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How to determine the end-of-life (EOL) for each Sonos product?

  • 22 January 2020
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Now that Sonos have announced that their products have an end-of-life (EOL), sometimes in as little as 5 years from purchase, can they please clarify their expected EOL projections for all products? Classifying them as “modern” or “legacy” does not help and is far too simplistic. Products can move status overnight without warning.

It would be useful to know that a Sonos product bought today for several hundred pounds is expected to be viable for, say, 5yrs. If Sonos wishes to be a software company, they will need to embrace a more mature approach to this issue, and offer an SLA within each product sale to set customer expectations.

For example, the Windows 10 support life-cycle has a five-year mainstream support phase that began on July 29, 2015, and a second five-year extended support phase that begins in 2020 and extends until October 2025. Microsoft manages this level of expectation management and costs a fraction of the cost of a home speaker system. 

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Best answer by Ken_Griffiths 22 January 2020, 22:54

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58 replies

While I agree that SONOS needs to communicate EOL dates; I think that it’s awful for any company to turn a consumer product that typically had a very long useful life (I have speakers from the 1970s that work fine) and turn it into trash as little as 5 years after its manufactured.

 

This is an inexcusable money grab by SONOS that not only negatively impacts the wallets of its customers; but, its giving a middle-finger to the environment.   

 

Best not to stray outside the cesspool of the main announcement threads.  We actually know what we are talking about here.

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I have 4 Play 1’s

 

2 with hardware 1.20.1.6-2

2 with hardware 1.8.3.7-2

 

Are you saying that they dont have the same ram/flash amount ?

This just makes it even worse, that i have 4 “identical” speakers and they might brick 2 and not the other 2.

 

Where are you seeing anything about bricking Play 1s? They are not eligible for the Trade Up program.

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Where are you seeing anything about bricking Play 1s? They are not eligible for the Trade Up program.

Well the Play 1 was replaced with the Play one back in 2017, if they only support them for 5 years after, then in a couple of years it will be the Play 1 that will be obsoleted.

I was just curious if the Play 1 was like the Connect, where they changed the hardware inside at some point and the old Play 1 would be obsoleted before the other like the connect.

Well the Play 1 was replaced with the Play one back in 2017, if they only support them for 5 years after, then in a couple of years it will be the Play 1 that will be obsoleted.

I was just curious if the Play 1 was like the Connect, where they changed the hardware inside at some point and the old Play 1 would be obsoleted before the other like the connect.

 

No, the Play:1 was replaced by the One SL just last year.  So you have at least 4 years, probably more. 

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They aren’t moving things to Legacy status based on age but on the internal memory limitations. Look at one of the memory charts posted here and you’ll see where the Play 1 stands.

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Everything said is a supposition, but in fact, if they suddenly started forcing the obsolescence of old units, the list of “legacy” units can easily change in a short term.

When purchasing a new unit, the customer instead of looking what fits better for their needs (playbar, sub, a small speaker, a large speaker? No, the new one) will be “forced” to look for the new one (like a phone). 
who is gonna pay for the playbar or the sub right now? Old models will always be a gamble. 
And remembering that there are no price reduction each year (like phones), it is for me a no brainer decision. Take the new one if you really want it.
 

I have 2 connect:amp (legacy), 1 play 5 (legacy) , 1 bridge (legacy).

additionally I have 1 play3 (not available anymore for purchase), 1 Play one (still “ok”) and finally 1 beam (no worries about) and a playbar (old model, but still available).

 

If Sonos go ahead to end updates on legacy products (what will probably not allow me to connect them with the “no legacy units” and probably will quickly avoid me of playing from a music service) , I will not wait till my play3 becomes the next “legacy” to start looking for other products.

Sadly, I bought the beam and the playbar to match them with my other units, including the ones that are now “legacy”
There is no meaning to compose a music ”environment” / “experience” that will last for 5 years (maybe little more if you have lucky) at that cost!

By the way, despite of what have been said regarding cellphones (not in this thread), my Nokia phone still works as designed. It makes calls , send messages,… but I do not use it because I want new features provided by smartphones. And I did change it for new ones because I wanted new features, not because I was forced by the manufacturer.

The same applies to a laptop. I still have my old dell (2006) that works if I want to use it.
I can’t see any difficulties for Sonos to keep the basic running on all units and proving new features for new units (in this case if the customer uses only new units on their system).

It would create a felling on customers that having new units will improve their experience.

In the other hand, Sonos is choosing the path to make worst (in fact ending) the experience of those who are long time customers.

 

As I said, there is no meaning for me to end with a system that does not connect to each other and the only “not legacy” units are hooked on my TVs .

