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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

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3233 replies

Userlevel 3
Forced obsolescence:
Just a thought on this and other decisions the new CEO/management team might be planning by slowly killing off some of the expensive audio system/components we purchased from them.

Sonos has been reducing staff for some months now. They may have even farmed-out the last update/design of the awful IOS apps which might explain why it doesn’t work or look like any prior Sonos controller interface (physical or OS based).
I think the new CEO is pimping out the company to be sold to: fill in the blank (Apple or Amazon might be strong options). They want to clear off all legacy costs, reduce even more costs/personnel and farm-out whatever they can. If a $100 sales voucher (as lame and insulting that is given they have no hardware that takes the place of the CR series) produces a little bump in revenue, even better (Sonos runs sales all the time). They are probably also making sure their ecosystem becomes compatible with any potential buyer.

Companies with long-term planning/outlook don’t insult/diminish their loyal customer base like Sonos is doing now. This is the typical, cut-it-to-the-bone-and-sell-it mentality I’ve witnessed with years in the tech industry.

Sure some in this forum may argue that forcefully obsoleting the CR100 represents a drop in the ocean of Sonos customers and the forum proves it with only 200+ individual responses, yet I seriously doubt most CR100 owners either know about the impending change or care to devote the time necessary to seek out and post in this forum. We’ll never know how many support calls there have been to Sonos on this subject (yet alone emails to the staff and management). The old adage: “only 1 in 100 pissed-off customers ever let you know – they just quit you” is probably true considering this decision.

Any potential buyer for Sonos is more interested monetizing current and future Sonos owners through the use-data. Sure the brand legacy might be interesting, but I’ve seen too many acquisitions where the customers of the product(s) were dropped like a hot lead weight soon after the purchase (how’d that go for you Noika, Visio, and many more when Microsoft bought you then dropped you?).

Patrick Spence responded to my email (canned response because it was the same language/paragraph that Mike Carlino used) claiming that “we are not bricking the CR100 – the choice is up to you” or such. In one sense he’s correct, but that choice is kind of false choice given the ever changing landscape of network security threats (yup these are connected devices) and the distinct possibility that we’ll lose streaming services let alone the ability to add ANY NEW Sonos equipment (another kind of short-sighted thinking if they ever want us to expand our systems). He went on to add something to the affect that they have prolonged the life of the CR100 as long as they can – it’s effectively a 13 year old computer. I happen to look at is as a 13 year old working audio controller for my entire Sonos system. It was refreshing that neither Mike nor Patrick mentioned that the battery was dangerous in their responses, yet no answer to my question about killing off my ZonePlayers next. While I appreciated that they did respond (and I think every person in this forum should take a few minutes to email them - see support page/contact), it’s still just not cool and I’m afraid that if I’m correct in my assumption, a sell-off of Sonos won’t bode well for any current Sonos users/owners. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

An excellent piece Kassey, thank you.
I agree with everything including the idea that we should all take a little time to write to the top people to let them know our feelings about being ripped off in such a disgraceful manner. Like you say, I notice there has been no further mention from the "experts" at Sonos of the "fire risk" of recharging older lithium batteries, what absolute nonsense that was! That ridiculous idea would render most older mobile phones in the world useless by their reckoning!
Meantime I've given them a scathing review on Trust Pilot in the meantime to kick the ball rolling on there. Trust is what business is all about and having wrecked that they have no business being given an excellent rating on Trust Pilot!
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[quote=alandaw7]
Meantime I've given them a scathing review on Trust Pilot in the meantime to kick the ball rolling on there. Trust is what business is all about and having wrecked that they have no business being given an excellent rating on Trust Pilot!


Good idea - I've done likewise. And on Amazon.

T
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I'd like to raise a few more points:

1. The number of posts on this thread is not indicative of the number of people affected. I hadn't used my sonos system for a while and only became aware of the update issue when I picked up the controller which was the beginning of this week. I don't visit the forum as, generally, the system has been fine. Ive had to tell my parents about it and will have to try to sort their system out for them.

2. Sonos have had their cash out of us so don't care anymore. Most of us have "maxxed-out" our Sonos systems although Ive always been tempted to add another one or two..

3. As people have suggested, if Amazon or Apple are looking to acquire Sonos they don't want to have to compete with legacy controller support. Let Sonos do the dirty work and then the new investor/buyer reaps the reward.

