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SAVE THE CR100


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Losing our two CR100s will be the most devastating thing to happen to our household.

My ONE YEAR OLD can play his favourite music by just pushing the button over and over again. My 7 year old will now PESTER ME CONSTANTLY to use my phone whenever he wants to listen to Harry Potter (which is ALL THE TIME)

My parents in law - NEITHER OF WHOM OWN SMARTPHONES will now have to go downstairs and switch on their PC in order to listen to the audiobooks and radio programmes I've given them. They don't use all these 'services', but Sonos is amazing so we built it for them, at great cost for the convenience of having the controller.

My wife won't be able to roll over in bed and hit the volume without blinding us all with your WHITE app in the middle of the night (swipe tap tap tap vs reach and push a button?????)

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T DO THIS SONOS!!!!!

My Children and in-laws are going to HATE me for this.

DO NOT criticise our choices not to use smartphones, or Alexa, or Spotify. Why should we buy new things to make your system work?

PLEASE don't take away the ability to connect we are happy with basic controls?


What am I going to do now? Tell me WHAT?
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Best answer by Ryan S 2 February 2018, 19:08

Hi everyone, thanks for voicing your concerns here. We’re going to keep this as the main thread for this conversation so it’s all in one place. All the threads have been merged here, so my apologies if there are any conversations that had the flow messed up.

I want to provide more detail about exactly what will happen in the coming months and why. In early April, we will release a software upgrade that will no longer support the aging CR100. Here are your options:

  • Accept the upgrade, understanding that your CR100 will no longer connect. This is our strong recommendation for two reasons: 1) due the age of the battery in the controller, it has the potential to overheat when left charging for extended periods of time 2) you will continue to receive the latest features, bug fixes, and security updates. This is a far better solution for safety and performance reasons, but we realize you’ll need to transition to a new controller. We have resources available to help you get set-up on an alternate controller and are offering a coupon code to sonos.com to help make the transition easier (amount varies regionally, one per household).
  • Ignore future upgrades, leaving your Sonos system on its current version. We do not recommend this option. If you do go this route, you are acknowledging the risk of the aging lithium ion battery in your controller. Additionally, opting not to update means you will not receive any new features or future security patches for your entire system – not just the CR100. For example, being on an unsupported version means that you might lose connectivity to music services, as is already the case for Google Play Music on the CR100. It is necessary to configure your system in advance to avoid future updates. Any update applied to the firmware and/or to the app, even unintentionally, is irreversible.

Please reach out to discuss your specific situation and solutions with one of our team members, or if you’d like to better understand how to get set-up on an alternate controller. You can contact us directly at https://sonos.com/contact.

The CR100 can be disposed of at any local e-waste processing center in accordance with all local laws and regulations. To claim your coupon code or if you’d like a hand disposing of your CR100, please see here: https://www.sonos.com/cr100submit.

Updated March 23rd:
We appreciate the concern and your love of the CR100, and the team has been listening to your feedback here. We’ve tried to keep our reasons for making this decision clear.

The CR100 is a unique Sonos product as it has an internal lithium ion battery, which was never intended or recommended to be replaceable. Additionally, the hardware of the CR100 has aged. As you know, it already can’t keep up with new features. For these reasons, the best course of action for CR100s is to safely dispose of them.

We strive to keep products working with core functionality for as long as possible and we’ve worked to keep the hardware running for almost a decade since it was last available for sale. We have no plans to disconnect any of our legacy players, although in the future they may not get some new features that become available on newer Sonos products.

We always encourage Sonos owners to stay up-to-date with software upgrades, but ultimately this choice is yours. If you do choose to take steps to ignore future software upgrades, skipping the update in April that will disconnect the CR100 from your system, you will no longer be able to add speakers, and you will not receive new features or security patches. Additionally, opting not to update means you are acknowledging the risk of the aging lithium ion battery in your controller. Whichever you choose, we’re here to help and answer questions.
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3319 replies

Userlevel 1
I got 3 old CR100 (having 9 zones) because the iOS on my iPhone or iPad was not up to date. I got 3 iphone4, 2 I-touch an 2 iPads that I can no longer use as controllers (yea, plus a pc with vista) I'm afraid that it's only Apple that are happy with this discontinuation.

Any one know of any alternative controller options. Maybe it's time to look for an alternative to sonos.
See where I'm going with this? - none of those aforementioned devices are still supported by their manufacturers, and won't get repaired if/when they die, but until such time as that happens they will continue to work in whatever capacity is afforded by their hardware.

