Sonos CR100, RIP.

When our older girl was 6, and our younger 3 or 4, we moved my original Sonos ZP100, its CR100, and a pair of Orb speakers into their shared room.

At first we connected it only to our purchased music. Later we hooked it up to streaming music accounts. We let them listen to anything. It was an amazing success, especially for the younger girl. She could listen to whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. So empowering.

Fast forward a few years- the girls now have their own phones. They use the Sonos app to drive the music in their space. My son is 6, years from having a phone. But he has always had the CR100. He has been able to discover and control music since he was 2 or 3.

Thank you Sonos, for making such a wonderful, long-lived, beloved product.


The 11+ year lifespan of my CR100 covers something like 20 generations of hardware. That Sonos the company would finally have to put this product to rest is not surprising. But it doesn’t make the manner of its decline any less painful.

The initial cryptic announcement of the CR100s eventual retirement accompanied the discovery that the CR100 could no longer play from Amazon Music:

Most of our music comes from Google and other sources, so this wasn’t a tremendous loss.

Later on, my son became unable to use the CR100 to add new songs to the queue. He could only play songs already enqueued. This was a little more of a traumatic loss. Using the app we built a queue of about 14,000 songs that covered everything the kids listen to. My son was able to hunt around to play the things he wanted. It worked well enough.

Somewhat in denial, over Christmas, I bought a replacement battery for the CR100. The one it had shipped with had long become non-functional, but only recently had it finally started to expand and bulge out of the case. The battery came and I prepared to perform the battery replacement surgery.

Then the CR100 stopped working altogether. The screen and controls still work. But it cannot direct the ZP100 to play any music.

In hunting for an explanation I learned that this failure is perhaps a little premature, but not by much. Final retirement is coming in April.

There is clearly a difficult, cautionary business tale in this. Thousands of customers have vented their spleens on the Sonos forums, bemoaning the loss of this brilliant, kid-safe device:

Digging into the business side is for another post. Let’s talk about solutions.