Sonos launches CR200 remote

Sonos, purveyor of wireless streaming music systems, has announced that it's launching a touchscreen remote control to replace the chunky controller that it currently offers.

The CR200 has a full-colour 3.5-inch VGA display with adjustable backlighting, that doubles as a capacitive touchscreen, and three hard buttons to mute, turn the volume up and down, and change zones.

A charging cradle is included, but the software onboard is the real star of the show. We got a quick go, and found it to be quick, responsive and full-featured. There's Last.fm, Deezer and Napster support, along with access to your computer's music library, and the ability to listen to thousands of internet radio stations and podcasts.

If you're an iPhone or iPod touch owner, than Sonos recently launched an app that duplicates all the functionality of the remote for free. Why, then, would you pay for the remote? Sonos' senior director of Product Management, Mieko Kusano told Pocket-lint that the biggest benefit is the battery life. With an iPhone, you're always having the charge it, she says, and you can't multitask or play content from the iPhone itself.

Whether that's worth the £279 that the CR200 costs with a charging cradle is up to you. It's available now.