Discontinuing service and software updates for older legacy Sonos speakers?


  • Anonymous
  • 0 replies
I just read this about your recent SEC filing:
https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/11/17559380/sonos-airplay-2-support-software-update-download

“We expect that in the near to intermediate term, this backward compatibility will no longer be practical or cost-effective, and we may decrease or discontinue service for our older products,” says Sonos in a recent SEC filing.

When will you let customers know about which products will be affected by this discontinuation plan? Clearly you know internally since you say in the near to immediate term this policy is going ahead. I presume for example the first gen Play 5 you no longer sell will be affected and the old Sonos Bridge.

The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this. I'm curious what the plan is though and when we'll be told.

122 replies

I would assume that Sonos would handle things similar to how they have in the past. Sonos let customers know through various channels months in advance when the CR100 was no longer getting service. The implementation of airplay 2 is an example of how they will communicate how new features will only be available on certain products.

Of course, they may not always no things with enough certainty to announce changes as early as customers would like, and some customer will disagree with the changes regardless.
Userlevel 1
I'll wait and see what they come up with before getting the pitchforks and torches. If they kill off all my gen 1 play 5's though, that would suck.
The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this.

Really? I don't expect old kit to do all that newer kit will do, but I do expect it to continue to do all the things that it currently does...
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Once play devices become involved, I thinks it's time for "sonos classic" version to keep those alive. Killing cr100 + cr200 is one thing, but killing play devices is another.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Once play devices become involved, I thinks it's time for "sonos classic" version to keep those alive. Killing cr100 + cr200 is one thing, but killing play devices is another. AGREE!
No problem with new services not being available, like control from apps like Spotify, voice control like Alexa, or the newly released airplay. But being able to continue streaming and using local media the way I do now, i hope will be kept. I have 20 speakers and it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
I downloaded v9 this morning, and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using. Hmmmm, no new windows program, hmmm nothing cool for my android devices and gui, no new app features like maybe a new virtual grouping option, no cool new home theatre options, no neat amp additions, no cool local media software. So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more, and believe me, I'm looking for reasons.
AGREE!
No problem with new services not being available, like control from apps like Spotify, voice control like Alexa, or the newly released airplay. But being able to continue streaming and using local media the way I do now, i hope will be kept. I have 20 speakers and it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
I downloaded v9 this morning, and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using. Hmmmm, no new windows program, hmmm nothing cool for my android devices and gui, no new app features like maybe a new virtual grouping option, no cool new home theatre options, no neat amp additions, no cool local media software. So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more, and believe me, I'm looking for reasons.


I think you bring up some excellent points. Clearly Sonos is trying to appeal to a wide audience and it becomes rather difficult to appeal to everyone. Like you, I have no real interest in airplay 2, but I am interested in the Beam and voice control. I don't care about local media, but agree on virtual grouping. There are plenty of customers on here that do care about airplay 2, and are only going to ever buy one or two units and don't care much about multiroom functionality. There are all sorts of us on here. Sonos is kind of in a catch-22 in then it's difficult to please all their customers with their variety of needs and wishes, both old and new customers.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
AGREE!
No problem with new services not being available, like control from apps like Spotify, voice control like Alexa, or the newly released airplay. But being able to continue streaming and using local media the way I do now, i hope will be kept. I have 20 speakers and it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
I downloaded v9 this morning, and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using. Hmmmm, no new windows program, hmmm nothing cool for my android devices and gui, no new app features like maybe a new virtual grouping option, no cool new home theatre options, no neat amp additions, no cool local media software. So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more, and believe me, I'm looking for reasons.


I think you bring up some excellent points. Clearly Sonos is trying to appeal to a wide audience and it becomes rather difficult to appeal to everyone. Like you, I have no real interest in airplay 2, but I am interested in the Beam and voice control. I don't care about local media, but agree on virtual grouping. There are plenty of customers on here that do care about airplay 2, and are only going to ever buy one or two units and don't care much about multiroom functionality. There are all sorts of us on here. Sonos is kind of in a catch-22 in then it's difficult to please all their customers with their variety of needs and wishes, both old and new customers.


Yes, it appears they are going for that market, which might be the correct one. But it seems like I would still be throwing in things for us multi-room users! If that market doesn't see multi-room as the biggest selling feature of Sonos and sees echo dots, etc as comparable options then they aren't going to be buying as many. If they buy 3, then you need 6-7 of them to sell the same amount as one of me.

