Question

What if Sonos disappeared?


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There has been a bit of conjecture recently that Sonos could cease trading due to competition, and not catering for the latest and greatest audio formats. If this happened, where would that leave all their existing customers, regarding the Sonos App and the music streaming services?
Just asking as I am thinking of a new system, and hope that Sonos will survive the stiff competition.

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33 replies

No reason to panic yet. Even BlackBerry is still alive and (somehow) kicking, and look where they came from.
Sonos could easily survive losing their entire surround product range without any harsh effects on their overall sales numbers. Some new Play:x speakers would be nice though. Their advantage still is with the speaker's pristine sound quality compared to the majority of competition.
Bose - On third redesign in 4 years.
Denon - Second redesign in less time than Bose, promised multiple features that never arrived.
Apple - Airplay 1 a failure, just now using from-the-source streaming that Sonos debuted over a decade ago.
Samsung - Basically dead.
Bluesound - Niche product.
Yamaha - Third failure in a row for multi-room audio.
LG - Who knows?

Sonos - Best selling, best reviewed, most awarded, most selection, 1st with third party voice control.

I wouldn't worry about Sonos.
Userlevel 7
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If they go completely dead I'd hope they'd publish the encryption keys and software source so folks could keep using and improving their Sonos systems.
Userlevel 7
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Well the world would keep spinning for a start.

1st World problem (and a made up one at that) if ever I saw one.

Quite what "not catering for the latest and greatest audio formats" means I don't know. I wasn't aware that mp3 or AAC had been usurped by some hitherto unknown great format. Maybe the OP can edamucate us?
Userlevel 2
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Bose - On third redesign in 4 years.
Denon - Second redesign in less time than Bose, promised multiple features that never arrived.
Apple - Airplay 1 a failure, just now using from-the-source streaming that Sonos debuted over a decade ago.
Samsung - Basically dead.
Bluesound - Niche product.
Yamaha - Third failure in a row for multi-room audio.
LG - Who knows?

Sonos - Best selling, best reviewed, most awarded, most selection, 1st with third party voice control.

I wouldn't worry about Sonos.


What is this third party voice control you speak of, pilgrim? 😛
Userlevel 4
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Quite what "not catering for the latest and greatest audio formats" means I don't know. I wasn't aware that mp3 or AAC had been usurped by some hitherto unknown great format. Maybe the OP can edamucate us?

I imagine that the OP was referring to the Home Cinema audio formats that Sonos doesn't support with their Playbar and Playbase?

I agree, I think the Sonos Playbar and Playbase look like excellent products in terms of form factor & judging from their other speakers, excellent sound quality, but the connection options and range of home cinema audio formats they support makes them very limited for a home cinema enthusiast.

Granted, that's probably not the market that Sonos were targeting, but it's still a shame that these things aren't included.
Where is this conjecture coming from?

Regardless, Sonos is just too big to just completely disappear. If Sonos sales suddenly start plummeting for whatever reason, the brand would still have a lot of value. The company would surely be bought before they completely fade away.
Userlevel 4
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Even if Sonos did go out of business surely we'd still be able to use the current controller/app to play our music, at least until it became unsupported due to not being upgraded?

And then there are other controller solutions such as Sonopad/Sonophone.
Userlevel 7
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Even if Sonos did go out of business surely we'd still be able to use the current controller/app to play our music, at least until it became unsupported due to not being upgraded?

That is an interesting question. You could do a factory reset of all your Sonos gear and try to set it up again without an active Internet connection and see how that goes.

If the Sonos gear doesn't have to call back to the Sonos servers for any information to set up (after a factory-rest of all your devices and operate) then we'd be fine without Sonos being in business for listening to our music libraries. Streaming sources would depend on the sources continuing to support Sonos device access.

If a factory-reset system won't set up without a net connection, then having Sonos's servers available would be essential. Any glitch that that required the connection back to Sonos to resolve would be fatal.

For my family the risk of something going wrong is well offset by the ease of use and there would be much unhappiness if we had to switch to something else out there. For all the Sonos warts the other choices I've looked at are worse.
Userlevel 5
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It would most likely be bought up should they get into difficulties. It's the market leader and has beaten off competition for over a decade.

I think you must have read of some layoffs at Sonos that was talked about last year at the same time that they were changing course to integrate voice technology to control Sonos. That is Alexa from Amazon.

