Sonos Roam does not work with Sonos S1 App

  • 20 April 2021
  • 55 replies
  • 2935 views

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Just received my Roam today. 

Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 
 

This means if you have “legacy” Sonos products as part of your set up and use the S1 app to control them you won’t be able to see your Roam as part of your existing Sonos network. 
 

You have to download the new version of the app and then set up a new Sonos system to add the Roam to it. Then you have to add all your music services, any favourites etc etc again to the new app to be able to access them on your Roam. 
 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 

By having “old” products Sonos doesn’t want me to have in my network I’m effectively left with a bog standard stand alone portable speaker. Struggling to see the benefit of it over a JBL Bluetooth speaker at the moment to be honest (build quality and sound quality aside obviously 😆). 
 

Anyway heads up for those of you still mulling over the purchase. 


55 replies

Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 
 

 

Clearer than the following statement right on the product page?

 

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Ugh, so maybe if these people didn’t order stuff they should have known (by reading) it was not compatible with their existing systems -- I would have my Roam already.   Mine won’t be here until tomorrow -at the earliest.    

Why would anyone think a brand new speaker is compatible with S1.  I doubt any new product will be.

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Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 
 

 

Clearer than the following statement right on the product page?

 

Thanks for this. 

Unfortunately I purchased mine from Currys and didn’t think to check which version of the app the product would work with before my purchase. No mention of it Currys or on John Lewis etc. No mention of it in many online reviews.

I guess it becomes a question of whether it’s deemed acceptable for a consumer to have to check to see if a product works as advertised (ie as part of your Sonos network, with easy handoff to existing speakers etc) with that consumers specific version of the manufacturers app. 

Seems like an unfair ask when you’re dropping £160 don’t you think? 

 

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Ugh, so maybe if these people didn’t order stuff they should have known (by reading) it was not compatible with their existing systems -- I would have my Roam already.   Mine won’t be here until tomorrow -at the earliest.    

Why would anyone think a brand new speaker is compatible with S1.  I doubt any new product will be.

Perhaps I’m not as immersed in everything Sonos as the typical forum member here. 
Think about the average punter who has bought a few Sonos speakers over the years, they’ve got a couple of play 3s, a One, a Beam and so on. At some point my app icon changes to S1 but everything still works so they don’t really care about the new app and besides the one time they tried to upgrade to it they nearly lost all their “old” speakers from the app. 

Then they see a new portable Sonos speaker for less than £200! We’ll have some of that please. 
Is it really fair for that person to have to think “hang on, is this Sonos product going to work with my other Sonos speakers” before they buy it? 
 

Anyway that’s probably why they think a Sonos speaker would work with the Sonos app. 

Sonos have said that all new products will be compatible with S2 only.  But I can understand why users who just enjoy their system, and aren’t obsessive Sonos geeks like me, would not be aware of this.  On a look through the material about the Roam on the Sonos website I could not find any mention that the Sonos S2 app and system was required.  I am sure it is on a help sheet somewhere, but I wouldn’t expect potential purchasers to hunt down that info, given that they don’t know what they don’t know.  So I have some sympathy for @laconic ‘s position.

Btw, @laconic  - I don’t know how random your list of Sonos products was, but all of the ones you mention are S2 compatible!

You cannot really ‘lose speakers from the app’.  The app is just a remote control.

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Sonos have said that all new products will be compatible with S2 only.  But I can understand why users who just enjoy their system, and aren’t obsessive Sonos geeks like me, would not b aware of this.  On a look through the material about the Roam on the Sonos website I could not find any mention that the Sonos S2 app and system was required.  I am sure it is on a help sheet somewhere, but I wouldn’t expect potential purchasers to hunt down that info, given that they don’t know what they don’t know.  So I have some sympathy for @laconic ‘s position.

Btw, @laconic  - I don’t know how random your list of Sonos products was, but all of the ones you mention are S2 compatible!

You cannot really ‘lose speakers from the app’.  The app is just a remote control.

Thanks John. I’ve got Play 1’s and gen one Play 5s in my network. My list above was a random one. 
Ive just checked the Roam box and there’s no mention of the app requirement on it either. 
 