I see where they are going and I think its good they have an eye on that market, but that market can easily switch to google or some other speakers once they have some decent multi-room and then Sonos is left squeezed out. Don't see it happening soon, I just don't see the focus on existing customers which I think could be done alongside the new markets.

Partnering in the home automation/ intercom market would be a valuable field, love to use my speakers as doorbells, intercoms, etc. I see these type of apps etc but they are done by side programmers. A little focus there would be great also. Like the guy who had several write ups about using Sonos and tips for using. They hired him, and now ive seen nothing coming from Sonos that looks like he developed it.

I do process control and the primary vendor I program with, for years watched another guy then company write tools for their software. They could have easily got together a team and created the same software in 3 months and just a handful of people. But never saw the market. All their customers ended up buying it for 50000K plus annual support contract revenue. They eventually had to buy them spending many millions when they could have created for less than 100K.

Just hope Sonos can still see that side of the business and keep it going or I think they will be overcome. Sonos is better than anybody in the multi-room market because of their initial excellence in the field and still are. But it seems like they are just taking it for granted.


Yes, it appears they are going for that market, which might be the correct one. But it seems like I would still be throwing in things for us multi-room users! If that market doesn't see multi-room as the biggest selling feature of Sonos and sees echo dots, etc as comparable options then they aren't going to be buying as many. If they buy 3, then you need 6-7 of them to sell the same amount as one of me.


I agree that the Sonos One was more about the voice control crowd than multiroom, since there is already a play 1, but I do think the Beam is also for multiroom. It does fit a space for small/medium spaces where you want your tv audio to integrate with your system. I also think it's worth noting that Sonos put a lot of effort into the sound quality of the Beam.


I see where they are going and I think its good they have an eye on that market, but that market can easily switch to google or some other speakers once they have some decent multi-room and then Sonos is left squeezed out. Don't see it happening soon, I just don't see the focus on existing customers which I think could be done alongside the new markets.


It's hard to tell what Amazon and Google want long term. They may be fine with Sonos or others selling the speakers as long as they sell the services on the speakers. Apple has always preferred closed systems, and the Homepod is clearly geared towards replacing Sonos. I agreed that they are a long way off still.


Partnering in the home automation/ intercom market would be a valuable field, love to use my speakers as doorbells, intercoms, etc. I see these type of apps etc but they are done by side programmers. A little focus there would be great also. Like the guy who had several write ups about using Sonos and tips for using. They hired him, and now ive seen nothing coming from Sonos that looks like he developed it.


I am kind of glad Sonos has stayed mostly out of home automation. As in stands now, home automation is a big mess. I currently have 3 different hubs/applications where I can write different routines, all with different capabilities, to get what I want done. I don't Sonos to get involved with that. That said you can control Sonos from a variety of smart hubs and apps. I've heard of others doing doorbells through Smartthings with Sonos, they it does appear to require some know-how to do it.



I do process control and the primary vendor I program with, for years watched another guy then company write tools for their software. They could have easily got together a team and created the same software in 3 months and just a handful of people. But never saw the market. All their customers ended up buying it for 50000K plus annual support contract revenue. They eventually had to buy them spending many millions when they could have created for less than 100K.

Just hope Sonos can still see that side of the business and keep it going or I think they will be overcome. Sonos is better than anybody in the multi-room market because of their initial excellence in the field and still are. But it seems like they are just taking it for granted.


I guess I see it more as them being ahead of the market in this area, and currently focusing where they fear they could lose ground to competitors.
The problem for those of us using speakers with online services such as Spotify probably means once API changes are made by the service provider, we'll almost certainly be shut out from using those services with our older Sonos speakers.

There's nothing particularly shocking about this.

Really? I don't expect old kit to do all that newer kit will do, but I do expect it to continue to do all the things that it currently does...


This is one of the downsides of these speaker systems. Sonos are not going to keep supporting older devices forever. Once features break such as Spotify integration, that's it.

Of course it's not without risk for Sonos. Once we start getting cut off, some of us will evaluate whether we want to stay in the Sonos ecosystem. I certainly won't be adding to my Sonos setup with new speakers until I know what Sonos plans are for handling this.
there is not any valid business reason that Sonos cannot enable their older models to continue to work... particularly if they care about the customer base that brought them here. I fully expect someday to have to get a newer product to serve as a core - that then enables all my Play:1 devices to be fed.
....it starts to feel like Sonos could care less about people using there system, just the new market.
Quite... There's been nothing that I'd find useful since Trueplay, and I can't use that much as I don't have an iDevice (well, not one that works, since they stopped supporting it).

