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Sonos Kills Its Remote Control, Apps Are The Future


Sonos Kills Its Remote Control, Apps Are The Future

Smartphones can be blamed for killing off all sorts of gadgets, from compact digital cameras to sat-navs and pocket calculators. One that we can be absolutely sure about is the Sonos Control, the dedicated but optional touchscreen remote control device, made for use with Sonos's wireless audio streaming systems.

Like many hi-fi products with a network connection, Sonos remote control apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets have been available as free downloads for some time (the iPhone version debuted way back in 2008).

Given the huge likelihood that the typical Sonos user will have at least one of those gadgets already, it comes as no surprise that the controller has featured less and less prominently in the Sonos line-up.

From the beginning of June 2012 it will disappear altogether, joining its forerunner – the scroll-wheel based non-touchscreen CR100 controller – in the Sonos retirement home.

Sonos Control

Sonos says it will still honour the product's warranty for two years from the registration date, and software updates will continue "for the foreseeable future."

Faithful Sonos customers probably don’t care too much about pricing. Although Sonos systems are not the most pricey audio streamers, the kit comes at a premium compared to the likes of the Logitech Squeezebox range, and it is potentially being squeezed by the emergence of Apple AirPlay in various hi-fi products.

Sonos control apps iOs Android

Looking at the price, though, and it’s obvious why the dedicated controller is now largely pointless. The Sonos Control (formerly called the Controller 200) costs a hefty £279 and all it does is work with Sonos systems.

An iPod touch, which can run the iOS Sonos app, among many others, starts at £169. Alternatively a new Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Android media player is about £190. You can also control Sonos gear through Windows and Mac software – for desktop PCs and laptops – which was recently updated.

Via The Verge


April 4, 2012, 8:25 pm

I'm not so sure, there's something to be said for dedicated hardware. For example, that remote has proper hardware buttons to control volume, which fall right under the thumb as you hold it. No smartphone, PMP or tablet will ever boast specialised ergonomics like that.

That said, £279 is just too much given the alternatives. Spend a bit more cash, and I imagine that the big-screen iPad experience is also far superior.


April 4, 2012, 8:59 pm

Not surprising really.

Bought my system before the iPhone app, and I do still use the old-style controller daily (alongside PC, iPhone and iPad apps). However, if I was buying it today I wouldn't be spending £300 on a dedicated controller, and wouldn't replace mine if it broke.


April 5, 2012, 10:39 am

Kudos to Sonos .....

I don't think Sonos had to make their app free or so good. They did it because it was the right thing.

If the app had not been free or had been naff, I don't think any Sonos owner would have complained at buying the dedicated controller.

Well done Sonos. I for one will miss the dedicated controller.

Knut Erik Ballestad

March 13, 2015, 7:51 am

On the contrary, most phones have dedicated buttons for volume control, and the volume control buttons of course apply to the sonos volume control also

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