The only other thing might be the very strong dollar that could hit some sales, but people jump in as soon as there is a discount as I did last December with 2 x Play 1's & a Sub when they discounted the normal price.

The biggest advantage with Sonos is its longevity. So while it may cost more than some others, units from 10 years ago are still supported via updates. At that time Logitech was their biggest competitor and it disappeared a few years later after Logitech pulled out.

Sonos supports virtually all of the streaming services and many more, which is a great advantage. I suppose they would switch off if the worst happened as they're going via Sonos servers.

But, don't worry. There will always be threats. That's business life.


What is this third party voice control you speak of, pilgrim? :P


Alexa voice control. Sonos has stated they will have it in 2017, and Sonos has never failed to deliver on a promised feature.
Userlevel 2
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I invested / believe , Sonos will survive , like what everybody said.... with multi room system ( you can start from 1 system and grow as you needed) , which can incorporate a 5.1 for TV system, I have not seen system as good as Sonos.
Userlevel 3
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Well the world would keep spinning for a start.

1st World problem (and a made up one at that) if ever I saw one.

Quite what "not catering for the latest and greatest audio formats" means I don't know. I wasn't aware that mp3 or AAC had been usurped by some hitherto unknown great format. Maybe the OP can edamucate us?


If you don't know what I mean by the latest and greatest audio formats, then I guess you are not interested in home theatre set-ups. Sonos obviously are interested, as they market their Player/Base and surround set-up for their other speakers.
If you wish to be "edamucated" then go find out about these things and "edamucate" yourself.
It's a shame that an honest question on a helpful forum, should illicit such a reply.
Userlevel 4
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Jgatie, saying that Sonos is the first system to have voice control when they officially don't is very misleading.

I don't doubt that it will arrive, and probably within the next couple of months, but although some of us have found solutions, it ain't here yet.

Actually Amazon themselves could be the first to offer a multi room voice controlled audio system. I also read a similar article that's already been posted here about Amazon adding the multi room feature yesterday, and it made me wonder if the integration with amazon that Sonos are working on is being delayed due to some kind of agreement between Sonos and Amazon?
For all we know it might have been stipulated in the terms of the deal that Sonos can't add the voice control until Amazon themselves have a working multi room solution?
Userlevel 2
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just sharing the link, which was mentioned by Johnnie Walker - about amazon echo skill for multi room:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/amazon-echos-next-big-alexa-skill-multi-room-audio-3247722
[...] For all we know it might have been stipulated in the terms of the deal that Sonos can't add the voice control until Amazon themselves have a working multi room solution?
Maybe with a little help from Sonos... 🙂
Userlevel 4
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[...] For all we know it might have been stipulated in the terms of the deal that Sonos can't add the voice control until Amazon themselves have a working multi room solution?
Maybe with a little help from Sonos... :)


Yeah, that might be the case, as after all they are both, or soon will be, a multi-room voice controlled wifi streaming home audio system, except of course Amazon have the advantage of easly being able to stream from a bluetooth source too, which although reduces audio quality, probably won't matter that much to the majority of people who use Amazon Echo devices.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how things work out, but as Amazon have recently overtaken Sonos to become the largest supplier of wifi speakers I actually think that Sonos need Amazon more than Amazon need Sonos.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if Amazon acquired Sonos at some point in the future, if Amazon can't or doesn't want to create their own high quality speaker systems then why wouldn't they?
[...] I actually wouldn't be surprised if Amazon acquired Sonos at some point in the future, if Amazon can't or doesn't want to create their own high quality speaker systems then why wouldn't they?
It takes two to tango even in a game of make-believe, you know. 😉
I was an early adoptor of the Palm Pre smartphone back when it launched. Way ahead of its' time in terms of usability and OS design. It all went to s**** when HP took 'some' money in their hands and aquired Palm. There have been other, quite similar takeovers in the global tech industry in the past and most of them didn't exactly turn out in favour of the purchased company.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how things work out, but as Amazon have recently overtaken Sonos to become the largest supplier of wifi speakers I actually think that Sonos need Amazon more than Amazon need Sonos.


That's such a misleading stat. It's technically true, but comparing the sales of echos to the sales of sonos devices is apples to oranges. There are obviously huge differences in features, pricing, and core market, not to mention the fact that the two products will soon be integrated. You actually make an argument that the success of echo is more likely to bring in more sales for sonos.

