This is just a quick review of what to expect from the Sonos CR100 controller. This was the original unit which has now been succeeded by the CR200.
Sonos make their kit available in bundles (which do save you some money) or as individual items that you can piece together yourself so this controller is available to purchase stand alone. It used to be a tad over £200 but can be had for less now due to the newer controller and also the fact you can use the FREE app on your ipod touch/iphone to control your Sonos system(s).
The CR100 is a well engineered plastic slab that feels very robust so it can take a knock or spill quite easily, more so than your iphone or the CR200. There is no touch screen function so instead you navigate the menu system via the ipod style scroll wheel and the function buttons.
Navigation is very fast and intuitive as the scroll wheel is a proven design. The only niggle comes when entering artist/track titles that you want to search as you have to move the cursor along the numerical/alphabet screen which can take some time - whereas on your iphone/CR200 you just tap in the letters via the touchscreen. The function buttons are like short cuts so you can skip, control volume etc... with ease.
One excellent function from Sonos is when you create playlists. You can make as many as you want but then you also have the ability to swap tracks around as you want. EG, you set up track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and it begins to play but then you change your mind so just select the track and move it wherever to make it up to something like 1, 3, 5, 4, 2. Nice concept that works well as sometimes that's what you want to do. It's even easier to do on the CR200/Iphone/ipod touch.
There is a dock available (which you have to buy separately - should be included really) so you can place your CR100 into it to charge. You don't need it as you can just plug the charger into the controller directly. You can go quite awhilte inbetween charges with it only giving a warning light after 3-4 weeks of average use. There is a light/motion sensor so as soon as you place it down it will go into sleep mode.
The CR100 controllers are very inexpensive now so are a good spare or something to let people/kids play with as you won't care about it getting knocked about during a party etc..., which is why I think they built it so solidly.
Now you can have instant access to your entire digital music collection, including all your playlists, from anywhere in your home - inside or out. That's because the Sonos Controller uses Sonosnet, a secure wireless mesh network that extends the range of your Controller throughout your entire home. Which means you don't have to run to your PC every time you want to turn on, change or turn off your music. And, you can control everything from volume to music selection in any room from anywhere. When it comes to scrolling through your music library, browsing titles, viewing album art, queuing up tracks, choosing zones and more, the large, full-color LCD screen and scroll wheel make it a real cinch. No other digital music system lets you do all that.