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SAVE THE CR100


Userlevel 5
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  • Enthusiast II
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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 7
Badge +22
8.4 won't effect your CR100. I would assume you want to update to the last version before the one that bricks it.
Well I was looking forward to purchasing a sound bar but if this is how customers are treated I can easily live without it , not to mention all of the positive things I have said about Sonos in the past selling many systems on my recommendation this will now come to a full stop !

Well done Sonos

Bababooey what say you now ?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I would say if your concerned your whole home audio system will be obsolete in 10+ years (by the way they have not obsoleted the actual playing units from same time period - and replaced this controller with a free software version so the system still remains completely operational). If those are your concerns then yes probably no whole home system is for you and your better off buying a normal soundbar that just plugs into hdmi (with assumption in 10 years that will still be interface of choice -doubtful).
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
I have just realised I may have an issue. I had a Sonos Play 5 1st generation that was switched off and had not picked up the last update (8.3) it is on 8.2.2 Now when I switch it on it wants to update to 8.4. Now I am assuming that this will trigger to all the system?

I think you are ok: the latest update is not bricking the CR100 yet, so you can afford to put everything on that.
Userlevel 2
I have just realised I may have an issue. I had a Sonos Play 5 1st generation that was switched off and had not picked up the last update (8.3) it is on 8.2.2 Now when I switch it on it wants to update to 8.4. Now I am assuming that this will trigger to all the system?

I think you are ok: the latest update is not bricking the CR100 yet, so you can afford to put everything on that.


Thanks (and to Chris) I thought it might be okay but it's amazing how quickly a company that I revered as being one of the best (whenever I have made network/router changes I have never had to worry about the Sonos not coming back up and not working) can go from hero to zero. I now do not trust them at all. I will upgrade and then lock down just in case they are thinking of any other draconian measures.
Sonos have not replied in any way to address the following concerns:

1. They are setting a precedent by actively killing a device without reason (Their flimsy "battery hazard" and "security" excuses), so what devices are next on the list for them to remotely disable? and why would I believe them if they claim none?

2. If Sonos valued their customers, they would offer a legacy firmware option but them demonstrably don't.
Userlevel 2
The website Hifi.nl asked Sonos for future plans about disabling equipment. They will not respond to that question so surely they will. My ZP80 may be useless although it still works as designed. I’m planning a move to Bluesound which is technologically superior for supporting highres files and MQA and does have more functionality and a better DAC. I was waiting for new Sonos equipment which would make a big step into the new streaming era with Deezer Hifi of Tidal, but no thanks.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Forced Obsolesce!
Here's what I just sent to the CEO + Dir of Global Customer Care:

Mr. Carlino,
I read with great disappointment and some anger the recent message from Sonos stating that the 3 CR100s I paid over $1200 for (not including new batteries and cradles for each) will become useless (bricked) by April. This is a seriously flawed idea and the leadership of this company appears to be bent on driving loyal, long-term customers away from your company and brand because of short-term revenue issues.

We have 16 (expensive) Sonos components that we’ve purchased over the last 12 years (last purchase just 6 months ago). We have invested a great amount of time and money making our home into a Sonos home. Your products are in every room and used by the entire household many hours a day. The CR100’s are loved so much that we’ve changed out the batteries in each (which is not difficult) and keep them in tip-top condition. One of them even has a nick name (Odie).

Frankly we don’t care if some new functions and features don’t migrate to the CR100. We don’t care if your company wants to force us to use voice-control (which is still buggy and has HUGE privacy concerns surrounding it). We don’t care if Sonos offers a paltry $100 (limited time – one per household) voucher to purchase only other Sonos items because you don’t currently have ANYTHING that works like the CR100 does.

I have read almost all of the community feedback under the “Save the CR100” topic and I can’t believe you’re still pursuing this short-sighted, insulting, and investment-damaging course of action. These are audio systems, not cell phones or tablets. The claim that the battery is dangerous is just plain suspect. We have many 10+ year old devices that have Lithium Ion batteries and NO manufacturer has tried to render these devices useless! The additional claim that the CR100 won’t keep up with future enhancements within the Sonos family is also suspect. Our 10 year old iPods, 12 year old laptop (with Lithium batteries), portable phones, and DAC amp, work wonderfully even if they aren’t updated any longer. Your company has many options to allow these devices to die a natural electronic death. Bricking them in April is an arbitrary date/move and destroys a useful, admired, and expensive piece of electronics. This move is also an insult to the environment! Not just because it’s just more e-waste (despite the claim of recycling you know it’s not entirely recycled), but because it destroys a working piece of sophisticated electronics and therefore prematurely rendering it useless.

