Sonos Period 300 Evaluate: Spatial Audio with a Coronary heart

PROS:

  • Robust sustainability efforts
  • Glorious sound high quality
  • Distinctive design
  • Simple to setup and use

CONS:

  • Inconsistent spatial audio efficiency
  • No Google Assistant assist but
  • Single USB-C slot for each line-in and Ethernet
  • Very costly

RATINGS:

SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

The Sonos Period 300 provides spectacular sound high quality wrapped in a novel, environment-friendly design, although its unreliable spatial audio efficiency makes its slightly excessive price ticket a bit tougher to swallow.

There’s a staggering variety of wi-fi and good audio system out there immediately coming from quite a few manufacturers each huge and small. However even earlier than Amazon dumped the Echo on individuals’s tables, Sonos was already making a reputation for itself within the business. With immediately’s complicated plethora of good audio system, there’s an pressing and demanding want to face out, and never simply by trying totally different, although that additionally works for a quick time period. Sound high quality is nearly a given, so the competitors usually turns towards new options and traits that set audio system aside. The brand new Sonos Period 300 has the trending Spatial Audio as its battle cry, nevertheless it’s removed from being its most distinctive characteristic. In reality, it may even be its weak spot, so we gave it a take a look at to verify whether it is actually price its weight in gold.

Designer: Sonos

Aesthetics

From the very first second you lay eyes on it, you’ll be able to instantly inform that the Sonos Period 300 isn’t your run-of-the-mill good speaker. Most of its friends would are available easy shapes like cylinders or bins, however the Period 300 appears to have a special kind relying on which facet you’re . From the entrance, it might look like it’s a standard oval speaker, however its tapered halves from different angles makes it resemble an hourglass as an alternative. Along with its giant measurement, there isn’t any approach the Period 300 gained’t catch your consideration, although it’s debatable whether or not your appreciation of its design might be favorable or not.

The form that Sonos selected isn’t only for the sake of being visually totally different, although. For the designers, it’s the one form that is smart, given how the totally different drivers are organized inside. There are two woofers, one on the left and the opposite on the precise, and 4 tweeters going through up, ahead, and sides. Their positions aren’t accidentally, both, since every one has a selected position to play. The 2 woofers on the sides, for instance, ship highly effective but balanced bass, whereas the front-blasting tweeter takes care of vocals and excessive ranges. The tweeter on the high directs sound to the ceiling in order that it might mirror again all the way down to create a extra plausible spatial audio expertise.

This extra-large Sonos speaker is available in black or white choices, however it’s the latter that has a extra attention-grabbing story to inform. According to its sustainability objectives, the Period 300 makes use of 40% post-consumer recycled plastics, and people within the manufacturing business understand how the character of the fabric can have an effect on the ultimate shade. It’s tough to hit the almost pure white that some merchandise have when utilizing recycled plastics, so Sonos opted for a softer shade of white that occurs to mix higher with residence interiors. Maybe it’s time for the beginning of a brand new “Accountable White” shade.

It’s laborious to argue that the Sonos Period 300 has a novel and fairly memorable design that you just gained’t discover on different audio system, although it’s debatable whether or not most will discover it aesthetically pleasing. One of the best components of its design, nevertheless, are those that you just gained’t see and even examine, like its sustainable design and progressive driver association. Thankfully, these don’t detract from the speaker’s worth so long as it truly sounds nice.

Ergonomics

The Period 300’s giant measurement could also be justified, however that doesn’t precisely make it much less problematic. At 4.47kg, it’s not one thing you’d transfer round quite a bit anyway, nevertheless it does imply you’ll need loads of area for it on a shelf or desk. A greater choice could be to place it on a really minimalist stand constructed particularly for the speaker, although that can ship you again round $169 on high of the speaker’s value.

