Sonos Era 300 Lightning Review: Really Premium Spatial Audio Speaker
Earlier this year, Sonos and its local distributing partner, TCAcoustic, launched the Era 100 and Era 300. In our review of the former, we found that it is essentially a reworked and revamped configuration of the Sonos One, while the 300 is the true newcomer to the brand’s family.
In this review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Era 300 and tell you what this uniquely designed speaker offers.
What Is It?
The Era 300 is a, as its parent company describes, a first-of-its-kind speaker, featuring a very unique “hourglass” shape and design. This was done in order for it the speaker to house the four multi-directional tweeters and two high-performance woofers inside it. All of which, by the way, are installed at non-conventional angles, in order to maximise the listening experience.
On the outside, you get the CNC-milled speaker grille at the front, with the touch-intuitive controls and volume slider at the top. Around the back, you will fine the mute switch for the internal speaker, if you don’t want the Era 300’s internal speaker to pick up and learn your conversations. Other ports includes a USB-C port for line-in audio, as well as the Bluetooth button for…well, Bluetooth connectivity.
That point brings us to another important point for the Era 300. Like all Sonos devices, the Era 300 is best paired with your home’s Wi-Fi so that you may activate your speaker from anywhere in your home. However, it also now features Bluetooth connectivity so that guests that wish to share their music or media can do so, without having to download the dedicated Sonos app.
Is It Any Good?
After a quick tuning with the Trueplay function, the listening experience with the Era 300 can certainly light up a room with the amount of power it projects. Highs and mids are clear, concise, sharp, and present no sign of breaking, even with the volume maxed out. Of course, for an optimal listening experience, I personally capped the volume at 70%. Listening to songs such as Linda Ronstadt’s Long Long Time or Steven Sanchez’s Until I Found You, it feels and sounds warm but definitely rich.
The lows on this speaker are, for the most part, subtle in its delivery, albeit coming off just a little sharp. With tunes like Nina Simone’s Feeling Good and Hozier’s Like Real People Do, I appreciate the fact that you can feel the deep sinking lows, while with songs like Stacey Kent’s La Venus de Milo, you can hear each note being plucked on the bass, as well as the fingers sliding up and down the neck. The most important thing here, though, is that I can actually feel the tremors and rattlings of each low note it plays.
For that matter, sound staging feels absolutely bang on. In tracks such as Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelt’s Digging My Potato and Ludovico Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianche, I can make out where each instrument is located. On a related note, its Spatial Audio cum Dolby Atmos support does also help to elevate the overall experience.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
If I have to be picky about Era 300 and its shortcoming, it would have to be the price. Off the shelf, the hourglass-shaped home speaker costs RM2799, putting it out of the hands of the average consumer. That being said, and it Sonos’ defense, this isn’t an average speaker.
Should I Buy It?
If you’re a minimalist, an audiophile, and you’ve got a spare RM2799 lying around, the Sonos Era 300 could very be yours. It’s a good, albeit expensive way of getting folks to understand and appreciate what good speakers are like, especially those that come with Spatial Audio support.
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