Sticky

Player / Controller Versions - Why Update?

Player / Controller Versions - Why Update?
Userlevel 5
Badge +12

We have seen a few posts with people talking about firmware versions and being at different places within the last few updates. While this isn’t new to the recent Sonos app update, there are more and more conversations about it and I thought I’d try to help give some context to what we’re seeing.

One thing that may not be widely known is that by turning off Auto-Updates in the app store, it only addresses the updating of your controller app and not necessarily the firmware of the players. This means that while you may be blocking your controller from updating, the speakers may still update their firmware if someone else updates the system from their controller. Different people end up in different parts of the updating pipeline and while all the problems look different, they can usually be traced to this mismatch. You can check your speaker firmware by going to: Settings (Gear in top-right) > Manage > About My System

 

Here are a few compatibility scenarios that you may find yourself in: 

 

Old Player Firmware (78.1-52020)  + Old Sonos S2 App

  • In-app notification that an update is available.

  • Alarm Settings are available.

  • Any attempt to add a player to the system will require an app update, which will be followed by a player update before you can add a player.

 

Old Player Firmware (78.1-52020) + New Sonos App (Pre-Alarms Fix)

  • No indication about an app update being available.

  • Alarm Settings remain disabled.

  • Any attempt to add a player to the system will require an app update, which will be followed by a player update before you can add a player.

 

Old Player Firmware (78.1-52020) + New Sonos App (Alarms Fix)

  • No indication in the app about a system update being available unless you seek it out in Settings > Manage > System Updates > Check for Updates

  • Alarm Settings remain disabled.

  • Any attempt to add a player to the system will require a player update 

 

New Player Firmware (79.0-52294) + Old Sonos S2 App

  • In-app notification that an update is available.

  • Cross-version compatibility mode will block out access to all of Settings and Setup.

  • Will be encouraged within the app to go to the app store to update their app.

 

New Player Firmware (79.0-52294) + New Sonos App (Pre-Alarms Fix)

  • No indication in the app about an update being available.

  • Alarm Settings remain disabled.

  • Any attempt to add a player to the system will require an app update, which will be followed by a player update before you can add a player.

 

New Player Firmware (79.0-52294) + New Sonos App (Alarms Fix) 

  • Everything is up to date.

    • Improved playback settings including “Play next,” “add to end of queue,” and on iOS, the mute button

    • Improved product setup, Bluetooth discovery and WiFi settings

    • Added sleep timer settings

    • Improved Trueplay setup on iOS

    • Introduced distance settings for home theater surrounds

    • Improved navigation for users who are blind or visually-impaired 

    • Added VoiceOver support for toast messages on iOS

 

Hope this provides a little bit of context into what you might be experiencing and why you might be seeing it. Yes, the official guidance is to keep your devices updated - but more importantly we wanted to explicitly show what it looks like depending on the current state of your system. Hope you find this useful!

Note: This does not mean that updating alone will solve every system problem. We are very much aware of some issues around product set-up - however the very first thing before getting support would be to ensure your app and devices are completely updated.


62 replies

@Mike R. H. Good thread! As an S1 user that will stay such, I see that S1 is not referenced at all here, and I assume that this is because S1 will be left essentially undisturbed for the foreseeable future in a Sonos backwater?

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

I'm at the old versions with my speakers and app. Phew…

 

I will keep it like that as long as it's possible.

I will keep it like that as long as it's possible.

If by old versions you mean S1, you are safe because it is very hard to inadvertently move to S2; this move cannot be done from within the S1 app, and first needs the S2 app to be downloaded to the phone.

If you are on S2, staying there may be more of a challenge!

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

I will keep it like that as long as it's possible.

If by old versions you mean S1, you are safe because it is very hard to inadvertently move to S2; this move cannot be done from within the S1 app, and first needs the S2 app to be downloaded to the phone.

If you are on S2, staying there may be more of a challenge!

On the s2 app. I rolled back the auto update on my phone. And I blocked Sonos at my DNS resolver. Streaming still works, but everything else should be blocked. 

 

If that does not work anymore I still have ny HTPC to control Sonos.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@Mike R. H. 
Why would anyone want to do any updates from a working version of the software to downgrade to the latest feature lacking bug-ridden mess of an app, assuming they still have access to version 16?  

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

I am on 16.1 controller version and 16.1.1 on the speakers both have auto update disabled and they will stay that way as I have no intention of buying any more devices from Sonos 

I am on 16.1 controller version and 16.1.1 on the speakers both have auto update disabled and they will stay that way as I have no intention of buying any more devices from Sonos 

This is the type of situation they want to avoid 🤣 Updating for you is now a huge downgrade. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

I am on 16.1 controller version and 16.1.1 on the speakers both have auto update disabled and they will stay that way as I have no intention of buying any more devices from Sonos 

This is the type of situation they want to avoid 🤣 Updating for you is now a huge downgrade. 

An upgrade for me will be a system that is based around Wiim streaming and echo devices 😊

i have lots of headphones that work well without buying anymore 👍

@Mike R. H. Thank you for this clarification.

