That is the way you comply with up on what was already a very good product. Over the course of my time reviewing the brand new Period 100 speaker, which succeeds the Sonos One launched in 2017, that’s been my constant takeaway. It’s gone up in worth barely — now $249 in comparison with the One’s $219 worth (itself a rise over the $199 launch worth) — however that improve wasn’t only for the sake of it. The Period 100 outperforms the One in each class on the subject of sound: it’s now able to stereo playback and has improved bass response.
However probably the most thrilling facet of the Period 100 is the best way Sonos has broadened its performance. It’s nonetheless a sensible speaker that may stream from each music service you may consider, helps hands-free voice instructions, and contains additional options like AirPlay 2. These issues have been all true of the One, however the Period steps as much as one other stage by tacking on Bluetooth playback and line-in audio by way of the rear USB-C port. The previous lets anybody who comes over simply play their very own music on the speaker, whereas the latter means that you can run a turntable or different exterior audio supply via your whole Sonos system.
It’s not a flawless report card: the Period 100 now not gives Google Assistant as a voice platform. As an alternative, you’re left with Amazon Alexa and Sonos’ personal music-focused Sonos Voice Management, which is slowly increasing its potential with timers and different capabilities. Basically, that leaves the Period 100 feeling much less “good” than its predecessor should you’re tied into Google’s ecosystem. However in each different means, the Period 100 is a transparent improve over the Sonos One, which has stood as the corporate’s bestselling product. Inside the firm’s lineup, that is the unassuming speaker which you can put in any nook or room the place you need music.
The GoodImproved sound (now in stereo)Bluetooth and line-in supportPrivacy-conscious microphone controlsThe BadNo extra Google AssistantRejiggered controls have a studying curveLine-in requires USB-C dongleHow we fee and evaluation merchandise
The speaker’s design is extra rounded than a squircle this time, although it’s nonetheless not completely round when seen from above. The Period 100 is a hair taller than the Sonos One and ever so barely deeper, however it’s not massive by any stretch. It’s typically stunning how a lot sound comes out of the One given its dimension, and the Period is not any totally different.
When flanked by the corporate’s transportable audio system, it barely stands above the Roam and is an efficient deal shorter than the Transfer. Sonos used a barely hotter shade of white plastic for the 100, which comes via in a few of these images however is a type of stuff you wouldn’t discover if I hadn’t advised you.
The Period 100, at proper, isn’t a lot bigger than the Sonos One it’s changing.
Contained in the speaker hidden from view are repairability enhancements: the corporate has moved away from sticking adhesive all through the product’s inside construction and now makes use of screws wherever potential. That is the case for each Period audio system and can make them simpler to disassemble and repair, although Sonos is stopping wanting rolling out a self-repair program for now. We’ll should see how a lot demand arises for that over time. Additionally price noting is that the Period 100 makes use of much less energy than the One when idle and comprises a good quantity of recycled plastic (between 40 to 50 %).
In comparison with its previous audio system, Sonos took a brand new method with the highest controls on the Eras. There are devoted observe controls — no want for swipe gestures anymore — and a separate indented bar that handles quantity. You possibly can slide your finger throughout for fast changes or faucet both facet for extra granular quantity modifications. It took extra time than I anticipated to retrain myself to this new association, however I bought there inside a few days.
There are actually devoted observe controls, which the One lacked.
In the back of the highest floor is a button for briefly disabling your chosen voice assistant. If you wish to shut off the built-in microphones altogether, you are able to do so with a brand new toggle change on the again of the speaker. When it’s flipped down, the Period 100 cuts energy to its microphones. The highest button is supposed extra for briefly pausing voice interactions, whereas the latter is a measure for privateness diehards who need them off off. There’s no “Period 100 SL” for the time being, so the exhausting change is as shut as you may get.
The opposite new button round again is for Bluetooth pairing: simply press and maintain to pair a brand new system. The Period 100 is transport with Bluetooth 5.0 and can finally be bumped as much as 5.2 with a future firmware replace. There’s nothing significantly fancy right here — it’s music over Bluetooth, however till now, it was one thing Sonos reserved for its transportable audio system. You already know precisely what to anticipate, and it really works with no hitch. I recognize the added comfort, and the pliability means your friends received’t should take care of the Sonos cell app simply to play a track or two.