Unfortunately your old laptop isn't reliant on other services/devices to work though, it can stand on its own. The CR100 is dependent on the Sonos system itself, and considering the underlying software of the system undergoes changes over the years, the support for the CR100 (and subsequently the CR200) will be harder and harder to manage. Same reason why for instance Internet Explorer 6 cannot be used for websites anymore, it simply won't load them or will show you a message "You need to upgrade your browser to view this page". It's because software has changed so much throughout the years that eventually it's impossible to support older generations. The demands of new software is higher and higher as well in terms of hardware requirements, which is why older Android phones and older iPhones etc cannot run Android 7.0 or iOS 10 either, because they wouldn't be able to run it properly.

Unfortunately that's software vs hardware. Hardware is static, you buy a product and it will have that same hardware for the next coming years. The software on it though gets updates and updates and updates. Eventually the software will outdate the hardware. That's not Sonos limited, that's pretty much every hardware company that has devices that predate 2010
Userlevel 3
Keep the CR100 support! Sonos - part of the elegance of the system is the simplicity. Why force a software upgrade when our two CR100s work just fine today? This just introduces complexity for many of us.
Userlevel 3
Hey sonos, reaaaaaalllly uncool announcement ?
CR100 means anyone can use it with ease, the app is far too slow and clunky and I’ve always hoped that you’d share a ‘how to’ on turning an old handset into a dedicated controller but i’ve Never seen that happen.
I bought two of the CR200 controllers.... both were expensive and both failed, then you binned the product off so the CR100 remained as the controller that is reliable and always works. Don’t bin it too and definitely don’t TELL me what to do with kit I’ve invested in.

£100 voucher, lovely but I currently have surplus units to the available rooms to play it in. So not much help.

How about spend invest some time telling us how to create a new dedicated controller with an old handset. That would make me happier.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Please dont do this, I have 2 and I use them every day
Userlevel 2
Yeah, this is ridiculous. I can understand not supporting it and not making sure new features work with it, but to intentionally disable people's working hardware with a software update is absurd.

We have a controller in the kitchen and the bedroom. They're good because they're small, the kids can use them without needing a smartphone and they just work.

If I have to invest in new iPads just to get back a dedicated controller, I'll probably look at just selling my Sonos devices and looking for an alternative.
Userlevel 3
Yet another poor decision by Sonos. After recently dealing with the awful new controller software update, finally hitting the 65K library limit, and now this decision I will echo the sentiments of others here. Should Sonos stay with the decision to forcibly retire the CR100 I will part ways with the company and seek alternative solutions when the time comes. These controllers aren't the most elegant solution, but they are purpose-built and run like tanks. I've dropped mine a few times with no damage whatsoever. The stated reason for retirement feels quite bogus. After how many years of these controllers' use suddenly the battery charging is an issue? I have never noticed a problem. It appears to me this excuse is convenient cover for yet another hardware limitation in the speakers themselves. Sorry Sonos, keep your voucher as I will not need it. You will lose me as a customer based on this decision.
Userlevel 2
Agreed dedicated controller with consistent interface is the reason Sonos is so useful in our house. 4 rooms, 2 CR100 controllers. May have to rethink now. I definitely do not mind a reduced feature set on the CR100 if necessary to keep them going.
Userlevel 3
(I posted this response on another thread of the same topic.) Yet another poor decision by Sonos. After recently dealing with the awful new controller software update, finally hitting the 65K library limit, and now this decision I will echo the sentiments of others here. Should Sonos stay with the decision to forcibly retire the CR100 I will part ways with the company and seek alternative solutions when the time comes. These controllers aren't the most elegant solution, but they are purpose-built and run like tanks. I've dropped mine a few times with no damage whatsoever. The stated reason for retirement feels quite bogus. After how many years of these controllers' use suddenly the battery charging is an issue? I have never noticed a problem. It appears to me this excuse is convenient cover for yet another hardware limitation in the speakers themselves. Sorry Sonos, keep your voucher as I will not need it. You will lose me as a customer based on this decision.
Userlevel 2
I was shocked by today's Sonos announcement to discontinue the USE of the cr100. I have 3 of those controllers at strategically positioned locations in our house. Me, my wife and 4 kids have also the sonos app and spotify app on the smartphones, tablets and laptops/desktops, but the cr100 controllers are functioning fastest (=instantly) and always see all components. I can accept that new functions will not be implemented in the future on the cr100 but I cannot accept discontinuation of FUNCTIONING of the controller with basic functions. SONOS PLEASE KEEP THE CR100 WORKING!
First thing I will do after posting this, is checking which other systems there are on the market with equal or better sound and dedicated, instantly working controllers. Hopefully there are.
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Yeah it's a drag. I gave our 2 cr100s to the kids as I don't let them have phones and tablets in their room at night. However, they've been getting clunkier and slower over the years and I can't blame Sonos for discontinuing my ten year old controllers l. The voucher was a nice touch but I don't need any more Sonos! (4 play 1, 1 play 5, one zp100 and two zp80). Might invest in the Boost?
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Unfortunately your old laptop isn't reliant on other services/devices to work though, it can stand on its own. The CR100 is dependent on the Sonos system itself, and considering the underlying software of the system undergoes changes over the years, the support for the CR100 (and subsequently the CR200) will be harder and harder to manage. Same reason why for instance Internet Explorer 6 cannot be used for websites anymore, it simply won't load them or will show you a message "You need to upgrade your browser to view this page". It's because software has changed so much throughout the years that eventually it's impossible to support older generations. The demands of new software is higher and higher as well in terms of hardware requirements, which is why older Android phones and older iPhones etc cannot run Android 7.0 or iOS 10 either, because they wouldn't be able to run it properly.

