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Sonos BU250 Digital Music System

Sonos updates its signature Digital Music System for 2009 by adding a touch-screen remote control.

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John_Falcone.jpg

John Falcone

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The Sonos Bundle 250

Sonos has announced the latest version of its Digital Music System. The Sonos Bundle 250 (BU250) adds a new touch-screen controller to the two-room streaming-audio system.
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Meet the Sonos CR200

The CR200 touch-screen remote offers a similar control scheme to that of the iPhone and iPod Touch.
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Three ways to control your music

In addition to the included CR200 controller (left), the Sonos system can also be controlled via any iPhone or iPod Touch (the app is a free download from the iTunes Store). Shown in the background is the Desktop Controller software, which also allows control from any Windows PC or Mac.
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The Desktop Controller

Compatible with Macs and Windows PCs, the Sonos desktop software lets you easily queue your PC-based music collection to any connected Sonos ZonePlayer elsewhere in the house.
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The Sonos iPhone App

Any iPhone or iPod Touch can double as a remote control for the Sonos system. Just download the free Sonos app from the iTunes Store.
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Stepson of the iPod Touch

The touch-screen interface of the CR200 is very similar to that of the iPod Touch/iPhone, though its full VGA (480x640) is actually double that of the Apple devices. Unlike the earlier scrollwheel-style Sonos CR100 controller, this one's got a removable, rechargeable battery.
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The Sonos ZonePlayer ZP120

The ZP120 is a holdover from the 2008 Sonos bundle.
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ZP120 from the flipside

This ZonePlayer includes a built-in amplifier, so all you need to do is provide a pair of speakers (not the red and black binding posts). Expand your Sonos system into additional rooms by purchasing additional ZP120s ($500 each).
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The Sonos ZonePlayer ZP90

Like the ZP120, the smaller ZP90 is the same version included in 2008's Sonos bundle.
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ZP90: Ready to connect

The Sonos ZP90 is designed to connect to anything with an analog- or digital-audio input, such as a receiver, boombox, or set of powered speakers. Additional ZP90s can be purchased for $350 each.
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Bridge the wireless gap

The biggest caveat of the Sonos system is that one of the ZonePlayers needs a wired network connection. If you don't have a nearby Ethernet port, the easy workaround is the Sonos ZoneBridge BR100. Connect it to the wired network in the back room, and then it'll wirelessly communicate with the other ZonePlayers in the house (assuming, of course, that they're within range).
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The Sonos BU250 Digital Audio System

At $1,000, the Sonos system isn't cheap. But it provides access to a full panoply of digital music from your home network and the Internet (Pandora, Rhapsody, Last.fm, Napster, Sirius, and thousands of free Internet radio stations) all of which is accessible via a touch-screen controller that even novices will find easy to use.

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