Update on Sonos Dock functionality


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Kumar wrote:


Help me understand how I can now support this use case: Using a dock set to autoplay with a play 1 unit, I can use the play 1 away from home where there is no WiFi available. All I need is mains power for the play 1 and for the dock.


Sorry to quote myself, but this use case becomes very relevant for Sonos lacking, as it does, bluetooth capability. And, in the case of the easily carried Play 1 units, with these lacking a line in jack. If either of these two were present, the dock could be dispensed with in the quoted use case. But since neither is present, the dock is still very relevant and Sonos is doing us a grave disservice in pulling the plug on it.
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andrewCBR wrote:

Will the first gen Play 5 be the next thing you brick just because you don’t want to support it?



Absolutely andrewCBR, this is actually a very worrying decision made by Sonos and I fear your fears do have substance. The "Sonos Support Team" tweeted yesterday that "Supporting the Dock within the modern Sonos system is no longer sustainable due to the age of the Dock's technology." Let's think about that for a second ...

The first gen Play 5 was released as the zp120 before the dock, so when will Sonos announce that it is no longer sustainable due to the age of its technology? And what about the Connect and the Connect Amp, both released earlier than the dock, surely their lifespan, due to their age, will come around too? Question to Ryan, because this has now become a very worrying situation indeed, what technology separates both the Connects and the first gen Play5 from the Sonos dock that makes them future proof? We have all become accustomed to the disgusting planned obsolescence from technology companies (and I can say that as Sonos have planned to make the dock obsolete from October onwards) in the vain hope to sell you the product again, but this is the first time a speaker company has adopted it which makes me very fearful indeed.
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[quote=Kumar]
Kumar wrote:


If either of these two were present, the dock could be dispensed with in the quoted use case. But since neither is present, the dock is still very relevant and Sonos is doing us a grave disservice in pulling the plug on it.



Time for a battery powered Bluetooth speaker Kumar.
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@ChasBads, it's a good question, and I appreciate the concern.

Compared to modern Sonos products, the Dock has older components, and though it’s similar to other Sonos devices of the same era, it was fundamentally designed for a different purpose using different components. The Dock is a music source only, an accessory, and not a full Sonos player. The Dock was originally released in 2010 to support Apple iPods and iPhones with the 30-pin connector, which are no longer supported by Apple. Since then, we have introduced alternate ways to listen to local files through software to ensure that customers benefiting from this feature can continue to enjoy their music on Sonos. All of those considerations were taken into account when we chose to end support for the Dock.

We make every effort to support our products with software updates for as long as possible, and to that point, the majority of devices we’ve ever sold are still functioning in customers’ homes. That includes the first ever Sonos players produced, the ZP100 and ZP80. We will continue to support these older devices to keep music playing on them for as long as we can while continuing to develop new features, software, and hardware.
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@Ryan S "We will continue to support these older devices to keep music playing on them for as long as we can while continuing to develop new features, software, and hardware." In other words their time is limited until you chose to pull the plug, disillusioned, time to think about another system, Sonos is not a subscription company, I've become disillusioned with Apple because of this practice, shame you've modelled them.
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@Ryan S You keep repeating that the 30 pin devices are no longer supported by Apple. This is simply not true. I am still able to sync them with the newest iTunes versions. Their iPod Docks still work. Apple hasn’t dropped their software support for them.
Sonos is focussing more and more on streaming services, playing your own local music collection has become more difficult with every new Sonos version. Removing the dock version is the next step in abandoning using local files.
I’ll guess this is being driven by third-party integrations, which, perhaps, require 64 bit processors, while the Dock maybe has a 32 bit CPU. No idea, but if Sonos was still primarily for playing local files from a PC or NAS, it would be out of business by now.

Everyone is moving to streaming, so Sonos, to stay relevant, has done the same. I remember reading somewhere months ago that 90% of Sonos users stream. I’ll bet it’s even higher now.

I’m going to miss my Dock, for those apps and URLs that don’t have a simple way to play via Sonos. Now that AirPlay is supported, I’ll have to use it for those use cases, but it’s just not anywhere near as convenient or reliable as the Dock with SonosNet.