Sonos has additionally added an supposed bar for quantity changes.
The Period 100 helps Bluetooth audio playback.
You possibly can disable the built-in microphones with a flick of this change on the again.
Sonos has added a USB-C port to the again of the Period 100 to permit for line-in connections by way of an non-obligatory $19 dongle. The port is for audio solely and never supposed for energy to or from the speaker. Plug the dongle into the Period 100, and you may run a file participant or one other audio supply via it and sync all the pieces throughout your different Sonos audio system. The corporate advises that line-in isn’t a very good match for reside TV since there’s latency to account for. A Sonos soundbar remains to be one of the simplest ways to play TV audio all through your own home. (Should you’re curious, USB-C-to-3.5mm adapters chances are you’ll have already got are unlikely to work. Sonos does an analog-to-digital conversion as an alternative of the opposite means round.)
You may as well buy a $39 combo adapter that helps each ethernet and line-in. Some longtime Sonos prospects have bemoaned that the Period audio system don’t help SonosNet, a function that created a personal community for the audio system to speak over at any time when one in every of them was plugged into ethernet. Sonos appears to consider the inclusion of extra sturdy Wi-Fi 6 connectivity makes up for that omission. Remember that should you’re utilizing Sonos audio system as surrounds for any of the corporate’s soundbars, they convey instantly over a 5Ghz connection, so that you don’t want to fret about wi-fi interference in that state of affairs. I don’t know many non-techies who’ve run out to improve their routers to Wi-Fi 6, so I can perceive among the frustration. However I’ve but to note any music cutouts or streaming points whereas testing the Period 300 and Period 100.
Regardless of being an analogous dimension to the Sonos One, the Period 100 actually steps up audio efficiency by shifting from a mono to stereo driver configuration. There are actually two tweeters, enabling correct left and proper channel replica. Sonos caught with a single midwoofer, however it’s considerably bigger than earlier than, and consequently, the Period is more proficient at dealing with bass output.
It’s simple to suit the Period 100 wherever you need to take heed to music.
The Period is a small single-unit speaker, so it’s unrealistic to count on a lot stereo separation or a vastly large soundstage. However with every observe I examined, the audio of the 100 was clear, detailed, and full-bodied. You don’t should accept sure devices or vocals being drowned out within the combine, which might occur with the mishmash produced by mono audio system. The sound is wealthy, stays persistently robust throughout genres, and there’s simply extra room for all the pieces to breathe. I’ve little question there are “audiophiles” who will simply preserve rolling their eyes on the notion of a Sonos speaker sounding excellent, however that is objectively a considerable leveling up in comparison with the Sonos One.
The Period 100 sounds fairly respectable out of the field, however like different Sonos gear, Trueplay may also help it attain most potential. For the primary time, Sonos is supporting its Trueplay tuning function on each iOS and now Android. Android customers can run a brand new “fast tune” process within the Sonos app that makes use of the Period 100’s built-in mics to gauge a room’s acoustics and optimize the sound for that atmosphere. This course of can end inside a matter of seconds, I’ve discovered, though Sonos says it could take as much as a minute. Both means, that’s faster than the superior tuning that continues to be current on iOS. With the latter, you continue to should stroll across the room waving your iPhone or iPad round and use that microphone for a extra thorough studying of the acoustics.
Sonos claims that the superior method will in the end produce superior outcomes and is greatest for bigger areas, however no less than Android prospects lastly have some measure of Trueplay help. (iOS customers have the choice to make use of fast tune as properly in the event that they don’t need to fuss with the longer walkabout model.) One factor I’ve noticed is that Trueplay can produce different-sounding outcomes even when a speaker hasn’t moved. Should you’re not loving the preliminary changes it makes, it’s price making an attempt the method once more (and making certain that your cellphone’s mic holes are clear).