Thankfully, you gained’t be juggling it round a lot to make use of it as a result of all of its most necessary capabilities are both on its high or accessible by way of a paired cellular machine. There are capacitive contact controls for enjoying, pausing, and skipping tracks, in addition to a groove made for adjusting the quantity. There’s a speech bubble icon there as nicely for disabling the voice assistant briefly, however should you’re actually involved about privateness, there’s a {hardware} change on the speaker’s again to mute the mic.

Organising the Sonos Period 300 is simply as simple. You simply have to obtain the Sonos app in your cellphone, create or log into your Sonos account, and add the detected speaker there. You’ll want to attach the app with music streaming companies should you’ll be utilizing these as nicely, however the course of might be fairly acquainted to anybody who has dealt with Bluetooth audio system earlier than. Sonos additionally has a particular fine-tuning characteristic known as Trueplay, the place it could possibly robotically change its settings relying on the place it’s positioned in a room. It does so by listening to its personal sound output utilizing the built-in mic, which is as simple as simply letting the app run the exams. For extra correct tuning, nevertheless, there’s an “superior” guide mode that requires strolling across the room with an iPhone or an iPad.

Efficiency

With at least six drivers inside, you’d count on the Period 300 to sound unbelievable. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. The audio coming from the speaker is nothing wanting phenomenal, with loud and full sound throughout the board and frequencies popping out clear and distinct. With how highly effective the bass comes out, these not acquainted with the Period 300’s specs would possibly presume there’d be a subwoofer hidden someplace. The angle of the drivers undoubtedly creates that stereo impact, although the audio business has began shifting towards one other course in terms of encompass sound.

Spatial Audio is the brand new hype within the business, promising a 3D encompass sound expertise with out the multitude of audio system. It’s nonetheless in its infancy, however the who’s who of the market are leaping on the alternative to blaze a path, and Sonos isn’t any totally different. In reality, you may say that Spatial Audio is the headlining characteristic of the Period 300, or at the very least it’s purported to be. In apply, it seems like one of many speaker’s only a few flaws. The expertise of Spatial Audio on this huge audio gear appears to be a hit and miss, relying on what you’re taking part in. Generally, the distinction from the common stereo model is as clear as evening and day; different occasions, it’d take a real audiophile to discern the nuances. There are even some circumstances the place the Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio model sounds just a little bit worse than the unique due to the bigger quantity of reverb. That is very true for music remastered to be appropriate with Spatial Audio, and you should have higher luck with newer items recorded with Spatial Audio in thoughts proper from the beginning.

In brief, the Sonos Period 300’s key characteristic appears to be its weakest, however that doesn’t erase the truth that it’s nonetheless a powerful and strong speaker with out the Spatial Audio characteristic. The marginally excellent news is that there are nonetheless too few albums and companies that provide Spatial Audio, so you’ll be able to carry on having fun with high quality sound from the Period 300. Sadly, that additionally means you is likely to be paying for know-how that you just is likely to be utilizing more often than not anyway, which makes the price of the speaker really feel just a little too steep.

Whereas the speaker is already highly effective by itself, disregarding the Spatial Audio spiel, it may also be utilized in tandem with different Sonos merchandise for an much more immersive listening expertise. For instance, pairing two Period 300 audio system will create an precise stereo speaker setup, although you gained’t be capable to management which is the left and which is the precise. In order for you a extra conventional 7.1.4 encompass sound setup, you’ll be able to mix a Sonos Arc, two Sonos Period 100s within the entrance, and two Sonos Period 300s within the again, although that can undoubtedly burn a gap by way of your pockets as nicely.

As a wi-fi speaker, the Period 300 has assist for nearly all potential sources, from streaming companies to Bluetooth units. As a wise speaker, you’ll be able to management it utilizing your voice by way of Amazon Alexa or the corporate’s personal Sonos Voice Management. Previously, Sonos audio system supported Google Assistant as nicely, however latest occasions appear to have muddled relationships between the 2. Sonos fortunately included choices for wired connections, however you may need to spend further for that functionality. There’s a single USB-C port on the again for exterior sources, however you have to a USB-C to Line-in Adapter if you wish to join a conventional 3.5mm jack. The speaker may join by way of Ethernet, however you’ll have to purchase the Sonos Combo Adapter for that as nicely.