In essence this is just an act of Forced Obsolesce. It will not bode well for your brand in the short and long run. I have talked up Sonos to many friends and families over the last 12 years about how great my whole-house audio system is and am responsible for at least 2 other household’s purchase your products (that I know of). Do you really think you can just stomp all over that goodwill and expect no fall-out? You have NO right to disable our audio equipment period!

I suggest you consider other options: For example you don’t need to brick these; you can continue to do as you have with prior updates that don’t migrate to the CR100. While I believe most of your loyal customers don’t expect you or any audio equipment manufacturer to update, repair, offer tech support, etc. forever, many will be just fine using these devices to quickly access volume, play-skip-pause, alarm, and more without all the potential new features coming from Sonos. The claim that the processor is just too slow sounds questionable as the processor doesn’t need to be fast for the functions I just listed. Furthermore the ease-of-use/instant access the CR100 provides is far superior than any OS app on a PC, phone, or tablet (not to mention it’s resistance to moisture). If you have a liability concerns over the battery, just have your next update include a liability waver built into the EULA when customers agree to the update. God knows you hide enough privacy information in that fine print; you can surely squeeze a bit more in there.

Will you be disabling my 10 year old ZP80s and 100s next?

I urge you to reconsider this unnecessarily disturbing and reckless policy. Brand loyalty is won over time, yet lost quickly by foolish, short-sighted decisions.
Userlevel 3
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For my family it has been one big differentiator to buy Sonos over orher systems at that time.
Simple purpose build device to control the system with. The app or actually a phone is not even close to a proper replacement ... Bad decision to not have a purpose build controller. No expansion on sonos and next system is not sonos.
Userlevel 1
How else can we make sonos hear our pleas? I try this.
https://www.change.org/p/patrick-spence-ceo-sonos-stop-sonos-from-disabling-the-cr100-controller-from-their-system
Userlevel 3
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In stead of bricking or offer €125, offer a battery and technical upgrade of the good old CR100 for what it needs to keep it going.
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
I have Sonos in two homes; a total of 11 Connect & Connect Amps. And a total of 8 CR100 controllers. We use the CR100s ALL the time. Just imagine having to get the mobile phone out, enter the pass code and activate the Sonos app - a total of minimum 6 keystrokes - before you can do simple things like adjusting the volume. Or mute the music, maybe because your mobile is ringing! DOH!

What kind of world do Sonos executives inhabit? I’m one of the many who have completely lost faith in Sonos over this arbitrary decision. I will NEVER ever buy Sonos again and WARN everybody not to go near it. To think that I’ve been a huge Sonos fan for many years and half a dozen friends have bought Sonos on my recommendation. Now I have to apologise to them.

SORRY, I WAS WRONG! SONOS TREATS ITS CUSTOMERS LIKE CRAP! DON'T GO ANYWHERE NEAR SONOS!
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
CLASS ACTION?

I don’t live in the US myself, but I’m surprised that no-one seems to mention the possibility of a class action against Sonos for arbiitrarily and unlawfully rendering our CR100 controllers useless.

It’s like a car manufacturer saying: Your car is now so old that at the next service we’ll disable your reverse gear. We no longer think it is safe for that model to reverse.

Surely they can’t get away with that?
What a load of crap! Saving ourselves from exploding batteries? How many exploding batteries have they ever had? Any? I'd be slightly sympathetic if this were a real problem, not a theoretical one. If the batteries are the problem, replace them. I've replaced the batteries in all my CR100. Problem solved. I'd be willing to sign a liability waiver about exploding batteries. If the chargers are the problem, offer an upgrade to them (something that can avoid exploding battery situations). Problem solved.

What is going on here is that 1) the software guys don't like dragging and older product around, and 2) Sonos management has gotten SUPER paranoid about exploding battery liability without actually sharing the data to support the concern.

And when they say "refuse future upgrades" do they mean for the whole system or just on the CR100s? And will they make it so that we aren't staring at a bunch of nagging upgrade messages from now until forever? And no way I'll be able to keep the wife from mindlessly pushing the Upgrade Now button!
Extremely disapointing from you guys at Sonos. I have been using your devices for 12 years and only praised your customer service to people to whom I was recommending your system. But to eliminate the controller without a genuine replacement on offer is pretty poor. The iPhone or iPad is not a real replacement and I give you a simple example: I have been using the alarm clock from Sonos (radio or just the chime) for years and I cannot see how I can do the same with my mobile devices, unless every night before I go to bed, I turn off ALL other notification sounds from all the other apps (NY times, other news channels, tweets, messenger, etc) that may otherwise wake me up if they pop-up at any time while I am sleeping, as they do... what’s your solution to that? Can you create a functionality in the Sonos app that automatically turns off all the other apps? We need your creativity if you let us down on customer service!
Userlevel 1
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.