4. Given the environmental concern these days I think it is disgraceful for a company to "brick" a perfectly working piece of equipment but they don't care.

5. I dont see what the support issues are- Sonos have already limited the usefulness of the controller (no longer able to access amazon music) but that is fine as I have a NAS that I stream from. Just leave the controller as-is. No need for any updates to it unless you are deliberately bricking it.
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In what way.? The poster suggested that Sonos has eliminated a USP that hasn't existed in 4 years, making alternatives more attractive, when alternatives also do not have this USP. It's nonsense.


The value provided by the controller is still present and unique even though it is not currently sold by Sonos: the CR100 still exists and is easy to purchase elsewhere so it's not unreasonable to refer to this value as a USP. Irrespective of whether or not it's a USP in the strict definition of the term, I'm sure you would agree the existence of the CR100 still provides a unique benefit and value to a set of Sonos customers, as evidenced by this thread.

To put it another way: yesterday I compared S+C with B, and concluded that S+C provided higher value to me so I bought it. Today S+C is still providing that value. Tomorrow, due to some arbitrary event, the value associated with C will be negated. Then I might compare S with B and conclude that B now provides the higher value; therefore I might decide to buy B even though it does not provide C.
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2. Sonos have had their cash out of us so don't care anymore. Most of us have "maxxed-out" our Sonos systems although Ive always been tempted to add another one or two..


Not sure that every early adopter has maxed out there system. I always envisaged growing my system further (and have grown it) when I have considered a product meets my needs.
Up until this point, I have always look forward to seeing the latest addition and developments to the Sonos eco-system .

(Correct me if I'm wrong?) but the "offical" recommended solution to avoid bricking my hardware seems to be version lock my system (via a convoluted series of DNS / Privacy/ Update hacks / third party controller apps)
This seems do defy all business logic as Sonos does not provide legacy firmware, As such it will be impossible for me to purchase further products after the next update as these would be incompatible with my existing system firmware????

But what intrigues me most is that all controllers are "enablers" for the Sonos system. eg the more controllers the better people can access the hardware, be they legacy or cutting edge they facilitate access to the hardware Sonos is trying to make money out of selling.
Userlevel 2
Badge +4
Forced obsolescence:
Just a thought on this and other decisions the new CEO/management team might be planning by slowly killing off some of the expensive audio system/components we purchased from them.

Sonos has been reducing staff for some months now. They may have even farmed-out the last update/design of the awful IOS apps which might explain why it doesn’t work or look like any prior Sonos controller interface (physical or OS based).
I think the new CEO is pimping out the company to be sold to: fill in the blank (Apple or Amazon might be strong options). They want to clear off all legacy costs, reduce even more costs/personnel and farm-out whatever they can. If a $100 sales voucher (as lame and insulting that is given they have no hardware that takes the place of the CR series) produces a little bump in revenue, even better (Sonos runs sales all the time). They are probably also making sure their ecosystem becomes compatible with any...


Sounds like an insightful analysis, because it’s rarely rational to piss on loyal costumers. But if you’re planning to sell it make sense to hand over a clean table and let the new owners just dig in on the icing of the cake (makes the product more attractive on the market).
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No word yet on why the CR200 can handle the transition past 8.4 while the CR100 cannot?

In the meantime, a screenshot showing how to blackhole most of the likely culprits over at Sonos.com with a Edgerouter. Just enter the GUI, click on the Config Tree Tab in the top right corner, then select system, static-host mapping, host name. Enter sonos.com, then hit update the list. Now click on sonos.com and enter all the aliases I'm showing below. Finally enter a inet address for them, i.e. 0.0.0.0 to blackhole them.

A ping to the relevant addresses via terminal confirms no route to host. Happiness. Next, check with Sonos iOS app for system update. Got the 1101 error, aka "Error 1101 can appear for a number of different reasons and most commonly means that your Sonos products are having trouble checking for updates with the Sonos update server." Success!