I guess it’s frustrating because it’s unnecessary friction. I’ve gone from oh my god Sonos are amazing everyone should buy them to Christ alive Sonos are irritating in a short period of time. 
 

Still my post was to try and help others in my situation that might stumble across it before they purchase. 

Fair enough.  Play:1s are of course S2 compatible too, but the gen 1 Play:5s not so.  There is, IMO, a big difference between the sound quality of the gen 1 and gen 2 Play:5s, and I understand that the Five is similar to the gen 2 Play:5.  So you might want to consider upgrading at some point.  I realise that would be a significant chunk of money, even with the discount and net of selling the gen 1s, and I am not suggesting that you ‘should’ upgrade to accommodate the Roam!

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Fair enough.  Play:1s are of course S2 compatible too, but the gen 1 Play:5s not so.  There is, IMO, a big difference between the sound quality of the gen 1 and gen 2 Play:5s, and I understand that the Five is similar to the gen 2 Play:5.  So you might want to consider upgrading at some point.  I realise that would be a significant chunk of money, even with the discount and net of selling the gen 1s, and I am not suggesting that you ‘should’ upgrade to accommodate the Roam!

That’s super interesting. I thought the Play 1s were excluded. I was actually thinking of selling the play 5s as we don’t listen to music in that room anymore. 

So I could drop the play 5s and use the new app for the rest. 

 

Thanks so much for the reply John. 

No problem.  I suggest you check in your S1 app in Settings, System Tools and see if there is a compatibility check tool. If so, run it, and it should give you an option to upgrade to S2 and leave the P5s behind.

Youshould factory reset the P5s before selling them.

Also note that there is value in the discount to upgrade the P:5s, which can be used against any current Sonos speaker.

 

I just received my Roam and discovered it’s not compatible with my existing system and so I’m sending it back.  To echo earlier replies, as a customer I shouldn’t need to take the time to read through all of the specs for a widely-known brand’s products to ensure they work with my existing system (any company that sells a “system” or “network” should offer backward compatibility).  I spent over $10,000 to have12 Sonos zones installed inside and outside my house only to read last year Sonos abandoned all of this hardware leaving it stranded in 2019 forever.  Who does this to its customers?  What company encourages its customers to install a network of hardware (not easy-to-upgrade software) that will not be supported a year later??? Sonos’ CEO apologized for this immense mistake but didn’t make it right.  Given Sonos management’s complete insensitivity to its customer base, I questioned purchasing the Roam, but now that I realize it doesn’t work with my system, it’s clear I’ll never buy another Sonos product again. Bye, Felicia

I just received my Roam and discovered it’s not compatible with my existing system and so I’m sending it back.  To echo earlier replies, as a customer I shouldn’t need to take the time to read through all of the specs for a widely-known brand’s products to ensure they work with my existing system (any company that sells a “system” or “network” should offer backward compatibility).  I spent over $10,000 to have12 Sonos zones installed inside and outside my house only to read last year Sonos abandoned all of this hardware leaving it stranded in 2019 forever.  Who does this to its customers?  What company encourages its customers to install a network of hardware (not easy-to-upgrade software) that will not be supported a year later??? Sonos’ CEO apologized for this immense mistake but didn’t make it right.  Given Sonos management’s complete insensitivity to its customer base, I questioned purchasing the Roam, but now that I realize it doesn’t work with my system, it’s clear I’ll never buy another Sonos product again. Bye, Felicia

Factually incorrect in so many ways, but this is a dead topic so no point in discussing further.

I just received my Roam and discovered it’s not compatible with my existing system and so I’m sending it back.  To echo earlier replies, as a customer I shouldn’t need to take the time to read through all of the specs for a widely-known brand’s products to ensure they work with my existing system (any company that sells a “system” or “network” should offer backward compatibility).  I spent over $10,000 to have12 Sonos zones installed inside and outside my house only to read last year Sonos abandoned all of this hardware leaving it stranded in 2019 forever.  Who does this to its customers?  What company encourages its customers to install a network of hardware (not easy-to-upgrade software) that will not be supported a year later??? Sonos’ CEO apologized for this immense mistake but didn’t make it right.  Given Sonos management’s complete insensitivity to its customer base, I questioned purchasing the Roam, but now that I realize it doesn’t work with my system, it’s clear I’ll never buy another Sonos product again. Bye, Felicia

 

You are a liar. Nothing Sonos sold you was no longer supported after a year.  

