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Of the 2 audio system Sonos introduced earlier this month, the Era 100 is way simpler to sum up: it’s a substitute for the Sonos One, which was first launched in 2017. In contrast to the Period 300, there’s no must ponder the worth of spatial audio; the Era 100 is a comparatively easy mono speaker, identical to the One and the Play:1 earlier than it. Don’t let that straightforward description deceive you, although – the $250 Period 100 is a whole redesign, in and out, and the tip result’s a worthy improve and a really versatile speaker.
At first look, the Period 100 appears fairly much like the One, however upon additional examination you’ll discover a variety of small however significant adjustments. That begins with the vertically-oriented Sonos brand that you simply’ll discover on most of their different audio system just like the Roam and, naturally, the Period 300. The Period 100 is barely taller and deeper than the One; it’s additionally barely deeper than it’s large. However it ought to match mainly anyplace the older speaker did.
- Nice sound high quality
- Easy however enticing design
- Bluetooth and line-in assist
- Simpler Trueplay tuning with built-in mics
- Works with nearly any music service
- No extra Google Assistant assist
- No actual stereo separation
Probably the most important exterior change is on prime of the speaker. There, you’ll discover a redesigned set of contact controls, together with devoted monitor ahead and again buttons for the primary time. These encompass the play / pause button as a substitute of the quantity controls that you simply’ll discover on the One. Quantity has been moved to a contact slider within the heart of the contact panel. Tapping both facet of it raises or lowers the quantity, or you may slide your finger left and proper. Utilizing the slider takes slightly follow, and it’s far too simple to go from silent to deafening, however there’s little doubt it’s higher for speedy changes than tapping a button repeatedly. There’s additionally a spot to mute the mic, identical to on the One.
There are additionally some main adjustments on the Period 100’s again. There’s no extra ethernet jack or setup button. As an alternative, there’s a USB-C port you should use to plug within the $20 line-in adapter or the $40 combo line-in / ethernet adapter. On the one hand, it’s annoying to should shell out further money for these adapters – however that is the primary time Sonos has supplied line-in in any respect on a speaker on this value vary, so it’s not a complete bummer.
Apart from the USB-C port, you’ll discover one other swap for muting the mic. In contrast to the highest button, which simply mutes it with software program, this bodily disconnects the mic for extra privateness. Lastly, there’s a Bluetooth button that places the speaker in pairing mode.
As with most Sonos merchandise, the corporate has achieved a superb job right here marrying clear, enticing design with out compromising on performance. Sure, the lack of the Ethernet jack will rankle a small variety of customers, however for probably the most half these adjustments are enhancements. I want that they only put a line-in proper on the speaker as a substitute of requiring a dongle, however I’m extra glad that the characteristic is right here in any respect than I’m aggravated at needing to purchase an additional piece of plastic.
Getting the Period 100 up and operating is fairly easy, even in the event you don’t have already got a Sonos system. You’ll must obtain the Sonos app to your cellphone and arrange an account; from there, the app will look and see if there are any audio system plugged in it could actually add. You’ll additionally must log in to your audio providers of selection, however after that you have to be good to go. Clearly you may seek for and play music via the Sonos app, however there are additionally choices in the event you’d quite persist with the music apps you’re used to, like AirPlay 2 and Spotify Join.
Gallery: Sonos Period 100 assessment images | 9 Photographs
Gallery: Sonos Period 100 assessment images | 9 Photographs
There are just a few elective however helpful issues you are able to do whilst you’re establishing the Period 100, although. The primary is Trueplay, a characteristic that tunes your speaker’s audio output based mostly upon the place it’s positioned in your room. Trueplay has been round since 2015, however up to now it required you to have an iPhone. You’d should stroll round your room slowly elevating and decreasing the cellphone whereas the speaker performed a take a look at tone.
The Period 100, although, can use its built-in microphones to hear and optimize its output – that course of is way less complicated and sooner than the outdated approach, and Android customers aren’t disregarded both. I’ve been extraordinarily proud of Trueplay’s outcomes up to now, so I’d suggest that everybody do this out. That stated, I did discover that the outdated, handbook tuning course of yielded barely higher outcomes.
