PSA: Sonos Era 300 & Era 100 unable to pair as surround sound speakers with Playbar & Playbase soundbars

Sonos has just announced a couple of new smart speakers — the Era 300 and Era 100 — that are set to arrive later this month. The duo, as I write this, is already available to pre-order priced at $449 and $249, respectively.

While the Era 100 is a direct successor to the Sonos One with improved sound quality, the Era 300 is a whole new proposition that is evidenced by the brand-new design.

Sonos Era 300

Sonos claims the Era 300 aims to bring you the best of spatial audio with Dolby Atmos owing to the deep music industry collaboration with leading artists and creators.

The smaller Era 100, on the other hand, boasts “all-new hardware and software, with next-gen acoustics and design that deliver detailed stereo sound and deep bass.”

Design aside, the Era 300 and Era 100 are clearly focusing on the listening experience of users. The former is here to take on the Apple HomePod 2 and Amazon Echo Studio — two smart speakers that know all about spatial audio.

HomePod 2

In addition, you can create a surround sound arrangement when you pair two Era 300 units with the Sonos Arc or 2nd-gen Sonos Beam soundbar and a Sub. But of course, the soundbar must support Dolby Atmos.

Unfortunately, support for Atmos home theater setup is limited. Being a multichannel rear speaker, Sonos says the Era 300 cannot be paired with the Sonos Playbar, Playbase, or 1st-ge Beam for surround sound.

Because Era 300 is a multichannel rear speaker, it requires a Sonos soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos, i.e. Arc or Beam (Gen 2). For this reason, Era 300 is not compatible with Playbar, Playbase, or Beam (Gen 1).

This is because the Sonos Playbar, Playbase and 1st-gen Beam are not Dolby Atmos-ready, but the 2nd-gen Beam should be fine. The story is also true when it comes to the Era 100.


But unlike the Era 300, you can connect two Era 100 units with the Arc, any generation of the Beam or Ray to achieve a surround sound setup. Unfortunately, the Playbar and Playbase still miss out.

You can connect two Era 100 speakers with Arc, Beam (any generation), or Ray for surround sound. Era 100 is not compatible with Playbar or Playbase.

Considering the Sonos Playbar and Playbase have been around for years, it was inevitable that their support would end at some point. And it seems this is the end of the road for the pair.

So, if you were thinking about adding the new Era 300 or Era 100 to your surround sound setup that still features the old Playbar, Playbase or 1st-gen Beam, you might want to reconsider.

Featured image: Sonos

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.