Given the debacle surrounding the new app, and if you are able to depart from the party line that everything is fine and not broken, is there a technical reason why we can't stay on 16.1 for both app and firmware and add new hardware without having to update either?

If I ever had to reset a speaker (heaven for fend, it hasn't happened yet!) the last thing I want to happen is that I am forced to “upgrade” to a less useful (to put it politely) app because the firmware is no longer compatible with 16.1.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

@Mike R. H. Thanks a lot for this extremely useful port!
Could you please clarify a couple of questions regarding this:
1. Is the “New Player Firmware (79.0-52294)” same as release 80.00.04?
Or are these two different versions?

80.00.04

Release date: 5/13/2024

In this update:

  • Added lossless audio support for Apple Music.
  • Bug fixes and performance enhancements.

2. Does Apple Music Lossless support work only with the 80.00.04 firmware? (or the “New Player Firmware (79.0-52294)” ?)
Or does the “Old Player Firmware (78.1-52020)” play AM Lossless now as well?

Userlevel 5
Badge +10

If you are technically minded block:

update.sonos.com

update-firmware.sonos.com

 

on your router in the URL Firewall Settings or Parental Controls. Not always possible on a Broadband Provider's Router.

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

If you are technically minded block:

update.sonos.com

update-firmware.sonos.com

 

on your router in the URL Firewall Settings or Parental Controls. Not always possible on a Broadband Provider's Router.

Thanks for this - I’ll give it a try on my router and, if I don’t brick the router in the process, will perhaps be able to stop worrying about accidental “upgrades”

A reasonably informative post. As of an hour or so back I had two scenarios. Android 14 phone with the new app (v 80.01.07) + v78 firmware, together with Android tablet that I had managed to avoid updating with the disaster area app. That was showing app version 16.1. I was still able to see my NAS library on both ( for some strange reason having disappeared on the phone when the app auto updated, it reappeared under "Your Sources" about 3 days back. Though I could only play one song at a time, no playlists etc etc.). Having updated the firmware to v79 my NAS-based music library has gone now on both phone and tablet. As suggested in this sticky some System Settings on the tablet (now running the old S2 app with the v79 firmware update) are greyed out. Audio Compression, Groups and Transfer System Ownership to be precise. So it looks like access to my Local Music Library has definitely gone this time, even trying to retain the old app. That, together with editing functionality such as queue management + clear queue remaining non-existent, means Sonos have to sell me hard on the exact benefits of this "courageous " upgrade very quickly. Otherwise I am done with their products.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

I am on 16.1 controller version and 16.1.1 on the speakers both have auto update disabled and they will stay that way as I have no intention of buying any more devices from Sonos 

Lucky as F, you are.  Wish I’d have waited, but never imagined a company nuking their customers and then telling them to f-off.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

@Mike R. H. Thanks a lot for this extremely useful port!
Could you please clarify a couple of questions regarding this:
1. Is the “New Player Firmware (79.0-52294)” same as release 80.00.04?
Or are these two different versions?

80.00.04

Release date: 5/13/2024

In this update:

  • Added lossless audio support for Apple Music.
  • Bug fixes and performance enhancements.

2. Does Apple Music Lossless support work only with the 80.00.04 firmware? (or the “New Player Firmware (79.0-52294)” ?)
Or does the “Old Player Firmware (78.1-52020)” play AM Lossless now as well?

 


The components (Port, Amp, etc.)  have firmware - all of mine show: Version: 16.2 (build 79052294).

The Apps or “Controllers” are software not firmware. iPhone app says 80.01.11


FWIW, I think Apple Lossless will play on the “Component” as long as you have some “Controller” that works.  That could mean shooting it straight from Apple Music App with Airplay, using the old working Controller, using the still working PC (or Mac?) Desktop controller, or using a working 3rd party Controller like SonoPhone, or apparently the new updated Sonos Controller now.

My entire library is ALAC and I have not lost playback of any of it yet, but the only device I foolishly updated the Controller on was my iPhone - and then we put a hold on my wife’s phone and our iPads.  All I managed to do with the new controller was blow out my playlist before I realized that queue management was gone.  Then I came here and witnessed the “shock and awe”.

New Player Firmware (79.0-52294) + New Sonos App (xxxxx) = No Queue management / No Library Search / Dumbed down Universal Search that shows everything nearly matching that you probably don’t want to see in the results - no Album or Song or Artist specific search / etc...

Seems worth mentioning.

 

New Player Firmware (79.0-52294) + Old Sonos S2 App

  • In-app notification that an update is available.

  • Cross-version compatibility mode will block out access to all of Settings and Setup - see below.

  • Will be encouraged within the app to go to the app store to update their app - a nag screen. 😡

  • Will be sent to the Sonos site hawking the Headphones! 😡
     

FWIW, most of the Settings, if not all, are available in S2 as far as I can tell - things like EQ, Line-in, Volume levels (max / min). etc.  Setup bits are missing like setting up Stereo Pairs, adding new components (never will again).  So it looks like if I have at least one older Controller running and one new Controller, I can do what I need to do and have most if not all features.  Is that correct?

