The Hot Mess of this Community Forum for Feature Feedback/Request/Voting

  • 15 January 2018
  • 39 replies
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So, after having my own recent issue be pretty much ignored by Sonos, and slightly poo-poo'd by jgatie (no offence taken), I just can't find ANYTHING that remotely resembles a functioning feedback loop for Sonos. This open wound was stinging with much salt poured into it after visiting CES 2018, of which Sonos is going to get their a$$ handed to them if they don't really listen to their customer base soon, and innovate from the suggestions of people that ACTUALLY use their products. I saw the start of it last year, but it's really picking up steam with everyone getting integrated, with a bar, Alexa, etc. etc.

I know Chris has tried his hand at a voting thread here (https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/wishlist-for-sonos-controller-improvements-6730862/index1.html#post15967003) but it's a hot mess, non-accountable and disorganized. I have no idea what they are working on, what is most wanted, etc. This isn't a slur to Chris by any means and I appreciate what he's trying to do - it's just what it is here for him to work with and let's be honest - it just sucks.

As I say to my people, "You can't come in and b!t*h about a problem unless you bring alternatives, information or a possible solution..." So, here it is (Disclaimer - I don't work or get any money from ProductBoard, it's just one of the better options that does what I'm suggesting):

Problem statement post from them I mostly agree with...
https://blog.productboard.com/validate-ideas-share-your-plans-and-celebrate-what-youve-launched-9912723ff71e

Example Portal:
https://portal.productboard.com/pb/tabs/7-under-consideration

This would be AWESOME in terms of knowing (from a glance, not TLDR of 267 replies on Chris' topic) what the Sonos team sees as important, delivery, rating from the community, etc. Make the suggestion request requirments that they actually own a Sonos unit (they already have that information with our Profile). It would keep the tire-kickers and distractors at bay somewhat, leaving mostly those that have a "dog in the hunt."

This is SO needed here or the upstarts that DO listen and are agile enough to implement (well) the desired feature sets and integration, will eat their lunch.

Can we get some momentum/interest here?

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39 replies

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The old Sonos forum had more of an idea thread to it. Actual items could be marked as either "In Consideration" or "Planned". When they went to the new format here, I guess over a year ago, all of that was lost. So yea I did start that thread. I know there needs to be a good way to express group ideas (there just really isn't a good way on this boards format).

The old board was actually two boards. There was the support boad (which had those indicators) and there was the forum (which was more of the advanced user discussion board). It was actually nice having the separation from users needing help and more enthusiast discussion.

Sonos is always so tight lipped when it comes to future development, even the old method wasn't of much use.

It really comes down to submitting something here and they will see it and pass stuff along...but the development team really has its own agenda which I think is more marketing and upper management based. They do listen to feedback and we get a few bones here and there. It's more a a Sonos philosophy then not listening .... their philosophy is that whenever you interact with Sonos, whether at home, office, friends etc., that you should get the same exact experience. It's why they frown on customizations that people clamor for. It's why they don't like multiple versions of the app out in the wild. They have been softening that a little bit I guess in past 6-8 months. But they still aren't really allowing any customizations.

Sorry you didn't have good experience with a problem. Sometimes there are so many posts here peoples stuff gets lost in the shuffle and Sonos doesn't always pick up on threads they should.

Honestly - the best real support method for Sonos is calling them on the phone. Its the best method to get good attention on a subject vs. days of back and forth on a board like this. Of course there are a lot of knowledgable users here that can point people in the right direction but don't always have the tools Sonos has (like looking at diagnostics) to determine the issue.
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The old Sonos forum had more of an idea thread to it. Actual items could be marked as either "In Consideration" or "Planned". When they went to the new format here, I guess over a year ago, all of that was lost. So yea I did start that thread. I know there needs to be a good way to express group ideas (there just really isn't a good way on this boards format).


Hence the reason for this post - glad to know I'm not the only one that's noticed that. Thanks for the history on the board system.

...It really comes down to submitting something here and they will see it and pass stuff along...but the development team really has its own agenda which I think is more marketing and upper management based. They do listen to feedback and we get a few bones here and there. It's more a a Sonos philosophy then not listening .... their philosophy is that whenever you interact with Sonos, whether at home, office, friends etc., that you should get the same exact experience. It's why they frown on customizations that people clamor for. It's why they don't like multiple versions of the app out in the wild. They have been softening that a little bit I guess in past 6-8 months. But they still aren't really allowing any customizations.

Sorry you didn't have good experience with a problem. Sometimes there are so many posts here peoples stuff gets lost in the shuffle and Sonos doesn't always pick up on threads they should.

