Question

It takes "courage" to admit a mistake and make right, why not offer up S2 Gold App back on App Store?


Userlevel 6
Badge +2

Dear Sonos,

You have a New Coke, or more recent example CNN+, level of self-induced crisis with your recent App update killing your core value proposition - The Sonos Ecosystem.

This is beyond access/search to Personal Music Libraries or some systems not connecting, but by purposefully removing basic functionality like Queue, Sonos Playlists, Segmented Favorite, Search Personal Music, Mute, TV/Music Source Switch, Alarm, Sleep and others - you’ve demonstrated a lack of awareness on the importance of trust as the guardian of your company’s ecosystem.

Apple is a dominant example of a stable (and expanding) ecosystem driving consumer confidence to invest in new hardware as well as upgrade hardware for want, not need.

Mistakes happen, even by industry leading companies. It takes “courage” to admit them and do the right thing, not double-down and pat yourself on the back for a self-induced deadline (Q2 Earnings with CEO Update) to disrupt your ecosystem over the launch of a new product (headphones).

Like New Coke, keep the new App on the shelves, but time to bring back Gold S2 App (Classic Coke) on the App store today.

Don’t wait weeks/months to add updates to return your ecosystem to what it was last week. Trust erodes quickly and is hard to earn back, especially when you need future consumer spending on new hardware or upgraded hardware to survive.

It takes “courage” to admit a mistake and make things right. It demonstrates you can be trusted as guardian to a value proposition and deserve consumers money and time invested in your products.


35 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Very nice written! 

You offer good advice but afraid this will fall on deaf ears.

Sonos has doubled down on the dumpster fire release. Actually Saying it “Took Courage” to release this disaster.

 

Sonos says its controversial app redesign took ‘courage’

The company hears what customers are saying but insists the new app was necessary — even if it’s ‘a few steps back’ for now because of missing features.

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

I disagree, as they have already demonstrated the ability to do it. They had SONOS 1 App up on the App Store for 4 years after they bricked those systems to not into integrating into S2 back in 2020. They don’t need to keep S2 App up for 4 years, they only need up for the weeks/months UNTIL they can clearly demonstrate same functionality in this updated App version. 

Do you honestly believe an existing Sonos consumer is going go out and buy headphones next month or ever, with this situation ongoing? And if it is remains, new consumers will review SONOS before purchase and the reviews from May onward will drive away future investments.

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

I disagree, as they have already demonstrated the ability to do it. They had SONOS 1 App up on the App Store for 4 years after they bricked those systems to not into integrating into S2 back in 2020. They don’t need to keep S2 App up for 4 years, they only need up for the weeks/months UNTIL they can clearly demonstrate same functionality in this updated App version. 

Do you honestly believe an existing Sonos consumer is going go out and buy headphones next month or ever, with this situation ongoing? And if it is remains, new consumers will review SONOS before purchase and the reviews from May onward, are going to drive any future investment away.

 

If Sonos brings back the S2 app, then there will be diehards who will want to keep it around forever, even once all the issues are resolved.  They will also have to figure out how they will handle setups where some controllers are  the old version and some are the  new.  Can the old app even function if there are headphones in the system?  

Yes, I do think consumers will still purchase the headphones with the app in the current state.  It will obviously negatively impact sales, but not dry it up entirely.  Many users don’t use local libraries, alarms and the other features that are missing.  Then there are other consumers that don’t use the app for anything but setup, preferring to use voice control, airplay, or the music service app. Some consumers will want headphones for the bluetooth functionality only.  Unless we hear that Sonos decides to delay the release of headphones, they clearly see it as better to release then delay.  They have the marketing data that we don’t.

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

This is a footgun situation because I will NOT be buying the Roam 2 or Ace headphones BECAUSE of these issues. Not having the courage to undo this mess is going to be a false economy because right now I have zero trust to purchase any more Sonos products.

They will get more money out of me by fixing this calamity first and then trying to sell me more stuff.

Userlevel 2

Please bring back the ability to mix & blend playlists & songs together in one hybrid playlist. That is what I loved most about Sonos…that I could customize my own unique playlist. That was the beauty of the entire system! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Completely agree!

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

I disagree, as they have already demonstrated the ability to do it. They had SONOS 1 App up on the App Store for 4 years after they bricked those systems to not into integrating into S2 back in 2020. They don’t need to keep S2 App up for 4 years, they only need up for the weeks/months UNTIL they can clearly demonstrate same functionality in this updated App version. 

Do you honestly believe an existing Sonos consumer is going go out and buy headphones next month or ever, with this situation ongoing? And if it is remains, new consumers will review SONOS before purchase and the reviews from May onward, are going to drive any future investment away.

