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End of Software Updates for Legacy Products

End of Software Updates for Legacy Products
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Please note that we’ve created a new thread with some clarifications to questions that have come up several times in this thread. Please see here to continue the discussion if you still have any questions. The information contained in this thread is outdated and may no longer be accurate.

 

We have some important news regarding our oldest Sonos devices shared on the Sonos Blog today. The text of that blog post is being included here for your convenience:

 

Starting in May 2020, some of our oldest products will no longer receive software updates or new features. We want to explain why and your options. 

When we first set out almost 20 years ago to invent the technology to easily listen to any song in any room, most of the ways we listen to music today did not exist. In fact, the first Sonos products were introduced before the first iPhone was announced and when Myspace still ruled social media. 

 

In order to invent multi-room music and smart speakers, we combined the worlds of high-fidelity audio and computing. Every Sonos product has a microprocessor, flash memory, and other hardware components typically found in computers and smartphones.  

 

Since launching our first products, technology has advanced at an exponential rate; from streaming services and voice assistants to wireless networking and Bluetooth capabilities.  Through all of this transformation, we have continued delivering new features via software updates. We’re extremely proud of the fact that we build products that last a long time, and that listeners continue to enjoy them. In fact, 92% of the products we’ve ever shipped are still in use today. That is unheard of in the world of consumer electronics. However, we’ve now come to a point where some of the oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power.  

This coming May, these legacy products—our original Zone Players, Connect, and Connect:Amp (launched in 2006; includes versions sold until 2015), first-generation Play:5 (launched 2009), CR200 (launched 2009), and Bridge (launched 2007)—will no longer receive software updates or new features. 

 Today the Sonos experience relies on an interconnected ecosystem, giving you access to more than 100 streaming services, voice assistants, and control options like Apple AirPlay 2. Without new software updates, access to services and overall functionality of your sound system will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their technology. 

To help you through this transition, we’re providing two options:

Option 1: Continue using these legacy products, recognizing that your system will no longer receive software updates and new features.  

Option 2: Trade up to a new Sonos product with a 30% credit for each legacy product you replace.

If you’re not sure if your products are affected, you can check in the System tab in your sonos.com-account

If you choose to participate in the trade up program, your legacy products will be put in Recycle Mode, a state that deletes personally identifiable information and prepares these products for e-recycling. Recycle Mode also protects unsuspecting people from buying legacy products that are approaching the end of their useful life and won’t provide the Sonos experience customers expect today. Recycle Mode will only apply to the legacy products listed above.

 

We ask that you take your legacy products to a nearby certified e-recycling facility. This is the most environmentally friendly way to recycle. That said, if there isn’t a facility in your area, we are happy to pay for you to ship your products back to Sonos for responsible recycling.    

 

Ideally all our products would last forever, but for now we’re limited by the existing technology. Our responsibility here is threefold: build products that last a long time; continually look for ways to make our products more environmentally friendly through materials, packaging, and our supply chain and take responsibility for helping you through the transition once products near the end of their useful life.  

 

We’ve always believed in freedom of choice, whether that means choosing a certain streaming service or way to control your listening experience. We hope the choices provided here—continuing to use these products without new software updates or trading up to our modern products—enable you to make the choice that’s right for you. 

 

We are honored to have a place in your home and want to make sure that we help continue to bring the best experience we can, even when products reach the end of their useful life. 

 

More information.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions.


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1378 replies

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Does this mean that the older devices, while not receiving updates or features, will be ‘frozen’ but will continue to work fine and do their core job of playing music?

So, a year or so from now they could be on software 10.7 but the rest of the components are on 12 for example? (a departure from the current way of working)

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Well I’d love to check the system page to see if I’m impacted….

https://www.sonos.com/myaccount/system/households/devices/

SONOS

We apologise, but an error has occurred. The web team at Sonos has been notified.

Error Reference: 04c2296e-27b2-45db-ad91-a2e28980bc53
Error Detail:TVh3eHytScd7LXFw6E9goDMgD1MPOwLkFMjwey6Tr4dc0Q7VQbd7ETy8uJNdrCEvJT1j3tW4wM8EDg2NVx3ml9c2qdIk+fbF8SjDTRtSqCE6/DZFv1dN34Xwz1oQ1mNk7OAcCEUS

 

edit:   Looks like it got fixed after about an hour

Hey Ryan, thanks for the update...even if it’s not happy news.

 

A few questions.  If I chose option 1, will I need to do anything to my system to prevent updates, or will the presence of these legacy products prevent updates from occurring

 

Will legacy versions of the the Sonos controller apps be made available?  And if so, will it possible to revert a system back to this legacy version if their devices are already on a higher version?

