updated 10:00 pm EDT, Mon July 27, 2009
Sonos CR200 controller
Sonos on Monday unveiled the CR200, its latest multi-room system controller. The device diverges from the button-based layout of the company's other controllers, instead utilizing a 3.5-inch color touchscreen as the primary interface. The display offers 640x480 resolution and capacitive technology for improved response and accuracy compared to a resistive screen found on many other devices.
With the new onscreen keyboard, users can enter terms to search through their personal libraries or content such as radio stations, podcasts and SIRIUS satellite radio channels. The interface also presents additional information such as album art and artist information, while listing what music is playing around the home. A motion sensor automatically wakes the CR200 when it is picked up, or users can touch the display. Along with the visual interface, the device also provides buttons for commonly-used functions such as mute, volume and zone selection.
Sonos chose to house the controller internals with an anodized aluminum shell, while the back panel is covered with a layer of rubber to protect surfaces and improve grip. The lithium ion battery is claimed to last for approximately five days, although it is replaceable to avoid downtime.
The CR200 is now available with the Charging Cradle 200 for $350. Customers can also purchase the Sonos Bundle 250 which includes the ZonePlayer 90 and a ZonePlayer 120 for $1000.