Sonos is forcing people to buy new hardware as they've broken the Connect:Amp and they refuse to fix it


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Hi,

 

I'm recreating this thread, as the discussion wasn't finished, but it was locked. I also wanted to make it obvious this is a Sonos issue, not a client environment issue.

 

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-and-architectural-228999/connect-amp-keeps-dropping-out-audio-6885634/index2.html

 

I've been following this for a while because I've been having the same issues, and when I spoke to support they said the connect amp can't cope with modern software and that I should upgrade to the amp, which is clearly unacceptable.

 

This has been confirmed by people in that original thread who have been told the same thing.

 

BillJanzen

“FWIW, these issues seem to have occured after the June 2023 software update to S2 version 15.5. Interestingly, there is an alert posted in the release notes of the 15.6 update released July 25, 2023 about adjusting how older Sonos products use their internal memory. See below (copied from https://support.sonos.com/en-ca/article/release-notes-for-sonos-s2):  Alerts:      With this update, we’ve adjusted how some of our older Sonos products are using their internal memory. Because of this change, updates for Play:1, Play:3, Boost, Connect, Connect:Amp, and Sub (Gen 1 and 2) will take longer to complete than before. The reset process for these products will also take more time to complete after this update.”

 

BillJanzen

“We continue to have intermittent drop-outs on all 4 of our Connect:Amp devices, so here’s my update after 1.5 hours on the phone with Sonos today. They said the diagnostics for one of the Connect:Amp devices the chose to investigate showed multiple major alerts, including:      Cannot allocate memory to full status     Write failed     Player crashed: out of memory     OOM Killer  These items all sound like they are related to memory issues with the older Connect:Amp product, as Big Bull mentioned in his previous post.”

 

Big Bull:

“Ok latest is I powered down 3 of my 4 units and just had the one I use most running hard wired to the router through my switch and it still gave dropouts so I sent 2 diagnostics to Sonos and they said : 

------------------ 

Thanks, so on this one in specific I can see the audio interruptions are caused because the product basically is old, and it is reaching its capabilities, there are some things that can be done to try to reduce the impact of this, but if it continues this product will need to be replaced with the upgrade program. 

------------------- 

I am being advised to replace any affected units with the Sonos Amp which can be costly.”

 

Birchan

“  Same problem, 4 AMP of which two lose sound...  SONOS did a wrong analysis and accidentally said that there were memory failures in some of the units. But since they only give a 2-year warranty, mine was 2.5 years too old. How can SONOS sell products that obviously have manufacturing problems and then say that they can replace them with a 30% discount on new ones? Wonder if Tesla would sell cars that stop working after 2 years and say, sorry you have to buy a new car every two years because the warranty has expired. So bad from SONOS so I will be discontinuing my SONOS system and switching to BOSE...  “

 

For context, in my situation I have a connect amp, connected via ethernet with WiFi off, and I started to get regular drop outs around June. It's incredibly annoying, the audio will drop out for a few seconds before continuing, if other speakers are grouped they will carry on fine.

 

It's absolutely 100% not a network issue. When I was debugging it, I briefly made the connect amp the only wired device and turned on WiFi, and other speakers in my house worked perfectly at all times. I've also reserved IP addresses, and I ran a ping monitor on it to check for any network dropouts. There were none. I've put the system back now, so the connect amp has its WiFi off.

 

So it seems to me that Sonos have released a firmware update that the connect amp cannot handle, and rather than take responsibility for it, they're just fobbing people off telling them to buy expensive new hardware to solve the problem, not even with any substantial discount. It's unacceptable. This connect amp worked perfectly before June.

 

Sonos needs to release a new update that solves the issue, or give people affected substantial discounts on replacement amps, and formally announce that the connect amp is end of life. Currently people with issues on this forum are being unintentionally gaslighted by well meaning people who don't know that this issue exists. Sonos cannot say the connect amp is supported when they've released a broken update.

 

People need to know about this issue, I've seen loads of topics about this issue and people get fobbed off with network issues, which is absolutely not the case, at all. Big Bull proved this by doing a replacement to amps which solved his issue.