It’s also possible to add a voice assistant to the Period 100. Amazon’s Alexa has been supported for the reason that One launched again in 2017, and final 12 months Sonos added its personal music-focused assistant. Organising the Sonos assistant is slightly simpler than Alexa, since you don’t must hyperlink your Amazon account, however each are fairly easy at this level.
One factor to notice: previous Sonos audio system with microphones additionally labored with Google Assistant, however that’s now not the case. The Period 100 solely works with Alexa and the Sonos assistant; I assumed the continuing patent battles between Google and Sonos have been the explanation for this alteration. However Sonos let me know that “Google has modified the technical necessities for Google Assistant on third celebration gadgets.” Sonos additionally stated that “it’s a heavy engineering carry and we’ll proceed to prioritize work that builds on our imaginative and prescient of voice assistants all working concurrently” and stated it hoped it might get Google Assistant working once more, however that it is “actually as much as Google.” I personally favor Google Assistant over Alexa, so it is a little bit of a bummer. However I additionally principally simply discuss to my speaker to play music, so the Sonos possibility works nicely sufficient.
Audio high quality
Whereas new options like simpler Trueplay and new controls are necessary, what I actually needed to search out out was how the Period 100 compares to the One it replaces. (I’ve additionally been evaluating it to Apple’s newest HomePod in addition to the Period 300.) Up to now, I’ve been extraordinarily impressed. It’s instantly apparent that the Period 100 is a notable improve over the One.
First off, the Period 100 is loud. Surprisingly so – it’s considerably louder than the One and the HomePod, and the Period 300 isn’t that a lot louder. Even a single Period 100 ought to present sufficient quantity for nearly any room in your home. When you have a big open ground plan, you’ll most likely desire a couple audio system to cowl the area quite than cranking a single, comparatively small speaker to its restrict. However within the overwhelming majority of use circumstances one Period 100 needs to be enough.
Clearly, there’s much more to good sound than simply quantity. The Period 100 has considerably improved bass efficiency when in comparison with the One, once more exceeding what I’d count on from a compact speaker. Bass-heavy tracks like Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and Dragonette’s “T-shirt” had a strong thump with out being overwhelming, particularly at larger volumes. It doesn’t match the Period 300 or HomePod, each of which have extra dynamic bass efficiency, however Sonos is getting so much out of the Period 100.
Whereas I’m glad the bass has improved, I’m extra impressed with the speaker’s total readability. The 2 tweeters positively assist make larger frequencies extra outlined. The sound profile is crisper and extra dynamic than that of the One. The nuance and sheen of “California” by Chvrches and Metric’s “Formentera” got here via splendidly, whereas commonplace four-piece rock or metallic like Metallica’s self-titled traditional and Device’s AEnima sounded full of life and highly effective. I additionally checked out my go-to movie and recreation scores from Lord of the Rings and The Final of Us, and the intricate compositions have been full and well-balanced. The One now sounds considerably muddy by comparability, with each the highs and lows much less distinct. The Period 300 sounds clearer nonetheless, due to the numerous drivers it has on board, however the 100 once more is doing so much with its comparatively restricted speaker array.
When you have a bigger area or simply need elevated quantity and element, I like to recommend getting two Period 100s and pairing them in stereo. Whereas the Period 100 technically has left and proper tweeters, the small measurement means there’s no actual stereo separation to talk of. Placing two of them collectively naturally yields a a lot wider soundstage and brings out a lot of particulars that get erased once you squish a stereo combine down to at least one channel.
A pair of Period 100s will also be used as rear encompass audio system in a setup with certainly one of Sonos’ soundbars. I didn’t take a look at this, as I don’t have a fantastic lounge setup and I used to be extra within the music efficiency, nevertheless it’s price mentioning this characteristic. Sonos has lengthy supplied the choice to make use of mainly any of its music audio system as rear surrounds, and I’m glad they’ve continued with that right here.
The Period 100 (and 300) are the primary non-portable audio system that embody Bluetooth connectivity. It’s exceedingly easy: simply maintain the Bluetooth button on the again of the speaker to place it in pairing mode and it ought to present up in your cellphone or different system to hook up with it. I had no purpose to make use of Bluetooth, however the quick setup and pairing course of might be helpful in case you have a pal who rapidly desires to play a tune over your speaker, for instance. It’s not important, however having extra choices by no means hurts.