Honestly - the best real support method for Sonos is calling them on the phone. Its the best method to get good attention on a subject vs. days of back and forth on a board like this. Of course there are a lot of knowledgable users here that can point people in the right direction but don't always have the tools Sonos has (like looking at diagnostics) to determine the issue.


I think you've conflated my issue with their lack of support and the topic at hand. Yes, I just need to give them a call for the problem (it was a complete waste of time on the email/submit path). I appreciate you, jgatie and others trying to help but don't you ever get the feeling they just are pissing on their user base without a mechanism for feedback? I understand being "tight lipped", but that is a sword that cuts both ways. If I can't see a manufacturer listening to a customer and actively doing something for the customer, then I take my money to those that do. It's simple market dynamics. I know, I know - marketing people think they "know better". Fine, they can put it on something like I suggest with ProductBoard and see how it fairs to non-groupthink fisking in the wild. 😃
Unfortunately, public voting on features is easily gamed. We've seen this on the old boards when a Windows Phone app request was leading the pack with thousands of votes when Windows Mobile had about 2% of the market. Turns out Windows Mobile enthusiasts who wouldn't know Sonos from sonar were registering and voting due to a call to arms. Same thing happened on the other forum with a poll on Hires audio support. Hundreds of register, vote once, and done accounts that sought to game the poll. Sonos is smarter than that.

As to little to no feedback? That's their policy. People have been complaining about it for years, with similar prophetic predictions of doom if they don't publish their internal roadmap So far, the predictions have been quite inaccurate.
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Yea - short of call or email to open a support ticket...there is not easy way to document feedback other than posts here (which can get lost in the shuffle).

I started the poll as a way to send feedback on requests to sonos. Problem is with this forum - once I started the pole I have no way of going back and changing it (so I couldn't make it a very dynamic poll as far as user input). You also after a short period can't go back and change a post - so not way to update the first post with updates.

If a Sonos person would maintain it - with ideas and showing (under consideration) (planned) etc. and sticky post to the ideas category that would be good. They mentioned once they thought about it.

The other issue really becomes - this is a Sonos forum and there are no customer moderators. As users we are limited on how we can provide information to other users therefore within the limits of the Sonos moderators.

A user subcategory would be nice with customer moderators. Don't see it happening though. What would be cool would be something like a CLUB SONOS category that was user moderated and could therefore control some of the trolling that goes on or hateful rhetoric that really doesn't belong in the support forum side (which takes away from others trying to get help).
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Unfortunately, public voting on features is easily gamed. We've seen this on the old boards when a Windows Phone app request was leading the pack with thousands of votes when Windows Mobile had about 2% of the market. Turns out Windows Mobile enthusiasts who wouldn't know Sonos from sonar were registering and voting due to a call to arms. Same thing happened on the other forum with a poll on Hires audio support. Hundreds of register, vote once, and done accounts that sought to game the poll. Sonos is smarter than that.

As to little to no feedback? That's their policy. People have been complaining about it for years, with similar prophetic predictions of doom if they don't publish their internal roadmap So far, the predictions have been quite inaccurate.


You misread my post - I said nothing of "public voting". In fact, I specifically called out above a means to make it tied to ownership (which they know in your profile). That would be a reasonable weeding, but by no means complete. But as it sits, you (and me, and Chris, Kumar, etc) short of staging a revolt here get 3ms worth of airtime to keep a feature (not just my goofy alarm request) afloat long enough to get any traction.

Chris got what I'm saying. As for dire consequences, I'm not predicting any. I'm predicting they will lose market share if they don't innovate; sometimes it comes from within, sometimes from outside. I've been doing tech work for over a quarter century, and I personally like doing business with those that don't treat me like a peon to be hurded or spat upon. Those that have taken feedback well have traditionally done better and are still around. Transparency (as much as their pretentious, closed-off ecosystem can stomach), is a *good* thing.

I also want to see what others are requesting AND WHY... That's a huge point. I have very good friends that have been doing high end home theater (Crestron, etc) for years and they want different things out of a Sonos than I do. We have good philosophical discussions over lunch/dinner around who needs what and why on different items (Sonos coming up occasionally). I wouldn't mind knowing if they (the participant) are an end user, integrator, sales channel, etc. too. It helps me understand their angle.
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Yea - short of call or email to open a support ticket...there is not easy way to document feedback other than posts here (which can get lost in the shuffle).
... Don't see it happening though. What would be cool would be something like a CLUB SONOS category that was user moderated and could therefore control some of the trolling that goes on or hateful rhetoric that really doesn't belong in the support forum side (which takes away from others trying to get help).