I still can't believe I have to do this, just to protect existing, functional hardware from the whims of its manufacturer. Nuts.
Userlevel 5
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I still can't believe I have to do this, just to protect existing, functional hardware from the whims of its manufacturer. Nuts.
Completely nuts. Also illegal?
Once again, how can Sonos be "forcing sales of newer stuff" when the replacement for the dedicated controllers is an iOS or Android app which costs Sonos a significant amount to code, maintain and support, and is given away for free?
Of course Sonos has to invest in a controller app - it's fundamental to the functioning of the system and they have little choice other than to include it in the sale. The issue here is that the customer should have the choice to be able to just turn their system on today and use as they did yesterday - and every day before that (just as I do when I press the remote button to wake up my 30 year old Quad system). And, arguments notwithstanding on issues with software licence user agreements, external supplier interface requirements and security threats, a customer should be able to expect to have his system left alone. I don't want to be a local IT system manager - I want to remain, simply, a music lover.

For a sub optimal experience, yes, bur we dont do sub optimal. We don't say to guests you need a smartphone to enjoy music at our place, or we have music if you are prepared to go through a number of steps that might be new or strange to you. Guests expect to enjoy facilities and come back because of.it. If I had wanted complex or sub optimal I would not have installed a physical Sonos network. So it is very annoying that they have decided to spike a piece of physical hardware. That eliminates one if their USPs and makes an alternative brand more attractive.


Eh, I somewhat disagree. It seems rather common to me that certain bonus features offered to me require me to install an app. It wouldn't bother me too much. But I suppose I'm not your customers. I suppose I'd get some cheap tablets as a replacement. I understand that it could be stolen, but I would hope my customers don't steal from me. I'd also hope that I have some way of reporting customers that steal from me, but I'm not in the business, so I don't know.

I personally never got a CR100, and I'm trying to think of a parallel example that fits me, but it's hard. I suppose if my tv/fire tv remote was no longer working and I had to use my phone to watch tv, I'd be upset to. It doesn't seem like that would really be the same situation though, as a remote and CR100 are clearly very different things. I suppose a better example might be if my connect:amp was 'bricked'. I might be upset, but then again, if I could power and control my speakers with a phone or tablet for 'free', then I wouldn't be too bothered by it.

As far as this being a move to prep Sonos for sale, I find that hard to believe. I don't seen any company that buys Sonos being too worried about having to reduce staff or make changes that they don't feel fit the direction they want to take things. The patents that Sonos holds are well worth having to deal with that. Besides that, other moves Sonos has made don't line up very well with the sale ideal. Sonos is working with Amazon clearly, but Sonos clearly isn't giving them theyir multiroom audio technology, and Amazon clearly isn't giving Sonos everything it needs to make the integration 'shine'. They are also known to be working with Google. Apple is trying to compete with Sonos, but Sonos is clearly competing back by trying to undercut on price. Maybe Sonos sale strategy is to be enough a thorn in everyone's side enough to force them to buy Sonos just to remove the annoyance? Maybe Sonos wants to be bought by someone I'm not mentioning?
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So now Sonos are killing our faithful CR100s off completely because the batteries are getting old and might catch fire!

You could not make it up!!

1 Sonos deliberately create a product without a user changeable battery so they can charge to install replacement batteries that users could easily do for free if the case had a simple battery compartment lid - Oh like all TV remotes do.
2 They stop offering their (chargeable) battery installation "service".
3 Finally they brick the product because the batteries are too old to be safe!

If they have fitted a simple battery compartment cover (like every other HiFi and TV manufacturer does), we could change our batteries as and when they fail and there would be no reason to brick the units.

😠
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I have had Sonos installed at a vacation rental property since 2006 and my guests love it. Many have gone home and bought Sonos systems. One of the reasons I can do it is the controller is idiot proof, tough and of no interest to anyone to steal or tamper with. I cannot expect guests to install the app (or frankly to work it out) and I cannot consider leaving a tablet or IPOD Touch and expect it to be seamless for each set of guests throughout a season as I am not there to troubleshoot.

So I need to ditch my Sonos system in favour of a replacement. Is there a good alternative e.g. BOSE that people are using that has a similar robust controller?


Is there a reason you can't leave instructions for your guests on how to install the Sonos app on their phone/tablet right next to the instructions for connecting to wifi?


Well if I was one of his guests I would be pretty upset if I had to install another App on my smartphone or tablet just to use the TV let alone the HiFi!! I expect the TV to have a remote and the HiFi to either have controls on the front or a remote like the TV.

Now if his guests do not own a smartphone or tablet (and why should they?) they will be really annoyed!!
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1 Sonos deliberately create a product without a user changeable battery so they can charge to install replacement batteries that users could easily do for free if the case had a simple battery compartment lid - Oh like all TV remotes do.
2 They stop offering their (chargeable) battery installation "service".
3 Finally they brick the product because the batteries are too old to be safe!


