As the highest-rated product on the whole of CNET UK, updates to the Sonos Music System are well worth a good mention. Today, a new touchscreen controller -- the CR200, which replaces the dated old one.
It's good to see Sonos finally releasing an overhauled controller -- the technology world is currently an orgy of touchscreens, so it's a wonder it took Sonos so long to join the fondle-party. But by the looks of things, it works just like that sweet iPhone app the company released last year.
And here's where things get murky. It'll sell at the same price as the current model -- about £279. Not cheap. Weirder, an iPod touch running the free Sonos app would do the same job, and cost you less. With such a capable application available on a device such as the iPod touch, you have to wonder if Sonos is missing a trick keeping the controller so expensive.
Of course, the iPod app works only over Wi-Fi, whereas the Sonos controller works wirelessly with the rest of the Sonos system without any kind of home network. You can browse for music and set it playing in any room you have a Sonos ZonePlayer, adjust volume of ZonePlayers independently of each other, and pull in streaming audio from services such as Last.fm if your Sonos system is connected to your home network.
It's a great-looking upgrade, but if you have an iPhone or iPod touch, seriously consider how well the free Sonos app works for you before downing almost £300 on another piece of kit that does the same job.
Check out a pile of screenshots of the new Sonos interface over the next few pages. The controller itself should go on sale in the UK next week.