HOW??? How are we to ignore updates when they happen automatically on tablets and smartphones? Just this morning a sonos update sneaked through unnoticed on one of the kids tablets. It is ridicules to suggest an option which is practically impossible.
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
Without taking the time to read all 1200+ posts in this thread, I think Sonos could reasonably assume that they are looking at 1200+ loyal customers that are pissed off 😠 sufficiently to bother offering an opinion about this issue. Imagine how may more people are just going to find out one day when their system just stopped working.

We are up to 50 pages of people posting of which ~99% is fairly negative about Sonos' actions in this case.

How long does it take for a company to swallow its pride and back away from a clearly stupid decision? :?

Perhaps it's time for Sonos to respond?
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
I am not a CR100 owner, but I would accept the dead of the device * only * in favour of a * real, official, huge, clever * step forward of the full Sonos eco system in terms of functionalities and integrations.
Will this be the case?
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
What a load of crap! Saving ourselves from exploding batteries? How many exploding batteries have they ever had? Any? I'd be slightly sympathetic if this were a real problem, not a theoretical one. If the batteries are the problem, replace them. I've replaced the batteries in all my CR100. Problem solved. I'd be willing to sign a liability waiver about exploding batteries. If the chargers are the problem, offer an upgrade to them (something that can avoid exploding battery situations). Problem solved.

What is going on here is that 1) the software guys don't like dragging and older product around, and 2) Sonos management has gotten SUPER paranoid about exploding battery liability without actually sharing the data to support the concern.

And when they say "refuse future upgrades" do they mean for the whole system or just on the CR100s? And will they make it so that we aren't staring at a bunch of nagging upgrade messages from now until forever? And no way I'll be able to keep the wife from mindlessly pushing the Upgrade Now button!


A very good point! Did any CR100 batteries ever burn or explode? Is the exploding Li-Ion battery problem not only with equipment, such as phones and aircraft, with batteries that have been over-optimised to be as small and light as possible? That hardly seems the case with CR100 controller batteries.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
I have owned Sonos since the very first devices, so yes I have CR100s. Its a disgrace to disable perfectly good equipment rather than just limiting there features to whatever is currently supported which must be technically possible. If we continue to run without further upgrades, then presumably Sonos will change their forced update route because currently, if you chose not to upgrade, a whole load of functions are disabled arbitarity (such as add music to the library).

I do not mind sticking on a current version, in fact I would far prefer to have a stable version and stick with that, but that should not mean when the lastest version is not installed, existing features become be disabled.

If this happens, then I'll decommission my whole Sonos system, which comprises a lot of components and end what has been 13+ years of a great experience.

I still run a significant amout of software on XP. It would have cost me thousands (yes, thats right), to upgrade to Win 7 because a lot of software I have would not operate under 7. The forced Sonos OS upgrade creating what could have been a disproportionate associated cost. Instead, I set up a dual boot machine and installed Win 7 on that just to run the Sonos software.

Can Sonos confirm that by NOT upgrading my system in future, existing functions will not be impeded (such as updating the music index, adding a different NAS drive etc).
Just to add my voice here - bad move, Sonos. I still have 2 CR100s in my system (along with 2 CR200s), and they are an irreplaceable solution for use in places like kitchens and bathrooms where a tablet is not an option. (Even if you buy a waterproof tablet, capacitive touch screens are useless if you have wet hands...)

Like many people on this thread, I bought Sonos more than a decade ago to listen to my own music files from my local server. I've got no interest in streaming services or online radio, or all the other spurious junk that has been added to the system over the years (and which was the justification for losing various bits of useful functionality from the CR100 and CR200).

The technical justifications for this change seem completely bogus to me - I speak as one with 25 years professional experience in software and electronic engineering.

I would be perfectly happy if my CR100 never got another update, as it does everything I need it to. It should be completely possible to lock the functionality of the CR100 at its current state and retain compatibility with core Sonos functionality (i.e. local library browsing) - at that point, it's just industry-standard UPnP, and the CR100 has been a perfectly serviceable UPnP controller since its inception. But killing the product is not on - like many others have said, if the CR100 dies, then so does my tie in to Sonos; without the dedicated hardware controllers, I may as well move to a more modern system like Bluesound which supports new functionality that I'd actually use, like high-res audio. I certainly won't buy anything new from Sonos in future.
Just to add my voice here - bad move, Sonos. I still have 2 CR100s in my system (along with 2 CR200s), and they are an irreplaceable solution for use in places like kitchens and bathrooms where a tablet is not an option. (Even if you buy a waterproof tablet, capacitive touch screens are useless if you have wet hands...)

Like many people on this thread, I bought Sonos more than a decade ago to listen to my own music files from my local server. I've got no interest in streaming services or online radio, or all the other spurious junk that has been added to the system over the years (and which was the justification for losing various bits of useful functionality from the CR100 and CR200).

The technical justifications for this change seem completely bogus to me - I speak as one with 25 years professional experience in software and electronic engineering.