Corry P 4 months ago

Hi @britcowboy et al,

Thank you all for your information both in this topic and the other one mentioned (which we have reopened as it was automatically closed by mistake).

Our engineers are currently investigating this with the highest priority.

We thank you for your patience while we work through this, we'll keep you updated with any news that we can share.

Thank you.

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263 replies

I note that you have wired your Connect:Amp and "disabled Wi5". So you are presumably not aware that this is a misconfiguration of your system? Unless you wanted to prevent the use of SonosNet for some reason? Or is everything wired?

This would not explain dropouts on the CA itself, though.

I would not ever suspect Sonos of doing anything like this deliberately, that’s bordering on paranoia. The following is certainly far more likely the issue here…

Particularly if the device referred to here is an early/older Connect:Amp (gen1 or 2), then I would suspect that over the years the Connect:Amp memory modules are simply incurring more and more bad cells, which the OS is likely marking as ‘unusable’ and the device is perhaps slowly running out of steam… these things do not last forever.

If the Connect:Amp is acting as the root-bridge for a SonosNet network then, if practicable, swap it out for a newer more-modern product and maybe try not to use it as a group co-ordinator. Remove any unnecessary services, playlists, favourites etc. and see if that might improves things. It maybe worth replacing any network cables too (just in case).

If there were a generic problem with the CA in S2 I think it would have generated  a lot more posts than there are on that other thread, mostly from a handful of users.

Comments on such issues from front line support staff count for nothing 

 

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Just to update on this, I have 4 CA’s which are only 6 years old so no I don’t expect them to last forever but I do expect more than 6 years of life out of them! All 4 exhibit dropout problems, I replaced as advised one of them with the newer Amp and guess what this one has been working fine for weeks!! The problem as I see it is that Sonos have issued multiple software updates that have eaten up the memory space causing dropouts! A lot of these updates are providing system enhancements which quite frankly I’m not interested in as all I want to do is stream live radio programs! As a result I have to scrap 4 CA’s which would normally work perfectly well and replace with the newer Amp’s which won’t do anymore than my 4 older CA’s for what I want.🙁🙁🙁🙁

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I note that you have wired your Connect:Amp and "disabled Wi5". So you are presumably not aware that this is a misconfiguration of your system? Unless you wanted to prevent the use of SonosNet for some reason? Or is everything wired?

This would not explain dropouts on the CA itself, though.

 

Only the connect amp has the WiFi off, this was something I suggested to Sonos support to reduce load on the connect amp and Sonos agreed it should help. This isn't a misconfiguration, it's hardwired to ethernet, and it's not the root bridge in my sonosnet

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I would not ever suspect Sonos of doing anything like this deliberately, that’s bordering on paranoia. The following is certainly far more likely the issue here…

Particularly if the device referred to here is an early/older Connect:Amp (gen1 or 2), then I would suspect that over the years the Connect:Amp memory modules are simply incurring more and more bad cells, which the OS is likely marking as ‘unusable’ and the device is perhaps slowly running out of steam… these things do not last forever.

If the Connect:Amp is acting as the root-bridge for a SonosNet network then, if practicable, swap it out for a newer more-modern product and maybe try not to use it as a group co-ordinator. Remove any unnecessary services, playlists, favourites etc. and see if that might improves things. It maybe worth replacing any network cables too (just in case).

It's not paranoia to state that Sonos are aware of this issue, and aren't fixing it. I'm not saying they're deliberately breaking something for fun, but they appear to have broken something and their response it to tell people to buy new products.

 

It's possible that it's an issue with memory cells degrading over time, but that seems to be very coincidental that this issue started appearing for multiple people at the same time, around the same time as a firmware update that mentioned memory on connect amps… of course I don't know what changes were made, so perhaps I'm reading more into it than I should, but it seems a weird coincidence.

 

As I've stated, the connect amp isn't the root bridge, this was a temp configuration I tried to prove that it wasn't a network issue. Because all other speakers connected via it had no drop outs. I've now returned to my previous configuration, which a few speakers connected to ethernet (with STP configured on my network), and the connect amp connected by ethernet with it's WiFi turned off. It's NOT a network issue. I've replaced network cables, I've reserved ip addresses, it's not the issue. I don't tend to use it as a group coordinator either.

