Giles Martin and Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on the new Era 100 and Era 300 speakers
Today, Sonos announced a new line of speakers — the Era 100 and the Era 300 — with the latter finally taking on this format that has been a hit-or-miss experience for music lovers, supporting Amazon Music and Apple Music’s spatial audio. Though spatial format Dolby Atmos has been supported on the Sonos Arc soundbar, the Era 300 signals a music-first approach to its speakers supporting 3D soundscapes. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence believes this is the right time to do it. “We didn’t know that, in 2022, 85 of the top Billboard 100 artists would actually release Atmos tracks, but they did,” Spence says. “We feel like we’re at an inflection point.”
On board with Sonos for this shift in music listening is record producer Giles Martin, who mixed the first-ever spatial audio album (a remix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles album that his father, George Martin, originally produced) and several albums and live experiences in Dolby Atmos since. Martin is also the senior vice president of sound experience at Sonos and was involved in the development of the speaker. “When you’re building a product which has multi sort of use and orientations, you do prioritize ... in a way of, what’s the wow factor?” Martin explains. “The wow factor, which I think is truly extraordinary out of the 300, is the fact that it does spatial out of a single box. And it’s really compelling.”
Both Patrick and Giles joined Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel for The Vergecast to talk about the new speakers, supporting spatial audio, and why this is the time to do it.
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