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Publish the dates when products will become 'legacy'

  • 21 January 2020
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Just received the legacy email that tells me that half my 10 unit system will be obsolete from May.  So it appears that I can either pile more money into Sonos, accept that my modern equipment (less than 2 years old) will no longer be updated because I have the audacity of being a long term customer or go somewhere else.  

 

So I can make an informed decision Sonos must now publish the support windows for all products currently available.  At least try to recover some credability.

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Best answer by Ryan S 21 January 2020, 18:58

Hi Stueys, our 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.

If you have a Connect or Connect:Amp that was purchased from Sonos in the last 5 years brand new, it won’t be affected by the end of software updates coming in May. The newer Connect and Connect:Amps have different computing hardware and are able to keep up with our modern devices.

 

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Userlevel 7
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Hi Stueys, our 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.

If you have a Connect or Connect:Amp that was purchased from Sonos in the last 5 years brand new, it won’t be affected by the end of software updates coming in May. The newer Connect and Connect:Amps have different computing hardware and are able to keep up with our modern devices.

 

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“five years after we stop selling them” is not sufficient commitment. Five years is too short for those customers who buy just before you stop selling them.

This is premium priced kit. The £349 connect has less hardware in it than my £50 Blu-ray player. The £499 Connect Amp apparently has been replaced with a more expensive £599 model.

It seems Sonos want me to throw away hardware that can perfectly well play 16-bit 44.1Khz audio. What does the new hardware offer? Last time I checked it doesn’t support HD audio. This doesn’t seem good for the environment.

Have you considered a post-end-of life subscription for a couple of years?

A while back I had problems with my Sonos. I tried and liked Bluesound but didn’t want to replace the whole system so when Sonos started working again it went on eBay. Now faced with a whole system upgrade I can start with a clean slate.

So at a minimum, new hardware should be able to play hi-def audio and have 10 years of updates. Or a serious price cut if you’re no longer a premium hi-fi player and a more mass-market/short lifespan kind of thing.

Got the same email today and I have 4/5 units that will be legacy.  I recently traded up my connect for a new port but suspected the time was approaching where this may happen.  The new port has improved sound quality slightly and I have a fairly high end processor/amp/speaker set up for my hifi. Happy with that.

If I understand things correctly from May my system will no longer update, which is fine for me as I don’t use voice or streaming services, some internet radio (rarely) but main use is streaming my ripped cds around the house from my network drive.   Seems like this functionality will be unaffected.

Some of my Sonos kit is over 10yrs old so I think, given the rate technology moves, that the software update support has been pretty good.  The pain for some people will be the potential cost of updating kit in one go that they have built up over many years, but the need to update very much depends on how you use your system, I guess.

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Pain indeed, especially if the old kit and the new kit don’t play nicely together. This is the kind of thing I’d want to phase in over a few years.

The 30% discount also seems dishonest seeing as they’ve increased the prices, especially for the Connect:Amp.

After the Brexit vote in 2016 the pound fell 15% against the dollar and other currencies. Sonos’ response? Increase the price by 25%. So it’s gone up from £399 to £499 instead of around £460.

Not satisfied with that, it seems they’ve discontinued the Connect:Amp (so, when does support end?) in favour of Amp with a price tag of £599. Sure, it has more power but it’s a multi-room system, not everyone needs to crank up the volume in every room.

So the trade-up price is very nearly £420, around 8.5% cheaper than the £460 it would have cost after the previous hike reflecting exchange rates. So after 10 years of technical progress, that’s the best they can do? Imagine swapping a 2009 laptop for a 2019 model and only getting about 8.5% more “bang for buck”.

The above calculations assume Sonos don’t withdraw the trade-up offer at 4 months’ notice (who can trust them now?) Without this offer, we’re talking about a serious price hike.

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Thanks for the reply but are you seriously saying that if I spend £1800 on a 5.1 setup it will last for 5 years only and then will be obsolete.  Have Sonos gone utterly insane? 

 

People might accept that timescale for a £200 Bluetooth speaker but not the price point you chase.

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Spot on stueys. This is meant to be premium equipment … it’s certainly priced that way. I bought it expecting to keep it until the hardware broke, which would hopefully be a 15 year+ proposition. This is a symptom of the world we live in. So wasteful.

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Thanks for the reply but are you seriously saying that if I spend £1800 on a 5.1 setup it will last for 5 years only and then will be obsolete.  Have Sonos gone utterly insane? 

 

People might accept that timescale for a £200 Bluetooth speaker but not the price point you chase.

