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 The information contained in this thread is outdated and may no longer be accurate.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

Userlevel 6
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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.

Userlevel 6
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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. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

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.

Userlevel 7
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This is NUTS!  You want me to replace 16 devices?  You are only offering a 30% discount?  See how I am affected.  I am livid!  I obviously have been a HUGE supporter and now you do this?

 

 

 

Connect (ZP90) Living Room
 
Connect (ZP90) Billiards Room
 
Connect (ZP90) Home Theater
 
Connect (ZP90) Master Bathroom
 
Connect (ZP90) Kitchen
 
Connect (ZP90) Pool
 
Connect (ZP90) Patio
 
Connect (ZP90) Kitchen TV
 
Connect (ZP90) Gym
 
Connect (ZP90) Dining Room
 
Connect (ZP90) Master Bedroom
 
Connect (ZP90) Driveway
 
Bridge
 
Connect Garage
 
Connect Study
 
Play:5 (Gen 1) Roof
 
Userlevel 5
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So I have about 12 zones of Sonos and have immediately moved from their biggest supporter to their biggest opposer.  I was an early adopter and put Sonos in every room.  And they have now pulled the rug out from under me.  My investment is now worth nothing and will take about $10000 to “upgrade” so that I can get exactly what I already have.  And their eventual lack of functionality - I have seen before.  I will suddenly get a message from my Apple devices that my system is out of date and will not interface with the Sonos anymore.  I have seen this play out already on other “legacy” devices that just suddenly stopped working.  I invested in Sonos because I thought they were different than other IT companies -turns out I was wrong.  Not another dollar Sonos.  

Userlevel 5
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Well, I received an email from Sonos today, saying that my Play:5 speakers became obsolete. I purchased these speakers about 3 and a half years ago, spending several thousand dollars in my home system. 

Kindly, Sonos is offering me two solutions. The first is to purchase new products (and of course, discard the old ones). The other, to sit down and see my system slowly die.

I can’t say how disappointed I am about this. From today, my house is full of expensive trash. Maybe this was what I needed to change to another ecosystem. The only reason I didn’t considered before is because the big amount of money already invested, but since Sonos is changing the game, I think it’s time to say goodbye.

I really hope I’m not the only one making a decision in that way. I decided to support Sonos over those big brands because I liked the product and philosophy. Now they are letting thousands of customers down, I feel my loyalty instantly fade.

Userlevel 4
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Just received notification that my perfectly good gen 1 Sonos 5 (2 of them) will not be receiving update support etc.

I do not recollect any statement by your company that there would be time limited support for my very expensive purchase. Totally pissed off by your company especially as the 30% discount on new hardware is irrelevant. My speakers work perfectly, they provide exactly what I need, the quality is superb and you are suggesting that, over time, they will be worthless, not because they do not function properly but because your company will not provide the necessary support.

How can this be legal?

If and when they do fail I personally promise that I will NOT replace them with any type of Sonos product.

You have let your most important customers down. The early adopters gave your company the chance to flourish but right now I hope this policy of imposing obsolescence destroys it. 

Userlevel 4
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This is so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never gonna buy your products again!!

Userlevel 7
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While I think there was broad acceptance that the ZP80, ZP100 and Bridge might end up being deprecated, I’m surprised how deep this action goes. Folks who bought devices as recently as 2015 are going to be justifiably annoyed if these devices can no longer be used (with necessary limitations) as part of an evolving Sonos system.

Maybe Sonos decided ‘not to waste a good crisis’, but the optics are genuinely awful.

It’s critical that mixed mode systems comprising ‘modern’ and ‘outdated’ Sonos hardware can be managed gracefully, from a single controller, etc. If Sonos messes this up, the message is ‘don’t buy Sonos, you might only get five years’ support.’ That would represent an existential crisis.

Userlevel 5
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So I have over £3,000.00 invested in a system that will no longer be supported after May? This is a ridiculous way to treat customers!

When I bought your products there was no mention of them becoming redundant at any point and I feel this is a breach of contract on your part. As a professional musician I have been recommending Sonos products to other musicians for several years but I shall be posting a warning to all potential Sonos customers about this on social media. I shall also pop in and see Giles Martin (George Martin’s son and Sonos rep) at Abbey Road to get his perspective.