Unfortunately that's software vs hardware. Hardware is static, you buy a product and it will have that same hardware for the next coming years. The software on it though gets updates and updates and updates. Eventually the software will outdate the hardware. That's not Sonos limited, that's pretty much every hardware company that has devices that predate 2010


Good points, well made, and I do get it... but I will suggest flaws in some parts of your analogy if I may... :-)
When IE6 went the way of the Dodo, they released IE7 to replace it, (then IE8,9,10,11 & 12), I could also choose to switch to Chrome, Firefox, Tor, Safari etc. etc... all of which were a "like-for-like" substitution. Forcing us to change from a dedicated controller to an app running on a multipurpose device is NOT a like-for-like substitution - it's a totally different paradigm, much as if MS has killed off IE6 and forced us to use PowerPoint instead.... (Powerpoint *can* be cajoled into displaying web pages!, but it's a totally crap option)

Also, the way I see the current situation is similar to how it was at the point in time when IE6 was being killed... - at the precise point in time the decision was made, it still worked >then< - the point was that it couldn't continue to be relied upon to work with the newer technologies that were going to supersede it, and although it could be considered *useless* from that point onwards, MS didn't make an affirmative action to disable it from ever being used again... - in a closed network just accessing an intranet for example, IE could continue to be used (and probably still could to this day I suspect). AFAIK, MS have not released a windows patch that explicitly prevents IE from even running on a Windows PC...

The CR100 works satisfactorily *NOW*. I get that it's a Dodo-in-waiting, but that's not a valid reason (IMO) to form a hunting party and to go out & kill every last one stone dead. I would be happy to accept the option of freezing my SONOS system in the current state - I don't want to disconnect from the web, since then I can't use most of my music streaming services, but I'd be happy never to have to apply a SONOS software update again, if that meant I could keep my CR100s going, and I suspect this might be a position shared by many. In time of course, there might come along some "killer feature" that I really want to have, but which is incompatible with continued use of CR100's and at that point I have a choice to make, - but it should be MY choice!

Now, of course, I don't know *how* SONOS plans to kill the CR100's on the day in question - I've just recently applied a system-wide update, and for all I know there might be a "kill-switch" in that software that will prohibit them from connecting after the deadline... - in which case, even the option of completely isolating my SONOS system from the web and limiting its use to my local library would not help me/us to preserve our CR100's a bit longer... - IF that's what they've done, then that is truly underhand and despicable - akin to the time Sony furtively installed rootkits on unsuspecting users of some of their software...
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Any tablet running android 4.3 or higher. I would opt for v5 to future proof. I bought an Amazon for new for £30 which works fine as a Sonos controller, useless for much else though :)

There was always a point at which the Controllers would cease to work if development of the system and new features are to be added. This is just a fact of modern technology, and in the scheme of things the CR100 has had a very long life.
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Believe it or not there are many folks who like music but whose smart phone is not the center of their existence. For this reason bricking the CR100 is a totally contemptible and hostile move by Sonos towards its customers, especially early adopters who help put Sonos on the map and those most likely to own a CR100 or two. Their excuse for bricking the CR100 rings hollow: Everyone knows the CR100's battery is easily replaceable - for heaven's sake the instructions are posted on this forum! https://en.community.sonos.com/advanced-setups-229000/guide-to-changing-the-cr100-battery-5216. Everyone knows Sonos has some of the best software engineers in the business and could readily maintain the CR100 at its current level of functionality if they wanted.

