Sonos News

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 The information contained in this thread is outdated and may no longer be accurate.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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Hi everyone, thank you for joining the discussion. 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.

Userlevel 5
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Just at a time when big business is trying to go more “green”, SONOS don’t care if our speakers are junk in a year or two :fearful:

I hate to admit and am ashamed of myself that his part of the equation did not come to mind when I first received email yesterday.  I was just thinking about the money.  Kind of makes me just as bad as SONOS.  Well accept for the fact that I have no desire to toss all my working equipment into a landfill.

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Just adding 2cents to the discussion.

 

Over 20 Sonos products.

Upgraded 6 Amps over Christmas.

Now Im told the three Connect:Amps I still have and two Play5 Gen1s need to be upgraded.

 

Dont use voice, lost my PC ability for settings, Android tablets now getting not supported. SO any new features the last 5 years haven't helped me enjoy my system. Actually mostly making it unenjoyable.

I have one Play1 on my worksite. Company network, no wifi. Only PC access to the speaker. Been running for five years. But cant even change settings. And couldn't add anything. Smart. Sure I can get out wireless router and other work arounds but your decisions show you could care less about old customers.

 

Not having a solution to have mixed system is crazy. But who am I to say, well I am a big customer and supporter.

 

I write software in the process control arena. Write my own products. I have rewritten a Visual C++/multiple c library dlls piece of software from scratch probably 4-5 times. Why? Because to make my product better. And that includes making things backward compatible and adding new features.

c why? Old as the hills. yes, but it allows me to encapsulate functions while updating the C++ gui. And yes C++ probably an older software system at this point. But you migrate and adapt as needed. During the rewrites, I often evaluate other approaches(software).

Point, come on, a little planning you can come up with solutions.

 

As of now you have isolated a good bit of your current base. Stuck behind the upgrade wall, will we want to buy new products? No. Upgrade new products, most likely No. Bad press so new customers arent going to join the ecosystem, Yes. Attacking Voice (Good decision) but should only affect new prodycts not the whole eco system. You are competing against much cheaper eco systems. SO new customers are going to got the Amazon, Google, Apple route. My younger niece and nephew dont have house. A simple Bluetooth speaker, cheap echo, etc will do them just fine. They want be joining the environment because of cost. They view music differently than current customer who grew up with stereo systems.

 Best product on the market in my opinion the last 10-15 years. And still is. But this software issue isn't going to do anything good for you. Just my humble opinion though.

 

Might want to rethink this, just sayin

 

 

Userlevel 5
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The BBC news website has caught wind of the anger ….

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51206604

 

Userlevel 2

Putting my amp up for sale. Cause if I update my new gear the old stuff will suffer and eventually stop. Sonos will still need send updates for new gear. Hence theunwill top talking to each other.

 

Bye sonos

I just want to make you (Sonos) aware that due to your obvious disregard for anyone AFTER they have spent their hard earn money (close to 10K in my case) on your product, coupled with your poor handling of both the recent bricking stunt and your previous software update that stopped me playing my library from a IOS device that I will be making a positive effort to buy and set up a new system from anyone of your competitors and NOT SONOS. Your product was good before you started to screw up, well done on alienating your customers.

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The more I think about this the more disappointed I am becoming. 

There are many approaches that could have been taken and they seem to have taken one that is easiest on them (simply not worry about “legacy” devices any longer and let the chips fall were they may) instead of continuing to support “legacy” devices with the understanding that their functionality will not be expanded beyond their current capabilities due to hardware limitations. 

If the limitation is indeed processor and memory based then you could provide functionality in the app – or, perish the thought, the desktop application –  that allows users to load on only the features they use and want. I personally use a local library, Tunein, and Spotify. I do not need every music service loaded to every component. I would understand that such functionality may need to be at the network level so that all speakers have consistent functionality.