Userlevel 3
Badge +1


FWIW, I think Apple Lossless will play on the “Component” as long as you have some “Controller” that works.  That could mean shooting it straight from Apple Music App with Airplay, using the old working Controller, using the still working PC (or Mac?) Desktop controller, or using a working 3rd party Controller like SonoPhone, or apparently the new updated Sonos Controller now.
 

The question is about “native” support for AM Lossless in the Sonos speaker, and this is definitely up to the speakers firmware, not the controller app.
Sonos controller doesn’t shoot audio to the speakers, it just serves as a remote controller telling the speakers which song/album/playlist to play etc.
The actual playback job is done in the speakers (firmware).
Airplay is another story and is irrelevant to the question.
And AFAIK Airplay is not lossless in any case - even if your Apple Music app indicates lossless, the endpoint device receives lossy audio via Airplay.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5


FWIW, I think Apple Lossless will play on the “Component” as long as you have some “Controller” that works.  That could mean shooting it straight from Apple Music App with Airplay, using the old working Controller, using the still working PC (or Mac?) Desktop controller, or using a working 3rd party Controller like SonoPhone, or apparently the new updated Sonos Controller now.
 

The question is about “native” support for AM Lossless in the Sonos speaker, and this is definitely up to the speakers firmware, not the controller app.
Sonos controller doesn’t shoot audio to the speakers, it just serves as a remote controller telling the speakers which song/album/playlist to play etc.
The actual playback job is done in the speakers (firmware).
Airplay is another story and is irrelevant to the question.
And AFAIK Airplay is not lossless in any case - even if your Apple Music app indicates lossless, the endpoint device receives lossy audio via Airplay.

Fully aware of all of that and how Sonos works.  I have a 12 component system I have been growing for over a decade.  My point is that my ALAC library has continued to work during all of this.  So I do not understand that part of the announcement or version information which appears to be controller related rather than hardware.  Was there a time the new app couldn’t tell the speakers to play ALAC files?  I have no idea.  I tried to use the new app to add a song to the queue, the song played and wiped out the queue and that was the extent of my testing it.  The app is piss poor for playing my library, so the formats it recognizes are immaterial to me.  Broken is broken.

I don’t think Airplay is irrelevant at all.  If I can also Airplay ALAC files to the hardware, then the hardware is apparently capable of playing them just as the hardware is capable of playing them using working Sonos or Sonos-like controller apps.

So either announcement is incorrect or I luckily missed an update that would break ALAC. Just like the bit above that says setting don’t work, when most settings do work - other than those that would configure the system.

What is missing from the post above about issues and compatibility scenarios is what to do about the issue of missing features. Tone deaf.  No one would be in a compatibility quandary in the first place had they not broken the app.
 

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

@stevepow  Looks like we are talking about different things.
The statement in the Sonos release notes is specifically about lossless playback support from the Apple Music streaming service, not about local ALAC files or the Sonos lossless playback capabilities in general.
Technically Sonos speakers can play lossless content - local and streaming, no doubt.
Lossless playback has been supported long ago with Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer and a bunch of other streaming services, as well as local ALAC, FLAC, WAV etc. files.
But Apple Music played in “standard” quality until now - lossy 256k AAC format.
And this is probably not only due to Sonos technical limitations, but also (or mostly) up to the licensing/business terms of the Sonos-Apple relationship.
Looks like the things are changing now, and Sonos can play Apple Music losslessly, unfortunately amidst this new app catastrophe.
As for playing Apple Music via Airplay - this is alternative mechanism, not the native Sonos playback.
Some newer Sonos devices also support Bluetooth, e.g. my Era 300.
But both Airplay and Bluetooth transcode media to lossy format before sending it to the speakers, even when you play lossless content on you phone or whatever.
Interestingly, it seems like the older Airplay 1 protocol was really lossless, but the newer Airplay 2 uses lossy compression of the transmitted audio.
 

Userlevel 2

Can anyone from Sonos give us a sense of how much overtime their software developers are now making correcting this new app’s misery? The loss of my own music library in my NAS is horrible. the workaround through Plex only works half the time before it hangs up again

Userlevel 2

you do realize that updating to the new app is what caused most of the problems in the first place?

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Can anyone from Sonos give us a sense of how much overtime their software developers are now making correcting this new app’s misery? The loss of my own music library in my NAS is horrible. the workaround through Plex only works half the time before it hangs up again

 

I doubt you have lost your library.  You just need an app that can see it like the older app.  If you are stuck where you cannot rollback to the old app, you have iOS vs Android, then you can use the SonoPhone or SonoPad app to get to all your content.  Or use the PC / Mac desktop app.

Userlevel 1

i dont know how they can update the app, and totally screw things up, looks like a 10 year old programmed it,  it`s attrocious, and very annoying,  sonos has gone backwards in my opinion,  useless

Oh yeah? And what’s the context for removing access to one’s Music Library?

Oh yeah? And what’s the context for removing access to one’s Music Library?

 

Sonos no longer supports SMB v1 shares, so you need to change your share protocol to SMB v2 or v3.  Why are they not supporting SMB v1 anymore?  Blame these threads by overly paranoid doom and gloom security freaks:

 

 

^^^

Not sure what any of that means. But is there a link on how to make that change?

Reply