Lots of goodness in that reply. I think a marriage of the two - trusted customer mods with a forum like ProductBoard that weeded out the slackers jgatie loathes with having real Sonos users having r/w versus public readonly. Sonos gets the best of both worlds - low cost outlay pain (except to get the software for the board up and running) and the customer base get a place they take care of so nobody craps on the rug, etc. with a better representative voice.
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We don't see a lot of integrator / Sales channel people on the board (actually surprisingly). And when we have had people say they are integrators I sometimes question that (as some of their comments then lead me to believe they are just complainers in disguise and don't even understand some basic Sonos concepts).

You tend here to have enthusiasts (usually stick around a good amount of time), the gloom and doom naysayers (they just stick around to complain about their pet issue for a few months and then when that is resolved they disappear back in the hole they came from), and the casual user (who comes here for some help with a lingering issue and want support).

The enthusiasts - don't really have a place to talk amongst themselves about things that would be improvements, how best utilize the system, wishlist requests.

The Naysayers - clog up threads with continual complaining in a completely uninformed manner (and don't listen to any reason).

The Casual Users - their posts don't have a way to easily get picked up by Sonos because of the volume of them and the other discussions from the groups above that make their posts and legitimate needs less conspicuous.
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I'm somewhere between Enthusiast and Casual. Complaining, only comes in when it's egregious. ;)
You and the +1000 post people need a place... bad.

So who here can bend Joy Howard's ear for 5 minutes to get something worthwhile done to help you folks out?
I'm not against some sort of voting. I just know that often times the only people who vote are those that are most vocal, and that is by no means indicative of a majority. I prefer the more directed surveys they send out, rather than a public forum that is usually taken over by the very vocal minority.

As to feedback, I've seen more feedback. I've seen the results of telling people what is planned and what is not. Saying something is planned results in pleas to know approximately when, followed by pleas to know exactly when, then complaints that it isn't here yet, followed by complaints that it either took too long or, if delivered early, it wasn't tested enough.

Saying something is not planned results in doubling down on complaints, mostly telling the Sonos techs why their reasoning for not doing it is stupid and wrong, using any explanation given as a cudgel, instead of information for the customer. Matter of fact, it is the very few and far between poster who actually says "Hey, thanks for keeping us informed. Now I can make a decision."

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. At least the way they do it now they aren't telegraphing their roadmap to the competition.
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Very true jgatie

VideoVic - us 1000+ posters do tend to talk amongst ourselves.

The big problem us long time posters have is when posters come on here with an all mighty attitude and the nasty back and forth ensues. Sonos won't moderate their customers "opinions" - a private board would put a stop to the shinanigans real quick.
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To address both of you, the "skin in the game" is the way to mute the BS noise. Make accounts in a feedback/issues/bugs/quasi-roadmap be entirely predicated on ownership. At least at that point, if a competitor is wanting to be a part of it, they have coughed up some money to Sonos for the privilege (snicker). It also (should) have provisos to those using such a forum that this for INFORMATIONAL purposes only and not to get "butt-hurt" about timetables, etc. You'd think some of these people commenting have never done any project development a day in their life. Things go wrong, scheduling pert charts break - it's life.
Does anyone know of any company in any domain of the size of Sonos and above that does this better/more transparently than how Sonos does these things?
I posit that most of the BS noise is from owners of the product. The gaming of polls types don't even post, they just register and vote. Two different problems. I also predict that requesting people who have skin in the game not to get butt-hurt is, at least for those who are the most vocal, like asking them not to breathe. We had a person here complain about no set date for Alexa control of Spotify. Then when an actual date was set they complained that it stated "by" xx/xx/xxxx instead of "on" that date. As if delivering early (which Sonos did) was something bad. This happens all the time, just look at the posts simultaneously complaining about the lack of immediate changes to the new app and a lack of testing for the version they want changed. Damned if you do . . .

Now imagine what it would be like if Sonos had a forum dedicated to this. You just aren't going to get many people who appreciate the effort, and those who do will be drowned out by those agitators who simply use any information Sonos gives them as ammunition in their attacks. One poster was so honest in this approach, they literally asked for an explanation for why Sonos cannot do something, not for an actual explanation, but because (paraphrasing) "there are some smart people out here that can tell you where you are going wrong".
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You tend here to have enthusiasts (usually stick around a good amount of time), the gloom and doom naysayers (they just stick around to complain about their pet issue for a few months and then when that is resolved they disappear back in the hole they came from), and the casual user (who comes here for some help with a lingering issue and want support).

The enthusiasts - don't really have a place to talk amongst themselves about things that would be improvements, how best utilize the system, wishlist requests.

The Naysayers - clog up threads with continual complaining in a completely uninformed manner (and don't listen to any reason).