I do not believe that any of the people writing here would have objected to this. I do not need airplay or Chromecast in my existing speakers and I would understand having to purchase new equipment to make use of this new technology. What I do not understand is Sonos saying that they will simply stop updating those products and let them die off. 

If the current position is maintained then I ask that you provide access to the code base for the products that you will no longer support as I feel confident that there would be a community of developers that would gladly take up keeping this equipment functional for years to come.

This surely is a PR disaster for Sonos. How a self-styled top of the range piece of audio equipment can lose functionality and eventually become obsolete after 10 years or so is a joke. Most audio equipment in the analogue spectrum will last decades longer if used correctly, not brushed aside at the stroke of a software update. 

 

I don't recall in the user manual for my now ‘legacy’ products a note that said the device will only have a limited lifespan of however long we deem it reasonable to include it in our raft of updates!

 

It's hard to see why anyone will continue to support a brand and system that cannot futureproof its products, even if they offer a token gesture of a 30% discount to trade up.

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Just like many others I suspect I’ve just received an email telling me my connect and bridge are “legacy” products. I like the option to trade up and only need to replace the connect really as I’ve got it connected to my existing system. Without going through the trade up process my quick question is can I upgrade from the connect to “port”?

Userlevel 1

I now honestly can’t think of a reason to buy another Sonos product knowing it has a limited shelf-life.

So angry I just bought a Sonos Move. How long will that be good for!!!

As someone else said, after the ridiculous upgrade ‘offer’ to bin your old products and now this.
Unless there is some miraculous turn-around after the back-lash.

I won’t buy another sonos product.
I won’t recommend them, like I used to, I used to big them up big style!

 

Userlevel 2

Having a nice installation using 6 Sonos Connect that are linked to power amplifiers throughout my house, I was a bit disgruntled already in the past.

 

The first was the difficulty in switching of the wireless connection of the boxes that I did not need as I prefer hard wire. Given that the Connect has RJ45 ports and can thus be physically wired, it would make sense to be able to switch off the wireless connections so as to basically cut power consumption by half, as well as reduce the heat. It took a long time discussing with Sonos support to finally be informed unofficially how I could actually send a machine code to the box for this. Not easy, but finally doable. There should have been a simple option in the configuration interface.

 

Then, having purchased a couple of small tablets to use as remotes, these became redundant after the Sonos app would only work on the most recent Android versions. Annoying yes, but I can to some extent understand this.

 

However this latest event is totally unacceptable. It has pushed me to review what else is available in the market as I certainly do not want to ever use and Sonos equipment again. Having equipment that works fine being made redundant in such a way is just wrong. Granted, we are told that the units will continue to work, but there will be no more updates. I am confident that there will be some update probably in June of the app which will ensure that music streaming services will only work with the new update.

 

So, I have been looking for some alternatives in the market. For my personal installation probably the most interesting will be to get 6 Yamaha WXAD-10 and switch to their MusicCast system. This would cover my needs, provide a higher quality DAC, and the Yamaha boxes cost significantly less (here in Switzerland it would be $ 170 instead of a new Sonos Port at $ 350 after the 30% discount). There are yet other alternatives I could go for such as Teufel Raumfeld which also would be cheaper.

 

Good bye Sonos.

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Question for tech folks on this thread: 

Can you imagine a creative solution where some type of inexpensive dongle could be attached to the older legacy devices with enough processing and memory to enable ongoing updates? Maybe leveraging Raspberry Pi or similar? Not sure how the I/O would work with the Sonos component?

 

All this is pending your taste in quality of music…. If you care more about money instead of quality, then….If replacing a Connect:Amps or a dedicated Sonos speaker like the Play1,3,5, I’d recommend getting a $30 Echo Dot to control and zone them with a 3.5mm output going into a separate amp like this cheap one from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Bluetooth-Stereo-Mini-Amplifier/dp/B07W46QV5J?ref_=BSellerC&pf_rd_p=c305f8d1-9b05-501e-84a5-d05e840f2085&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=537344&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=ZAYZXRC7KK1GH76HTKMQ&pf_rd_r=ZAYZXRC7KK1GH76HTKMQ&pf_rd_p=c305f8d1-9b05-501e-84a5-d05e840f2085

 

The Echo Dot doesn’t have ALL the streaming services and quality that the Sonos has, but it has voice control, and at least it’s a less expensive device if/when it gets left behind like this again. A standalone amp and speakers will last until they die. Obviously, get a better amp if you like better quality, YMMV.