30% trade in is ludicrous, it should be at least 75% trade in. As customers we should not be penalised for a decision that has been foisted upon us.

Chris Blackwell.

Userlevel 4
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SONOS, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!

The highest quality audio equipment in my house continues to be my 35 year old Denon/Infinity based system in the largest room in our house.  Are you telling me that I’ll no longer be able to couple that with SONOS seamlessly both as audio playback and an audio source (via vinyl). 

With this announcement and the failure of a Play 5 last month (flashing white light of death), I have completely lost faith in SONOS and will never buy another piece of SONOS equipment again (despite my wife and I just discussing buying four new pieces of SONOS equipment last week).  You MUST figure out how to maintain my investment for the long term (like my 35 year old legacy audio), or you will be relegated to the scrap heap of failed technology.

A very angry user.

Userlevel 5
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I can't hide my dissapointment that such an expensive investment is pretty much marked as obsolete within 5 years unless I remove or replace 3 components albeit at 30% discount. It's not even like I can guarantee continued usage of the system 'as is', as there is clear indication that at some point a change made by a streaming service could render the system redundant.

Userlevel 4
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I simple cannot believe this.  It’s completely rubbish, simply don’t understand why it’s necessary and it feels like a two fingers to loyal and heavily invested customers.

There is no way in the world I am going to replace the whole of my system with new products from Sonos when as far as I can tell in the next 5 to 6 years I will have to do it again!  

I bought my entire system just 5 to 6 years ago.  A total of six Connects and Connect:Amps

I can accept that the older players have more limited space for playlists etc. And don’t have Alexa support, or the other features of the latest products. 

But to stop support altogether and demand the whole lot is upgraded … I mean, WTF?!?  

It seems very lazy, greedy, and wasteful. They have all the power you need to play music and that demand or the size of song files isn’t going to change.

I add my voice to the voices above, there is no way whatsoever I am buying Sonos again, or at the very least I will be looking seriously at competitors, I believe there are some half decent ones these days.

I bought Sonos because of personal recommendation, but be assured I will be recommending AGAINST buying these things when the company has so little regard for its customers, what we have invested, and the environment.

Literally, aghast.

And the option to keep the products but disconnected from updates…. it simply doesn’t work.  We are expecting to move to a slightly bigger house later this year, we would want another zone or two…. then what?  And when the streaming services we use stop working?

Honestly, in any sane world this would be a sick joke.

Sorry for the somewhat inflammatory language. But I can’t put into words what I really feel about this.

Good bye, Sonos.
 

Userlevel 4
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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)

 

My understanding from the email is that if you have a single “legacy” item, no other items will be updated.

I don’t know what’s happened to Sonos but there seems to have been a recent shift to try and wring customers for all they’re worth.  I’m not impressed at all.  I’ve got a significant investment in Sonos products, I’ve put many others on to them and now I feel I’m being kicked in the balls, again and again.

Userlevel 5
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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.”

 

Userlevel 4

Wow. 4 Connect:Amps, 1 Connect ZP90, and a Play:5 are all being obsoleted. Is this your strategy for staying afloat? Forcing customers to replace fully functioning hardware? Even with the discount I’m looking at $2500 so updates will work. And why on earth is the upgrade path from a Play:5 to the freaking Move?? Why not to another Play:5? Oh, that’s right, don’t want to discount that. This is beyond disappointing, if I’m spending $2500 to replace the system it won’t be with Sonos. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Having championed the Sonos system to friends and family for years, I’m now in the embarrassing situation of having to admit that I’m being , effectively, blackmailed into spending about £1200 or maybe more on new kit in order that the rest of my system can continue to update

 

Very disappointed with this latest development

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

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. :(

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

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).

Userlevel 3

6 legacy products and only 2 “modern” products (I was an early adopter and have built my system over many years)

A replacement bill of over about £2000 after the discount.  

I just dont have the funds to do that to keep software updates.  

Very disappointed and I can’t help but suspect that functionality of legacy systems will be reduced from it current state which does everything I need.

Userlevel 5
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This is very distressing for me.  I just received the email and it says I have 11 devices going out of support.  There is no way I am going to spend all that money to upgrade all this.

I have been a loyal SONOS customer for almost as long as they have been around. (Probably evident by the number of devices I have.) and have recommended the system over and over.  Many of my friends now have a SONOS system because of that.