 

Related to above, will it be possible to operate two Sonos systems, one current and one legacy, under the same network?  (Understanding that you won’t be able to use some accounts, like voice services, on both systems)

 

What level of support will be available for those who chose to stay on a legacy system?   Understanding that software updates will not be an issue, but if there are setup questions or network interference issues, will Sonos provide assistance?

 

Uh oh; that’s half of my 6 zone system. I am very interested in all the clarifications that Ryan will no doubt be providing here.

And a very interesting cut/paste from Verge:

Sonos tells me that beginning in May, it will introduce a software feature that allows customers who want to keep using their legacy hardware to separate those old products from their main Sonos system. You’ll want to do this splitting off step because once a device stops receiving updates, so does your entire Sonos system. Every speaker and other Sonos component in a system is meant to run the same software version to ensure they all work nicely together. But this is the first time that software support is ending, so some Sonos systems will get stuck on whatever software they’re running in May — unless customers quarantine the older gadgets into a secondary network. This software flow is still being developed, and Sonos doesn’t even mention that the option is coming on its FAQ page.

The last sentence quoted may mean that Ryan may not comment on this development at this time.

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Does this mean that the older devices, while not receiving updates or features, will be ‘frozen’ but will continue to work fine and do their core job of playing music?

So, a year or so from now they could be on software 10.7 but the rest of the components are on 12 for example? (a departure from the current way of working)

Systems containing older devices after the update in May will stop receiving updates, and will essentially be frozen as you said. Your Sonos products operate together as a system. As such, all products in the system need to be running the same software. If legacy products are part of a system with modern products, the modern products will not be able to receive the latest software updates as well.

 

Well I’d love to check the system page to see if I’m impacted….

https://www.sonos.com/myaccount/system/households/devices/

SONOS

We apologise, but an error has occurred. The web team at Sonos has been notified.

Error Reference: 04c2296e-27b2-45db-ad91-a2e28980bc53
Error Detail:TVh3eHytScd7LXFw6E9goDMgD1MPOwLkFMjwey6Tr4dc0Q7VQbd7ETy8uJNdrCEvJT1j3tW4wM8EDg2NVx3ml9c2qdIk+fbF8SjDTRtSqCE6/DZFv1dN34Xwz1oQ1mNk7OAcCEUS

Thanks, I’ll have the team look into that.

 

Hey Ryan, thanks for the update...even if it’s not happy news.

 

A few questions.  If I chose option 1, will I need to do anything to my system to prevent updates, or will the presence of these legacy products prevent updates from occurring

Will legacy versions of the the Sonos controller apps be made available?  And if so, will it possible to revert a system back to this legacy version if their devices are already on a higher version?

Related to above, will it be possible to operate two Sonos systems, one current and one legacy, under the same network?  (Understanding that you won’t be able to use some accounts, like voice services, on both systems)

What level of support will be available for those who chose to stay on a legacy system?   Understanding that software updates will not be an issue, but if there are setup questions or network interference issues, will Sonos provide assistance?

The presence of the legacy products will prevent updates from occurring, and we don’t expect any app related issues with legacy or modern systems. As Kumar mentioned from that article, there will be more to come in May.

While it is possible to run two Sonos systems on the same network, it usually is a better experience to split the LAN so that you know which of the two systems you are connecting with, the same will apply to legacy vs modern.

And people with legacy products will absolutely still get the same support they receive today with regards to troubleshooting and setup related issues. The support team will happily assist where possible, keeping in mind that over time, access to services and overall functionality of the system will eventually be disrupted as partners evolve their technology.

 

Also wanted to share how that it will negatively effect me personally. 

 

I currently use a Connect:Amp sitting in my master closet to run ceiling speakers in the garage.  Once that goes away, I’ll have a couple options.

 

1 - Lose the speakers entirely.  Would have been ok before I put in the speakers, but now I use them fairly often.  Not a good option.

2 - Setup a second legacy system just for the garage if possible.  Problem with that is I usually use an echo dot and alexa voice to control, like I do the rest of my house.  I’d lose that, or have to setup a 2nd alexa account, and not sure how that would work with my smart device controls.  And obviously, I would lose the ability to play with other rooms.

3 - Replace the connect:amp with a normal amp, and run it directly from an echo dot or echo input.  I have a spare amp for that (oversized, but still) or could get a cheap amp.  it would not be in the Sonos system, but I think I can live with that.  Amp would need to be move to the garage and rewiring would need to occur.

