Backstage: Sonos’ ZonePlayers iPodize home stereo
If it looks familiar at first glance, wait until you touch one. That’s the CR100 remote control unit ($399) for Sonos’ new ZonePlayer Digital Music System, which uses $499 units called ZonePlayers to distribute digital music throughout your house. We’ve been playing around with a couple of ZonePlayers and the remote (total package price: $1199), and thought you might enjoy a little peek before the official writeup.
The CR100 is staggeringly iPod photo-like, down to the user interface, controls, and button layout. Beyond the use of a 2G/3G iPod touch-sensitive scroll wheel, Sonos has placed its menu/back button above the wheel, play/pause below the wheel, and backward/forward buttons respectively to the left and right of the play/pause button. Then there’s a central action button. The Now Playing screen shows album art on the left with track details and icons (such as Shuffle) on the right. And the menus look like most of the iPod clones out there these days - small differences, with additions such as Internet Radio. Coincidence? No way.
There is, of course, a big difference. Sonos’ CR100 isn’t a portable music player - it’s just a rechargeable remote control with a nice interface. The point is to give you the easy ability to send digital music wirelessly to speakers in different rooms of your house, and while iPod-like, the remote has no use outside of the system. And there are some legitimate iPod distinctions: separate volume buttons on the left side of the color screen are joined by a mute button, and a few other buttons quick-jump to your music library, list of installed ZonePlayers, and offer screen-specific options.
If Apple had an iPod-style wireless remote (or iPod wireless accessory) to complement its AirPort Express and Mac mini combination, we get the feeling that it might be game over for Sonos - especially given that the ZonePlayers can’t play back AAC files from the increasingly popular iTunes Music Store. But that’s not the case - for now, at least.
Click on Read More for a couple of larger pictures. They’re certainly interesting.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Report: Dual app viewing, multiple logins coming to iPad
- Transit coming to Apple Maps in iOS 9?
- Apple and IBM expand MobileFirst apps to Apple Watch
- Report: Pebble facing financial struggles?
- iOS 9 to include new Home app for HomeKit?
- Report: Apple to bring Apple Watch font to iOS 9
- Leak reveals Flow by Outlook, a Microsoft email messaging app for iPhone
- Olloclip releases new Active Lens for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
- Refurbished iPad Air 2 models hit Apple Store
- Apple releases first Apple Watch Software Update
- Witti Notti and Dotti
- PhoneSuit Elite 6 and Elite 6 Pro Battery Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Wren V5US Speaker
- Skech Base for iPad Air 2
- Anova Culinary Precision Cooker
- Phiaton MS 100 BA Earphones
- Olloclip Ollocase for iPhone 6
- AKG Y50 On-Ear Headphones
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 SonicPro Over-Ear Headphones
- Mobee Technology Magic Case 6 for iPhone 6
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?
- Why can’t I set a longer passcode timeout on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Can I turn off Message Read Receipts for only some users?
- How do I share one iCloud Photo Library within a family?