 

If Sonos brings back the S2 app, then there will be diehards who will want to keep it around forever, even once all the issues are resolved.  They will also have to figure out how they will handle setups where some controllers are  the old version and some are the  new.  Can the old app even function if there are headphones in the system?  

Yes, I do think consumers will still purchase the headphones with the app in the current state.  It will obviously negatively impact sales, but not dry it up entirely.  Many users don’t use local libraries, alarms and the other features that are missing.  Then there are other consumers that don’t use the app for anything but setup, preferring to use voice control, airplay, or the music service app. Some consumers will want headphones for the bluetooth functionality only.  Unless we hear that Sonos decides to delay the release of headphones, they clearly see it as better to release then delay.  They have the marketing data that we don’t.

With due respect, this is where you don’t understand the value prop of SONOS - it’s not hardware. There is better sound quality elsewhere among the value, mid and premium price categories. There is better amps, sleeker soundbars, and more capable smart speakers on the market. It is SONOS ability to bring all sources of music and sound (i.e TV) together in a centralized control that can be operated across vast amount of spaces (indoor and outdoor) without interruption and at different volume/EQ/source input. 

The snobbery of many users don’t use local libraries, therefore it’s not important… is the equivalent that many people no longer ethernet connection, it’s all wireless therefore let’s have SONOS remove ethernet ports in it’s equipment to save money. You think it would still sell as much? If I couldn’t Cat 5 or 6 the AMPs and PORTs around the house or out to other yard locations (i.e. pool house), I would’t own them - because of interruption. 

As for headphones - if you dismiss what I share at their value prop and not use the app, why is one then buying SONOS headphones over what someone already owns in AirPods, Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, etc.? These work perfectly fine on their Airplay already and are either better sounding, more sleek or economical that what SONOS will launch. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

The App has been released with no update to any hardware so I highly doubt this specific release was to tie in with any new hardware.

Sonos gave a date and they've stuck to it and to hell with the consequences.

I've never known the likes of it.

Updated the new app. Since then I cannot connect online, can’t use the system and after several attempts it still is not functioning. 

Whoever gave the green light on this pos update should be held accountable. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

They can delay their products then. They should not be punishing loyal customers who have spent literally thousands of dollars on their products to only have them crippled or useless because of their “courage”. This isn’t courage. This is stupidity.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

I disagree, as they have already demonstrated the ability to do it. They had SONOS 1 App up on the App Store for 4 years after they bricked those systems to not into integrating into S2 back in 2020. They don’t need to keep S2 App up for 4 years, they only need up for the weeks/months UNTIL they can clearly demonstrate same functionality in this updated App version. 

Do you honestly believe an existing Sonos consumer is going go out and buy headphones next month or ever, with this situation ongoing? And if it is remains, new consumers will review SONOS before purchase and the reviews from May onward will drive away future investments.

Yup!! over $10k over 8yrs in Sonos gear.  I swore if they ever screwed the pooch like they did with the rotten S2 rollout, we’d never expand/upgrade our gear.  Our household had over $3k in a purchase wish list but waited for this over-hyped app update.  That wish list has been deleted online!!!  

FIRE THE CEO/CFO !  “you did it to yourselves and that’s why it really hurts”.

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

This!

Userlevel 6
Badge +2

The assumption that Sonos can just roll back to the S2 app assumes that plans for future products and features would not be negatively impacted.  I don’t think that’s the case.  In fact I would suspect that the reasons the new app was pushed out before it was ready is because of it’s impacts on future product releases.  The question then is whether the negative impact of this new app release and then pulling it back is worse then the negative impact to whatever Sonos has planned.  From a consumer perspective, that question is probably pretty easy to answer.  Perhaps not so much from Sonos perspective.

I do wonder if having two versions of the app is a solution going forward, but that clearly has some big downsides as well.  Again, consumers are probably happy with that, but Sonos surely doesn’t want to support yet another app version, and one that doesn’t allow users to add whatever product Sonos is likely about to announce.

I disagree, as they have already demonstrated the ability to do it. They had SONOS 1 App up on the App Store for 4 years after they bricked those systems to not into integrating into S2 back in 2020. They don’t need to keep S2 App up for 4 years, they only need up for the weeks/months UNTIL they can clearly demonstrate same functionality in this updated App version. 

Do you honestly believe an existing Sonos consumer is going go out and buy headphones next month or ever, with this situation ongoing? And if it is remains, new consumers will review SONOS before purchase and the reviews from May onward, are going to drive any future investment away.

 

If Sonos brings back the S2 app, then there will be diehards who will want to keep it around forever, even once all the issues are resolved.  They will also have to figure out how they will handle setups where some controllers are  the old version and some are the  new.  Can the old app even function if there are headphones in the system?  

