Sonos' Bundle 250 is a remarkable network audio player, too bad about the price

Sonos' Bundle 250 is a remarkable network audio player, too bad about the price
Rating
Overall:

A gorgeous new controller makes this the best Sonos system ever – just take note of that high price.

Performance:
6
Features & Design:
6
Value for money:
5
Price
Price: $1999
> Pricing info
Specs
CR200: 3.5in, 480 x 640 touchscreen; rechargeable. ZP120: 55W per channel amp; RCA in/out; sub out; 2 x Ethernet; 207 x 185 x 89mm (WDH). ZP90: RCA in/out; optical and electrical S/PDIF out; 2 x Ethernet; 140 x 136 x 74mm (WDH)

Sonos audio-streaming systems have always stood out as the luxury choice in a market stacked with cheap and cheerful products. Its latest Bundle 250 marks a small step forward for the brand, but cements its position at the top.

The star of the show is the new Sonos Controller 200 (CR200), which boasts an iPhone-style capacitive touchscreen. It's a glorious piece of equipment, clad in aluminium and translucent rubber, with a 3.5in screen that feels responsive and looks fantastic.

Everything about the new remote radiates the sort of engineering excellence you'd expect of a luxury German car, and the interface follows suit, allowing you to browse lists of tracks with a flick of the finger, search by keyword, build playlists and look up track information on-the-fly.

Music service and radio support is impressive too, with Last.fm, Deezer and Napster all available from the "More music" option on the controller's Music menu, in addition to Internet radio capabilities.

Also, format playback capabilities are excellent, with support for lossless FLAC and Apple Lossless formats, as well as the more commonplace MP3, AAC, WMA and WAV.

The system is just as easy to set up as before. The Bundle 250 adds two ZonePlayers - a ZP90 and ZP120 with integrated amp - to the CR200 controller.

To get going simply hook up the ZP90 to your router and press a couple of buttons on each player. You can access music on your PC or any UPnP-media server device.

The main problem with this system is its high price - $1999. There are cheaper options or you can even forgo the controller and download the free iPhone controller app - its interface is similar to the CR200's.

But if you're thinking of pinching pennies, you've missed the point. Sonos systems are designed for those with money to burn, who want a multiroom audio system that looks great and works flawlessly - and the new bundle fulfils that need perfectly.

This Review appeared in the December, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

See more about:  sonos  |  bundle  |  250  |  network  |  audio  |  player
 
 

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