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Fair enough.  Play:1s are of course S2 compatible too, but the gen 1 Play:5s not so.  There is, IMO, a big difference between the sound quality of the gen 1 and gen 2 Play:5s, and I understand that the Five is similar to the gen 2 Play:5.  So you might want to consider upgrading at some point.  I realise that would be a significant chunk of money, even with the discount and net of selling the gen 1s, and I am not suggesting that you ‘should’ upgrade to accommodate the Roam!

That’s super interesting. I thought the Play 1s were excluded. I was actually thinking of selling the play 5s as we don’t listen to music in that room anymore. 

So I could drop the play 5s and use the new app for the rest. 

 

Thanks so much for the reply John. 

You can get a 30% discount by “trading in” your 5s with Sonos, which is a pretty good deal. Was able to get a full Arc set for like $1000 off. 

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- Gosh, the same thing happened to me!

- Several months ago I added a new Sonos Beam and a  new Sonos Five. Both connected to my S1 system with no problem because Sonos made them backward compatible. 

- It didn't occur to me that Sonos would make a speaker that wasn't backward compatible. The reviews I read didn't mention that either.

- I was really looking forward to using the Sonos Roam as my shower speaker. Sadly, I guess I'll return it. 

:-( 

Userlevel 7

@tomwickland The Five is actually only compatible with the S2 app. You must be referring to the Play:5 (Gen 2).

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4786?language=en_US

- Gosh, the same thing happened to me!

- Several months ago I added a new Sonos Beam and a  new Sonos Five. Both connected to my S1 system with no problem because Sonos made them backward compatible. 

- It didn't occur to me that Sonos would make a speaker that wasn't backward compatible. The reviews I read didn't mention that either.

- I was really looking forward to using the Sonos Roam as my shower speaker. Sadly, I guess I'll return it. 

:-( 

Some of the things you mention are not quite correct. The Sonos Beam is from July 2018 (before the S1/S2 divide) - The Sonos Five is not S1 compatible as shown in this link:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4786

Any ‘new products’ that Sonos design/manufacture will be S2 compatible only. The engineers are not updating the old S1 software, other than for the purposes of security updates/bug fixes, or to try to keep their partner music services running on that platform. 

 

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Thanks. 

 

 

I’m in the same boat.   Sonos Roam all alone on its own network basically its just a Bluetooth portable speaker now of which there are better speakers on the market so will be sending mine back to.  

I’ve owned Sonos since their inception and was always portrayed as future proof.   At the end of the day it’s only the app upgrade that is the issue and I guess Sonos didn’t want to design their app to allow the use of old and new generation hardware because too many people weren’t upgrading to their new stuff.    The only way to get people to upgrade is stop support for older equipment and the easiest way is to switch off support in the app and launch it as a new app.      

I’m in the same boat.   Sonos Roam all alone on its own network basically its just a Bluetooth portable speaker now of which there are better speakers on the market so will be sending mine back to.  

I’ve owned Sonos since their inception and was always portrayed as future proof.   At the end of the day it’s only the app upgrade that is the issue and I guess Sonos didn’t want to design their app to allow the use of old and new generation hardware because too many people weren’t upgrading to their new stuff.    The only way to get people to upgrade is stop support for older equipment and the easiest way is to switch off support in the app and launch it as a new app.      

 

Your suppositions on Sonos’ motivation for the split are so incorrect, it’s silly.  The fact is, the older S1 equipment doesn’t have the memory or processing power to coexist with S2 hardware.  Period.  It’s like trying to run apps on a flip phone from 2005, except that flip phone doesn’t have to run the exact same content in perfect sync with a brand new iPhone from 2021.  

Just received my Roam today. 

Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 
 

This means if you have “legacy” Sonos products as part of your set up and use the S1 app to control them you won’t be able to see your Roam as part of your existing Sonos network. 
 

You have to download the new version of the app and then set up a new Sonos system to add the Roam to it. Then you have to add all your music services, any favourites etc etc again to the new app to be able to access them on your Roam. 
 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 

By having “old” products Sonos doesn’t want me to have in my network I’m effectively left with a bog standard stand alone portable speaker. Struggling to see the benefit of it over a JBL Bluetooth speaker at the moment to be honest (build quality and sound quality aside obviously 😆). 
 