 

Just to update on this, I have 4 CA’s which are only 6 years old so no I don’t expect them to last forever but I do expect more than 6 years of life out of them! All 4 exhibit dropout problems, I replaced as advised one of them with the newer Amp and guess what this one has been working fine for weeks!! The problem as I see it is that Sonos have issued multiple software updates that have eaten up the memory space causing dropouts! A lot of these updates are providing system enhancements which quite frankly I’m not interested in as all I want to do is stream live radio programs! As a result I have to scrap 4 CA’s which would normally work perfectly well and replace with the newer Amp’s which won’t do anymore than my 4 older CA’s for what I want.🙁🙁🙁🙁

As John B mentions though, if this applied to every Connect:Amp - these boards would light up with many hundreds complaining here and not just a few people. Older Connect Amps might have issues as mentioned, but some things can perhaps be resolved by using a more modern Sonos product say as the root-bridge, or as group co-ordinator, or even operating them in a slightly cooler environment in some cases. It still could be a cable that needs changing and I would never rule out interference as a network environment can change quite often.

Sometimes a reboot of the router/refresh of the network, a change of WiFi channels and/or channel-width, can solve quite a few issues, even moving devices onto other segments of the local network might assist the situation too.

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If there were a generic problem with the CA in S2 I think it would have generated  a lot more posts than there are on that other thread, mostly from a handful of users.

Comments on such issues from front line support staff count for nothing 

 

There are a lot of threads on this though. Search for connect amp drop outs. Most OPs just get told its an issue with the environment and the topic gets closed. I don't think a lot of people have connected the dots, I think this is a bigger issue than people realise. Not to mention it's a drop out of a few seconds that people may not always notice, or think to raise. I had it for months before I spoke to support, and even longer still before I posted on here about it.

If there were a generic problem with the CA in S2 I think it would have generated  a lot more posts than there are on that other thread, mostly from a handful of users.

Comments on such issues from front line support staff count for nothing 

 

There are a lot of threads on this though. Search for connect amp drop outs. Most OPs just get told its an issue with the environment and the topic gets closed. I don't think a lot of people have connected the dots, I think this is a bigger issue than people realise. Not to mention it's a drop out of a few seconds that people may not always notice, or think to raise. I had it for months before I spoke to support, and even longer still before I posted on here about it.

Let me just first say, I do sympathise with any issue another Sonos user is encountering, it’s why I voluntarily hang around this community to try to help others, but I don’t, even for one second, believe this would be a deliberate act by Sonos, by any means.

I can’t rule out a bug in their software though (who can🤔?). However, if that was indeed the case, I really would expect lots more (different) people here highlighting this matter, on a fairly regular/daily basis and I’m talking dozens, if not hundreds, of people and that’s not the case at the moment and people rarely (if ever) post here either, just to say ‘all is well’. 

In the meantime, I would perhaps continue to gather your diagnostic reports and any references and perhaps go back to Sonos Support …and if necessary, try to escalate your case to see if anything else might be at the centre of the issue. 

I’m not sure, as another Sonos user, what else I can say to you. I just don’t think you’re on the correct path if you think it is Sonos that might be doing this deliberately in order to make you upgrade. I still think it’s far more likely going to be something local to you.

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If there were a generic problem with the CA in S2 I think it would have generated  a lot more posts than there are on that other thread, mostly from a handful of users.

Comments on such issues from front line support staff count for nothing 

 

There are a lot of threads on this though. Search for connect amp drop outs. Most OPs just get told its an issue with the environment and the topic gets closed. I don't think a lot of people have connected the dots, I think this is a bigger issue than people realise. Not to mention it's a drop out of a few seconds that people may not always notice, or think to raise. I had it for months before I spoke to support, and even longer still before I posted on here about it.

Let me just first say, I do sympathise with any issue another Sonos user is encountering, it’s why I voluntarily hang around this community to try to help others, but I don’t, even for one second, believe this would be a deliberate act by Sonos, by any means.

I can’t rule out a bug in their software though (who can🤔?). However, if that was indeed the case, I really would expect lots more (different) people here highlighting this matter, on a fairly regular/daily basis and I’m talking dozens, if not hundreds, of people and that’s not the case at the moment and people rarely (if ever) post here either, just to say ‘all is well’. 