BTW, I use an Apple 30-pin to Lightning adapter with my current-gen iPhone on the dock, with a plastic stabilizer. Works great, decidedly still fully supported by Apple.
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The iPhone 4s isn't yet on Apple's vintage and obsolete list, but it was discontinued several years ago, and official support was dropped for it in 2016 with iOS10.

Much of modern music listening is off of streamed sources, but local music libraries are also a big part of our musical identity. We're not discontinuing support for local libraries, and with the recent addition of AirPlay 2 to newer Sonos players, we've made it even easier to play your local music or any other source to Sonos.
Peagle wrote:


Time for a battery powered Bluetooth speaker Kumar.


Sure; but how will that allow me to have the play 1 work without WiFi in the way it can with the Dock? This move by Sonos further diminishes them in the music away from home market which they have largely surrendered to other portable BT speaker makers.
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I wish Edison would have had a support community when he switched from cylinders to disks
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What worries me the most is that I invested a lot of money in Sonos gear, and now it turns out this gear comes with a built-in killswitch. A killswitch Sonos can flip whenever they think it is OK to do so. And there is nothing their customers can do about it.

As said earlier, I already made up my mind. Yesterday I returned the new Sonos speakers I bought recently and got my money back. Will keep using the rest of the older generation gear for now and hope I will be able to use them for a while longer.
Ryan S wrote:

The Dock was originally released in 2010 to support Apple iPods and iPhones with the 30-pin connector, which are no longer supported by Apple.

Since then, we have introduced alternate way to listen to local files through software to ensure that customers benefiting from this feature can continue to enjoy their music on Sonos.



But the big difference between what Apple does when it end of life’s something and what you’re doing here is that the Apple products all still function (they just don’t get new functionality, bug fixes or security updates). What Sonos is doing here is deliberately bricking a product - this is why people are pissed with this decision.

You owe us a better explanation than this - after all, we paid for a product you are effectively taking away from us.
While I have no need or plans to buy more of Sonos, if I had these I would now not spend more than what a play 1 costs - about USD 150 - on a Sonos product. Only at that price point or less can I live with a useful life of less than a decade. I would now be very uncomfortable investing in a high end audio set up of the kind a 5 pair + Sub certainly is; having seen this action by Sonos, that is unlikely to last more than a decade of use. The same reason will prevail for not recommending any more such an investment to anyone asking for advice.

Another example is a product in the line up today - a Connect. Does Sonos commit that anyone who buys a new Connect today will not see the same thing happen to it in 2025?

From a company that has a very decent record of maintaining backward compatibility, this is a major disappointment. Hopefully, better sense can still prevail, unless Spence is no longer in touch with the real world.
Marc_50 wrote:

What worries me the most is that I invested a lot of money in Sonos gear, and now it turns out this gear comes with a built-in killswitch. A killswitch Sonos can flip whenever they think it is OK to do so. And there is nothing their customers can do about it.


Quite.... When I buy a product then I expect it to carry on functioning for the purposes that I bought it for until either the hardware dies or I get bored with it. I do not expect the manufacturer to deliberately kill it - especially in the name of 'progress'.
It is all very well saying that we can choose not to update, but we all know that this only works for a period of time. Eventually one of your controllers will die, need resetting or someone else will trigger an update - and then you're totally screwed, because there is no way whatsoever to regress the software. As far as I'm concerned, I have the choice to run pretty much whatever version of software I wish to on all my computing devices - and that's all that the Sonos kit is, after all. It's only Sonos who deliberately and unanimously decide that the kit that I bought may not function any more - and that's unacceptable. I don't expect support for old software/hardware, but I do expect to be able to use it if I choose.
amun wrote:

[...] It is all very well saying that we can choose not to update, but we all know that this only works for a period of time. Eventually one of your controllers will die, need resetting or someone else will trigger an update - and then you're totally screwed, because there is no way whatsoever to regress the software. As far as I'm concerned, I have the choice to run pretty much whatever version of software I wish to on all my computing devices - and that's all that the Sonos kit is, after all. It's only Sonos who deliberately and unanimously decide that the kit that I bought may not function any more - and that's unacceptable. I don't expect support for old software/hardware, but I do expect to be able to use it if I choose.


None of your single devices have to play nicely together in sync - quite a difference.
Kumar wrote:

....having seen this action by Sonos, that is unlikely to last more than a decade of use



... and maybe not even that... It sounds like the dock only made 8 years, and I can see some of the earlier players going the same way in the not too distant future... I bought a Play 5 Gen 1 in 2014 - will it still work in 2024?