Several of the devices that are going out are AMPS that I use on my patio, garage and office.  They are expecting that I am going to fork over $450 ish for each one of these just so I can keep up?  There is no way.  Maybe if they turned it around and offered a 70% discounts on replacements.  But 30% is not much incentive with the price the replacements are these days.

Not sure what I am going to do at this point.  But one of my options is to just scrap SONOS completely and go with some other ALEXA controlled system that costs much less.  I would hate to do that as I love my current system.  But the choice of “Freeze where you are” or fork over thousands of dollars is not going to work.

I get that they want to move onto newer and better things.  But when people have invested so much money in their products I feel there needs to be a better solution.

Michael

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

For many, it is not simply having ‘a’ legacy product, it’s that we own multiple products - many thousands of pounds/dollars invested in Sonos networks.  My system sounds great and works great - I don’t feel minded to buy a whole new system that simply replicates what I have already - however, I do feel anxious that my Sonos network may cease to function in the drive for incremental revenue.  Can’t say I’m too impressed.  Apple got their fingers burnt by creating built in obsolescence and Sonos were criticised recently by offering to ‘brick’ perfectly functioning products as part of their upgrade marketing.

 

Userlevel 3

Sonos, I really had a WTF moment today. You told me that my March 2015 Play 5 was considered a legacy device that would no longer be supported from May onwards. Hmm…..How to put it?

I am not angry; it’s worse, I am disappointed. Of myself. For having defended Sonos against criticism and skepticism by friends and family.

Sonos is overpriced for the sound it delivers, they said.
Sonos’ proprietary architecture will lock you in, they said.
You will invest in more and more speakers over the years, but Sonos will always keep the kill-switch, they said.

Worry not, was my response.
It’s a great product; a great experience, I said.
They won’t let the customers down with product support, I said. Why so sure, they asked. To which I answered: They won’t because they cannot afford it. Because Sonos are aware of one critical fact: a vendor-lock-in business model (such as theirs) is doomed to fail if it does not come with premium service and long-lasting support.

I should have known better.

And then the way that decision (to abandon “legacy” devices) was communicated. It did not sound like there was a customers’ advocate in the room when that decision made. Sure, taking pressure off the dev department and increasing the chances of selling a lot of additional units sounds like a win-win. Sounds like it, until negative-network effect kicks in. Many of the customers who are affected the most are (read: “were in the past”) Sonos’ strongest promoters.

- “Let’s get a Sonos system, it looks really cool.”
- “Yeah, I know, but you know, my uncle Tommy had this system with 18 speakers. He spent thousands on it you know. And then Sonos dropped support for 11 out of 18!”
- “Shit!! Ok, no, I don’t want to end like that!”

So! Ok! I’ll admit that technology is changing and I personally know the challenge of supporting and maintaining legacy systems. But somehow… I don’t believe you that there was a technical problem at the heart of the decision. “Since launching our first products, technology has advanced at an exponential rate”. Come on, give me a break. I have wanted streaming audio across rooms five years ago and I want streaming audio across rooms today. So, I wonder what has changed at an exponential rate here? Old processor cannot handle Alexa? Great, that’s a plus. Processor cannot handle AirPlay. Ok, so I’ll accept that missing feature, as I have done in the past with Play5. That’s what I would expect. But why throw all modern devices in the same system under the bus as well? What has changed now compared to missing AirPlay support? Nothing. It is a deliberate decision by Sonos to make their lives easier by stopping development support for older hardware, like mine from 2015.
 

Or is there a real technical reason? Then please give us some details, so I can judge on my own whether Sonos deserves my money in the future. But don’t treat us like idiots… 
Or are you saying that 5 years ago you sold me some completely outdated technology as something state of the art?

Userlevel 3

Wow.. way to announce this a week after the price hikes go into effect.  With five zones impacted by this I’ll have to re-evaluate my future commitment to Sonos.  I’ve built up my system over 15 years and can’t afford to replace all of these components in short order.  This news is very disappointing.  

Userlevel 3

As a long time Sonos customer with many “legacy” components I’m concerned Sonos will decide to brick said hardware under the premise of software update future.  If I don’t want the new hardware and can live w/o new fancy software updates then leave my hardware alone.  Want me to upgrade / buy new hardware, think of a different sales tactic.

 

Thanks. Rant over.