End of Software Update Program

  • 23 January 2020
  • 45 replies
  • 545 views

Userlevel 2

I have spent over $1500 for my Sonos system which is less than 3 years old and now I’m told that my Sonos Bridge and Play: 5 speaker needs to be replaced before May or they will lose their functionality. All that Sonos is offering is a 30% discount on a new speaker, but I paid over $600 for these two products. I think this is poor marketing and strategic planning on Sonos part. If I had known your products functionality would cease after 3 years, I would never have purchased your product. Am I expected to upgrade various products of my system every 3 years? Your products are not inexpensive, so the average user must save in order to purchase your product. You are about to lose a valuable customer.


45 replies

I am puzzled.  No product made in the last three years is affected.  And the long list of products on your profile would have cost far more than the cost you quote.  Something literally doesn’t add up here.

Userlevel 2

I said “over $1500” for my system. If you want me to be exact I spent over $3000, I was just using $1500 to let you know my system was NOT CHEAP. And yes, I registered my Play: 5 and Bridge in October of 2017 and both are on the list of legacy products.

I said “over $1500” for my system. If you want me to be exact I spent over $3000, I was just using $1500 to let you know my system was NOT CHEAP. And yes, I registered my Play: 5 and Bridge in October of 2017 and both are on the list of legacy products.

Sonos stopped selling both in 2015, and the Boost and gen 2 Play:5 were available from then.  

Userlevel 2

And your point is? I purchased my products less than 3 years ago and they are on the Legacy list and Sonos will no longer provide updates after May 2020 forcing me to stay with my current system without updates or upgrade which is more money ($379) to be invested into products that have been purchased less than 3 years ago...

And your point is? I purchased my products less than 3 years ago and they are on the Legacy list and Sonos will no longer provide updates after May 2020 forcing me to stay with my current system without updates or upgrade which is more money ($379) to be invested into products that have been purchased less than 3 years ago...

 

Where did you purchase them from that they had 2 year old stock on the shelves?  

Userlevel 7
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@dboyd294, sorry to hear you only had that long out of those units. Both the Bridge and the Play:5 gen1 were designed over a decade ago and we stopped selling them over 5 years ago. Our official commitment is to support products with software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, and we have a track record of supporting for longer. 

 

All of the affected products were introduced over a decade ago, and simply don’t have the processing power to sustain continued software updates. We created the Trade Up program so that our long-term customers can take advantage of our newer product offerings, should they choose to do so. But you can also choose not to update and your system will continue functioning as it does today without any updates. Your Sonos system will work as it does currently, though over time some functionality of features and services will be impacted.

 

 

This whole End of Software Updates for Legacy Products is really disappointing. Are we being given upgraded products at cost or is Sonos making money by discontinuing updates and forcing us to purchase expensive new pieces to our systems?

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@dboyd294, sorry to hear you only had that long out of those units. Both the Bridge and the Play:5 gen1 were designed over a decade ago and we stopped selling them over 5 years ago. Our official commitment is to support products with software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, and we have a track record of supporting for longer. 

 

All of the affected products were introduced over a decade ago, and simply don’t have the processing power to sustain continued software updates. We created the Trade Up program so that our long-term customers can take advantage of our newer product offerings, should they choose to do so. But you can also choose not to update and your system will continue functioning as it does today without any updates. Your Sonos system will work as it does currently, though over time some functionality of features and services will be impacted.

 

 

@Ryan S Sonos didn’t stop selling the Play 5 gen 1 OVER 5 years ago. You were still selling them direct Q3 2015 just before the gen 2 came out! that’s 4.5 years at a push. Close to 5 but not OVER...

Userlevel 2

Ryan S.,

Thanks for the clarification. So, what does Sonos assume the life expectancy for the new products to be? My problem is that I invested over $3000 so far into my system and can’t keep upgrading every 3 to 5 years. I would like to keep my system up-to-date, but upgrading every 3 to 5 years is not feasible. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Ryan S.,

Thanks for the clarification. So, what does Sonos assume the life expectancy for the new products to be? My problem is that I invested over $3000 so far into my system and can’t keep upgrading every 3 to 5 years. I would like to keep my system up-to-date, but upgrading every 3 to 5 years is not feasible. 

 

Imo only buy products that are recently released. So avoid playbar, playbase, Play5 gen2, Play1 (discontinued but still for sale). Sub - avoid until more information.

Userlevel 7
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There’s no specific set refresh rate for devices, some things will be sold for longer than others. And even when we do stop selling something, that doesn’t immediately put a 5 year clock on it. We’re going to keep products as modern and updating for as long as possible. That’s what we did here, with devices developed over a decade ago. Some of them 15 years ago. They’re just at the point now where we simply can’t keep updating them.

 

Also, even after they moved into legacy, they’ll keep on working. If you had a Playbar and a Sub and in some time in the future they wind up becoming legacy and stop updating, the optical connection should be able to keep on playing the TV until the device breaks. Some services will probably break over time, but much of it won’t.

