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Sonos Era 300 comes with exciting Features, is it a good buy or not?

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Sonos Era 300
Sonos ERA 300

Sonos Era 300 Impresses with Spatial Audio, but lags in Stereo Playback and Atmos Mixes.

The Sonos Era 300 is not just a speaker, it’s an immersive audio experience that takes your music listening to a whole new level. Its spatial audio and Dolby Atmos capabilities make it stand out among the crowd, delivering sound quality that will leave you awestruck. With the ability to play Apple Music’s spatial library, this $450 speaker is a game-changer for music lovers.

While Sonos Era 300 has the potential to make our listening experience whole new and amazing, the current selection of spatial audio music can make us reconsider buying it. The quality of the available spatial audio music is sometimes inconsistent and listening to it can be unsettling and unpredictable. A superb track will make you happy about it while a track that has been improperly mixed will leave you disappointed.

The spatial audio:

Sonos is taking on the challenge of delivering a compelling spatial audio experience from a single speaker with the Era 300, which is no easy feat. Apple and Amazon have also tried their hand at this with the HomePod and Echo Studio. However, creating an authentic spatial audio experience requires a combination of techniques, such as leveraging room acoustics, phasing, and reflecting sound off the walls to create the illusion that the audio is coming from beyond the physical limits of the speaker. Only by mastering these techniques can speaker manufacturers succeed in delivering an immersive spatial audio experience.

If you are unfamiliar, Spatial audio, also known as “3D audio,” is an innovative technology that delivers an immersive musical experience, transporting listeners into the heart of the music. Unlike traditional stereo, spatial audio allows listeners to feel surrounded by the instrumentation in a way that was previously impossible. Various spatial audio implementations are available from popular music services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal, and others. However, the effectiveness of these approaches remains a matter of scepticism. The experience of listening to Dolby Atmos music tracks on a multi-channel surround system has revealed the potential of spatial audio technology, inspiring a newfound appreciation.

What’s new

  • Bluetooth Playback: The Era 300 boasts Bluetooth playback, allowing you to easily connect and stream your favorite music from your smartphone or tablet.
  • USB-C Line-in Support: In addition to Bluetooth, the Sonos Era 300 also offers USB-C line-in support, giving you more options for playing your music.
  • Easy to Disassemble and Repair: The Era 300 is easy to disassemble and repair, which means you can enjoy your speaker for years to come without worrying about costly repairs.
  • Dedicated Track Controls: The Era 300 features dedicated track controls for easy navigation of your music library.
  • Indented Bar for Volume Adjustments: Adjusting the volume on the Era 300 is a breeze thanks to its indented bar, which makes it easy to make precise adjustments.
  • Mute Button: The Era 300 features a handy mute button that allows you to temporarily disable the mics to prevent unintentional voice assistant responses.
  • Mic Power Toggle: If you’re concerned about privacy, you’ll appreciate the mic power toggle on the back of the speaker, which can fully cut power to the mics when flipped.
  • Trueplay Support for Android: Sonos is extending Trueplay support to Android users, allowing for optimal sound tuning in any room.
  • Quick Tune Feature: The Era 300’s quick-tune feature uses built-in mics to adjust the speaker’s audio output for optimal sound.
  • Advanced Tuning for iPhone and iPad: iPhone and iPad users can take things a step further with advanced tuning, which uses the device’s mic to get a better read on a room’s tonal traits.
  • Perfect Placement: Careful placement of the Era 300 is essential for optimal sound quality, and Sonos provides guidelines for finding the perfect spot.
  • Great Sound Diffusion: Despite its relatively small size, the Era 300 is capable of producing stereo audio with excellent sound diffusion, making it a great choice for music lovers who want a high-quality audio experience.

Why shouldn’t you buy ERA 300?

When it comes to stereo playback, the Era 300 falls short compared to its larger sibling, the Sonos Five. While the Era 300 can deliver decent stereo sound, it lacks the depth and richness of the Sonos Five.

If you’re looking for the ultimate music listening experience, a stereo pair of Sonos Fives is unbeatable. The Five’s forward-facing drivers and refined bass response create a fuller, more direct sound that can’t be matched by the Sonos Era. While the Era is a solid option for solo listening, it simply can’t compare to the immersive stereo experience provided by the Fives. So, if you’re serious about sound quality, the answer is clear: go for the Sonos Five.

Another challenge facing Era 300 is the wildly inconsistent state of Atmos mixes. While some Atmos tracks sound stunning on the Era 300, others can sound muddled and unfocused, making it difficult to fully appreciate the immersive potential of the speaker.

With Era 300 you’ll use the Sonos app quite a bit:

The Era 300 by Sonos requires frequent usage of its mobile app, which may come as a surprise to some. Although the app has received criticism in the past, it is essential for playing spatial audio and Dolby Atmos music tracks. This means that using these features can only be achieved directly through the Sonos app, and not via AirPlay or casting from other music apps like Apple Music or Amazon Music. While it’s possible that additional ways of starting spatial tracks will be introduced in the future, the Sonos app is currently the only option.

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