Sonos has expanded its lineup of smart speakers with the $449 Sonos Era 300, but how does it compare to the $549 Sonos Five, the company’s most premium speaker? The Sonos Five was introduced in 2020 as an iterative upgrade to the Sonos Play Five. Sonos offers a variety of home speakers, including smart and portable speakers, soundbars, amplifiers, subwoofers, and more.

The Sonos Era 300 is a new smart speaker with spatial audio, announced alongside the cheaper Era 100. In contrast to the Sonos Five‘s compact rectangular design, the hourglass-shaped speaker was designed to provide a Dolby Atmos spatial audio experience. The Era 300 is smaller and lighter than the Sonos Five at 9.85 pounds, compared to the Sonos Five’s 14-pound weight. Both speakers are available in two colors — white and black — and have a matte finish.


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Spatial Audio Vs. Hi-Fi Stereo Sound

Image of Sonos available speakers.
Image: Sonos

Both speakers have capacitive touch controls at the top, including buttons to play, pause, skip, replay, adjust volume, and group rooms. The Sonos Era 300 has some upgrades in this department though – it features a button to mute the voice assistant and an indented slider for touch-based volume controls. The Sonos Era 300 also has a dedicated button at the back to cut off power to the microphone for users concerned about privacy.

As for the audio output, the Sonos Era 300 is equipped with six Class-D amplifiers at the front, sides, and top for a room-filling audio experience. It has four tweeters – one forward firing, two side-firing for stereo separation, and one upward firing to reflect sound for Dolby Atmos content. It also has two woofers angled in opposite directions for stereo playback.

In comparison, the Sonos Five also has six Class-D amplifiers that are forward-facing for an immersive direct audio experience. It has three tweeters, one centrally placed and two angled for a wider stereo effect. It also has three mid-woofers to deliver deeper bass, with a completely sealed cabinet to eliminate distortion and rebound. The Sonos Era 300 has an array of microphones for voice control and automatic Trueplay tuning, unlike the Sonos Five which doesn’t have a microphone. Additionally, the Sonos Five only supports Trueplay tuning technology for iOS devices, whereas the Era 300 supports Trueplay for Android users also.

At the back, Sonos Five has an Ethernet port and a 3.5mm audio input to connect a turntable, computer, or other source using an aux cable. It also supports Apple’s AirPlay 2 for easy music streaming. The Sonos Era 300 has a USB-C port for connectivity with adapter support to Ethernet and a line-in to connect a turntable. Additionally, the Sonos Era 300 supports Bluetooth 5.0 along with upgraded support to Wi-Fi 6, as opposed to 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity with Sonos Five.

The Sonos Era 300 supports Sonos Voice Control and Amazon Alexa, whereas Sonos Five does not support any voice assistants. Additionally, the Era 300 can play spatial audio content from Amazon Music, and Sonos says support for Apple Music’s Atmos tracks will be supported soon. In conclusion, users who are looking for an affordable smart speaker with spatial audio should consider the new Sonos Era 300. On other hand, the Sonos Five remains the top choice for audiophiles who want a high-fidelity stereo experience and powerful bass.

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Source: Sonos 1, 2

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