 

If replacing a Connect, then all you really need is the Echo Dot with the 3.5mm output. Bought on their normal sales, you could buy around 15 Echo Dots for one Sonos:Connect. Let that sink in….

 

They may go out of date over time as well, but at least you’re only replacing a $30 streaming device. Lesson learned.

This is part of the point that people are trying to get across; Sonos are trying to get away with this because so many people with these legacy devices have bought into the Sonos ecosystem, and it’s hassle and expense to abandon that (especially as there’s the interim period when you’re in the middle of changing over and have 2 systems to control).

When my Play:3 broke it took me weeks to make the decision to exchange it for a refurbished model. At the time the gen 2 Echo had just become available and was £5 more NEW than a refurbished Play:3. In the end I went with Sonos as the Echo, at the time, didn’t have support for playing the same music in all zones. It does now, so I can’t justify spending any more money on a Sonos device that:

  1. 5 years on, may become obsolete and needing replacing again, at substantial cost
  2. Really doesn’t sound that brilliant on its own 

I think Sonos’s sound is generally good, impressive for a single little box but, without being set up as a stereo pair (at twice the cost of one obviously), it’s really not what I’d call hi-fi!

Userlevel 2

I just received the email from Sonos about Legacy systems. I have spent thousands of dollars and worse yet, I have bought components for friends and also have functioned as an unpaid salesman for Sonos products. Never again!

I feel bad that I recommended Sonos to friends that I care about knowing that the products they invested in are only guaranteed a 5 year shelf life. I feel responsible for their poor investment decision.

 

Sonos you could design a box, add on, that would allow legacy systems to continue to operate in the future. 

i feel violated. And strongly believe that there has been a betrayal of my trust as a customer.

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I have always loved Sonos.  But this may be the turning point for me.  I have purchased eight pieces of Sonos equipment and Sonos is essentially forcing me to upgrade and purchase new ones.  I’m sure Sonos has a loyal following and they are now telling their customers “buy more” because we need more sales.  My equipment isn’t that old, I’m not going to just replace everything every time they say so.  I think it may be time I move to a different speaker eco-system.  My whole family loves the speakers, I’m just shocked Sonos is doing this.  How can I continue to have faith and support a company who can decide at anytime that my speakers need to be replaced.  If customers continue to support Sonos through this, Sonos will only continue to pull this strategy in the future...only more often, because it will result in a boost in sales.

I hope they change this so our equipment does not become obsolete. 

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. 

Here here.

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I have had a system for some years now, which I have slowly built up over time until I now have 6 zones including home theatre. It's taken years to build up as I consider Sonos to be a luxury. I even recommended by children get one for their rooms to add on to the system. This new route Sonos has chosen is disgusting. My Play 5 is still working excellently. Even if I could afford to upgrade I no longer feel any trust for Sonos. 

Sonos have gone from music hero to zero. Shame on you.


I have many Sonos products around our home and I’m shocked that you can’t envisage a way for the newer products to act as the key components and transmit simple music streams to the older products. 
 

I have Linn hifi components that are 25 years old and are still going strong. I know where my money will be getting invested should I need more hifi….  Amazing how badly I feel you’re treating your long standing customers. I don’t expect hifi to last 5 years. 

Userlevel 7
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Did anyone from Sonos tell IKEA about this?

IKEA have 433 stores around the world selling the new Symfonisk speakers made in conjunction with SONOS when will they become legacy?

This could be trouble!

I’m sure that around one billion customers who visited IKEA stores in 2019 won’t be buying them when they find out!