The old remote was supposed to be fairly water resistant. Hence, the covered screw holes, etc. That sealing in turn makes accessing the battery quite difficult without destroying the blue silicone cover (either permanently stretching it on removal or penetrating it to access the screw locations). Hence, the business model of sending old remotes in, to be reconditioned on site.

The CR200 addressed the battery access issue with a removable back cover. However, the CR200 lacks even basic splash resistance. It also lacks the heft and durability of the CR100, IMO. Anyhow, I'm still wondering what makes the CR200 so different from the CR100 in terms of guts that the latter can continue to coexist in the Sonos universe while the CR100 is being kicked to the curb. All seems very arbitrary.

Anyhow, just confirmed that my existing radio services still work despite blackholing all those sub-domains at sonos.com, so the list seems to be safe re: existing functionality. However, I may have been too aggressive in terms of all the sub-domains I added.. the impact of which may not manifest itself for some time as my sonos players may still have the real IP sonos sub-domain addresses in their DNS cache. I'll keep you all posted if something changes.
Userlevel 1
We were early adopters of the Sonos system and over the years expanded to the point where we have 5 CR100s, 5 CR200s, 2 zone player/amps, 2 connects and 1 bridge, We have tried the IOS apps available on our iPhone and have found them much more cumbersome to use with our Sonos system especially when compared to the Sonos controllers designed and dedicated to operate the system. Obviously we are looking for an alternative system should Sonos continue to force obsolescence of these system components. I know of at least one major custom home installation company in the Washington DC area (who originally sold me on the Sonos system) which is now recommending alternative whole home audio systems. Needless to say, the Sonos system will definitely be losing in the end. Truly a shame.
Userlevel 1
I have just updated my system and learnt about this. The answer is not to update from now on. The app is hopeless (android) and counterintuitive to say the least. I was considering getting cheap tablets and using them as dedicated controllers. However, the app is clunky, poorly designed and not a pleasant or easy user experience. I have two controllers so £100 per household doesn't really make up for the loss of functionality. Given that SONOS sees itself as upmarket hi-fi, if QUAD can repair 60 year old kit at a reasonable cost (despite its current ownership) then surely SONOS can support the CR100. Even if they maintain the current functionality and no longer update it, it will be a better solution than obsolescence.

Well if I was one of his guests I would be pretty upset if I had to install another App on my smartphone or tablet just to use the TV let alone the HiFi!! I expect the TV to have a remote and the HiFi to either have controls on the front or a remote like the TV.


What does the CR100 have to do with the tv remote? if the setup did have a playbar or playbase, I would expect that it's probably programmed into the tv remote.


Now if his guests do not own a smartphone or tablet (and why should they?) they will be really annoyed!!


Then provide a tablet for them. This argument somewhat reminds me of hotels that used (still do?) provide a clock radio with an ipod/iPhone docking station for use with your apple product. Being that I didn't have an iPhone, I couldn't use it, but I never felt cheated by the hotel. I understand there a differences in expectations between a hotel and an B&B. It's not meant to be a perfect analogy.

Personally, I have couple trips planned this Spring, and I have no idea what sort of sound system will at wherever I stay. I plan on bringing my phone and a portable Bluetooth speaker. Problem solved.
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Given that SONOS sees itself as upmarket hi-fi, if QUAD can repair 60 year old kit at a reasonable cost (despite its current ownership) then surely SONOS can support the CR100. Even if they maintain the current functionality and no longer update it, it will be a better solution than obsolescence.

There is a reason that Quad is still in business. They realize that ticking off existing customers is bad for future business.

Just realized there is another reason to put your Sonos players on a different VLAN relative to your guests: They can accidentally precipitate a upgrade of your players!

Remember, there is no security / password / whatever to ensure that the actual owner of the hardware is requesting the software upgrade. ANYONE with access to your SonosNet, controllers, etc. can do it.

For example, consider a guest coming over to visit, connecting to your WiFi, and wanting to play a song for you. Sometime in the future, they'll have a more recent version of the IOS controller App than the current version 8.4. Because you haven't upgraded your system, the App will complain and refuse to work with your Sonos components unless they get upgraded.

