Sonos Bundle 250 review

£799
Price when reviewed

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.

Sonos Controller CR200

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.

Display

Display type 5
Screen size 3.5in
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

Physical

Dimensions width 185
Dimensions depth 208
Dimensions height 89
Dimensions 185 x 208 x 89mm (WDH)

Audio format support

MP3 support yes
WMA support yes
AAC support yes
OGG support yes
FLAC support yes
ATRAC support no
WAV support yes
ASF support no
AIFF support yes
Other audio codec support Audible, Apple Lossless

Video format support

Other video codec support N/A

Ports and communications

Remote control? yes
UPnP media server? yes
802.11a support no
802.11b support no
802.11g support no
802.11 draft-n support no
Ethernet interface yes
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

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