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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

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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. 

And just to drive the point home, Windows 10, released in 2015, works fine on my laptop made in 2011 that I have been using everyday since I bought it in May 2011! That is 9 years and going strong. Sonos can’t make it out of the gate

Userlevel 3

Thanks Ken, but not really, Sounds like Sonos will “support their products until they can’t”. That’s a bit of a weak answer. Imagine Windows telling people they would support their operating system until one morning they decide they just can’​​​​​​​t. They would have trouble selling another copy of their software. 

 

Sonos need to consider this more carefully, i.e. what upgrade path they put into their products in terms of hardware. Replaceable CPUs or RAM and larger memory (for storing code - we’re not talking about large apps here). They also need to work on a way to provide this to existing customers, so they have a respectable life-cycle on their expensive products. Sadly, it appears this thinking did not occur at an earlier stage. My question on EOL projections was to see if perhaps measures had been taken in 2015 onwards, or if we can expect to see equipment continually drift into that “legacy” group.  

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The Play:1 situation sounds complicated. As its not been replaced I don’t even know if the Play:3 ceased manufacturing. 

Another good example here is the Connect, from what I’m reading it’s only pre 2015 that are  legacy but seems like the hardware revision wasn’t widely publicised, model names description remain the same etc. This component was only publicly replaced last year. People may have unwittingly bought a legacy product in the last five years - either new or second hand - without knowing they were buying an old model. 

All SONOS are legacy now in my view as you cannot trust SONOS. Who knows when my next $500 investment will end up as a $500 unsupported POS. So to answer the question and stay on topic for fear of being deleted (SONOS do not like criticism), the end-of-life (EOL) for ALL SONOS products was two days ago. Cheers.

Userlevel 3

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

I feel many will try to unload their soon to be unsupported Sonos products, cut their losses and walk away from this company. As may I..

I haveonly owned Sonos products for a little over a couple years. Seeing the end is near on $1200 I spent. Was getting ready to buy one of their surround systems until the latest support announcement... 

Really hate this throw away society we are living in....

 

Ok, thanks - so Sonos products have a 5 year life-span. Good to know. 

 

Not if you buy them when they are first released, and some of the newly designated legacy units haven't been sold for over a decade.  So "5 year life span" is a little disingenuous (which I assume you were shooting for).

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Ok, thanks - so Sonos products have a 5 year life-span. Good to know. 

 

Not if you buy them when they are first released, and some of the newly designated legacy units haven't been sold for over a decade.  So "5 year life span" is a little disingenuous (which I assume you were shooting for).

But some of them have. But I accept your point - you *may* have a 5yr life span on the products is more accurate. Hopefully, you will have more.

Of course, Sonos also don’t seem to know if or when a product can become “legacy”, so I guess in some use-cases, we may be shooting in the wind on the 5yr aspiration 🤞🏻 

Hopefully they will adopt a system where they publish product begin, product last sold date and end date of software support. 

It would also be good to know  of any hardware revisions that might impact support longevity and general specs of the devices as it relates to their internal computer. There is a big difference in memory in currently sold units, with the most expensive speaker mind bogglingly having the lowest amount of ram.

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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

 

Oh yeah I totally agree with your points. I think in time they will have to be up front about this or who is going to want to roll the dice?

The play one is a good example. They are still being sold in retail channels today. Sonos has discontinued them since the one SL came out. How much longer will they have software support for?

 

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The Play:1 situation sounds complicated. As its not been replaced I don’t even know if the Play:3 ceased manufacturing. 

Another good example here is the Connect, from what I’m reading it’s only pre 2015 that are  legacy but seems like the hardware revision wasn’t widely publicised, model names description remain the same etc. This component was only publicly replaced last year. People may have unwittingly bought a legacy product in the last five years - either new or second hand - without knowing they were buying an old model. 

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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.

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.

 

But some of them have. But I accept your point - you *may* have a 5yr life span on the products is more accurate. Hopefully, you will have more.

Of course, Sonos also don’t seem to know if or when a product can become “legacy”, so I guess in some use-cases, we may be shooting in the wind on the 5yr aspiration 🤞🏻 

 

Well, since we are being pedantic:  If you purchase at the end if it’s manufacturing period, you *will* have a 5 year period of regular updates.  After that, it will still function, but with no updates.  If you purchase sooner, the lifespan is more like 8-10 years.  

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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

 

The play 1 was discontinued in 2017, but still to this day i am able to buy a brand new play 1 from a national electronics seller.

No one knows when the last Play 1 rolled of the production line, maybe they had HUGE stock of Play 1’s when they discontinued it and this stock is still being sold.

Who knows if the killdate will be 5 years from the last Play 1 was sold in the retail link or it is 5 years from last produced box.

If i was a retailer and Sonos contacted me with an offer to buy up Play 1 stock and they did not tell me that less than 5 years from i purchased it, it would be made obsolete even though sonos has always said it was a “lifetime” support company, i would be livid, because i would know that some of the grief that people would direct at Sonos for doing this, would rub of on me for selling people these devices.

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The play 1 was discontinued in 2017,

 

 

I assumed that when they brought out the Play one, they stopped making the play 1.

I agree that the Play 1 is still for sale, but i have also found atleast 1 dealer in my country that has a Play 5 gen 1 for sale “new” right now.

 

The Play1 had a silent hardware refresh in 2017. These are still widely sold.The newer hardware is version 1.20.x, you can check in your about my system page in the app.

This hardware refresh is the same as what is in the Ikea speakers (Ikea got airplay 2 but these play 1 owners didn't unfortunately). I would guess the pre 1.20 play1 will be legacy when they push the Play3 too (64 mb Ram iirc)

More information here:

 


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.

Just curious, how much RAM and what CPU are in those speakers from the 70’s? What OS are they running?

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The capacity and cost of different types of memory is important too, Sonos can’t chance iffy memory like a $10 thumb drive maker can get away with.

Redesigning a circuit board to accept new memory is expensive, testing the new design is even more expensive.

Then you have the regulatory hurdles from the FCC to UL (in the US) and probably several others.

Once you have the upgraded hardware manufactured you need to add it to your software test plan and every additional device makes that harder, more time consuming and more expensive.

It has been many years since I was involved in embedded computers and I do not miss the problems that brings versus a “plug stuff in at will” design.

The embedded design still has a key factor of reliability as a big selling point.

Between this failed bricking of old devices experiment and the belief that bricking devices is ECO-Friendly, I am done with SONOS!!! Bring on BOSE.,

The Play:1 situation sounds complicated. As its not been replaced I don’t even know if the Play:3 ceased manufacturing. 

Another good example here is the Connect, from what I’m reading it’s only pre 2015 that are  legacy but seems like the hardware revision wasn’t widely publicised, model names description remain the same etc. This component was only publicly replaced last year. People may have unwittingly bought a legacy product in the last five years - either new or second hand - without knowing they were buying an old model. 

All SONOS are legacy now in my view as you cannot trust SONOS. Who knows when my next $500 investment will end up as a $500 unsupported POS. So to answer the question and stay on topic for fear of being deleted (SONOS do not like criticism), the end-of-life (EOL) for ALL SONOS products was two days ago. Cheers.

Amen. Not sure why any of us invested in Sonos when the life of a Sonos speaker turns out to be 1/4 as long as any other speaker product. 

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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.   

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.

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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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 .

 

 

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.