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Sonos Era 100 vs Denon Home 150: How do they compare?

To most, Sonos’ biggest challenger in the home audio market might appear to be Apple or even Canadian company Bluesound. But Japanese company Denon is also in the mix, and with its Home speaker series, it has taken the battle to Sonos’ footsteps.

The Home series of speakers is Denon’s answer to Sonos’ dominance within the home. Previously the Denon Home 150 would have gone up against the Sonos One, but with the Californian company announcing the Era 100, how do those two speakers match up against one another?

The Sonos speaker is the more expensive model

When the Denon Home 150 first launched, it actively sought to be the more expensive proposition, pitching itself as a premium, High-res audio capable wireless speaker. At the time the Home 150 launched, it was generally around $20 / £20 / €20 more expensive.

Not the tables have turned, though not in a way that’s great for customers, who will now have to shell out more for the Era 100, around $50 / £50 more than the Sonos One; and $30 / £30 than the Home 150. So without having to do anything, the Denon now undercuts its Sonos rival.

The Home 150 can only output in mono

The changes Sonos has brought to the Era 100 include a stereo driver set-up. From our brief time with the speaker, that resulted in a wider soundstage and a bigger sweet spot in terms of the listening position.

Denon Home 150 new image
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Home 150 can only output sound in mono channel (i.e. one channel), which gives it the characteristic of being very directional in its delivery of sound. Effectively, you’d need to be sitting in front of the speaker to get the best performance, while with the Era 100 you have more room to switch up where you sit in relation to the speaker.

The Denon is slightly smarter

A number of wireless speakers have added smarts to their skillset, which in turn has made them a versatile pair of speakers. Sonos was one of the first to catch on to the idea of a smart speaker, adding Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to its feature list.

Denon Home 150 Alexa support
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Denon updated its Home speakers to natively support Alexa and Google through the microphones. Both Denon and Sonos speakers can be used hands-free with voice activation, and if you choose to, the microphones can be turned off for privacy.

Sonos won’t be supporting Google Assistant on its Era speakers, but it does have Sonos Voice Control to help with hands-free control of music playback. If you live in France or America, the person providing the voice for that is none other than Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian fame.

You can repair the Era 100 yourself

In this growing era of eco-friendly design, Sonos has moved to a more sustainable approach with its Era products. The packaging can be discarded in the recycling waste, the speaker itself is made with post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic and energy consumption has been reduced with a new sleep function.

Sonos Era 100 standing on table
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

And, perhaps more excitingly if you’re someone who likes to see how stuff works, the Era 100 has been built with serviceability in mind, using screws to more easily disassemble and repair. If the speaker stops working, and you know what you’re doing, you could fix it yourself. That’s not an option for the Denon Home 150 with its sealed design.

They can act as rear gunners

If you’re thinking of creating a wireless home theatre sound system, that can be easily achieved with both speakers.

Sonos Era 100 in black finish on stand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

A pair of Denon or Sonos speakers can be matched to their respective soundbars – the Home Sound bar 550 in the Denon’s case and the DSW-1H subwoofer’ or the Beam Gen 2 and Sub Mini in the case of the Sonos. You’ll get a bigger, expansive soundscape from adding them as rear speakers, filling in the information behind you.

Of course, you can’t use these speakers interchangeably, i.e. the Era 100 with a Denon soundbar or vice versa. The speakers aren’t built to mix with one another in that way.

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