In the old days you had to run hundreds of feet of wire throughout your house to get audio in every room. It generally required cutting holes in the ceiling and volume control knobs in each room as well. Sonos has literally changed the market when it comes to whole house audio. Now manufacturers such as URC are building specific interfaces into their products to better handle the capabilities of this powerful music system.
A Focus on Simplicity
The biggest selling point of the Sonos system is the simplicity of the system. This includes everything from setup, use, and even troubleshooting. ‘Coming from the world of custom integration there is literally nothing that can compare with how easy the Sonos system is to setup and configure’ says Kevin of Twist Technology in Birmingham AL.
However, one of the complaints of Sonos users is that the same interface isn’t available from all in one remotes and control systems such as Crestron, Control4, and Savant. This is starting to change.
Universal Remote Control (URC) has had an Ethernet based remote system for quite some time. Now they have officially integrated the Sonos interface into their system, enabling users to continue to use the simple and efficient controls that they are familiar with when using their Sonos as a stand-alone system.
Here is some information from CEPro.com
URC provided a static display of Sonos integration at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in February, alongside a display of Denon Heos, a new Sonos competitor.
At the time, URC SVP and general manager Doug Cole said both the Sonos and Heos drivers should be ready in April.
In general, URC has been hastening its driver development and now offers about 75 two-way modules, most recently adding Lutron Caseta lighting and shade control, Aprilaire thermostats, DSC security systems, Fusion Ovation music streamers and the KNX European control protocol.
URC touts the fact that its drivers are developed by the third-party manufacturers themselves or by URC’s own engineers, “thereby giving URC greater control over quality and continuity of the drivers.”
The Sonos module is now available for download through URC Control Room, the dealer-only portal.
This is a big step forward for both URC and Sonos lovers as previously you would have to exit any remote interface and open the Sonos app to enjoy the full functionality of your music system.
Changing Home Audio
While Sonos has made a huge marketing push to end users, more and more integrators are coming to rely heavily upon the system as it offers several important benefits. For one it is extremely easy to install. Designing and installing a system can be done in a matter of a day. This is drastically different than traditional whole house audio systems.
The addition of other wireless components such as the sound bar and sub have enabled Sonos to carve a niche in the home theater systems market as well. Audio Video Experts of Los Angeles has made a business out of setting up home theater system with Sonos is a matter of a few minutes and can easily be configured by even the least technical person.
Given the popularity with consumers, expect to see more companies in the control space offering Sonos interfaces for their remotes.