4 - Replace the Connect:amp with a Sonos Amp.  With the 30% discount, that’s $455 to basically restore what I currently have.   Don’t think I could take advantage of the new features.

5 - Replace the Connect:amp with an Echo Amp ($300).  This would give me pretty much what I have today, except I wouldn’t be able to sync with my Sonos system.  The only real advantage over a normal amp is that I don’t have to relocate the amp to the garage.

6 - Replace the Connect:amp with a normal amp and an Echo Link ($200).  Cheaper than the echo amp option and would not have to relocate my amp.

7 - Replace the Connect:amp with a Sonos Move.  I have a Move already but not crazy about leaving it in the garage and don’t want to move it around that often.  I also don’t have an ideal shelf for the Move.  Wouldn’t be using my existing speakers.  Not a horrible option though.

8 - Replace the speakers with a pair of Sonos Ones ($266) or Sonos One SLs ($252).  Actually, I have a spare set that I might use this for.  No good shelf, but mounting wouldn’t be too big of an issue ($60).  Power would need to be worked out, but I think I can do that.

 

Leaning towards option 8 since I have the spare already.

 

I also have 2 Connects that are not currently used, and was thinking of using my spare normal amp to add more speakers in the  backyard.  That’s not going to happen now.

 

A couple months to decide.

 

Systems containing older devices after the update in May will stop receiving updates, and will essentially be frozen as you said. Your Sonos products operate together as a system. As such, all products in the system need to be running the same software. If legacy products are part of a system with modern products, the modern products will not be able to receive the latest software updates as well.

 

 

Ryan, how will you identify such systems that contain legacy products? Based on registration information about any legacy registered products linked to a user account? So if I have a Bridge registered in my account, regardless of whether it is powered on or not, my system will neither prompt me nor apply any update automatically, or otherwise, after the May date kicks in?

 

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Disappointing then. I was hoping that the current mantra of ‘all devices run the same code version’ could have been revisited by a more major code update made possible by being able to use the extra space available on newer devices that isn't on the old ones. Just treat the older ones as speakers that are part of the system with a much more basic firmware and limited functionality.

This is a big deal now meaning anyone perfectly happy with their functioning system won't be able to get newer features on their newer devices if they happen to have an older one too. :(

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Good question, Kumar. That’ll be answered in May when we have more details to share, but powered off devices that are still registered to a system shouldn’t cause you any trouble.

Sonos needs to have an ironclad way of ensuring that software updates don’t get unwittingly applied after May to systems such as mine where half the zones involve legacy products, thereby at one shot bricking half of it; just because I changed phones and did something silly while doing so.

Good question, Kumar. That’ll be answered in May when we have more details to share, but powered off devices that are still registered to a system shouldn’t cause you any trouble.

Ryan, powered off legacy devices should still prevent the rest of the “good” products from being updated; just because legacy products are powered off does not mean they have been junked. Hopefully, that is what you mean in the last bit of the quote!

I foresee that this will be a thread of record length!

And something for Sonos to think about is how to transfer the clarifications that arise here to the same thread in all the other languages that I see opening up; I doubt that those will otherwise carry all information and nuances that will be available here.

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Good question, Kumar. That’ll be answered in May when we have more details to share, but powered off devices that are still registered to a system shouldn’t cause you any trouble.

Ryan, powered off legacy devices should still prevent the rest of the “good” products from being updated; just because legacy products are powered off does not mean they have been junked. Hopefully, that is what you mean in the last bit of the quote!

We’ll have to get into this a bit more in May. Currently, I believe that having a powered off legacy device wouldn’t prevent an update, assuming everything powered on is modern. But I’ll bring your concerns to the team.

One more question.

 

I’d assume that you could decide to stay on the legacy version come May, but then change your mind later on.  For example, keep my Connect:amp in my system till October, but then decide a want a new Sonos product.  Remove the connect:amp, get my system updated, and add the new product at that time?

Currently, I believe that having a powered off legacy device wouldn’t prevent an update, assuming everything powered on is modern. But I’ll bring your concerns to the team.

Ryan, please do elevate this concern; and I don’t think I am alone in using a multi zone system with not every zone powered on all of the time, to save electricity consumption on zones not in daily use. In my multi zone system for instance, the bedroom play 1 pair is always on. Now if that were to get an update - and an irreversible one! - simply because the Connect Amp zone is not powered on at the time the update is released, the Connect Amp will be immediately rendered useless.

Or perhaps, I will be ok, because my bedroom 1 pair is now anchored to Sonos net via a wired to network legacy Bridge unit that is always on. Which will make sure that the powered off Connect Amp/Connect don’t end up unwittingly bricked.