In the meantime, I would perhaps continue to gather your diagnostic reports and any references and perhaps go back to Sonos Support …and if necessary, try to escalate your case to see if anything else might be at the centre of the issue. 

I’m not sure, as another Sonos user, what else I can say to you. I just don’t think you’re on the correct path if you think it is Sonos that might be doing this deliberately in order to make you upgrade. I still think it’s far more likely going to be something local to you.

I didn't say they did it on purpose to make me upgrade, but they are indifferent about fixing it. Also I spoke to support, did diagnostics and they said the issue is the hardware. It's not a network issue, I'm a software engineer, I have a decent network with good, expensive, equipment running it, I've set up pings to check if the Sonos drops off the network over time, it never has. That's not the issue. I checked all that, as I initially suspected it to be a local issue, but I'm satisfied, both with my testing, and what Sonos has said that it's an issue with the hardware itself. Remember I've had this issue for months at this stage, I've done lots if testing.

 

Also I don't buy what you said about lots of people would be raising it. It took me months to raise it with support, because I didn't get round to it, and initially suspected it was an issue my end. Then anyone who raises it on the forum immediately gets told its their network, and to change Sonosnet channels and reboot it, which may fix the issue temporarily (as the RAM gets reset on reboot), and they then get their thread closed. Not to mention, it's something that may take a while to get noticed in the first place.

 

Look, I'm just looking for some ownership from Sonos. Issue a article about it owning it, if it's a software issue, try and fix it, if it's to do with the device being too old, then if possible release an update whth features removed so the core functionality works on this device, or issue a good replacement scheme.

 

Sonos do have bugs, there was that issue with the Arc which they took a long time to acknowledge and fix. This could be a similar issue, and we need to make a noise for it to get seen and for it to be fixed. Just being fobbed off with “buy a new device” without even a special discount, is imo not acceptable.

@britcowboy,

I’m really sorry I can’t help with your Connect:Amp issue here, but at least your thread was pushed to the top of the tree a few times for other community users here to perhaps see your thoughts.

Aspersions are, of course, quite easily cast. It would be nice to see some clear evidence from you, in support of some of the comments made. I’m just not seeing that at this moment in time, personally speaking.

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@britcowboy,

I’m really sorry I can’t help with your Connect:Amp issue here, but at least your thread was pushed to the top of the tree a few times for other community users here to perhaps see your thoughts.

Aspersions are, of course, quite easily cast. It would be nice to see some clear evidence from you, in support of some of the comments made. I’m just not seeing that at this moment in time, personally speaking.

I'm not sure what you mean by that? Sonos told me on the phone that there's an internal note that says the connect amps are getting old and may have these issues. They told me to refrain from using shuffle and crossfade, which I don't use on it anyway. How can I prove this phone call? I don't record them? I don't understand why you'd assume I'm lying? What would I have to gain? Also you can see other people have been told the same from Sonos, so unless we're all collaborating our stories, it makes it more likely it's true, right?

I don't know what evidence you could want?

Just to update on this, I have 4 CA’s which are only 6 years old so no I don’t expect them to last forever but I do expect more than 6 years of life out of them! All 4 exhibit dropout problems, I replaced as advised one of them with the newer Amp and guess what this one has been working fine for weeks!! The problem as I see it is that Sonos have issued multiple software updates that have eaten up the memory space causing dropouts! A lot of these updates are providing system enhancements which quite frankly I’m not interested in as all I want to do is stream live radio programs! As a result I have to scrap 4 CA’s which would normally work perfectly well and replace with the newer Amp’s which won’t do anymore than my 4 older CA’s for what I want.🙁🙁🙁🙁

Consider the possibility that a certain part, probably a section of RAM in this case, tends to fail at a certain age. In a perfect design/manufacturing environment all units would fail at exactly the same time. But there are variables, such as production batch, operating environment, etc. that introduce variability. Large service centers become familiar with the typical failures and can often tell the customer what is wrong, once a model number is given. In many cases it is not necessary to power up the unit before making the repair and the unit will be fine when powered up. This does not necessarily mean that all units will fail, but the units that have failed, are typically for the same reason in a high percentage of cases. And the reason may change over time as parts age.

