Request for a hardware remote control with physical buttons to control Sonos Speakers



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I believe that one of the Logitech Harmony remotes can control Sonos, no first hand experience, but vaguely remember reading it somewhere. May be wrong...
I believe that one of the Logitech Harmony remotes can control Sonos, no first hand experience, but vaguely remember reading it somewhere. May be wrong...

The Harmony Hub based remotes.
Well actually after reading through a few other threads, quite a few people seem to think voice control IS going to replace the remote.. I guess I am jumping the gun a bit, but I do feel that thought is stupid personally. I fully agree voice control can add to the value, although I still feel loud volume can produce false commands. I have Xbox 360 and One and neither of those voice systems work with a s**t for me, I have to disable them.

I've never been a fan of universal remotes, I have my bank of remotes on the table: Tv, receiver, media center, Xbox, ceiling fan.. The Sonos remote is missing though.


I believe voice control will replace many functions of a traditional remote. But it will never replace all functions. For example, I have voice control in my 2016 Jeep. I can dial the phone, select a radio station, play a playlist from my iPod, etc. 90% of what I do every day. But I still have to manually set radio presets, adjust balance and fader, setup the navigation, etc., which requires me to use the buttons and touchscreen.

And by all accounts, voice control on Echo is leagues ahead of the Xbox.
Alexa can set radio stations, in a way, by voice. Ask her to play an artist on Pandora. If you haven't set a station based on that artist previously, she will ask for confirmation to set up a new one for you. Pretty nifty.
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I too think that voice control could be a valuable addition (in such a way that I just tell it to play song or playlist XYZ without having to touch the app), but the only a real remote could really work in all possible situations always perfectly. Of course it would never be able to do everything the app can do, but the basics would always work fine. Also wouldn't a small and simple hardware remote control unit without a screen (similar to the Apple TV remote) be the cheapest solution of all possible input methods? If so then why not produce the remote first and then concentrate on all the "nice 2 haves" .... like voice control etc
Sonos stopped making controller hardware for commercial reasons some years ago. I can't see how these may have changed since then, so I can't see the product being reintroduced. With the stated Sonos focus to be on voice, the reasons for not having such a product are even stronger than when it was pulled.
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I understand the point you are making and I think these arguments are absolutely valid for the CR100/CR200, but what about for a dedicated simple and small remote without touch screen and say 6-10 buttons. I doubt that a Apple-like Remote would cost more that $5-10 to produce. Wouldn't R&D investments be quite minimal as well since these are all standard HW components? The big question indeed is, how many would customers would wish for or appreciate such a remote?

I believe that Sonos stands for very high-quality Hardware and for a great user experience, at least thats the impression I get when reading their blog/website etc. And I guess that is also why the customers buy Sonos products, at least it was so in my case. So if we assume that user experience and quality is one of the main reasons why sonos sells their products, then I would think that having a quick and easy way to interact with their system would be in their upmost interest. I can find it hard to imagine that elderly would not appreciate a remote. Most women and lots of men I know prefer techology based products which have buttons to press over touch screens when it comes to simple tasks such as switching on a light, turning on the TV or their music system.

Isn't it the case that Sonos products are not the cheapest on the market and so people who buy sonos products have a high expectations and might feel frustrated and disappointed when they always have to use a touch screen to interact with the system? I think that Sonos cares deeply about their customers and about the feelings that their customers have with their products, so having at least a very small and cheap remote seems very reasonable to me, especially in this price category.

Perhaps Sonos started focusing on voice control because it was a new and very interesting feature which would attract many new customers. Then again, since they haven't demonstrated this in the past, I don't think Sonos is so very profit-driven. They want to get a product right, before they release it, how else could one explain the long life cycles (which I am glad about). They build excellent products which last a long time and have great engineers doing great work, so it is hard for me to understand this...

The only logical reason I can think of, why there is no one at Sonos designing a small and simple remote control, is that most resources are in the voice control, and that they think that the overall user experience impact over all existing and new customers is much much higher with voice control than with a small and cheap remote. Even though I don't like to admit it, I think this is true.What a shame...

I don't work in R&D and I'm no Hardware engineer but let me try to make a guess:
Lets say the investments (manpower, hardware, etc) necessary for designing a small remote (standard hardware) would be 5% of that of the voice control (which is very new and difficult to finalize), wouldn't it at least have a very positive impact to say 20% of all customers, and these 20% care very deeply and strongly about a hardware based way to remote control the system. Wouldn't this be worth it?

And lets say that voice control would have a very postive impact on say 70-80% of all customers, and that most of then would welcome it, but not feel very strongly about it (I actually don't know anybody who is really thrilled about siri, cortana, etc., they try it for a couple of days and after the first excitement is over, nobody uses it on a daily basis) of course a small number of people would think this is really great and a killer feature if it works, but my question is are most people going to use a command like (sonos play xzy or pause music) more often than they would use a remote? Wouldn't they just give up, after experiencing that it won't always work, for example when the system misunderstand the voice, or when it is too loud, or when they spoke to quitely...)