Reality check: this is about concocting a defense against possible product liability lawsuits and saving a few bucks on programmers in the process. Win-win for Sonos, lose-lose for Sonos users.

I was this close to pull the trigger on a Sonos Soundbar for my new TV, but forget it. Sonos lost my trust and my business.
Userlevel 3
I have two CR100 and have had Sonos for about nine years. I had an original iPod touch. It was a great controller for the Sonos. Upon an app update at one time, the sonos app on the iPod touch would no longer work. It was a shame as it worked the week prior and I was only trying to stay with the recommended updates. I wished that Sonos kept the basic app so I could use on older iOS devices that still run. It seems that supporting older versions is just not their thing.
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See where I'm going with this? - none of those aforementioned devices are still supported by their manufacturers, and won't get repaired if/when they die, but until such time as that happens they will continue to work in whatever capacity is afforded by their hardware

Unfortunately that's software vs hardware. Hardware is static, you buy a product and it will have that same hardware for the next coming years. The software on it though gets updates and updates and updates. Eventually the software will outdate the hardware. That's not Sonos limited, that's pretty much every hardware company that has devices that predate 2010


But it should always possible to decline software upgrades that bricks (part) of the system. I'm happy to freeze my current system with the current software and keep the CR100 running with what I have. I don't need any new functions in the software from Sonos!!
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I'm not happy, either. I paid good money for both of my controllers. Now, my investment is going to be useless and of no value other than scrap? Not only did I invest in the two controllers, I also replaced the batteries last year.

Look, I don't care if they don't add or update the features to the controller, but for the love of Pete, please do not disable them. That's a bad business practice, SONOS!

What are you guys going to dump, next? The ZP100? The ZP80? This really stinks. Its folks like us who put SONOS on the map. This is what we get for investing in your products and your company?

Maybe it's time to look for a different product. I don't want to be worried that SONOS is going to discontinue support of another piece of hardware and leave me with a worthless $2000 investment.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Apple slowing down iPhones and blaming the battery was bad, this is much worse.
Userlevel 7
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Continuing development of the SONOS platform and continuing to allow older hardware to function are NOT mutually exclusive options.... - my SONOS network, along with my CR100's works perfectly right now, and does everything I need it to... why can't there just be an option to opt out of future updates?
Apple don't compel me to upgrade the iOS version on my iPads by threatening to "brick" the devices if I don't.. Indeed I do have a couple which I have deliberately kept back because an app I use has not been updated & won't work under the latest iOS versions...
Clearly Apple respects the fact that this is *MY* hardware, which, (much as with SONOS) I have paid handsomely for, and it is not for them to unilaterally decide for me what software version I must run, with no regard for the impact(s) that has on what I use my devices for. Equally as clear is the fact that SONOS do not share this approach to customer support, and if they want to play in the "premium" space, (which is firmly where their pricing puts them), then they have to have a premium approach to service as well. Deliberately bricking functioning hardware is incompatible with this approach, and is demonstrably unnecessary and overbearing.
Of course I'm not going to abandon my SONOS system just as a result of this - I've way too much invested in the system to be that petulant, but if this is an indication of how they are to behave, it does not bode well... what's next? - ZP80/ZP100's also to be killed off? - I have 4 of those, and that would kill half my entire SONOS system... should that happen, then at THAT point I absolutely am not going to continue to give SONOS my loyalty, when they clearly have such utter disregard for that loyalty (£100 voucher my arse), and do not reciprocate it. If they kill my old gen 1 units, then everything else that still works is going on eBay.... - in fact, I'm seriously wondering if that might not be a good plan now... - no-one knows how long those units have left to live, and they'd be completely worthless following any announcement if impending death, so perhaps at least now I could unload them on eBay & get *something* back for them - anything would be better than the pathetic £100 voucher...
Userlevel 7
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Just to be clear, @BlinkAChu got his quoting wrong and I didn't make the statement attributed to me above.
Userlevel 1
I also have 2 x CR100s which I actually use with 2 x Play 5s - which I use to provide sound effects and music for my theatre company - touring theatre productions to village halls. Without these I think I might not be able to use the system for what I bought it for! At the present time I'm able to use the system without needing an internet connection at all. Because all of the units (including a couple of bridges and an ipod dock) speak to each other without the internet connection I use the controllers to stream music from an ipod on the dock to the speakers. It's worked well - with no dropouts - and as it's a small show I actually carry a controller in my pocket and can control the music system just before going on stage. PLEASE DON'T LET THE CR100 DIE OR I'LL HAVE TO GET RID OF MY WHOLE SYSTEM! Is that really fair?
Userlevel 3
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Here here! - wholeheartedly DISMAYED AND DISGUSTED by this announcement... I have 3 x CR100s all with wall cradles, and all in a permanent mount scenario, where NO OTHER CONTROL OPTION is as elegant, and straightforward for the particular use cases where I have used CR100's - why on earth else do you imagine I still have them in use today?!?!?

