Guide to Changing the CR100 Battery

  • 10 November 2006
  • 63 replies

Userlevel 3
Do this at your own risk. You will no doubt void your warranty if you break something.

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63 replies

Userlevel 2
Just applied these instructions successfully now, thanks so much! My only caveat is that the screws are very tight, and very fussy about having the right mini cross head screwdriver: despite my having what I thought was a decent selection, none of mine seemed to be a good fit, resulting in one stripped screw which I then had to go at with a drill and a screw remover (!). All appears good now though, touch wood. Am very curious to see what the new batteries are like since I assume they've been on the shelf for the best part of a decade...

Also worth checking if you're having charging problems: one of my cradles just doesn't seem to work; will have to see if I can apply the same techniques to getting inside it to see whether it has a similar sprung metal assembly to that inside the CR100.
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
Also note that if you buy an older CR100 that has been sitting for a long time with no upgrades, then you may need to go to a Tier 2 support at Sonos. The new security "locks them out" from the network and Sonos has to disable the security on a singe device, connect and update the CR100, and then re-enable the security.

Ditto, but Sonos support in Australia were extremely helpful. Amazing how this old hardware just keeps on keeping on!
I know this is really old, but rather than peeling off the blue backing, I just stick the little screwdriver through the blue backing at the screw points. You can see them through the blue and is very easy to do. This way there is no issue of restocking the blue backing on and/or damaging it during removal. Anyway, wanted to pass that along.

Also note that if you buy an older CR100 that has been sitting for a long time with no upgrades, then you may need to go to a Tier 2 support at Sonos. The new security "locks them out" from the network and Sonos has to disable the security on a singe device, connect and update the CR100, and then re-enable the security.

Good luck
I have 3 CR100s and two went dead over time so I decided to replace the batteries. On one it worked like a dream (thanks to great info above - just carefully peeling back enough blue rubber to access the screw heads is a key steer - after the repair the rubber just flops back into place and doesn't need any glue) but the second one is still dead. On further investigation I discovered it wouldn't charge even with the power plugged in directly (rather than via the cradle). Any idea what the problem might be and could there be an easy solution? Power is getting into the unit (elements on the circuit board get hot) it's just the battery wont charge (nor does the charge light come on)?
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
It should be noted that it is not necessary to completely remove the blue rubber cushion. The locations of the screws are very well documented in this write up. I just pealed up the four corners and the area near the screws along the top and bottom.
I've removed all the screws in back of controller, but I can't release the front and back portions. Seems to be hanging on around the jack. I've tried a fair amount of force but no success. Any ideas how to release in this area? Thank you

Still love these old Controllers.

My controllers are the same age and I'll probably need to replace batteries soon. Can't think of a better controller for the bathroom and kitchen. Hopefully I'll be able to do as good a job as you've done.
Userlevel 7
Badge +11
Still love these old Controllers.

Userlevel 4
Badge +5
After 9 years I finally had the "CR100 Not Charging in cradle" issue, if I pressed the top of the screen it would light the charge light while in the Cradle, So I opened it up cleaned the contacts and bent up the spring connectors, added some foam behind the spring connectors and while it was open replaced the Battery, Very Easy, Just lifted the edges of the Blue backing to remove the 6 screws and it stuck down again very well.

The 9 year old Battery was somewhat blown!

New Battery In Place

The lead is a bit longer on the replacement

Give the spring clips a helping hand

you'd never know the backing had been off.

Very Happy with the Result, And charging in the cradle as before.

Still love these old Controllers.
Userlevel 2
Just spent a couple of hours at the weekend repairing my CR100. Basically it went flying, but only the front plate was coming away from the back casing. On opening I was able to superglue the 2 larger columns for the 2 longer screws back on, but the 4 screw mountings that hold the grey pcb/battery to the front plate were toast. So I rebuilt the columns with a few dabs of a hot glue gun, cut away any interference and then drilled some holes into them. All screwed back together and working. Result
Userlevel 3
Many thanks for the guide. Helped me to replace a very worn battery which was only holding charge for 1-2 minutes.

Great tip to only peel back the corners/edges to access the screws rather than the whole rubber back.

Userlevel 2
Thanks again for this guide. I just replaced the battery in my other CR100. I was again able to only lift the blue mat where the screws are. The replacement battery (from eBay) had the longer wires to the connector, just like the first one. The orange gasket was much better behaved this time -- it just stayed in its groove. The old battery was stuck much tighter, so I had to carefully cut the adhesive to get it out.
Userlevel 4
Badge +4
this week i replaced the battery in my 9 year old CR100. To confirm how old it was i took a quick look in my email, wow how time flies. i pre-ordered my sonos bundle 11/28/2004. crazy...

anyway, my CR100s both died many years ago. we moved on to ipads and iphones. however i was kinda bored so ordered a battery, followed these instructions and the original CR100 is back!

i missed it. i like the dedicated device and still modern feel of it. it might be nostalgia.

the replacement on the first went perfectly so i just ordered another battery to repair its fallen brother.

thanks for the info in this thread.
Userlevel 2
I finally got round to replacing the battery in one of my controllers from 8 or 9 years ago. The battery retention had been very poor (a few minutes) for a while, but recently it stopped working altogether. With the battery now replaced it is great again.