 

Why?  The IKEA speakers are supported.  I’m sure there are some with legacy products and IKEA, but I’m not sure what is unique about that group of customers.  Are you implying that potential IKEA customers are going to assume that their IKEA  speakers will lose support 5 years from now, with a 30% discount on buying a replacement,  and that will drive them away?   

 

I would have thought Sonos are attempting to move to a legacy model for all of their equipment.

Hence all trust has evaporated for me. I won’t be buying any Sonos if there is not some kind of back track and full disclosure with a road map for the future.

The Ikea branded items just have significantly more exposure to new customers, than Sonos branded, and pick up new customers. But will they have a shelf life like our legacy equipment? I would have thought so, but maybe Sonos will explain.

 

Sonos- you have certainly created a legacy! Basically, buy our product, but it will be useless in 10 years time. Congratulations- excellent job.😡

Userlevel 2

Dear Ryan

This is seriously bad news for anyone - like me - who has invested heavily in Sonos and been very positive about you to many people.

It will cost me over £2,500 (after your discount) to replace the ‘obsolete’ items.  As they all currently work, it seems an outrage that you should prioritise future sales over current, loyal customers.  I also have a number of items that are not yet ‘obsolete’ and I even bought a second Playbar last week.  I am now wondering how long it will be before you ditch those, too.  

Add to that the terrible publicity about your contempt for the planet in bricking perfectly serviceable technology, and I for one will no longer be an enthusiast for Sonos.  

I am very, very disappointed in a company I thought had more integrity.

Peter

In the UK we cannot, due to licensing law get  live football/ sports commentary via streaming services. I use a connect with a radio receiver to do this. As a replacement for the shortly redundant connect is going to cost me £££££ do`s anyone have a cheaper idea??

I have massive amount of Sonos product in my house and i am reluctant now to spend any more cash on it. how about a 60%  discount sonos? 

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There’s not much more outrage that I can add that hasn’t already been included, but I still feel the need to vent. I have 10 Sonos products from the unfortunate Play5 through the Move. Several costing upwards of $700 US each. I think it may be time to “Move” on. I’ve had vintage stereo gear and speakers that were 30 years old and running strong, but ditched all for this “high end” wireless system. That meant getting rid of much vinyl, CDs etc. Oh what a regret. 

Bad, bad move Sonos. You better start thinking about the future customers that will now choose other systems even if you toss your loyal customers. I was even one of the testers for the Alexa integration.

 

Wise up Sonos. Someone there must have the vision to make this right.

Bob

gutted reading comments like this

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With six of my Sonos devices now considered legacy, I will largely abandon Sonos and reconfigure my system in a more centralized way - like I had before Sonos.  Fortunately, many of my “common” rooms have ceiling speakers wired to a closet. If I use Sonos to drive these, I will probably just have one unit as a source for a third party multi-zone amp. For the rooms that have Sonos speakers (mostly bedrooms), I will replace Sonos with less expensive alternatives. I have no need for these to be part of a central system since the bedrooms are rarely grouped with other zones.

There is a lesson in all this and it extends beyond Sonos.  Many of us have “invested” heavily on Sonos and other smart products like lighting. The truth is that buying Sonos and other smart products is not an investment, it’s spending on disposable goods.  What’s happening will continue to happen and it is causing me to rethink my approach.  Less is more, and all I really want is to listen to music across my home in a pain free way.  I once needed Sonos for that, but that is no longer the case.  With a little work I can build a new system that works the way I need and doesn’t put me at the mercy of any one company.

I now look forward to the thousands I’ve spent in HUE lighting and other smart devices to be rendered obsolete. Good times.

Have sent what I think is a reasonable email to Patrick Spence, the CEO of Sonos. Interesting that I don’t seem to able to copy and paste the text into this Community page.  The “Legacy” proposals are outrageous and very badly thought out.

Simon - Ireland.

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And still the share price drops oh dear