I have literally only a month or two ago, purchased & installed all new batteries in my 3 CR100s, in the expectation that I'd get another 10 years sterling service from these much beloved units.

a £100 voucher of another SONOS purchase??? - do me a favour!... - that is completely & utterly value-less to me... - I already have the 8 zones in my house that I need, & thus I *have* no future SONOS purchases in mind at the moment.. Now, talk to me about a (worthwhile) discount against 3 tablet devices that it looks like I'm going to have to purchase to wall mount in place of my CR100s, (then spend no doubt many hours of my time trying to configure them to behave as elegantly as a control point as the CR100's do), and perhaps we might have a conversation.

SONOS - DO NOT DO THIS

Believe it or not, there are use cases in which no other controller is as simple & elegant as my wall-mounted CR100s, and that, in my opinion, is one of the 2 main pillars of the entire SONOS value proposition: excellent audio quality, and *supreme* ease of use - often this is paraphrased into the much-sought and rarely awarded; "It just works". Forcing me to adopt a different control paradigm, which is LESS satisfactory than what I have now, damages that reputation.

I cannot conceive of any other company (who's products I would consider paying for), deliberately "bricking" functioning products that customers are happy with. I'm perfectly OK with any or all of:
- we don't / won't offer further software updates
- we don't / won't offer spare parts or repairs
- these units may not support future features
- we are not liable if the batteries explode (which may be in the T&C's already?)
I am NOT at all happy with SONOS taking an affirmative action to deliberately brick hardware that I own, that I paid (handsomely) for, that has served me perfectly well for the last decade, and more to the point is continuing to serve me satisfactorily to this day.

Can you just *imagine* Apple doing this? - deliberately bricking original iPad 1's for example? (I still have an old iPad 1, - it won't take any recent iOS updates, and many apps on the appstore won't run on it, but it STILL WORKS, and Apple aren't (AFAIK) planning on deliberately destroying it...

Class action suit anyone??? :@:@:@:@:@


The battery thing is complete nonsense. There are PLENTY of aftermarket batteries available for the CR-100.

There is NO reason why the CR-100 can't at least simply control an existing queue. I will miss being able to use in the shower.

I suspect aftermarket firmware to show up. an unlocked bootloader will appear. The algorithm for the unlock code for (unlock.htm) will likely be published by someone.
$100! Sweet!
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
You're getting a £100 voucher? We only are getting $100 in the US.

BTW, SONOS, I'm not interested in a new piece of hardware. The main reason is that I can't trust that you will continue supporting it.
Userlevel 7
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Apple slowing down iPhones and blaming the battery was bad, this is much worse.

Indeed - although only conspiracy theorists truly believe Apple did it to drive hardware updates, the reason they gave for doing it is technically plausible - even if you don't agree with their decision (which BTW, I don't) - and to further expand on your analogy, Apple have been open about the issue, and have backpedalled on forcing their choice on customers, and have put the choice back in the customers hands, where it should have been all along. Better still, they've more than made amends to their customers who may have been irked by the issue by offering dirt-cheap battery replacements (which I will be taking advantage of for my old iPhone 6).

So, Apple did something, - presumably with honest intentions (we must give the benefit of the doubt & assume innocent until proven guilty), when it became obvious that customers weren't happy with it, they admitted their mistake, heartily apologised for it, reversed the decision, and gave a sweetener by way of recompense... THAT is the mark of a company that really does give more than 2 shits about customer satisfaction...

Over to you SONOS..... what are you going to do? - do you give 2 shits about customer satisfaction? - time and action will tell, and we are waiting...