I have spent over $1500 for my Sonos system which is less than 3 years old and now I’m told that my Sonos Bridge and Play: 5 speaker needs to be replaced before May or they will lose their functionality. All that Sonos is offering is a 30% discount on a new speaker, but I paid over $600 for these two products. I think this is poor marketing and strategic planning on Sonos part. If I had known your products functionality would cease after 3 years, I would never have purchased your product. Am I expected to upgrade various products of my system every 3 years? Your products are not inexpensive, so the average user must save in order to purchase your product. You are about to lose a valuable customer.

Just bought the Beam and was planning to get the SLs. Sounds like I should return it. I used my last sound system for 20 years.

Wow Sonos.  Just had to voice my displeasure in the news that support will be taken away from perfectly good speakers.   I have invested in the products, but am regretting my decision.  I was making an investment for the long term and now am made aware that it will probably be 5 years or so before my system is made obsolete.  Awful for your customers and awful for the environment….but great for your bottom line given that you’re only providing a 30% trade back.  Would have been great if you were more upfront with you’re customers and let them know that they were purchasing disposable product before they invested thousands.   

Was strongly considering picking up the Move, but not any more.   Shame Sonos.  Shame. 

CEO Responds

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Sorry, but I do not buy all this legacy . Either the whole system works on some basic level and old and new speakers can be grouped or there is no point to it at all! You can split your legs if you want but you will not be splitting/dicing/slicing the ecosystem if you want to retain your customers.

Additionally I keep asking for clear roadmap to legacy for every product currently sold. This should be IN BOLD letters on your website by now so that customers can make an informed decision.

 

Sorry, but I do not buy all this legacy crap. Either the whole system works on some basic level and old and new speakers can be grouped or there is no point to it at all! You can split your legs if you want but you will not be splitting/dicing/slicing the ecosystem if you want to retain your customers.

Additionally I keep asking for clear roadmap to legacy for every product currently sold. This should be IN BOLD letters on your website by now so that customers can make an informed decision.

 

The system will “work on some level”.  It will stay at the legacy software and function exactly as it does today.  You will get bug fixes and security updates, you just will not get new features.  There is no need to split your system unless you wish to get new features on the modern products.  

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Sorry, but I do not buy all this legacy crap. Either the whole system works on some basic level and old and new speakers can be grouped or there is no point to it at all! You can split your legs if you want but you will not be splitting/dicing/slicing the ecosystem if you want to retain your customers.

Additionally I keep asking for clear roadmap to legacy for every product currently sold. This should be IN BOLD letters on your website by now so that customers can make an informed decision.

 

The system will “work on some level”.  It will stay at the legacy software and function exactly as it does today.  You will get bug fixes and security updates, you just will not get new features.  There is no need to split your system unless you wish to get new features on the modern products.  


But you cannot guarantee that lets say Spotify will work on “Legacy” system in 5 years time.

More to the point looking at your website there is still no indication how long each component will be supported. Sorry guys you started it, you need to put expiry date on each product, this is how it is now.

How will you be stopping the Sonos app from updates if/when in legacy mode? Will I be able to use Sonos app in legacy mode on newer android phone when I upgrade and android system will also upgrade. These are just a few questions that have not been answered.

Userlevel 7
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But you can’t guarantee Spotify will be around in 5 years, or 5 months either.  

I’m making an assumption that Sonos have learnt a big lesson here and will tread very carefully in retiring products.  I would expect that many may be usable long after 5 years.  If Streaming services work or not will depend on how they change and which come and go.

 

Of course there will be those that now think Sonos are the big evil and nothing will ever change that mindset, as they too have expressed.

 

What is clear is that constant misinformation, and I’m not referring to your post szkorupa, does not help any of us, Sonos or its customers.  A healthy profitable company, in touch with it’s user community (old and new) is the best solution to keep our product investment working.

 


But you cannot guarantee that lets say Spotify will work on “Legacy” system in 5 years time.

More to the point looking at your website there is still no indication how long each component will be supported. Sorry guys you started it, you need to put expiry date on each product, this is how it is now.

How will you be stopping the Sonos app from updates if/when in legacy mode? Will I be able to use Sonos app in legacy mode on newer android phone when I upgrade and android system will also upgrade. These are just a few questions that have not been answered.

 

Who is this “you guys” that you speak of?  It’s not my website, and I didn’t start anything.  I’m a user like you, I don’t work for Sonos. 

Userlevel 7
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More to the point looking at your website there is still no indication how long each component will be supported. Sorry guys you started it, you need to put expiry date on each product, this is how it is now.

 

 

I’m not aware of any tech company that puts expiration dates on their tech products.  Yes, companies will give no notice that a product will lose support at a certain date, but I’ve never heard of that date being announced when the product is sold.  

 

How will you be stopping the Sonos app from updates if/when in legacy mode?

 

 

Sonos answered this already.  The update process will recognize that your system has a legacy product in it and prevent the update.  It is not a 100% clear yet whether the legacy product needs to be active in your system or 

 

 

Will I be able to use Sonos app in legacy mode on newer android phone when I upgrade and android system will also upgrade. These are just a few questions that have not been answered.

