Sonos: Better in black?

CNET's David Carnoy gets his hands on a custom-painted black Sonos ZonePlayer and ponders whether the company should offer black-colored products to its customers.

No Photoshop involved: This is a custom-painted Sonos ZonePlayer ZP100. CNET Networks

For a while now I've been ribbing the folks over at Sonos, the leader in affordable multiroom audio, that I wished their products came in black rather than light gray/off-white. The fact is, if you have a lot of black components, you ideally want everything to match. That's why you see the XBox 360 in black--I mean, people want the choice, right?

Well, my dreams of black Sonos were realized when an anonymous donor (who wishes to remain that way) let us take some shots of a customized ZonePlayer ZP100 . It's a fairly expensive proposition--companies like Colorware charge upwards of a $100 to refinish various products, including game consoles and PCs. But the end result is pretty slick and I think Sonos would do well with a black model, particularly for the larger ZP100's replacement, the ZP120 , which usually ends up in a rack. You can tuck the smaller ZP90 or discontinued ZP80 behind a TV or wherever, so most people can live with--and maybe even like--the off-white. And I know it's a pain for companies to manage multiple SKUs, but I still vote for a black option.

Anybody else have an opinion?

Before the new paint job. Sonos

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.


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