The Casual Users - their posts don't have a way to easily get picked up by Sonos because of the volume of them and the other discussions from the groups above that make their posts and legitimate needs less conspicuous.


That's a rather black and white view on the topic isn't it?

A more realistic view is probably something along the lines of...

Super passionates - are basically in love with the brand and don't think their true love can do anything wrong. Typically hang out a lot on the forum. Know the system inside out.

Enthusiasts - Really enjoy using their system and tend tell friends and family about it. Don't bother much if at all with posting, as their system does what it needs to do.

Disgruntled enthusiasts - Got disappointed due to a system change or the lack of an update with feature x or y. Tend to be rather critical and skeptical towards to brand that just let them down. The brand's (lack of) communication policy doesn't help in getting this resolved.

Casual Users - Just try to get by. Often blame themselves for struggling with the system as they are less tech savvy than the enthusiasts. Use the forum as a helpdesk.

Naysayers - never bought into the brand in the first place and are using an alternative solution.


Back on topic
An ideas type of forum with voting would certainly help, as currently such posts quickly get lost And the disgruntled enthousiast would at least have the impression someone's trying to listen.

The big question though is if these ideas will actually result in anything, as even the most upvoted ideas on such boards may never make it to production.

Case in point 1 in 3 ideas from Spotify's top 10 have a not right now status. https://community.spotify.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?filter=includeIdeas,dateRangeType&include_ideas=true&rangeTime=1M&sort_by=-topicKudosCount
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Great question and discussion everyone. Thanks for trying to keep everything friendly in here.

We read every thread that's posted and share ideas with the development teams internally. In fact, many of the developers spend a little time here on the boards reading and getting the feel for what you all are asking for.

While we don't have a specific board here for Ideas now, we do keep track of requests internally for our uses.

The big question though is if these ideas will actually result in anything, as even the most upvoted ideas on such boards may never make it to production.
This is a really good point, and one of the main reasons we don't have an ideas board. Some requests, no matter how many upvotes they get on the board, simply aren't going to be possible. Others, though possible, may not happen due to legal/ licensing reasons. There also are many requests that are likely to happen, but might be on a roadmap many years out. PS I'm happy to change your username if you'd like :)

We're hesitant to have a board where you can vote on future features because every time we've had one, we found it set the expectation that there was "vote threshold" some number that had to be met before it'd happen. Which, as already pointed out here, isn't the only factor that can be considered.

We do love hearing what you're looking for, and the teams love getting your feedback. So believe me, your voice is heard by the team. We just don't have a public facing view of which features are the most requested. Outside of just seeing the active discussions that happen regularly.

If you're looking for a place to chat, the Music, culture and industry board is a great place to chat about Sonos and what you'd like to see happen in either small or large scale.
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I also guess from a competitor view do you really want to disclose what you are developing.
It would be nice to have some form of update or conformation of a beta program to resolve the unrest with the current controller.
There is a beta program that you can join for Sonos. Not sure what the criteria is for acceptance, but I know it's there. And I know that they have their own boards, too.
Ah, I bet your "conformation" is an autocorrect issue, and you meant "confirmation". I've run my fair share of software "beta" programs, and all of them were covered under some pretty strict NDAs, so discussion about what was going on would get you kicked out, and not ever invited back in. So any resolution of the unrest with the current controller would likely have to wait until the beta, if there is one, is over, and the software is released to us in the general public. We can hope it is soon, as I'd agree, the unrest is a bit trying.
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Yes, sorry Apple seem to have a few issues with it at the moment.
No doubt. I'm 90% Apple, and with my fat fingers, I run in to autocorrect issues all the time. 🙂
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It is my impression that Sonos is running a beta at all times.
Wouldn't surprise me in the least. It would be an intelligent choice for them. Always keep something in the testing pipeline.

Super passionates - are basically in love with the brand and don't think their true love can do anything wrong.

I must say that I do not know anyone here that meets the latter part of the description. I am admittedly a Sonos fan, and I am vocal when I need to about things I don't like about it. Cherry picking usually yields wrong conclusions.
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People like to claim some of us are Super Passionates - I haven't seen a single long time poster here not be critical of certain aspects of Sonos. We will defend them of course when someone doesn't get their way, but most of us say a lot of things critical of Sonos. I give criticisms all the time - people mostly ignore that fact -well and Sonos ignores me too as a matter of fact 🙂
IMO, this forum suffers from an inherent defect in all such. Knowledge databases, even where well maintained and easily accessed, are never used by posters, the same issue is posted over and over and earlier variations on the same theme with solutions posted to these are pushed into the background by such repeated posts.