 

The system will “work on some level”.  It will stay at the legacy software and function exactly as it does today.  You will get bug fixes and security updates, you just will not get new features.  There is no need to split your system unless you wish to get new features on the modern products.  


But you cannot guarantee that lets say Spotify will work on “Legacy” system in 5 years time.

 

 

Here’s the important thing.  Sonos is not just leaving the legacy software as is.  They are actually forking their software (a considerable decision giving the support it will require).  So, within the limits of the 32 MB RAM/storage, they can fix things like changes to Spotify, if it can be done.  Previously, any changes - bugs, security, service changes - were not being done.  

 

More to the point looking at your website there is still no indication how long each component will be supported. Sorry guys you started it, you need to put expiry date on each product, this is how it is now.

 

As stated, nobody does this.  Besides how are they to predict the future?  The limits are not time dependent, they are memory, storage, and processor dependent.  Nobody can predict another game changing feature like voice control will come in the future and force those limits.  Any expiry date they state would be a guess, and a WAG at that. 

 

How will you be stopping the Sonos app from updates if/when in legacy mode? Will I be able to use Sonos app in legacy mode on newer android phone when I upgrade and android system will also upgrade. These are just a few questions that have not been answered.

 

Currently, there exists a way for a system to downgrade from beta to current software and back when you leave/join a beta group.  This includes controllers and system software.  I imagine this mechanism will be similarly used for modern downgrading to legacy (and vice versa)

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More to the point looking at your website there is still no indication how long each component will be supported. Sorry guys you started it, you need to put expiry date on each product, this is how it is now.

 

 

I’m not aware of any tech company that puts expiration dates on their tech products.  Yes, companies will give no notice that a product will lose support at a certain date, but I’ve never heard of that date being announced when the product is sold.  

 

How will you be stopping the Sonos app from updates if/when in legacy mode?

 

 

Sonos answered this already.  The update process will recognize that your system has a legacy product in it and prevent the update.  It is not a 100% clear yet whether the legacy product needs to be active in your system or 

 

 

Will I be able to use Sonos app in legacy mode on newer android phone when I upgrade and android system will also upgrade. These are just a few questions that have not been answered.

 

Some companies are upfront about number and/or the duration customers will get updates for. Google publishes a best before date for the dozens of Chromebook platforms it supports. Google will also push that date farther away as it feels/wants/shamed it can support it longer. Google and other phone companies also will publish how many major OS updates or years they support.

Personally I want to update my phone a laptop on a regular basis. But if I didn't, in both examples I could install a different OS to keep the device working. I'm not aware that this is an option for Sonos.

Sonos has done a really good job of supporting their old hardware. But personally I will never buy a new Sonos product without a listing of hardware specs and minimum support date. I can't decide if it is good value for money without this. 

 

 

 

 

 

Personally I want to update my phone a laptop on a regular basis. But if I didn't, in both examples I could install a different OS to keep the device working. I'm not aware that this is an option for Sonos.

 

This is basically what Sonos is offering.  They are allowing you to install legacy software to keep your old units running as they are today.  Even better, they are pledging to keep the software supported by forking it from the modern software and continuing to offer updates for bug fixes and security issues.  This is a major capitulation for Sonos, for they now have to support two code bases instead of one.  

 

 

 

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Sonos has done a really good job of supporting their old hardware. But personally I will never buy a new Sonos product without a listing of hardware specs and minimum support date. I can't decide if it is good value for money without this. 

 

I’m not sure hardware specs are generally going to be announced, and I don’t know that they are going to really help people get an idea of how future proof a device is going to be.  We know that all the modern devices have at least 64MB, which I really have no feel for.  It sound really low to me as I’m used to specs in GB.  However, this seems to be quite standard for smart speakers.

 

As far as minimum support date, we do have that information, as it’s been announced to be 5 years from when Sonos stops producing the product.  I will say though that up until this point, Sonos has not communicated that information well, rather poorly in fact.  I don’t see why there can’t be a page on this site that publishes the minimum support date for their past products. 

 

I’m not sure hardware specs are generally going to be announced, and I don’t know that they are going to really help people get an idea of how future proof a device is going to be.  We know that all the modern devices have at least 64MB, which I really have no feel for.  It sound really low to me as I’m used to specs in GB.  However, this seems to be quite standard for smart speakers.

 

As far as minimum support date, we do have that information, as it’s been announced to be 5 years from when Sonos stops producing the product.  I will say though that up until this point, Sonos has not communicated that information well, rather poorly in fact.  I don’t see why there can’t be a page on this site that publishes the minimum support date for their past products. 

 

They made 32 MB work for 15 years, and they effectively just doubled (at least) the resources for ‘modern’ devices.  Do I think they can squeeze another 15 years out of the extra resources in 64 MB?  No, it’s not that linear an equation.  Do I think Sonos can utilize 15 years of experience squeezing functionality out of 32 MB to do the same with 64?  Yes, I do. 

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