Sonos invites old hi-fis to multi-room party

The Sonos system, apart from being a little pricey, has long been the perfect wireless, multi-room jukebox for mansion owners.The idea behind the orig

The Sonos system, apart from being a little pricey, has long been the perfect wireless, multi-room jukebox for mansion owners.

The idea behind the original Sonos system was simple: you bought Zoneplayer 100 ‘clients’ for each room you wanted music in, hooked them up to some speakers, and orchestrated your house-wide musical symphony with the colour-screened controller.

Following complaints from old hi-fis that this shut them out of the wireless party, though, Sonos has produced the ZP80 – a smaller, amp-free unit that you can connect to your current hi-fi.

The new bundle features two new Zoneplayer 80s and a lovely CR100 wireless controller (above).

The ZP80 has almost identical functionality to its big brother – it has two Ethernet ports (one Zoneplayer in your setup must be connected to a broadband router), a line-out for your iPod or CD player, and support for MP3, AAC, Ogg, WAV and now Apple Lossless files.

The big drawback is that there’s still no support for either Microsoft or Apple’s DRM-ed files, so you won’t be able to ping tunes downloaded from iTunes or Napster around your house.

The new mini Zoneplayer will, though, work in an existing Sonos network, so you can, say, have one connected to your lounge’s hi-fi working in perfect harmony with a ZP100 setup out in the left wing of your pad.

It’s also available in a new, cheaper bundle – a team of two ZP80s and a wireless controller will set you back £780 from April 27th. To swot up on Sonos and its new deals, go to the official site here.