I suggest that this issue needs to well managed in the interest of many that may otherwise fall into this trap.

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@Ryan S What specific hardware versions of the Connect (ZP90) and Connect:Amp (ZP120) will be affected by this? For example, my Connects are h/w version 1.16.5.5-2.

Edit: never mind, the ‘System’ page answers my question.

I foresee that this will be a thread of record length!

 

 

Maybe.  Hard to tell.  This is a little different than other announcements since nothing is being bricked involuntarily.  You can continue to use what you have till it dies or doesn’t work with your streaming services anymore.    You just can’t expand your system.  This fits what a lot of people wanted when the CR100 incident happened.    

I think people who just about a legacy Sonos product used, or about to sell, are going to be upset.  That value just hit rock bottom.  It might be a while before we start hearing those complaints.  There will be those asking for a full refund, not just 30% tradeup. 

And if a device has been factory reset after May, and thus not registered to any one, I don’t see how it can be claimed for 30% tradeup by anyone.  This won’t make the reuse/recycle bunch happy at all.  Maybe Sonos can prevent factory resets for these after May?  Or maybe I don’t understand tradeup and factory reset properly?

There may also be some difficulty in telling the difference between a legacy connect or connect:amp and a still supported, 2015+ connect or connect:amp.  That will bring some complaints.

Probably not thinking of some aspects.  Still very early.

 

I’m not quite sure how I feel.  I understand and respect dropping updates for products that are over 5 years old.  At the same time, I would like to keep using the non-updated products without lcoking down my system.  Seems like I should be able to take advantage of new products and features without losing the old.  However, I did get a lot of features added to my legacy products that were not even on the horizon when I originally bought my speakers, which I certainly took advantage of.

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Shame about my three Connects. I don’t want to replace them with Ports (deficient product: no optical output, no hardware controls, an ugly external power supply, while being too expensive).

It was clear that this was going to have to be done at some point, and it is probably more surprising that the inevitable has not happened sooner.  I’m not surprised, either, that the frozen system option is ‘all-or-nothing’. But that makes it a non-option for me, as I don’t want to close off future developments, given that I have only one ‘legacy’ component.  I must admit I didn’t expect Connects sold as recently as 2015 to go at this point though.

I think my only gripe is the lack of generosity in the discount offered.  I find myself facing an unexpected bill of £280 for a Port to replace my Connect, with little real benefit. Sure, I get a new Port that may last longer than my Connect would have done (or may not, I shall never know).  Better DAC?  I use digital out to a DAC / pre-amp.  Airplay? Never use it, don’t own anything Apple.  12V trigger?  No use for it.

So that’s a bit disappointing, but nobody died.   I suspect there will be some posts coming up that equate Sonos’ decision to murder, or possibly genocide, to judge by some past threads.

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Looks like it is time to abandon Sonos as a platform.

After spending over $3000 on Sonos equipment over the years, including (at their request) spending $75 on a Boost as recently as December 2019, Sonos tells me that they will no longer support my system.

I don’t want to spend any more money on a company that treats its customers so badly.

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WOW, what an unbelievable announcement.  What kind of company just phases out your equipment regardless of how much money you spent on it?  You guys seriously SUCK.  All you have done since I invested in your products is destroy them and remove functionality.  You offer a pathetic 30% buyback on only some products, when you should be offering 100% buyback on everything.  YOU BREAK IT, YOU BUY IT.  I’m done with you crooks, I hope you get hit with a class action lawsuit and go bankrupt.

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I think this is outrageous.

I am an early adopter of your product and company - have seen it grow from a few home grown distributors to being in John Lewis/Dixons etc. I spent a lot of money on products and systems, have harped on for years to anyone who would listen to how good Sonos is and they duly purchased. Now, you are peanalising those who supported you in the early years. Thats truly disgraceful. There was no mention of you not supporting products when we purchased them. Shame on you Sonos. 

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Adding more features and not being able to use them is one thing. 

 

However, let’s hope no current features are removed, especially streaming services. 

Don’t want to hear come May “We are changing the way we integrate Tidal/Soundcloud/Qobuz and you will only be able to use this with the latest software version. This means if you have legacy products you will have to upgrade to new kit.”

 

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Hi,

I got the eMail saying that legacy products such as the Play 5 gen 1 and Bridge will stop getting updates soon.

 

I have lots of current line products too and I’m wondering if they will get updates or because I have legacy products in the setup none of the products would get an update?

 

Thanks.