 

 

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But that’s the rub isn’t it. What’s the end of the manufacturing period? Will Sonos let us know? I have some Play:1 units that have been discontinued but when was their manufacturing end date? How are the Play:1 units along that 5yr window?

 

This was my original point - reference again Windows 10 example, where a consumer has a clear idea of the level of support they are going to recieve or when it will now end. 

 

I guess Sonos customers can hope they aren’t buying at the end of the manufacturing period

 

SELL OR USE BY DATE is the answer.

Between the helpful information Ryan provided about multiple versions of the same product (Connects/Connect Amps/etc.still sold by Sonos up until recently but with more power than the older builds) still in the marketplace + this mess of trying to understand when EXACTLY Sonos will drop support for this mix of products, Sonos should really just STAMP a Sell By or Use By date on every single product.  It’ll be easier for their reseller partners and especially for US their ‘once’ loyal-repeat-customers and brand evangelist.

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No one has acknowledged or states the fact that wholesale and retail inventory inventory simply does not disappear immediatly after manufacuturing stops.  In my case, the play 5 gen 1s, were still being sold 3 to 4 years after SONOS stopped making them.

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How to determine if your older gear is still modern?

Besides the VOL vs. Wedge symbol on the front rocker switch and the build date next to the serial number.  Is there any way we can use an IP command line function to tell if your Connect or Connect Amp has enough computing power/memory to stay in the MODERN category? 

According to the Sonos link in the “end of support” letter, I have a mix of Connects and Connect Amps that are both Modern and Legacy. 

Am I missing something in the readout of the cool command utility “Sonos Support Info”  (/support/review)?  

I poked around search engines and in the forums and can’t find anything useful yet. 

Thanks in advance for any assistance as I think it would help others as well.

The year and month of manufacture (YYMM) is the 4 digits before the serial number on the label.  Anything after 2015 is modern.  Anything before is legacy.  2015 is a tossup, because nobody knows the exact month of the change, but at least one person found 1509 (Sept. 2015) to be modern.

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The year and month of manufacture (YYMM) is the 4 digits before the serial number on the label.  Anything after 2015 is modern.  Anything before is legacy.  2015 is a tossup, because nobody knows the exact month of the change, but at least one person found 1509 (Sept. 2015) to be modern.


Thank you, do you also happen to know what the FLOOR CPU/Memory requirements are to make it Modern? 

The year and month of manufacture (YYMM) is the 4 digits before the serial number on the label.  Anything after 2015 is modern.  Anything before is legacy.  2015 is a tossup, because nobody knows the exact month of the change, but at least one person found 1509 (Sept. 2015) to be modern.


Thank you, do you also happen to know what the FLOOR CPU/Memory requirements are to make it Modern? 

 

All current legacy devices have 32 MB RAM and storage.  CPU doesn’t matter, it’s the RAM/storage that’s limiting these devices.  Sonos simply can’t cram any more features into 32 MB.  

While I can see the value in figuring out the exact manufacturing year of product you have, I don’t know that it will ultimately be useful.  There is no way to determine the actual EOL for a product since Sonos doesn’t even know when that is themselves.

 

Just looking at this current event, there were many products that lasted much longer than 5 years before losing updates, and some that lasted the minimum.  As pointed out, it’s the RAM that matters, not the age.  But even then, it doens’t really tell you when the next group of products loses support and where the cut off point, in terms of RAM or product age (minimum 5 years) will occur. 

 

For example, we know that currently, all modern products have at least 64 MB of RAM.  It does not mean a product with 128 MB won’t be in the next cut.  It could be that Sonos maintains everything till 2030, and only products with 256 MB or more meet the cut.

 

That said, I do hope that Sonos gives customers a lot more notice before the next cut, and I hope it’s quite a few years off too.

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If you got sold old stock I’d put together an e-mail with scans of your receipts showing the date of sale and serial numbers and send it off to Sonos. No idea what they will do but when Best Buy pulled that trick on me Sonos saved the day even thought they were innocent of any wrong-doing.

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So, just to be clear.  If Play:1’s were stopped being manufactured in 2017, (despite being still sold by major retailers today), then the product becomes at risk of being out of support in 2022?

 

Could somebody confirm that please?

 

It’s really important to understand this and should have been made clear at point of sale.

Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.

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Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.


If that’s the case, based on Sonos’s latest guidance, these should be good until 2024, as a minimum?

Would love Sonos to confirm that.

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Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.


If that’s the case, based on Sonos’s latest guidance, these should be good until 2024, as a minimum?

Would love Sonos to confirm that.

I've read on the community that the Play1 received a hardware upgrade around 2017, so speakers before this date could be at risk. I would think they are OK for a while if you have a 2017 or later.

Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.


If that’s the case, based on Sonos’s latest guidance, these should be good until 2024, as a minimum?