Sustainability

Spatial Audio is likely to be the Period 300’s key characteristic, however its strongest level is likely to be the one which consumers would possibly by no means find out about. Greater than only a revolutionary new look, the speaker represents Sonos’ strongest sustainability effort as nicely, and it goes past simply utilizing some recycled materials. In fact, that’s necessary as nicely, and each black and white variations of the speaker use 40% post-consumer recycled plastics, which continues to be a big portion contemplating how few audio system immediately even use recycled plastics.

Sonos, nevertheless, is taking a extra holistic strategy to sustainability, going past manufacturing and transport and moving into the “use part” when the audio system are already in customers’ fingers. The corporate takes into consideration the greenhouse gasoline emissions generated by utilizing the speaker itself, particularly once they’re left on standby. To assist scale back that determine, the Sonos Period 300 and its smaller sibling, the Period 100, use lower than two watts of energy when idle.

The very construction of the speaker itself was made with longevity in thoughts, even should you can’t simply restore the speaker your self. The speaker was made to be simply disassembled on the finish of its life in order that components will be rapidly sorted and reused or recycled if potential. The Period 300’s grill makes use of velcro to connect to the system slightly than being bonded to the body straight. This might make repairs by approved service suppliers a bit simpler whereas additionally making it extra handy to refurbish audio system on the market afterward.

And, in fact, there’s the packaging, which makes use of 100% recyclable supplies. Such supplies usually get quite a lot of flak for his or her sturdiness, however Sonos has ensured that not solely is the Period 300’s field extra long-lasting, however that it additionally seems and feels as premium because the speaker that’s mendacity inside. There are many good audio system littering the market immediately, however solely the brand new Sonos Period audio system can proudly declare they’re designed to not litter the planet.

Worth

Getting straight to the purpose, the Sonos Period 300 is one costly piece of audio gear, although it’s not the corporate’s priciest product both. At $450, it sits nicely under the Sonos 5, which has been hailed because the speaker to beat on this household. On the similar time, nevertheless, you’ll be able to have two $250 Sonos Period 100 audio system to create a real stereo setup for just a bit bit extra. It’s all the time a matter of balancing the professionals and cons, and, sadly, the scales tip barely in opposition to the Period 300 on this side.

Make no mistake; the Sonos Period 300 is a superb speaker, producing strong audio that may embrace you in wealthy tones on all frequencies. Its key characteristic, nevertheless, is Spatial Audio, and it’s the one space the place the speaker doesn’t put its finest foot ahead, not for the shortage of attempting. When you think about that there are two different audio system that assist this know-how at half the worth, you would possibly simply really feel that the Period 300 is a tad overpriced. That stated, that is additionally Sonos’ most sustainable speaker but, and a purchase order of the Period 300 is also seen as an indication of assist for this effort.

Verdict

For years, audio engineers and musicians have been looking for methods to recreate how we naturally hear sounds however utilizing as few audio system as potential. The newest know-how to try that’s being marketed as Spatial Audio, and the Sonos Period 300 is among the extraordinarily few wi-fi audio system that attempt to ship that to music lovers and audiophiles. That know-how continues to be in its infancy, and it undoubtedly reveals within the inconsistent efficiency of the speaker, relying on the type of music and the way it was made to embrace Spatial Audio.

For those who handle to miss this one main flaw and its excessive price ticket, the Sonos Period 300 undoubtedly meets the expectations of a robust, high-quality stereo speaker. Its distinctive design is certainly eye-catching, and its ease of use is a breath of contemporary air within the midst of superior however sophisticated good audio system. Sonos undoubtedly deserves kudos for its sustainability efforts that cowl manufacturing, packaging, and even “use part” emissions. It’s undoubtedly a strong performer, which justifies the prices just a little bit. It simply is likely to be forward of its time, given how the world isn’t utterly ready for Spatial Audio simply but.


Posted

in

by