Wait and See (For Now)

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I apologize for such a long post. I want to start by saying that I have enjoyed my Sonos system very much. The Sonos hardware is exceptionally high quality for the price, both aurally and visually. I am saddened that these last few weeks I have some doubts about my purchase decision.

Currently I have:

14 Play:1s
4 Play:5s
2 Subs
1 Playbar
4 Connects
1 Boost

I also have:

14 Echo Dots
1 Echo
3 Echo Shows

I have two more Echo shows on the way and have pre-ordered two Echo Spots.

I was planning to order more Sonos gear: 2 Play:5s, a sub and 2 Play:1s (or Sonos Ones). I have put these plans on hold and I am taking a wait and see attitude. Here are the reasons:

1) The new software is not user friendly. I won't list all of the problems, but the white background, and the added clicks and less intuitive interface are the major ones.

2) The Alexa Skill is seriously broken. Sonos says it is working to correct some of this, but Sonos has also said that Audible support would be coming soon. So, I'm not sure when or if this skill will be fixed. In particular, the "ducking" feature is a total disaster in my house. I'm in my home office listening to Sonos and my wife in the kitchen, some distance away, asks Alexa something and my Sonos ducks. Arghh!

3) The new Sonos one Will not pair with the Play:1. I was seriously hoping these could pair. As you can see from my list above, I currently have 14 Play:1s and 14 Echo Dots. Most of the Play:1s are stereo pairs. If I could buy a few of the new Sonos Ones and add them as one part of those stereo pairs, I could expand my Sonos coverage and get rid of some of the Echo Dots. But, I can't pair them and I just don't see the point of having two Alexa enabled devices 6 - 8 feet apart.

4) The new Sonos One does not implement all of the features of the Echoes. I now know there is a clever marketing difference between Alexa Enabled and the Echo features. A difference I suspect many consumers do not know until after they have made their purchase. In particular, The Drop-In and Calling features are missing from the Sonos One. These at features we use a lot in my house and not all of the people in my house want to learn which device will work like Alexa but won't let them make a call. And, they shouldn't have to learn.

5) I don't like the new licensing agreement. I am not sure Sonos intended for the agreement to seem like they are threatening the future operability of their hardware, but it can be take that way.

6) The Sonos forum is a very unfriendly place for anyone who dares to criticize Sonos. The actual Sonos employees who post here are friendly and helpful. However, there are others who seem to delight in attacking others. Sonos is at fault for not putting a stop to this.

7) It's been more than two years since Audible worked on Sonos. I have a work-around in place but I shouldn't have to have one. Audible support really needs to be fixed soon.

I have invested a lot of money in the Sonos gear I now have and, as I said, I have enjoyed my Sonos gear. So, I want to see the current problems resolved and for Sonos to continue being a successful company with great products. I hope that Sonos is working hard to resolve these issues and that they will take a more proactive role in communicating with their customers on their progress.

5 replies

Just a remark regarding your mentioned point 6: the sometimes (and with certain individuals quite often) shown rather extreme evangelism concerning all things Sonos should not affect one's decision on a product. After all, these are only the voices of mere fanboys, not the least official statements by Sonos itself. You would find similar levels of 'customer dedication' with other brands such as Apple or a certain range of high-end hifi equipment manufacturers. Still, it's a tough path for a manufacturer to both please such brand crusaders as well as less emotionally attached customers.
passopp wrote:

Still, it's a tough path for a manufacturer to both please such brand crusaders as well as less emotionally attached customers.

Don't forget the cost aspects of replacing the support that we fanboys provide for free. Sonos can easily shut us down but would have to add paid resources with enough product use experience to maintain existing service levels. I doubt Sonos keeps us as members just to please us; they are a business, first and foremost.
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Still waiting for something definitive and official from Sonos.
What kind of definitive and official answer do you expect from Sonos to your list of issues?

Nothing personal, but why would a corporation bend over backwards to answer a single person's concerns, over dealing with the general list of complaints that are listed on these boards? I'm not sure there's any way to answer these concerns in a specific way that would satisfy you, other than the normal and generic "we hear you, and are working on making it better", which may seem like a copout, but is equally likely true, from a "we're trying to make everyone's experience better" perspective.

Most companies I've worked for (Sony and Disney, to list a couple), wouldn't do so. I don't expect Sonos to do so either. But I think that your post is relevant, in terms of listing issues that you perceive as a problem. I also thing they're reflective of the general feeling in these boards, which I expect is being communicated by the forum moderators to their supervisor, and then up the chain to those who make the decisions. But I wouldn't expect a specific response to that list, either, or at least not in a public forum manner. But mostly because there's not much to say except what I listed before...that you're heard, and their working on it.

Sonos wants to stay in business. That's what any company wants to do. I'd certainly expect that your experience is reflective of many people's.

I hope that this doesn't make you unhappy, but I'd also hope that you understand that expecting a personal reply to you, as opposed to all the other thousands of people who post in these forums isn't likely.

You've been a force for good in these forums. I personally hope you stick around, keep your Sonos gear, and continue to enjoy it. I think we all realize that Sonos isn't perfect, but if we continue to look at it as a corporation, and provide feedback, we'll see movement in the directions that we want it to move. It will never be as fast as we want it to be, though.
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8) No Trueplay on Android. Borrowing an iPhone is not a long term solution.


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