Mother Nature is never fair.

If there is an intermittent area in RAM, firmware updates are risky because the memory footprint moves around during the update. Think, changing socks while running. It is possible that a routine or two end up in the bad section of RAM or the data cache is involved. The next firmware update may result in the bad area being mapped out of daily use. Also, the failure could be intermittent. This can result in some firmware updates being successful, while others fail.

In your specific case I don’t think that we can generalize that all CONNECT:AMP’s are having your issue, but your’s might all be from the same batch. This Community is similar to a hospital. After a quick tour, even during a pandemic, it’s easy to conclude that “everyone” is sick, but if you look out the window you’ll see most people are well and going about their business as usual.

Manufacturers are reluctant to share failure data with the public because there is high risk of a misunderstanding. I’m aware of a speaker model (not a SONOS product) where there was 100% failure of new speakers and replacement parts would fail in shipment. After some research it was determined that a single person on the assembly line was not following procedures over a three day period. This is a decades old incident and speakers manufactured before and after this incident are still functional. An early news release about this incident could have crippled the company. When the public gets wind of this sort of incident, only the failures are noted.

If you pay close attention in this Community you'll notice a few cases where SONOS was aware of a production issue for a batch and out of warranty failed units were replaced. There was no indication of the batch size. It might have been only a couple dozen units.

I did already highlight the possibility of a ram module ‘perhaps’ being an issue in my very first post here (as a bit of a guess) - as I said these things may not last forever. I also suggested things like removing unnecessary services, playlists etc. as it might be something along those lines… here is a chart that shows some (not all) Sonos products and their memory limitations…

I suspect the Connect:Amp in this case may have some bad memory areas and it’s just not coping like the other Connect:Amps or any other devices in the same system setup. I can’t prove these things, of course, but it just looks quite likely to me. if Sonos Support say it’s perhaps time to upgrade, then personally speaking I would take that onboard. These decisions though, are for each one of us to consider. My personal policy for such items is that anything over 5 years old electrical wise, normally gets moved on/replaced.

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If you are near the limit on bad memory and update the firmware it may be enough to push you over the limit and start causing problems.

I do wish we had more access to system internals, being able to see more of what is going on inside would allow us to have actual answers rather then having to make educated guesses.

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I did already highlight the possibility of a ram module ‘perhaps’ being an issue in my very first post here (as a bit of a guess) - as I said these things may not last forever. I also suggested things like removing unnecessary services, playlists etc. as it might be something along those lines… here is a chart that shows some (not all) Sonos products and their memory limitations…

I suspect the Connect:Amp in this case may have some bad memory areas and it’s just not coping like the other Connect:Amps or any other devices in the same system setup. I can’t prove these things, of course, but it just looks quite likely to me. if Sonos Support say it’s perhaps time to upgrade, then personally speaking I would take that onboard. These decisions though, are for each one of us to consider. My personal policy for such items is that anything over 5 years old electrical wise, normally gets moved on/replaced.

I don't have loads of services, but besides I have a lot of devices, I don't want to gimp my Sonos system because of one device, and there's no evidence it'll help anyway.

Also I currently only have one connect amp, I had to ditch another when Sonos made it obsolete with the S2 upgrade (which I'm still super happy about), so I don't know if it's a problem with all of them or not.

I don’t know how much of this issue is from trying to keep the Connect Amp having to cope with S2. I decided to stay on S1 back in the day, and none of any of my 12 units have any problems, including Connect Amps/Connects and even including two Bridge units. I was never interested in any S2 updates to what is a settled home audio system of 5 zones, and S1 with the few occasional security patches continues to not disturb any existing functionality twelve years after purchase.

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I registered just to post on this issue as I am also suffering the same problems. 
I have two connect amps in a simple system. They’re connected by wifi to ubiquiti access points and a full ubiquiti network.