 

Keep in mind the statement about them having a history of supporting older devices for a lot longer than five years, this was before they become a public company. Now they have the pressure of trying to drain every cent out of every customer they have as a publicly traded company, this announced 5 year policy is the policy you’re buying into.

Obviously you’ll get a bit longer if you buy a Sonos component that doesn’t get a refresh this year (i.e. a Gen 3 Play 5) so they continue selling your model. But you’re gambling with no way of knowing in advance.

Hi Stueys, our 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.

If you have a Connect or Connect:Amp that was purchased from Sonos in the last 5 years brand new, it won’t be affected by the end of software updates coming in May. The newer Connect and Connect:Amps have different computing hardware and are able to keep up with our modern devices.

 

My Play 5 was purchased in August 2015 which is LESS than 5 years from May 2020. How long before Sonos forces an unwanted upgrade for my Play 1's which were purchased around the same time? 

Sonos has lost a lot of credibility. Actions speak louder than words and Sonos' actions over the last several years are saying loud and clear that Sonos DOES NOT value its loyal customers and has no intention of supporting its products for a minimum of five years.

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Thanks for the reply but are you seriously saying that if I spend £1800 on a 5.1 setup it will last for 5 years only and then will be obsolete.  Have Sonos gone utterly insane? 

Our commitment is to support products with software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, so you’d need to have bought that 5.1 setup today, and have us stop selling it tomorrow. And even at that, when the device goes into legacy mode it’ll continue to work as it has been. The only change is that over time, eventually services will stop working on it.

For a home theater system, the TV connection would keep on working long into the future without any software modifications.

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Hi Stueys, our 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.

If you have a Connect or Connect:Amp that was purchased from Sonos in the last 5 years brand new, it won’t be affected by the end of software updates coming in May. The newer Connect and Connect:Amps have different computing hardware and are able to keep up with our modern devices.

 

My Play 5 was purchased in August 2015 which is LESS than 5 years from May 2020. How long before Sonos forces an unwanted upgrade for my Play 1's which were purchased around the same time? 

Sonos has lost a lot of credibility. Actions speak louder than words and Sonos' actions over the last several years are saying loud and clear that Sonos DOES NOT value its loyal customers and has no intention of supporting its products for a minimum of five years.

 

I think that’s a little unfair. Sonos has supported their product line for a very long time already. Their past behaviour at least makes it reasonable to believe you’ll get the minimum of years support they are now promising you. The question is five years enough, especially if you’re considering invested thousands in new “modern” components? For me, it’s a resounding no. Although I’ve been unwinding my Sonos setup ever since I saw their investor filings warning this was coming, so I’ve already been getting off the train. I only have one “legacy” Play 5 in my network now, 18 months ago I had four. :grinning:

I mainly have Play 3s that will be becoming legacy soon enough, but they are already in the process of being replaced with another branded product.

Userlevel 2

Hi Stueys, our 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.

If you have a Connect or Connect:Amp that was purchased from Sonos in the last 5 years brand new, it won’t be affected by the end of software updates coming in May. The newer Connect and Connect:Amps have different computing hardware and are able to keep up with our modern devices.

 


Ryan, can you tell us when the next downgrading of products from modern to legacy will happen, and which products?

I would have to replace 5-year-old Play5’s, and I will not. I will not invest in premium audio equipment that will be useless after 5ish years. 

For customer care and to be a sustainable company, you need to design products where the electronics can be upgraded. The audio hardware is still great. 

I love the Sonos experience, but with your current business model, it is not worth the continuous replacement cost. 

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Thanks for the reply but are you seriously saying that if I spend £1800 on a 5.1 setup it will last for 5 years only and then will be obsolete.  Have Sonos gone utterly insane? 

Our commitment is to support products with software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, so you’d need to have bought that 5.1 setup today, and have us stop selling it tomorrow. And even at that, when the device goes into legacy mode it’ll continue to work as it has been. The only change is that over time, eventually services will stop working on it.

For a home theater system, the TV connection would keep on working long into the future without any software modifications.

@Ryan S...I think I’d stop sticking plasters on this disastrous piece of PR and get your CEO to respond URGENTLY on the key points that are being raised 

I received the same email and came straight onto the forum.  I have spent £000’s (original Ones, new play ones, 2 X Connect for integration with my hifi, connect amp, sub, sound bar etc) on my Sonos and if I had know then that products were going to be made obsolete after 5 years, I wouldn’t have bothered.

