Sonos Era 300 Best Smart Speaker with Spatial Audio Experience

The goal with Era 300 was to create the best spatial audio experience using a single speaker. This is the bold statement from Sonos. The Era 300 from Sonos is a wireless smart speaker that combines all the benefits and seamless integration of a Sonos system. Its standout feature is spatial audio, which Sonos believes represents the future of sound.

Spatial audio has gained attention lately, especially with Dolby Atmos-enabled movies, TV shows, and now music. Spearheaded by Apple, spatial audio refers to music that utilizes Dolby Atmos technology to create multiple audio channels for a more immersive experience. This is a significant shift for music, which has traditionally been in stereo for many years.

So far, Apple took the lead with its HomePod 2 smart speaker featuring spatial audio technology, impressing users with its overall musical performance. Now, the question arises: can the larger and pricier Sonos Era 300 outdo Apple’s offering? And, perhaps more importantly, will the Era 300 provide a satisfying audio experience beyond just spatial audio?


Sonos Era 300 Price

Sonos has set the price of the Era 300 at the higher end of the smart speaker market, coming in at £449 / $449 / AU$749. This is a significant investment compared to its closest competitor, the Apple HomePod 2, which is priced at £299 / $299 / AU$479.

While the Era 300 is still £50 / $100 cheaper than Sonos’s most expensive wireless speaker, the Sonos Five, priced at £499 / $549 / AU$700, there’s a notable difference between them. The Sonos Five offers stereo music, whereas the Era 300 introduces a fresh design and spatial audio output.


The Era 300 has a distinctive shape that Sonos describes as a “cinched hourglass” design. It may seem a bit bulky and stand out from its surroundings compared to other Sonos speakers. But it’s clear that Sonos wants this speaker to catch your eye. Once you have it in your room, you quickly get used to its style and focus more on the music it delivers.

Love it or not, this design was necessary to achieve the Era 300’s main feature: spatial audio playback. This required a carefully planned layout of drivers and amplification that can emit sound in all directions, providing an immersive audio experience while still maintaining the familiar Sonos speaker look.

Six Drivers

The Era 300 contains six drivers: four tweeters (one facing forward, two facing sideways, and one facing upward) and two woofers (positioned to the left and right for stereo sound). These drivers are supported by custom waveguides that assist in directing sound in various directions – forward, upward, left, and right – to immerse you in music. Additionally, each of these six drivers has its own class D amplifier to power it.

The upward-firing tweeter on the Era 300 is Dolby Atmos-certified, housed in a directional horn that’s engineered to bounce sound off the ceiling when you’re listening to Dolby Atmos music. Sonos recommends leaving at least 8 inches (20cm) of space from the wall when setting up the Era 300. Additionally, you can customize the level of the height channel through the app’s settings.

Due to the upward-firing driver requiring space to project sound through the top of the speaker, Sonos had to adjust the placement of the control panel slightly forward from its original middle position. They also had to relocate the cinch point, resulting in the unique design of the Era 300.


In terms of appearance, the Era 300 boasts a sleek profile and maintains Sonos’s renowned build quality, making it easy to operate. Aside from the Sonos logo on the grille, there are no visible buttons or displays on the front, except for a single LED that can be turned off. The matte black or matte white finish blends seamlessly with Sonos’s other products, particularly its more budget-friendly counterpart, the Era 100.

The top of the Era 300 features an updated interface, including a volume slider recessed into the speaker for easy adjustment. The slider is responsive and provides audible feedback with beeps as you change the volume, which is user-friendly. Additionally, the touch capacitive buttons for playback and voice control maintain their responsiveness.


Sonos Era 300 Features

The standout feature of the Era 300 is its support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos tracks. However, there’s a slight catch regarding where you can access these tracks. Sonos has typically been platform-agnostic, meaning it works with various devices and streaming services. While the Era 300 supports Dolby Atmos Music from Amazon Music Unlimited and spatial audio from Apple Music, it lacks support for Tidal’s catalog of Dolby Atmos/spatial audio tracks.

In contrast, Apple’s HomePod 2 only supports spatial audio through Apple Music and doesn’t offer support for other streaming services. So, Sonos still holds an advantage in terms of wider compatibility.

Beyond spatial audio, the Era 300 brings a significant addition by supporting music playback over both Wi-Fi (including Wi-Fi 6) and Bluetooth. This marks the first time Bluetooth has been included in Sonos’s mains-powered speakers, previously limited to portable models like the Roam and Move. With Bluetooth 5.0 and support for basic codecs like SBC and AAC, pairing is incredibly fast, almost instantaneous with the press of a button. Sonos deserves credit for the seamless connection process, which outpaces that of other Bluetooth speakers.

