Sonos Dropping Physical Controllers In Favour Of Apps

Sonos has offered iOS -- and more recently Android -- apps for its music systems for some time now. The rise in popularity of smartphones and inexpensive tablets has seen the company formally announce that it's discontinuing its standalone controller, although locally we won't see the discontinued controllers dropping in price. I'd originally seen this story via Slashgear, but was curious about the local position for this, so I put a call into Sonos Australia. According to representatives, it's something that's been planned around for some time; with the rise of cheaper Android tablets and smartphones specifically there was more of a market opportunity for switching to an app-based control approach, especially as it is now possible to connect to Sonos' mesh networks with both the Android and iOS apps even where there's no home Wi-Fi capability within a premises. There are no plans to sell off the physical controllers cheap, with existing stocks expected to last a couple of months. Hardware support for the controllers should extend for a couple of years, and there are no specific plans to cease software support. [Sonos]


    I wonder whether Sonos have thought this through. If they start pushing people away from their gear, whats to say that people wont start also making the jump to airplay with itunes?

    Where this strategy falls down is that one of the most common uses for a controller would be to turn the music down so you can hear someone on the phone, which is hard to do when you use the same device for both tasks. Doing on the cheap like this might be OK for budget solutions but Sonos stuff is horrendously expensive.

      This isn't a huge deal imo. If it becomes a problem I'm sure Sonos can include a "mute on call" feature to the app. This would be better than being on the phone and having to hunt around of the dedicated remote...
      Also - the Sonos hardware has volume and mute buttons on it too. So you can always walk over to the amp or player and press the mute button.

    Good move. It's so hard to sell someone a dedicated touch screen remote to a Sonos system when they cost more than a cheap android phone.
    We usually recommend people to go buy a $99 ipod touch and load the Sonos App, instead of using the $350 Sonos controller.
    That way you get a dedicated controller for cheaper. and it can sit on your benchtop/ shelf / coffee table permanently.

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