My system problems started in May 2023 when I changed from an iPhone XR to a 14 pro. I was constantly unable to access the Sonos devices despite my wife’s iPhone 12 seeing the connect amps just fine. In addition, my laptop and PC had no problems accessing the connect amps. The problem was solved by resetting the app on my 14 pro but I noticed that a number of other users were also posting problems with 14 pro devices. At the time of the troubleshooting, Sonos diagnostics was advising that the connect amps were old (only 6 years) and running out of memory, especially when using higher bit rate services such as Qobuz. 
 

Fast forward a couple of months and my wife’s iPhone started being unable to connect and the dropouts started occurring with weary monotony regardless of which device we tried to use to access the connect amps  

The dropouts happen to both amps and often at almost (but not exactly) the same time if they’re in party mode.

I used to think that it was a network issue but the surefire way to temporarily fix the problem is to reboot the connect amps and to use Spotify instead of Qobuz, all of which supports the memory buffering theory.

The obvious conclusion is that Sonos, like Apple, has rendered its older hardware obsolete through unnecessary software upgrades.

So the choice as I see it is to;

  1. roll back to S1
  2. buy the new Amp
  3. jump ship to bluesound

But let’s be clear about this - this is definitely a problem which has been created  by Sonos as it’s too much of a coincidence that Sonos system dropouts started occurring to multiple users at the same time as a new software update was rolled out. The fact that Sonos diagnostics also shows that the units are running out of memory also points to shoddy implementation of the software updates.  Sonos’ refusal to acknowledge or fix the problem is pushing me away from the product.

 

 

“Multiple users?”  There’s two.  Two out of millions.  Put away the tin foil hat. 

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“Multiple users?”  There’s two.  Two out of millions.  Put away the tin foil hat. 

 

There’s more than two so obviously counting is beyond you. Put away the insults until you have mastered basic arithmetic. 

 

There’s more than two so obviously counting is beyond you. Put away the insults until you have mastered basic arithmetic. 

 

There was once an actual problem with a single Sonos model, the Playbar.   That thread had thousands of posts in a few days, along with a dozen or so other threads about the same issue.  This thread hasn’t even hit 25 posts.  So 2, or 12, or even 25 users, means nothing.  The advice stands - Put away the tin foil hat.

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There’s more than two so obviously counting is beyond you. Put away the insults until you have mastered basic arithmetic. 

 

There was once an actual problem with a single Sonos model, the Playbar.   That thread had thousands of posts in a few days, along with a dozen or so other threads about the same issue.  This thread hasn’t even hit 25 posts.  So 2, or 12, or even 25 users, means nothing.  The advice stands - Put away the tin foil hat.



Apples to oranges comparison in terms of user base and size of installed base. 
 

Regardless of that fact, even Sonos themselves consistently diagnose the problem as a lack of memory or do you dispute that too?

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I used to think that it was a network issue but the surefire way to temporarily fix the problem is to reboot the connect amps and to use Spotify instead of Qobuz, all of which supports the memory buffering theory.

The obvious conclusion is that Sonos, like Apple, has rendered its older hardware obsolete through unnecessary software upgrades.

So the choice as I see it is to;

  1. roll back to S1
  2. buy the new Amp
  3. jump ship to bluesound

But let’s be clear about this - this is definitely a problem which has been created  by Sonos 

 

 

Out of curiosity, have you tried a system restart? By that I mean:

shut down Sonos devices and router, wait a few minutes, and then restart the router;

when it’s fully running and wifi is running, restart Sonos devices one at a time;

set fixed ip addresses for Sonos devices. 
 

There are numerous cases on these forums where this has resolved issues where the app can’t connect to system/devices. 

I’m just asking/suggesting trying this as the drop-outs might be network/ip issues rather than memory issues in the devices. 
 

Either way, I can’t believe that Sonos would risk deliberately sabotaging customers’ devices, whatever you might think to the contrary. The legal ramifications would be disastrous to them, if found out. 

I don't dispute anything except the accusation that Sonos is purposefully sabotaging older devices in order to force you to upgrade.  It's patently absurd, especially when the average lifespan of solid stare memory is a far more likely reason.

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It’s no more deliberate than Apple’s policy of rendering older iOS devices obsolete through OS ‘upgrades’

And I don’t buy the solid state memory degradation argument as, if you bother to check other users’ experiences, you’ll see that multiple connect amp devices in the same installation experience the same problems at the same time. 

 

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