Anyway heads up for those of you still mulling over the purchase. 

Just received my Roam today. 

Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 
 

This means if you have “legacy” Sonos products as part of your set up and use the S1 app to control them you won’t be able to see your Roam as part of your existing Sonos network. 
 

You have to download the new version of the app and then set up a new Sonos system to add the Roam to it. Then you have to add all your music services, any favourites etc etc again to the new app to be able to access them on your Roam. 
 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 

By having “old” products Sonos doesn’t want me to have in my network I’m effectively left with a bog standard stand alone portable speaker. Struggling to see the benefit of it over a JBL Bluetooth speaker at the moment to be honest (build quality and sound quality aside obviously 😆). 
 

Anyway heads up for those of you still mulling over the purchase. 

I’m beyond frustrated with SONOS at this, plus the fact that I didn’t read / find this article before. I will be returning mine too. It looks like SONOS did a great mktg job at covering this up.   Ex fan and brand advocate 

Userlevel 7

@markvoysey Covering this up? I wouldn’t call including this graphic on the Roam’s product page “covering this up”:

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/roam.html

 

I’m beyond frustrated with SONOS at this, plus the fact that I didn’t read / find this article before. I will be returning mine too. It looks like SONOS did a great mktg job at covering this up.   Ex fan and brand advocate 

 

Really?  So you think Sonos is going to make new products work with S1, which is only being upgraded for bug fixes and security patches?  So tell me, which S1 bug fix and/or security patch is going to add the functionality to support a device that didn’t even exist when S1 was retired?  Serious question. 

Just received my Roam today. 

Heads up for everyone as it’s not made clear anywhere prior to purchase that it’s only compatible with the new version of the app. 
 

This means if you have “legacy” Sonos products as part of your set up and use the S1 app to control them you won’t be able to see your Roam as part of your existing Sonos network. 
 

You have to download the new version of the app and then set up a new Sonos system to add the Roam to it. Then you have to add all your music services, any favourites etc etc again to the new app to be able to access them on your Roam. 
 

Pretty s*it experience to be honest, and annoying it’s not made clearer. 

By having “old” products Sonos doesn’t want me to have in my network I’m effectively left with a bog standard stand alone portable speaker. Struggling to see the benefit of it over a JBL Bluetooth speaker at the moment to be honest (build quality and sound quality aside obviously 😆). 
 

Anyway heads up for those of you still mulling over the purchase. 

Just figured this out for myself. Pretty much done with Sonos at this point. What a joke 

Userlevel 1

I just got my Sonos Roam today for fathers day.  I didn’t realize it wouldn’t work with the rest of my Sonos system.  My bad I guess.  But I’ll be sending it back.   This is a deal breaker for me and I suspect others.

And for those that will say I shouldn’t expect new products to be backwards compatible.  Well why not.  It’s a little like saying my 4K TV could only stream in 4K.  And wouldn’t be compatible with my cable TV signal that isn’t in 4K.  

Userlevel 1

I’m in the same boat.   Sonos Roam all alone on its own network basically its just a Bluetooth portable speaker now of which there are better speakers on the market so will be sending mine back to.  

I’ve owned Sonos since their inception and was always portrayed as future proof.   At the end of the day it’s only the app upgrade that is the issue and I guess Sonos didn’t want to design their app to allow the use of old and new generation hardware because too many people weren’t upgrading to their new stuff.    The only way to get people to upgrade is stop support for older equipment and the easiest way is to switch off support in the app and launch it as a new app.      

 

Your suppositions on Sonos’ motivation for the split are so incorrect, it’s silly.  The fact is, the older S1 equipment doesn’t have the memory or processing power to coexist with S2 hardware.  Period.  It’s like trying to run apps on a flip phone from 2005, except that flip phone doesn’t have to run the exact same content in perfect sync with a brand new iPhone from 2021.  


S1 products can all link together and play music from a streaming service.  But an S2 product with more memory and processing power not can’t?  It’s so dumb.   I want to buy new Sonos products to complement my system.  Not be forced to buy a new system.  

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