USB-C Port

Another new addition is the USB-C port, allowing wired connections to sources like turntables. However, to use this feature, you’ll need to purchase a Line-In Adapter separately, as it’s not included in the box. Unfortunately, this additional adapter comes at a cost of £19 / $19. This may feel expensive on top of the Era 300’s price.

AirPlay 2 streaming is back, along with support for 24-bit/48kHz hi-res music from Qobuz and Amazon Music. Voice control is also available, either through Alexa for smart home functions or through Sonos’s own voice control, which currently supports English and French. Despite this limited language support, we found the voice control responsive and effective, even in noisy environments. Additionally, there’s a physical switch to completely disable the speaker’s microphone for privacy, and the Bluetooth pairing button is discreetly located at the rear.

The Era 300 Has No Google Assistant

However, it’s worth noting that Google Assistant is not supported on the Era 300. Changes in Google’s technical requirements for third-party devices have prevented Sonos from including it. Hopefully, this issue can be resolved between the two companies in the future.

The Sonos app provides excellent control over a wide range of streaming services, as well as features like multi-room and stereo-pair grouping. It’s user-friendly and comprehensive, offering a seamless way to manage your music across various platforms.

You can also fine-tune the speaker’s EQ settings for treble and bass, and use Sonos’s Trueplay room calibration tuning. Trueplay, now available on both iOS and Android, optimizes the Era 300’s sound to suit its environment. This feature enhances clarity, focus, and reduces boomy bass, making it a worthwhile addition to your setup.

For home theater enthusiasts, the Sonos Era 300 introduces Dolby Atmos surround capabilities for the first time. It can serve as multi-channel rear speakers when paired with the Sonos Arc or Beam Gen 2 soundbars and Sub. Thus, creating an immersive 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos home theater experience. While we’ve only tested a single unit so far, we’re excited to explore the full potential of this feature in future reviews.

Sound Quality

The sound the Era 300 produces fills the room and extends overhead in a way that few other wireless speakers can match. What’s equally impressive is the coherence and richness of the sound. Whether you’re listening to stereo or spatial audio, every instrument and vocal feels seamlessly integrated.

There’s a solidity to the sound, with plenty of detail and dynamic range, whether you’re rocking out to an ’80s anthem or enjoying a classical piano piece. The Era 300 delivers music with the kind of scale and power usually associated with much larger speakers.

While Sonos doesn’t disclose power ratings, it’s clear that the Era 300 packs a punch. The music is engaging, with a strong bass and impactful rhythm, yet it sounds effortless. Unlike the smaller Era 100, which can sometimes struggle, the Era 300 handles everything with ease. Whether it’s the textured bassline of a rock track or the intricate dynamics of a vocal performance, the Era 300 delivers with punch and clarity.

Spatial Audio Effect

With spatial audio and Dolby Atmos tracks, the Era 300’s sound extends far beyond the speaker itself. The spatial audio effect enhances immersion without feeling disconnected from the original music. It simply adds an extra layer of depth. However, the effectiveness of the effect can vary depending on the song and how it’s mixed for spatial audio. It’s important to note that you can play spatial audio tracks over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, on the Era 300.

In the Sonos app settings, you can adjust the level of the height channel to control the intensity of the effect. After some experimentation, we found that leaving it at zero resulted in the most balanced sound overall. While the Era 300 and HomePod 2 have a notable price gap, it’s inevitable to compare these spatial audio speakers. The HomePod 2 still offers rich texture and musicality. But it sounds noticeably smaller in scale compared to the Era 300.

With spatial audio tracks, the Era 300 generally outperforms the HomePod 2. It delivers more power, punch, dynamic shifts, and detail. Overall, the Era 300 delivers a mature and confident performance from Sonos.


The Era 300 may have sounded a bit like a gimmick when first unveiled. But it’s a bold move from the company that feels fresh, innovative and confident. Does it convince us that spatial audio will overtake stereo sound? Not quite, but it’s the first time we’ve felt the two formats could be on a similar footing.

Sonos’s mission to deliver a great spatial audio experience from a single wireless speaker is a success. But that metric alone isn’t what makes the Sonos Era 300 an all-round enjoyable speaker. It performs admirably with any format of music you throw at it, no matter what source or genre. The addition of Bluetooth streaming, not to mention the vast array of features you get from being part of Sonos’s seamless experience, goes a long way toward justifying the rather high price tag attached to it. It all adds up to an enticing experience that’s worth embarking on.

3 thoughts on “Sonos Era 300 Best Smart Speaker with Spatial Audio Experience”

Leave a Comment