Sonos is preparing a new generation of smart speakers, known as the Era 300 and Era 100, that will debut in the coming months, The Verge has learned. The speakers, which The Verge previously detailed under the codename Optimo, will be pitted against Apple’s $299 HomePod and other smart home speakers from Google and Amazon. The flagship Era 300 is designed to showcase spatial audio music tracks and Dolby Atmos content. Both speakers have a completely new design compared to existing Sonos products.
The Verge can exclusively report the consumer-facing names as Sonos finalizes plans for the Era 300 and 100. As further evidence of the new Sonos product family, a document from Sanus, a manufacturer of TV mounts and speaker accessories, directly mentions the Era speakers. The document is for an $80 wall mount that’s compatible with both products. There’s also a second document that mentions floor stands for the Era speakers. Apparently priced at $220, the stands have a weighted base and will allow for “17 inches of height adjustment for optimal listening.” Both Sanus documents were published last month, according to a Google web search.
Back in August, The Verge revealed that Sonos plans to release multiple new speakers as part of a new product series. The most premium of those devices is codenamed Optimo 2 — this is likely the Era 300 — and it will be a multidirectional speaker built to get the most from spatial audio. Featuring a completely rearchitected acoustic design, the Era 300 will offer the richest fidelity of any single speaker that Sonos has ever released. Aside from being better suited for immersive spatial audio music tracks, the Era 300 is also likely to offer USB-C line-in, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and potentially Bluetooth playback as well. These features were all explored during development, though some could change in the final hardware.
Less is currently known about the Era 100, but it is likely that an Era 100 SL (without built-in voice mics) will also be part of the 2023 Sonos lineup. This could potentially end up being a Sonos One successor with up-firing Dolby Atmos drivers — a missing piece of the company’s home theater portfolio that Sonos fans have long clamored for.
All speakers in the Era lineup will support automatic tuning and sound optimization. Sonos plans to highlight the company’s progress in using sustainable and environmentally friendly materials with the Era portfolio.
The “300” branding of the flagship Era is also likely to raise memories of the long-retired Sonos Play:3. It was previously a middle-ground speaker between the Play:1 (now the Sonos One) and Play:5 (Sonos Five).
Sonos has ambitious plans for the coming months and beyond; CEO Patrick Spence has previously stated that the company will enter four new product categories — with the first device in a brand new category due this year.
Sonos fans are in for an exciting 2023
Whatever that product is, it will be different from the Era speakers, which fit into one of Sonos’ core businesses. Spence hinted at the pending arrival back in November, promising that Sonos would “reset the bar in our existing product categories, further differentiating Sonos as the choice for premium home audio.”
For the first time, The Verge can also report that development is currently underway on a second-generation Sonos Move speaker. As the larger, more powerful model of Sonos’ two Bluetooth speakers, the Move has gained popularity for its versatility and impressive sound quality. The first-generation Move was announced in 2019, so a refresh in 2023 would make a lot of sense.