Going off on a tangent now, but if/when echo's gain multiroom, what are the changes that they still remain in sync when Bluetooth is involved? For example, you've got two echo dots, each utilizing Bluetooth speakers. I'm doubtful they would still be into sync.
For example, you've got two echo dots, each utilizing Bluetooth speakers. I'm doubtful they would still be into sync.

That's just added lag due to use of third party devices at the end of the audio chain. Just as running a Sonos Connect through an AVR might result in audio lag on external speakers which are connected to this AVR. Amazon would still meet their promise of synced playback on 'their' devices, meaning the two Dots.
Userlevel 4
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What's the shelf life of any electronic product? A few years? A decade if you are really lucky? If something happens to Sonos we all buy the next great product and move on.

Chances are someone would buy them out and probably improve the app. So I wouldn't be too worried about it.
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I purchased Sonos speakers primarily for their sound quality, which I imagine is the main reason the vast majority of people purchased them.

I just find it a little suspicious that the Amazon Voice control integration was mentioned around a year ago, and we're still waiting for this to be released, even with both Amazon and Sonos working together.

I'm sure it's complex, and I know that Sonos want to provide a fully featured solution, which is great for all of us when it finally arrives, but now it seems that Amazon themselves are on the verge of releasing multiroom audio.

I think there's more to this than purely technical difficulty that's delaying the release of this integration, and in terms of sales of voice controlled, wifi streaming, multiroom audio, surely Amazon are poised to steal sales away from the competition.

For my Play 1 stereo pair setup it cost around £400 inc brackets for the speakers, they sound fantastic and I use them pretty much all day every day as I work from home, but officially at least I can't control them with my Echo dot, I can't stream audio to them via bluetooth, and I can't connect any other existing speaker to them ( at least not directly, I'd either need another Sonos speaker or a connect )

Put yourself in the shoes of a new customer looking to buy their first Wifi speaker system, now let's imagine that Sonos have released their Amazon integration, and that Amazon have multiroom audio available, which system will be most appealing to the average consumer who wants to be able to play and control music with voice control in multiple rooms of their home?

Ok, for the audio enthusiast I'm sure Sonos would still be the first choice, but how many people are really that bothered about such high quality audio in the mass market, especially as having an Echo also serves as a hub for a multitude of voice control for many devices.
Userlevel 4
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I purchased Sonos speakers primarily for their sound quality, which I imagine is the main reason the vast majority of people purchased them.

I just find it a little suspicious that the Amazon Voice control integration was mentioned around a year ago, and we're still waiting for this to be released, even with both Amazon and Sonos working together.

I'm sure it's complex, and I know that Sonos want to provide a fully featured solution, which is great for all of us when it finally arrives, but now it seems that Amazon themselves are on the verge of releasing multiroom audio.

I think there's more to this than purely technical difficulty that's delaying the release of this integration, and in terms of sales of voice controlled, wifi streaming, multiroom audio, surely Amazon are poised to steal sales away from the competition.

For my Play 1 stereo pair setup it cost around £400 inc brackets for the speakers, they sound fantastic and I use them pretty much all day every day as I work from home, but officially at least I can't control them with my Echo dot, I can't stream audio to them via bluetooth, and I can't connect any other existing speaker to them ( at least not directly, I'd either need another Sonos speaker or a connect )

Put yourself in the shoes of a new customer looking to buy their first Wifi speaker system, now let's imagine that Sonos have released their Amazon integration, and that Amazon have multiroom audio available, which system will be most appealing to the average consumer who wants to be able to play and control music with voice control in multiple rooms of their home?

Ok, for the audio enthusiast I'm sure Sonos would still be the first choice, but how many people are really that bothered about such high quality audio in the mass market, especially as having an Echo also serves as a hub for a multitude of voice control for many devices.


Sonos has been promising Alexa integration before the end of the year. I have no doubt they'll deliver. But if Amazon comes out with a better multi-room system that ties into the Echo and the other Amazon features, my Sonos system will be on eBay the next day.

There's just so many home integration products coming out right now and they have to be able to work together. So far Alexa works my lights, my thermostat and my TV, but if I want to use Sonos I still need to fire up the app. If Sonos takes the Alexa integration and knocks it out of the park, I'll stay a happy Sonos user for a long time.
what about Google Home