Even if sonos is trying very hard to make a really really great user experience and that voice control really works almost every time, do you think people would prefer voice control over a hardware remote control?

What do you think?
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Here is an upcoming product that may prove promising..

https://www.senic.com
Here is an upcoming product that may prove promising..

https://www.senic.com


$159 pre order. Echo is $179, available today, has equal ability to control Sonos (with free helper app), and FAR more capable. Echo Dot even cheaper. Doubt this thing will get any traction.
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Amazon Echo is a voice controlled device. The whole point of this thread is a call for a device with physical buttons to control Sonos, only in this case it's a dial.
Amazon Echo is a voice controlled device. The whole point of this thread is a call for a device with physical buttons to control Sonos, only in this case it's a dial.

You must have missed this in the OP:

Option 7: Wait for Sonos to bring voice control?
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i didn't miss that, but this is what it says:

I am aware that there are alternatives, but none of them are as easy to use and as simple as a small hardware RF remote control with say 6 preset buttons.

These are the alternatives I have looked into so far:

Option 7: Wait for Sonos to bring voice control?
While I like hardware controllers with hard buttons, I don't think that the mass market appreciates this sort of thing because it is not as "cool".

There were numerous complaints about the original CR100 not being "touch". Complainers would point to their phone that did allow touch. While the CR200 was touch, the big complaint was its cost relative to a phone or pad. The claim was that the customer already had a phone, therefore the controller was "free". Regardless of cost or utility, it is hard to compete with "free".

As I watch pad/phone users, particularly the young ones, they seem to look for excuses to touch and drag. Buttons are for grandparents who are not "cool".

By the way, the CR100 is water resistant. I still see disgustingly polluted CR100 in kitchens -- and they are working just fine. (albeit with limited battery run time because the battery was designed to last five years) Only the latest versions of phone/pads are touting "water resistant".

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If you are the D.I.Y. type, here is a hard button project.
There are several third party remotes available. Logitech Harmony, Lutron, and this one, among others http://iportproducts.com/xpress/#xpress-intro
Xpress looks the right sort of thing as does the Lutron. Nuimo looks an even nicer solution, but all are ludicrously expensive for what they are. Xpress will not be available for another month or so, but I resent having to pay £100+ for a simple remote which Sonos should have supplied in the first place, although I'd pay that for the Numio at a push, but not €200...Logitech is both expensive and horrible.
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A few nuimos on fleabay for £100 As for Sonos providing one I don't see why that should be expected, given that the system uses wifi it would be uite complex to develop and produce as well as requiring software to connect to LANs etc. Given that you can get a cheap android device for £50 it would be a tough business case to prove a remote build. Plus it would be Sonos only.
I found this thread because like the author i soemtimes want something easier than my mobile to control my Sonos system. Has anyone tried the Logitech Pop Home Switch to start /stop music?

Also i see https://www.brilliant.tech/ will be offering a home solution soon (but wont work for me in the UK atm)
I may have gone overboard when I made a Sonos Play 5 my PC speaker, but it does a couple of things for me. 1. it gives me great sound from my PC and 2. it allows me to play anything from my computer to my Sonos sound system. ONE major drawback is volume control within Windows is awkward. I've been using the Windows app to control the volume, but I'm about to ditch Windows (because Windows 8 is stupid and 10 is not much better). Sonos doesn't make a Linux Sonos controller app (that I know of) so what am I to do when I install Linux Mint on my PC? I saw a couple of links in this thread that looked interesting. Nuimos looked cool until I saw that you have to go through an iPhone or iPad to control the Sonos speaker? If I need an iPhone by my PC at all times to control the volume on my PC speaker via hardware then why not just do so in the Sonos iPhone app? So the iPort xPRESS thing looks like it might work, but I'm not getting a lot of details from their site. Can anyone tell me more? I'm assuming that you configure with an iPhone but then I hope the iPhone no longer needs to be in the loop to control the volume of one Sonos Play 5.
I would love just a physical volume control that you could mount somewhere. If you want to change the volume quickly it can be difficult sometimes if you’re phone isn’t on you or takes time getting to the app. The wireless control is very convenient, but I would pay a lot just for a physical knob on my patio.
Beauchamp84, do you mean somewhere other than on top of the speaker?
Yes more specifically for the Connect Amp. My amp drives two outdoor speakers which can only be controlled by the app or going inside the cabinet to access the controls on the amp. A physical control would be really ideal outside.
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A Nuimo would offer this.
A Nuimo would offer this.
That is exactly what I’m looking for but after reading the reviews, it says it only connects thru Bluetooth on your phone and would have to have the app open for it to work. Have you used one by chance?
Could I use an old Sonos cr200 remote?
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Yes, I use my Nuimo all the time. It is linked to my iphone and ipad. I leave the app open all the time. I also have a £29 Amazon Fire tablet that I use just for Sonos, which is velcroed to the wall. Th Nuimo can also be paired to this.