The Period 100 helps hands-free voice instructions with Amazon Alexa or Sonos Voice Management.
Earlier than overlaying voice, I ought to preface that I’m not massive on voice assistants. Like so many different folks, I largely persist with climate inquiries, setting timers, and taking part in a track or playlist on demand. My house is neither full of good dwelling devices nor deeply wired into Alexa (or Google Assistant for that matter). However through the evaluation interval, I’ve made an effort to recurrently use each Alexa and Sonos Voice Management to play music and depart my cellphone in my pocket. That have has been constructive, and even at reasonable quantity ranges, the far-field microphones do a very good job of recognizing your voice (and the “Alexa” or “Hey Sonos” hotwords) over no matter music is taking part in.
AGREE TO CONTINUE: SONOS ERA 100
Each good system now requires you to conform to a sequence of phrases and circumstances earlier than you need to use it — contracts that nobody really reads. It’s not possible for us to learn and analyze each single one in every of these agreements. However we began counting precisely what number of instances it’s important to hit “agree” to make use of units after we evaluation them since these are agreements most individuals don’t learn and positively can’t negotiate.
By utilizing the Sonos Period 100, you’re agreeing to the corporate’s privateness coverage. Sonos additionally collects what it refers to as “further utilization knowledge,” and this covers lots, together with:
The temperature of your productWi-Fi data like sign strengthHow typically you utilize music providers related to your Sonos systemInformation about how typically you utilize the Sonos app versus different management mechanismsFlow of interactions inside the Sonos appHow typically you utilize the bodily controls on the unitDuration of Sonos product useDuration of music service useProduct or room grouping informationCommand data (equivalent to play, pause, change quantity, or skip tracks)Sonos playlist or Sonos favorites data
You possibly can choose out of further utilization assortment, however Sonos warns that doing so will disable performance like personalization providers (e.g., Just lately Performed), Sonos Radio, voice management, and extra.
Last tally: one primarily obligatory settlement and one non-obligatory further knowledge settlement. Utilizing voice instructions with Alexa will topic you to Amazon’s personal privateness insurance policies and phrases of service.
However make no mistake: there’ll inevitably be potential patrons disenchanted about Google Assistant being neglected of the get together. Sonos claims Google has made it extra technically burdensome over the past 12 months to incorporate Assistant on third-party audio system and says this has nothing to do with the continued authorized battle between each firms. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s shoppers who lose out ultimately. Hopefully, an answer may be reached that brings Assistant again into the equation for many who’ve constructed their good houses round it.
As with the Sonos One, you may stereo pair two Period 100s for wider, extra immersive listening or use them as rear surrounds for any Sonos soundbar. Simply remember that every speaker switches over to mono in dwelling theater mode; you’ll get devoted left and proper rear channels however not the multidimensional encompass (with Atmos peak results) supplied by the a lot pricier Period 300. You may as well pair a Sonos Sub or Sub Mini with the Period 100 if you wish to lend extra energy to its already ample bass response.
It improves upon the Sonos One in a number of significant methods.
It’s simple to purchase a cheaper good speaker just like the Nest Audio, HomePod Mini, or Amazon Echo. Anybody in search of a sensible dwelling controller first and music speaker second will nonetheless discover some enchantment in these units.
However with the Period 100, Sonos has succeeded in its objective of remastering and bettering the Sonos One. It sounds nicer than lower-cost opponents. From mainly any perspective (outdoors of voice assistant choices), this speaker is a winner. It sounds higher and is more true to stereo music than the Sonos One. The onboard controls are extra complete. And Sonos has improved upon the One’s formulation by including genuinely helpful new options like Bluetooth and line-in.
Even when it could’t go head-to-head with the $299 HomePod in audio constancy — Apple’s speaker takes that victory — it’s way more versatile in how one can take heed to music. You’ll get loads of enjoyment out of the Period 100 on day one, which isn’t as simple to say concerning the expensive Period 300 and the uneven early exhibiting of spatial audio that Sonos is betting so closely on.
Pictures by Chris Welch / The Verge