Feeds
90%

Sonos ZonePlayer ZP80 and digital music system

Multi-room wireless digital audio. Yum, yum.

Boost IT visibility and business value

You have to physically connect your computer to the first ZonePlayer to get the network started - an Ethernet cable is bundled in the box, as are RCA cables. Only then can you unplug the PC or Mac and connect wirelessly, via your existing router, as you might well want to do if you're working with a notebook. You also need to keep at least on ZonePlayer connected by cable to your router - you can't connect to them directly over wireless. That's a problem if, like me, your cable modem and router aren't near a hi-fi and you don't want them to be. I now have a £270 ZP80 connected to my router to do nothing but link the wireless music network to my main WLAN. This seems a waste, but it's necessary because the Sonos boxes connect using a proprietary and - Sonos claims - optimised WLAN technology.

Incidentally, that proprietary aspect means it's unlikely we'll see Linux software, or at least an open source version of the desktop controller and set-up app.

sonos cr-100 wireless controller

Adding other ZonePlayers works much the same way, though this time it can be done wirelessly. To link them in, you have to press a couple of the buttons on the front of the ZP80, but the software gives you plenty to time to walk from computer to ZonePlayer to do so.

At this stage you can connect the controller, which you can do while it's charging. Again, it's a straightforward process - the device looks for a Sonos wireless network, adds your various ZonePlayers to its list then sniffs out shared music folders. With the controller set up, you no longer need your computer for anything other than hosting music. If you store all your songs on a NAS box, you don't really need a computer at all.

Tell a lie - you do. While the controller provides almost everything you need to select and play music, you can't enter new Internet radio station links. For that you will have to go back to your computer and the virtual controller software. Once you've added the streaming URL, it's automatically added to the wireless controller ready to select in future.

The controller is a large PMP-sized device with a big colour screen and an iPod-style control wheel. It's a solid bit of kit, and clearly well made: the CR-100 has a rubbery base to make it harder to slide or be pushed off whatever it's been placed on. Pick it up, and a motion sensor detects the movement and automatically turns the controller on. According to Sonos, the unit's fully sealed - buttons, ports and all - so it won't be ruined if you spill tea all over it. A quick rinse under the tap? No problem.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST
You can never wipe supermarket slab clean enough
Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all
Chipzilla's 'cool' 14nm part to hit market this year
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.