I would be perfectly happy if my CR100 never got another update, as it does everything I need it to. It should be completely possible to lock the functionality of the CR100 at its current state and retain compatibility with core Sonos functionality (i.e. local library browsing) - at that point, it's just industry-standard UPnP, and the CR100 has been a perfectly serviceable UPnP controller since its inception. But killing the product is not on - like many others have said, if the CR100 dies, then so does my tie in to Sonos; without the dedicated hardware controllers, I may as well move to a more modern system like Bluesound which supports new functionality that I'd actually use, like high-res audio. I certainly won't buy anything new from Sonos in future.


That is actually a pretty good idea. If the CR100 was repurposed to only supporting local libraries and Sonos Favorites then further advances in other parts of the ecosystem should be irrelevant and the continuation of the CR100 in that state should not impede progress on anything else... a very reasonable compromise. This assumes there are no plans to phase out either Sonosnet or UPnP control but Sonos has not indicated any intention to make changes to those.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
If you value your CR100, here is my interim recommendation: Block your Sonos systems from reaching update.sonos.com. I programmed my Edgerouter with a new DNS address for update.sonos.com: 0.0.0.0; see here how to do that: https://community.ubnt.com/t5/EdgeMAX/Create-DNS-enteries/m-p/1450765/highlight/true#M93648

Now, my ZP80, 90, 100, etc. players / controllers report being unable to reach the update servers. So, on that end, the problem is solved. As for my iOS/MacOS devices, I'll have to disable automatic App updates to prevent the iOS/MacOS controller software from being updated as well. Otherwise, the iOS App will refuse to work with the players running older software.

I don't doubt that Sonos may retaliate in the future by cutting me off internet radio streams and the like. However, I value accessibility to my home-based content with a CR100 more than said streams. That likely puts me in a minority, since Sonos seems to have discontinued support/upgrades for home-hosted content (i.e. with a NAS), focusing its attention solely on streams, Alexa-integration and the like.

For example, consider that Sonos still has not managed to upgrade the its implementation of the SMB file sharing protocol from SMB1 NTLM v1. Users asked for this upgrade years ago thanks to the security implications. Microsoft deprecated it in 2013; NAS suppliers like QNAP, FreeNAS, Synology, etc. do not support said deprecated protocol for a reason, and MS has warned that there are known insecurities. But, does SONOS even have a team left that can deal with network stacks?

As for Sonos' (IMO patronizing) justifications for obsoleting the CR100, I've upgraded the original battery in my CR100... It's not that hard, kits are available, and the only PITA is getting at the seven-odd screws holding the CR100 together without turning the back of the CR100 into a crater zone or losing the blue pad. There is no way I will spend more money at Sonos.com while the company decides for me what hardware I am and am not allowed to use with my home stereo system.

With the right API infrastructure, it's not that hard to allow existing zone controllers to continue to interact with their players. Everyone will understand if they don't get new features but disabling a functional product after a customer spent hundreds of dollars to buy it, is really bad PR. For example, Apple doesn't brick its obsolete devices, it simply stops issuing updates for them. Respect your users.

Bottom line, Sonos continues to reduce switching costs. This is a shame since Sonos was a pioneer in this space and I have enjoyed using the products for many years.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Complete agree with you spl237 (I also have many years IT experience) and I wonder how much of a minority we are using our own music collections rather than the online streaming. I thought I would dig out a pair of HTC310s to bring the software up to date along with my wifes ASUS tablet and guess what, they are all on Android 4.2.2, so cant run Sonos 8.4 and since they are at Sonos 8.1, cannot be used as controllers. It might be possible to root them and upgrade them, but why should that have to be the case to use a music system I have invested heavily in over the last umpteen years to plat a substantial music collect which has been gathered over even more years and converted to FLAC format with associated tags, album art etc.

Even if I do manage to get the OS updated on these devices (Android 4.2.2 is thighest OS version these device suppliers have provided), by that time, Sonos might be on a higher version and unless they start giving the option of the version of Sonos app to upgrade to, I'll be stuffed again!

It really is a very poor show indeed. Do they really expect us to pay for new tablets. phones etc just to play our music collections/preferences. The company has grown as a result of loyal customers and good customer services. A company can easily go the other way if they lose sight of what made them in the first place - there are certainly plenty examples of that.

Come on Sonos, alienating your loyal fan base in this way is not, IMO, the way to expand your market penetration.
I have 2 CR100 controllers too and the bullshit explanation of the battery problem and hardware is a lame excuse.
I replaced the battery already and it just has to connect to the system. I get it that no new features are added to the controller but it still has to work. We payed a lot of money for these controllers. Please sonos do not drop the CR100. I use it all the time outside with no wifi connection on sonosnet no other device can do that !!!