I too managed to lift the blue only where the screws where, it has gone back easily. My guess is in one place I will need a little glue eventually.

The screws are quite soft I slightly damaged one using a screwdriver that was the wrong profile.

I'm in the UK and bought my battery from Amazon UK before I opened the controller so I didn't need to worry about glue or gaskets drying out.

Like the previous poster my wire was a little longer than the battery being replaced, but it tucked under the connector quite easily.

A good result for £11.
Userlevel 2
Found a battery on eBay for $17 and was able to replace it easily. I agree that you don't need to remove the entire blue pad, just lift it up directly over where the screws are and just enough to get the screws out. I used a black Sharpie pen to put a dot over the screw holes to make them easier to find on reassembly.

On mine the gasket came out attached to the body, not the cover so I had to carefully work it back into the channel around the cover.

The wires to the plug on the new battery were quite a bit longer than the original, so I folded them back and re-used the clear yellow tape to hold them in place.

Thank again for posting this HOWTO!
Welcome to the forum.

Does it charge if you plug the charger directly into the CR-100, bypassing the cradle?
Userlevel 2
Hi cnewlander, I used your excellent pictorial guide to replace the battery in my cr-100 controller. All went very well and the new battery was fully charged when I switched it on. Unfortunately, the battery has never taken a charge since day one although it indicates that it is charging when in the cradle. It's a real bummer. Any ideas?
Userlevel 3
Brilliant, a snap, thanks!!
Userlevel 2
After purchasing replacement batteries on eBay, I replaced the batteries in all three of my CR100s and bent up the metal tabs inside so they make contact again.

My controllers now all charge in their cradles and hold a charge!

The adhesive holding the blue backing on my controllers was completely dried out, so I used some Scotch "Permanent Double Sided Tape" to re-affix them. I can tell they're probably going to come loose in one or two places, so I'll probably follow up with some higher quality double-sided tape. Other than that, this worked like a charm. Thanks!
Badge +1
Thanks for this guide. I got a new battery off ebay and changed it easily thanks to this guide. Works a treat!
Thanks a lot!
Thanks to this guide, I just replaced two controller batteries. While I had them open, also bent the contacts up and cleaned the pads so they charge on the cradles again.

They are about 5.5 years old with constant use. The old batteries were lasting less than an hour and charging in about 5 minutes.

Just wanted to say thanks.
Userlevel 2
great guide.
i removed the blue backing, and it seems that originally it is not glued but some double sided tape is used.
probably a precut piece of double sided tape, but you could easily replace with normal dual sided tape.

in the netherlands batteries are obtainable via for all you dutchies looking for batteries
Userlevel 2
I have just used this great guide to change the batteries on my 2 controllers. Would have made a mess if not for this.

The blue backing can be restuck without any glue. Since the screws are on the 4 corners and along the long sides, just prise up the rubber where the screws are - do not remove the whole blue backing. When you are done, press it down firmly after working the little lugs into the recess - it reseals itself.

My batteries were not totally gone but they only lasted for about 6 hours with quite intense operating. Lasted about 4 years.
Userlevel 3
Just curious, if my CR100 is way outside of warranty, what risk do I have purchasing a replacement battery and doing it myself. I have several controllers and now the 2nd controller stopped charging on the cradle and only charges when plugged into the jack on the top of the controller. The last time this happened Sonos had me send for a replacement which cost about $100.00. Cleaning the contacts on the bottom and making sure the pins are protruding sufficiently does not seem to help in any way. I have been led to believe that this not charging on the cradle issue is really a battery issue. I have never replaced any batteries on any controllers and some of them are probably several years old -- probably more than 5 years. In any case, the cautions about voiding warranty do not seem to matter much in my case unless if my battery replacement doesn't work you are saying that Sonos would not then replace the unit under the $100 replacement program.

Thanks for your reply.

Actually it is a bad design issue IMHO (and fixable) and can't believe Sonos jacked you for $100 since you're not alone in experiencing this issue as its been reported on this very thread back 2007.

Have a look at the pictures linked in this thread.

and another with the same problem.

If it were me I'd open it up, bend the tabs out a bit, and slap it back together.
Welcome to the forum.

I believe -- and I'm sure I'll be quickly corrected if I'm wrong -- that it is Sonos policy not to service components that have had their warranty seals broken by the end-user. If that's true, it would disqualify you from the replacement program.

You may have some luck with a replacement unit by searching eBay if you must have a CR100.