Yes, I do think consumers will still purchase the headphones with the app in the current state.  It will obviously negatively impact sales, but not dry it up entirely.  Many users don’t use local libraries, alarms and the other features that are missing.  Then there are other consumers that don’t use the app for anything but setup, preferring to use voice control, airplay, or the music service app. Some consumers will want headphones for the bluetooth functionality only.  Unless we hear that Sonos decides to delay the release of headphones, they clearly see it as better to release then delay.  They have the marketing data that we don’t.

With due respect, again disagree with your “many users don’t use…”. The snobbery towards personal music libraries is equivalent of many users don’t use Ethernet cables, it’s all wireless therefore Sonos should save money and stop putting Ethernet jacks in back of Amp, Port and home speakers. You just eliminated % of market share that want ensured reliability because of connection issues due to density or distance.

Realize streaming is most popular, even taught my kids how to use cause didn’t want to mess up my personal music library. But anyone who is over age 30 has had at least 10 years of buying music through iTunes or CDs as well as sharing on download platforms. It is large segment of the discretionary income population that can and will drop $1,500 for an upgrade or expand out to various rooms indoors or yard outdoors. Apple sells phones with 256GB, 512GB - for what purpose? To stream? No, store content. Yes there’s photos and video but there is Apple Music with iTunes functionally as a music library organizer still reliable and evolving. Imagine if Apple all along thought - “Many users don’t use… therefore let’s remove and ignore it”.
 

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Sonos user since 2006.

It used to be the best. Then they switched from dedicated controllers to apps but it wasn't too bad. The whole S1/S2 debacle nearly lost me but the 30% discount just about kept me from switching as it made the competition relatively expensive.

Now, I'm out of discounts and have lost all trust. I cannot imagine ever buying Sonos equipment again.

After the last expensive upgrade it was working. Now I just want to relax and play music late in the evening after a long week and it turns out that somebody has broken into my house and stolen the hifi system, leaving their old broken one behind.

I guess in hindsight it was a risky business letting Android do automatic updates. It's like leaving the house unlocked.

Anyway, to the point of this thread: I really want the old app back and I don't want to ever update it again.

I do think the black icon is fitting though. RIP Sonos.

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Omg this is so stressful. I just went and found my old phone, powered it on and immediately turned off the WiFi while I figured out how to disable app updates. Great news, it still has the old app! But it was horrible because the app store needs Internet access before I can disable the auto update.

So now I can listen to Mozart piano sonata no. 16, which is virtually impossible in the new app as it truncates all the song titles. One of its many flaws.

I've also sent out urgent messages to friends not to update even though it's nearly midnight here in the UK.

Someone should get fired for this.

 

Userlevel 2

Upvote.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Well, looks like they really messed up a good thing.  Ever since the S2 update I have had nothing but issues with their App.  The Go To is your Network is messed up.  Now I have lost all connection to my Sonos devices.  Thanks but no thanks Sonos!!!

Userlevel 2
Badge

It takes courage to leave Sonos after after decades of use. I might muster it, however, unless the previous app version is made restorable. The new one is simply not acceptable. I’m about ready to donate my Sonos equipment for a tax write off.  

Userlevel 1
Badge

Typical software programmer *

*Moderator Note: Modified in accordance with the Community Code of Conduct.*

Userlevel 1
Badge

DENON HEOS is an option I will explore

Badge

Why not wait to rollout the new app when all of its features are ready? 

Userlevel 2
Badge

You offer good advice but afraid this will fall on deaf ears.

Sonos has doubled down on the dumpster fire release. Actually Saying it “Took Courage” to release this disaster.

 

Sonos says its controversial app redesign took ‘courage’

The company hears what customers are saying but insists the new app was necessary — even if it’s ‘a few steps back’ for now because of missing features.

Just like Bud!

Userlevel 2
Badge

Sonos user since 2006.

It used to be the best. Then they switched from dedicated controllers to apps but it wasn't too bad. The whole S1/S2 debacle nearly lost me but the 30% discount just about kept me from switching as it made the competition relatively expensive.

Now, I'm out of discounts and have lost all trust. I cannot imagine ever buying Sonos equipment again.

After the last expensive upgrade it was working. Now I just want to relax and play music late in the evening after a long week and it turns out that somebody has broken into my house and stolen the hifi system, leaving their old broken one behind.

I guess in hindsight it was a risky business letting Android do automatic updates. It's like leaving the house unlocked.

Anyway, to the point of this thread: I really want the old app back and I don't want to ever update it again.

I do think the black icon is fitting though. RIP Sonos.

Very apt description of where I am as well!

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