Kumar wrote:

The same reason will prevail for not recommending any more such an investment to anyone asking for advice.



Same here.... I no longer recommend Sonos or wish to buy any more of their kit. Originally I bought into their idea of continued 'improvement', but no longer. If they kill off the kit that I have at the moment then I'll definitely be looking for alternatives, rather than buying more Sonos kit.
Smilja wrote:

amun wrote:

[...] It is all very well saying that we can choose not to update, but we all know that this only works for a period of time. Eventually one of your controllers will die, need resetting or someone else will trigger an update - and then you're totally screwed, because there is no way whatsoever to regress the software. As far as I'm concerned, I have the choice to run pretty much whatever version of software I wish to on all my computing devices - and that's all that the Sonos kit is, after all. It's only Sonos who deliberately and unanimously decide that the kit that I bought may not function any more - and that's unacceptable. I don't expect support for old software/hardware, but I do expect to be able to use it if I choose.


None of your single devices have to play nicely together in sync - quite a difference.


Which has been working for many years - so should be fully sorted by now....
However, in my particular case it's a red herring as, due to deficiencies in the android software (another 'improvement'), I no longer play devices in sync. Luckily, this means that I should have more options available if I need to replace the Sonos kit.
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Thanks a lot Sonos. I have 4 docks spread around office and home. Bricking them is really going to be a problem for any of our non-IOS devices (older iPods). Devices that, whilst discontinued by Apple, still continue to function. This wouldn’t be quite as problematic if you’d actually got up off of your asses and built the freestanding audio input some of us have been shouting for. Y’know, a modern Sonos device with Bluetooth, analog and digital line inputs? At least you could point at that as a replacement. We’d groan but it’s workable. What’s the cheapest product you offer with a 3rd party line in? It’s a serious investment.

Really, really pissed off about this. As a s/w developer, I know that it can be hard to support legacy devices but this is just really inexcusable customer support behavior.
amun wrote:

this means that I should have more options available if I need to replace the Sonos kit.


That is certainly the case; it was not so in 2011 when I bought into Sonos. Case in point: Sonos refuse to do Alexa integration for India, but since I have enough Sonos line in jacks, I can still do multi room in perfect sync via voice using Dots wired to said jacks on Connect Amps, which no longer need to be a Sonos product, since all I am using is their amp functionality.

In wanting to be the voice hub with their speakers for the future home, Sonos might end up losing their existing markets if they don't watch out while also failing in achieving what they want to transition to.
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smackie wrote:

This wouldn’t be quite as problematic if you’d actually got up off of your asses and built the freestanding audio input some of us have been shouting for. Y’know, a modern Sonos device with Bluetooth, analog and digital line inputs? At least you could point at that as a replacement. We’d groan but it’s workable. What’s the cheapest product you offer with a 3rd party line in?.



Call me cynical, and I might be wrong, but I imagine Sonos will be releasing that product that you ask for pretty soon just so they can sell you something yet again
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Kumar wrote:


Sure; but how will that allow me to have the play 1 work without WiFi in the way it can with the Dock? This move by Sonos further diminishes them in the music away from home market which they have largely surrendered to other portable BT speaker makers.



Gett a bluetooth or extend your wifi for your p1 (or get a p5, but not a v1 as it might be next to brick). I'm not defending the brickening of the dock by the way just that for your use case there are alternatives even if they are not as good or make use of your p1.
Peagle wrote:

for your use case there are alternatives even if they are not as good or make use of your p1.


The Sonos alternative to the Play 1 is too bulky; I know there are alternatives outside Sonos, but that is precisely the point - with the dock bricked, these are the ones that need to be used.
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Kumar wrote:


The Sonos alternative to the Play 1 is too bulky; I know there are alternatives outside Sonos, but that is precisely the point - with the dock bricked, these are the ones that need to be used.



Since they can't keep the dock going, what would be a suitable outcome for you?
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Of course, silly us, isn't that a usb port on the new Sonos Amp? All for 600 dollars or pounds to enable us to do tomorrow what we could do today
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Apologies, I've been informed that it is not USB but a HDMI port, what a shame it wasn't a USB port

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