As many have posted, you are priced as a premium product.  When I spend £000’s on equipment I expect it to be support for more than 5 years.  My Apple iMac was bought in 2011, Apple stopped providing updates in 2018, but it is still running fine today and my other apple products can be updated without me disconnecting my iMac from the system. And even if I sold it, it would sell for more than 30% of what i paid for EIGHT years ago!

@Ryan S I agree with @Lomas - You need the senior Exec at Sonos to read what is being posted here by your CUSTOMERS or I for one will not be giving another penny of my hard earned cash to Sonos.  I bought the Connect Amp 18 months ago and got an email within a year saying a new version was being released and I could get a 30% discount and scrap the one I had bought Seriously???  You guys are disconnected from what is acceptable with your customer base and any reasonable person - The volume of posts above should tell you that

Userlevel 1

Ryan

I purchased a Connect:AMP unit brand new from a mainstream shop in 2017 and it is marked as ‘legacy’. This product had to be ordered in since it was out of stock at that retailer at the time. The serial number starts 5CAA. Hence for this unit it is under 3 years since being sold by Sonos as brand new rather than the 5 years you commit to above. I trust that Sonos will be prepared to work with the retailer and their supplier in question to ensure I have a fully supported unit that will not be affected by the end of software updates coming in May for the full five years of your commitment.

Thanks

Userlevel 7
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You might want to contact Sonos Support directly instead of hoping to be noticed amid the flood here. I’d suggest an e-mail with attached scans of all your documentation of the purchase as a good starting point. Include your phone number too so they can contact you to discuss it if necessary.

Contact page has several contact options, some open 24x7.

Userlevel 7
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@russellmasding, As Stanley_4 said, this is something that you should contact the team directly for. They can help identify when that unit was manufactured.

Just queued for 30 mins and spoke to someone who had clearly received calls on this topic all day.  I read out the part about the rest of my system not being updated while legacy products were connected.  He wasn’t aware of that part and initially asked me if I had mis-read it!

 

@Ryan S - I think Sonos needs to eat some humble pie, issue an apology and come up with a better solution.  I still have Marantz CD-63 KI-Sig that I bought in the 90s.  It doesn't need updates, still sounds great and cost me less than my Sonos Connect that is about to go unsupported.  Ok, so It can’t stream to multiples rooms or from Spotify, but my point is, when you invest in premium products you expect to get more than 5 years of value from them

Userlevel 7
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Sorry to hear that the person you spoke to didn’t have all the details. I’ll look into that and see what might have happened.

Sorry to hear that the person you spoke to didn’t have all the details. I’ll look into that and see what might have happened.

This part of my post is the least of my worries. The main part is that I (along with many others) have invested £000s in Sonos hardware that in likelihood will be obsolete and worthless in less than 5 years

@Ryan S ask yourself, what large purchases £500+ have you made for you house and how upset would you be if you only got 5 years out of them? 

Sonos need a solution to this now, otherwise many of us will vote with our feet, and our wallets…

Anyway, it’s solved the dilemma of whether I buy a Play 5 for my office or a Naim Mu-So Qb

Userlevel 1

Response to Ryan regarding earlier post … of course I also contacted the Sonos team privately!

 

The public questions for Sonos to address are that (1) Sonos do not allow customers and retailers to differentiate between different versions of the Connect:Amp - there are no version numbers or specs available on the box, the units or via the software. The only way is via the serial number and Sonos are keeping this translation private and (2) Sonos have no idea when the last of the pre-2015 units left the supply chain because of the lack of clear marking.

 

The resolution of my private situation was a mixed bag: (i) call Sonos support who confirm unit is indeed pre-2015 manufacture and hence legacy (ii) contact retailer who (after speaking to Sonos) insists the pre-2015 and post-2015 versions are the same product (iii) push the retailer rather harder and persuade the retailer to follow up the supply chain (iv) Sonos flipflop to say manufacture date of unit was actually 2016 so the unit is modern.

 

So I think I have a ‘modern’ unit … but will I be confident until it successfully updates.

 

Lessons for Sonos - Don’t hide different product versions (not fair on consumers or retailers). Don’t make claims (such as 5 year commitment from purchase) unless you have controlled when the product stopped being sold.

 

I hope Sonos live up to your revised statements regarding ongoing support for legacy devices …. only time will tell

 

The year and date of manufacture are the 4 digits (ex. 1601C) before the serial number, found on the label on the bottom.  Year 15 is not certain, but 16 or later denotes a modern item.

Userlevel 1

Thanks jgatie

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