SONOS integration widespread at ISE 2017, but huge Brexit price hikes incoming

posted on Tuesday, 14th February 2017 by Geny Caloisi

Crestron  ISE  Lutron  Sonos  KNX  URC 

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The widespread offering of SONOS integration amongst control systems manufacturers presented at ISE 2017, is a testimony of the popularity of the streaming music solution. However, UK multiroom users are in for a painful Brexit surprise...

But first let's talk about SONOS integration announcements at ISE 2017. Crestron, demoed its new seamless integration solution where users can easily control their music via Crestron touch screens. The intuitive SONOS app interface is now available on the touchscreens allowing homeowners to search for all of their favourite music, play and pause, adjust the volume, view now playing information with artwork and add or remove zones as they move about the house.

“The Crestron solution gets even better as we are the only partner who can run the Sonos app from within our native Crestron environment,” said John Clancy, VP of Residential at Crestron. “All partners can deliver the fundamental Sonos controls but only with Crestron can you access everything Sonos can do directly from within our touch screens.  This makes Crestron the only partner that really and truly is in perfect rhythm with Sonos.”

Crestron Bedroom

German software company, ise, went one step further and presented its KNX Sonos solution at the tradeshow, which works without the need of the SONOS app. ise’s smart connect KNX Sonos, allows direct access to the SONOS ecosystem using the KNX protocol. With dynamic zone formation, up to five SONOS master devices can be connected via IP and each can be linked with up to five Slave units (25 in total).

Lutron announced that its HomeWorks QS and GRAFIK RA 2 systems now work with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Sonos. Also, Lutron’s new Pico RF remote control for audio gives consumers direct, one-touch control of any Sonos speaker alongside lights, blinds and temperature, when used with Lutron's smart home systems.

URC was also showing its SONOS capabilities, which is, according to Lars Granoe, VP of sales, very popular amongst URC clients. In 2015 the company launched its two-way driver for SONOS, which is full-featured and fully compatible with all URC Total Control user interfaces and enables control of SONOS Play Speakers, Connect, Connect Amp and Playbar. The URC SONOS module enables full access to and control of all the streaming services users subscribe to, as well as most of the feature capabilities of the Sonos app.

However, anyone planning to buy a SONOS system, might want to hurry up. The company has been reported as saying that, owing to the post-referendum slump in the pound, it would hike UK prices by up to 25 per cent. The US speaker manufacturer said the price changes, which include its flagship Play line of speakers, would come into effect on February 23.

The change will see the Sonos Play:1 speaker rise from £169 to £199, the Play:3 increase from £259 to £299 and the Play:5 from £429 to £499. The company's Connect:Amp will receive the full 25 per cent increase, with its price rising from £399 to £499, Sonos said.

Geny Caloisi

Geny Caloisi is an accomplished technology journalist who has worked in a variety of AV industry publications. 

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