Thinking they're helping you out (nothing wrong with upgrading, right?) your guests hit the update button. Next thing you know, your Sonos player component firmwares will be beyond 8.4 and your CR100's will no longer be usable. Your friends may not even realize what they did, and there is no way back.

Blocking the routes to said firmware is the most robust approach because it prevents upgrades from the controller as well as Apps. However, at least the App-based attack can be mitigated by enabling Guest networks on your Wifi and only allowing your guests to connect to those, not the network with the Sonos'.

On Apple Airport base stations, it's as simple as enabling the Guest network (which is a checkbox). I'd give the private network a new name and Wifi password, assign your old network name to the new Guest network, and then give the Guest network the same password as your existing network. Guests won't know anything changed, yet your Sonos will be safe behind the firewall. As a bonus, it will also prevent naughty guests from surreptitiously having fun with your Sonos system as well. 😃

There is a reason that Quad is still in business. They realize that ticking off existing customers is bad for future business.


QUAD lost money every year while Peter J Walker was running it, and I believe while his son ran it too. The current Chinese owners can, apparently, manufacture things much more cheaply in China. It’s hardly the same company now; Peter would never approve of the current Valve amplifiers being sold to rubes; he was a man and engineer of great principle.
Userlevel 3
So now Sonos are killing our faithful CR100s off completely because the batteries are getting old and might catch fire!

You could not make it up!!

1 Sonos deliberately create a product without a user changeable battery so they can charge to install replacement batteries that users could easily do for free if the case had a simple battery compartment lid - Oh like all TV remotes do.
2 They stop offering their (chargeable) battery installation "service".
3 Finally they brick the product because the batteries are too old to be safe!

If they have fitted a simple battery compartment cover (like every other HiFi and TV manufacturer does), we could change our batteries as and when they fail and there would be no reason to brick the units.

:@

It is perfectly possible to change the CR100 batteries at home, I know because I have done it to avoid the reported £90 pounds that Sonos used to charge for doing it! All you need to do is acquire the exact same battery that Sonos use, they are available direct from China and cost £28.00 for two, delivered to the UK. Then with suitable tools of the right size you undo the few necessary small screws that by carefully peeling back the blue silicone you will discover underneath. This will enable the front panel to be removed and reveal where the battery is located. There is a simple push fit connection for the battery plug which is unplugged to allow the old battery to slide out and the new one inserted in its place. Close the unit together and put back the screws that were removed before and smooth the silicone back in place. Just don't try and force the removal of the front panel before you've checked that you have removed all the screws and put them safely in a small dish temporarily.
It is unlikely that anyone would wish to do this now thanks to Sonos bricking the units, but in the very unlikely event that Sonos have an attack of moral decency and change their mind on this issue, I can freely provide complete instructions together with the details of where the batteries may be sourced (I do not sell them!)
Userlevel 1
Received my $100 voucher this morning. As I’ve only one CR100, decided to spend the voucher on an iPort Xpress, as I only really need a quick way for someone to pause/resume music and adjust the volume in one room. Being in the UK, I was interested to see what the voucher code was worth on the UK site. I was amazed when it came up with £125 which, at current exchange rates work out at around $170!!! Nearly thought about buying another Play 1 for just £25, but I really don’t need another speaker, so just got the iPort Xpress for free.
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Received my $100 voucher this morning. As I’ve only one CR100, decided to spend the voucher on an iPort Xpress, as I only really need a quick way for someone to pause/resume music and adjust the volume in one room. Being in the UK, I was interested to see what the voucher code was worth on the UK site. I was amazed when it came up with £125 which, at current exchange rates work out at around $170!!! Nearly thought about buying another Play 1 for just £25, but I really don’t need another speaker, so just got the iPort Xpress for free.

Yeap I got a Play 1 with mine for £24 :)
Have locked my whole system down now and won't leave 8.4 unless I'm forced to.
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I believe after 2 sonos updates, you will be forced to update to the latest version.
Userlevel 7
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Where does such a statement that forced after 2 updates come from? Do you just make these things up.
Userlevel 7
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Well I qualified it with "I believe", as I cannot remember the exact circumstances, it might be only on Ios controllers, but iam sure the app would not play unless it was updated a while back.
Can you guarantee any controller will always use current sonos version, with no ever enforced updates? even after ios updates etc
If so I won't bother looking back in time.....