After ceasing the sale of it way back in 2012, Sonos has today announced that it's ending support for the legacy CR100 hardware controller that first launched alongside its multi-room speakers back in 2005.
From April 2018 anyone who still owns and uses the controller will no longer be able to use it to control their speakers thanks to an upcoming firmware update.
Users on the Sonos forums aren't happy about the change. "Should Sonos stay with the decision to forcibly retire the CR100 I will part ways with the company and seek alternative solutions when the time comes," said Don_H.
"These controllers aren't the most elegant solution, but they are purpose-built and run like tanks."
Another forum-member, Dash, expressed similar frustration, pointing out that the change would impact upon both their non-smartphone owning child and older relatives.
An inevitable move?
However, with the hardware now over 12 years old and having not been on sale for over five years, the writing has been on the wall for the CR100 for some time now as smartphone control has taken over.
After an initially shaky start, Sonos's app has seen excellent improvements over the years, and is now the primary way people will interact with their multi-room system.
With Alexa support having arrived on the entire range of speakers, and Alexa being directly built into the recently released Sonos One, voice control has now joined the app as a means to control the system.
These developments will bring little comfort to those users who will see their hardware lose its functionality. Sonos is running a recycling scheme for any CR100s still out in the wild, underlining the finality of this decision.
We've contacted Sonos to see if there's any way fans of the old CR100 will be able to continue using the controller past April, as well as to find out if the touchscreen enabled CR200 will be meeting a similar fate.
- Check out our review of the recently released Sonos One