Sonos has always been expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s too expensive | digital trends

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a proper upgrade to Sonos wireless speakers. They are not new sound bars. It is not something portable. We’re talking about the bread and butter of what made the company so popular in the first place. Wireless speakers that are easy to set up and play just about anything you want.

And it just so happens that we have two new speakers on the way. He Sonos era 100 and Sonos Era 300 effectively replace the aging Sonos One (launched in October 2017, updated in 2019, and still available while supplies last) and the now-defunct Sonos Play:3, which was discontinued in 2018 after a seven-year run.

The Sonos One retailed for $199. The Play:3 launched at $299. That wasn’t cheap back then, and its replacements cost even more, with the Era 100 landing at $249 and the Era 300 reaching a whopping $449. That’s a 50% increase on the latter, which isn’t a negligible change.

And while we’ve seen headlines bemoaning the prices, that doesn’t mean the Era 100 and Era 300 cost “too much.”

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Those last two words are in quotes because cost is relative. What is too expensive for me may be fine for people in a higher tax bracket. Or sometimes I’m willing to spend money on things that the rich and famous find superfluous. Is that how it works.

Sonos speakers have never been what most people would call “affordable.” That’s partly by design. Sonos is a luxury brand. Like Apple. Or mercedes. And just like those two companies, you get a great product for your money. Sonos speakers have always sounded great (I dare say “great”, but I’m afraid I’m already bugging too much here, so let’s be conservative). They have always been easy to set up and have made the experience of having multiple speakers in multiple rooms as simple as possible. And I say that as someone who remembers running a fair amount of speaker wire through walls in the 1980s so his music-loving dad could listen to his new CDs in any room he wanted. .

No, the Sonos speakers I bought were worth it. They’ve changed the way I enjoy the pool deck, for example (in a three-bedroom 1980s ranch house, so no one thinks I have a butler writing this for me). And to Sonos’s credit, it did a decent job of spreading performance across price points, from the Sonos One (and earlier Play:1), to the mid-tier Play:3 to the bigger, louder Sonos Five. That you can mix and match is a feature. You probably don’t need a pair of Fives for rear speakers, but you can if you want (and if your wallet can hold $1,000 worth of rear speakers).

Just because you can’t afford them doesn’t mean they’re too expensive.

I’ve always thought the entry-level Sonos One (and the Play:1 before it) were always above their weight. A single speaker is surprisingly loud, and a stereo pair makes things that much better. Cheap? No. But, to me, it’s worth it. And our first impressions of the new Sonos Era 100 and Era 300 point to how they fix a few problems. Android users are no longer excluded from Trueplay tuning. They have finally added Bluetooth.

The only reason to say that the new Era 100 and Era 300 are “too expensive” or cost “too much” is if they emulate Apple and give the best impression of a HomePod. That is if they do their job pretty well, but are traded off the market. The HomePod did that in its first iteration and had to go on vacation. And it remains to be seen whether Apple’s recent reincarnation will succeed.

If Sonos isn’t selling enough, maybe they were too expensive.

All of this initial moaning (the speakers are available for pre-order now and will be in stores on March 28) forget something else, too. Companies can always lower the price.

For what it’s worth, that’s what I think can happen. At least I hope it is. Because I haven’t booked an Era 100 yet. It just costs too much.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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