Sonos Bundle 250 review
Sonos audio-streaming systems have always stood out as the luxury choice in a market stacked with cheap and cheerful products. And for those with a bit of extra cash to splash, there’s no doubt its multiroom systems are the best-designed, and easiest to use and set up of any on the market. Its latest Bundle 250 marks a small step forward for the brand, building on its already excellent reputation.
The star of the show is the new Sonos Controller 200 (CR200). Replacing the old landscape iPod-style remote with scrollwheel, the CR200 mirrors Apple’s own development process by introducing a capacitive touchscreen.
It’s a glorious piece of equipment, clad in aluminium and translucent white rubber, with a touchscreen that both feels responsive to the touch and looks fantastic. The 3.5in panel under the glass front boasts VGA resolution and LED backlighting – both specifications we’d normally expect to see adorning high-end laptops costing in excess of £1,000. There’s an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness to the optimum level, and also a motion sensor that automatically wakes the controller from sleep mode when you pick it up.
Vorsprung durch technik
Everything about the new remote radiates the sort of engineering excellence you’d expect of a luxury German car, and luckily the interface follows suit. It allows you to flick through lists of tracks, search by keyword (the screen keyboard looks very similar to the one you get on the iPhone), build playlists and look up track information on-the-fly.
Music service support is elegantly enabled as well, with Last.fm, Deezer and Napster all available from the More music option on the controller’s Music menu. Playback capabilities are excellent, with support for every format you can think of, from the lossless Flac and Apple Lossless formats through to more commonplace MP3, AAC, WMA and WAV. The only disappointment, for audiophiles at least, may be the lack of support for 96KHz files.
|Resolution||640 x 480|
Software and OS support
|Software supplied||Sonos Controller|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||yes|
|Operating system Linux supported?||no|
|Dimensions||185 x 208 x 89mm (WDH)|
Audio format support
|Other audio codec support||Audible, Apple Lossless|
Video format support
|Other video codec support||N/A|
Ports and communications
|UPnP media server?||yes|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|RCA (phono) outputs||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||1|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||1|