If you thought Sonos products were already overpriced hold on to your hats because Sonos just decided to increase prices across most of their product range by a lot. Sonos Arc, for example, will now cost just shy of $1000. A thousand bucks for a soundbar is a ridiculous price even if the product was absolutely flawless. Alas, a quick stroll through this forum is proof enough of the many problems and missing features plaguing Sonos products.
Let’s put this in context. Sonos is already doing pretty great (and you can read more about it in the article linked above). They are profitable, popular and have a bit of a cult following with some customers (including me until today). Their products most likely have huge profit margins given the relatively common and simple technology involved and the fact that Sonos product cycles are very long.
So why the sudden price increase, even on products that have been around for years at a lower price? Sonos remains vague on this but two possibilities come to mind:
- Prices of materials have gone up in the last months. This is mostly the case for chips. This affects all electronics manufacturers - not only Sonos. While a price increase might be acceptable for a budget electronics product with small margin (e.g. a basic laptop) it is rather cynical when it comes to products that already have a high profit margin to begin with. Clearly most other premium electronic products companies are absorbing recent increases in chip prices. Just look at the some of the recent product launches by the big players. Increasing prices on electronics products is always a very risky and difficult move because consumers rightfully expect prices to go down over time especially for products that have been on the market for a while. Sonos might think that they can pass on any marginal increase in component prices to their customers without an issue. This is bad business strategy.
- Sonos is using the current situation to simply make more money out of its customers. Hidden behind cynical, unapologetic marketing double speak (“price optimisation” anyone?) and ambiguous explanations is plain, good old fashioned corporate greed. But, hey, if there are enough crazy people still willing to pay a thousand bucks for a soundbar - why not? In the end we would simply prove Sonos right if we continue to shell out our hard-earned cash (and right now for many of us it is really, really hard-earned) for their overpriced, overhyped, buggy speakers.
Sonos products are already VERY expensive and a big investment for many of us. There is a thin line between expensive but acceptable and simply outrageous. Now Sonos might have crossed that line. They seem to be opting for a business strategy based on overcharging their customers instead of innovating, managing supply chains and fostering market growth. Many existing and prospective customers will be put off by the this for good.
I avoided Sonos products for many years because I thought they were not worth the asking price. Then I tested the Arc in a shop a couple of months ago and I liked it enough to convince myself to buy it. It was a big expense but I came to appreciate the sound quality and the thought that had gone in its design. On the other hand I also faced some disappointments such as discovering that the Arc does not support DTS and having to put up with many bugs in the Sonos app. Nevertheless, a few months later I decided to bite the bullet, max out my credit cards and buy a pair of One SL speakers as surrounds. After installing the Ones and running Trueplay I encountered the long-standing muddy bass issue that many people have been reporting here. My Arc sounded fine without the Ones but now the bass was distorted, muted and my setup sounded pretty horrible. I’ve tried getting support through all the different channels but the most suggested solution seemed to be: buy the Sub. And I nearly did. The whole setup would have cost me more than $2000 even with the old prices. Not anymore. Your speakers might be good, Sonos, but they are not THAT good. This price increase is preposterous and as an existing customer I’m angry and disappointed. So much so that I’m about to put up my Sonos products on eBay (thanks to the price increase I hope I break even) and I’ll never buy a Sonos product again. I refuse to support a company that seems to be driven by such obvious, cynical, unapologetic greed. Perhaps others feel differently and you might hear other opinions here below. Do what you will with this feedback.