Would love Sonos to confirm that.

 

People make WAY too much about the 5 years.  They say 5 years because that is the minimum required by law in some jurisdictions.  The actual limit is the memory and storage (and to a lesser extent, the processor) in the units.  The last Play:1 to come off the line has 256 MB RAM and storage.  That’s 8 times the resources of the legacy devices that were just announced.  It took 15 years to fill up 32 MB.  Sonos now has 8 times as much to work with until the recent Play:1’s are a problem, and even the older model has 4 times the resources as the legacy devices. 

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Sonos increased the ram in most devices from 256 to 1gb in a couple of years. 

This is pretty good indicator about where they are going in the future. I hope for awesome new features.

​​​​People say 5 years cause that's all Sonos promise, sorry to hear they are only promising the minimum required by law. I didn't this.

Would be great if Sonos released the processor and other specs of other devices so we have more information to argue over what is next on the old Sonos chopping block.

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Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.


If that’s the case, based on Sonos’s latest guidance, these should be good until 2024, as a minimum?

Would love Sonos to confirm that.

 

People make WAY too much about the 5 years.  They say 5 years because that is the minimum required by law in some jurisdictions.  The actual limit is the memory and storage (and to a lesser extent, the processor) in the units.  The last Play:1 to come off the line has 256 MB RAM and storage.  That’s 8 times the resources of the legacy devices that were just announced.  It took 15 years to fill up 32 MB.  Sonos now has 8 times as much to work with until the recent Play:1’s are a problem, and even the older model has 4 times the resources as the legacy devices. 

 

But from what I can see the Play:1 only has 64MB Storage, which is why I’m getting worried. 

I understand your point about it more being to do with genuine system limitation rather than a statutory period of time, but I would argue that if Sonas do say next year that the Play:1 technically won’t work, then the onus would be on Sonos to find a very decent solution (Replacement, deep discount, or some form of technical solution that keeps them viable)

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Play:1 was last manufactured in late 2019.  It was replaced by the One SL, not the One.


If that’s the case, based on Sonos’s latest guidance, these should be good until 2024, as a minimum?

Would love Sonos to confirm that.

 

People make WAY too much about the 5 years.  They say 5 years because that is the minimum required by law in some jurisdictions.  The actual limit is the memory and storage (and to a lesser extent, the processor) in the units.  The last Play:1 to come off the line has 256 MB RAM and storage.  That’s 8 times the resources of the legacy devices that were just announced.  It took 15 years to fill up 32 MB.  Sonos now has 8 times as much to work with until the recent Play:1’s are a problem, and even the older model has 4 times the resources as the legacy devices. 

 

But from what I can see the Play:1 only has 64MB Storage, which is why I’m getting worried. 

I understand your point about it more being to do with genuine system limitation rather than a statutory period of time, but I would argue that if Sonas do say next year that the Play:1 technically won’t work, then the onus would be on Sonos to find a very decent solution (Replacement, deep discount, or some form of technical solution that keeps them viable)

They will probably continue the recycle program 30% discount. 64mb is peanuts compared to what the One has. Sonos could shut down (legacy) 64mb play1 very soon (2 years). But don't worry about this because as jgatie says they could keep it going for longer.

But from what I can see the Play:1 only has 64MB Storage, which is why I’m getting worried. 

I understand your point about it more being to do with genuine system limitation rather than a statutory period of time, but I would argue that if Sonas do say next year that the Play:1 technically won’t work, then the onus would be on Sonos to find a very decent solution (Replacement, deep discount, or some form of technical solution that keeps them viable)

 

That graphic is the old version.  It’s been updated:

 

And yes, I was mistaken.  The old Play:1 has 128 MB RAM, but only 64 MB storage. 

They will probably continue the recycle program 30% discount. 64mb is peanuts compared to what the One has. Sonos could shut down (legacy) 64mb play1 very soon (2 years). But don't worry about this because as jgatie says they could keep it going for longer.

 

I said nothing of the sort.  Please don’t put words in my mouth.  And 64 MB might be peanuts, but it is double what the legacy items have.

There are other factors besides technical capabilities alone that will ultimately determine when a product no longer receives regular updates.  Customer expectations is obvious.  Obviously, the current event is not going over well, so it stands to reason that Sonos will not want to do this again any time soon.  That could change though if other brands start dropping support for their older devices as well, or if the technology speeds up rather quickly for whatever reason to the point where customers practically expect the older units to no longer supported (as an extreme case).  As an example, if both Amazon and Google drop support for their first gen products, that will have a big effect on customer expectations.

 

I am not predicting that any of this will happen, I actually think it’s highly unlikely we will see any change in support for the next few years.  But I can’t guarantee anything and may channge my opinion depending on what happens in the market going forward.