Trueplay tuning, toggle off switchFar-field
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi
Weight4.44 lb4.08 lb
Dimensions7.18 x 4.72 x 5.14 inches6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 inches
Voice controlSonos Voice Control, Amazon AlexaSonos Voice Control, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

You should buy the Sonos Era 100 if...

Sonos Era 100
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

1. You want a richer sound

Whether you have a Sonos One and love the sound quality or not, you're sure to enjoy the improved output from its successor. The Sonos Era 100 features three Class-D digital amplifiers and two angled tweeters, whereas the One has two and one of each, respectively. These upgrades are evident in the full and immersive audio that comes from the Era 100, which sounds extraordinarily crisp for a relatively small speaker. 

2. You're a Bluetooth and/or line-in listener

With the Era 100, Sonos has clearly listened to the grievances customers had with the Sonos One and made changes for the better. Some of the criticism included the fact that the One speaker didn't have Bluetooth connectivity or line-in to connect to a turntable or other devices. 

Also: Best Bluetooth speakers you can buy right now

The Era 100 has a USB-C port on the back that can be used to connect an adapter for a line-in or an ethernet cable, depending on your needs. And while it doesn't have a dedicated ethernet port, which the Sonos One does, adding the line-in support certainly makes up for that for audio listeners.

3. You're an Android user

If you've ever owned a Sonos speaker, then you're probably familiar with Trueplay. This is an advanced tuning technique that uses your iPhone's microphones to calibrate the speaker as you move around the room. Trueplay analyzes the acoustics of the room and optimizes the speaker's equalizer for a perfectly customized sound output.

Also: How to clear the cache on your Android phone (and why you should)

Until now, Trueplay was exclusively an iOS feature, but the new line of Era smart speakers have the tech built-in and can calibrate on their own, enabling Android phone users to immerse themselves in the tuned experience too.

You should buy the Sonos One if...

Sonos One
Matthew Miller/ZDNET

1. You use the Google Home ecosystem

While the latest batch of Sonos speakers no longer supports Google Voice Assistant, the feature is still available on the Sonos One. The new Era 100 only supports Sonos Voice Control and Amazon Alexa, so if you have a Google smart home ecosystem, the Sonos One is the better choice for you.

Also: The 6 best home automation systems

Sam Feine, Audio Systems Engineer at Sonos, explained to ZDNET that Google posed some challenging hurdles to continue support for Google Voice, so the company determined its time and, presumably, capital would be better spent refining its products rather than meeting these challenges. 

2. You have a budget in mind

No matter how outstanding the Era 100 is, it is still $30 more expensive than the Sonos One. If money is a significant factor in your buying decision, then the Sonos One at $219 is a more economical choice. Even though it's less expensive, the Sonos One remains a top smart speaker that you can buy and is only second to the Era 100 in terms of sound performance.

Alternatives to consider

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