...and chuckled while reading the new features, none of which I will be using.
Yes... They took away the track count, and still haven't done such simple things as display the composer tag - things that would actually be useful to me, whilst implementing stuff that I, personally, couldn't give a toss about.....

So I sit hear watching new hardware and software come out the last few years, but nothing that would make me buy more....
No, I'm not spending any more money on Sonos - it simply isn't good enough for my needs.
Userlevel 4
Badge +6
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore and the Play:3 is the second oldest Play speaker in the Sonos Lineup and Sonos are still selling it, if they were to pull support from it or any other Play speaker, I could imagine there would be an uproar from anyone who has purchased these products more recently and paid a premium expecting years of use.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago. And I just found out they still update the Play:3 which is 7 years old. My old iPad Mini was only 4 years old when it couldn't take the newest update. Probably not the best comparison, but gives a general idea.
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore and the Play:3 is the second oldest Play speaker in the Sonos Lineup and Sonos are still selling it, if they were to pull support from it or any other Play speaker, I could imagine there would be an uproar from anyone who has purchased these products more recently and paid a premium expecting years of use.

That's a good point. The Play 3 probably has very similar hardware capabilities to the first gen Play 5. Their recent blog piece did specifically call out the Play:1 and Play:3 as not having enough horsepower for Airplay 2, so could be an indication of their thinking.

We don't really know which products they intend to drop support for anyway. They are not saying. We just know they have told investors there is a plan to potentially drop support for some older products.
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago. And I just found out they still update the Play:3 which is 7 years old. My old iPad Mini was only 4 years old when it couldn't take the newest update. Probably not the best comparison, but gives a general idea.


Yes they do it just got an update this week.
Considering the original Play:5 is the only Play speaker Sonos aren't selling anymore
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago.

All the original players are still supported with firmware updates, including the ZP100 which came out 13 years ago.

New features like Airplay cannot be retrofitted to the older players. Also, some features have been adjusted, such as the fact that ZP100 (and ZP80) can no longer do incremental library index updates. (A more capable player is selected automatically, failing which a full index scan takes place.)
Badge
This sounds like standard cautionary notes in an SEC filing, and is, indeed, in the "Risk Factors" part of their filing. If you browse filings from ANY technology company you're likely to see similar language. I wouldn't be too terribly worried about it. As many of already observed, probably more likely a note that refers to the ability to support new features like AirPlay 2.
Speaking of, does Sonos still update the firmware on the original Play:5? If so, that's not bad for a speaker that came out 9 years ago.
It's a speaker - whilst I don't expect it to get new facilities, I do expect it to carry on doing all that it was bought for indefinitely...
Userlevel 3
Badge +4

It's a speaker - whilst I don't expect it to get new facilities, I do expect it to carry on doing all that it was bought for indefinitely...

I expected that when I bought Windows XP! LOL
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
If they do what apple did, where there are not more updates, but you still have access to all the features you have. It will be okay for older play devices. Since you can not add the new features like alexa, ap2 or HDMI ARC to them anyways.

It's a speaker - whilst I don't expect it to get new facilities, I do expect it to carry on doing all that it was bought for indefinitely...


No, it is not a speaker. It is a multi-room music system, with software you have licensed from the manufacturer, and for which you do not have a lifetime expectation of support. Next time, read your agreement before clicking "Install".
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Considering the lack of love shown to Sonos over the CR-100 trashing I don't expect them to drop anything other than the CR-200 any time soon.

Wife is still refusing to touch our Sonos gear until she gets a browser based controller, no phone, no tablets, no Mac, no Windows in her plans.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
I haven't read the other replies to your post, but I noticed Sonos is completely sold out of Play: 3 in both colors. It looks like they are possibly phasing this out, and the Play: 1 will be next; the Play One is it's replacement. I just purchased Playbar and now think I should have waited since a newer version may be on its way. I don't see the Beam as a replacement, it's too small. I feel like the lack of HDMI on Playbar and use of Toslink limits its capabilities. I don't know if they will make an adapter eventually because I'm not sure if Sonos made Playbar future proof.
Userlevel 3
Badge
Because of this statement, I am really analyzing carefully my next steps.

One year ago I purchased the playbar, a 2013 speaker if I am not wrong, paying the full price tag without any discount. If I had the feeling that there were any chances to be left out by Sonos , I would never think about paying 700 bucks for a TV sound bar.

I was really considering to buy the Sonos beam that would fit perfectly in a small room, but right now, with "still" small concern about having units discontinued in the future, I am forced to wait.

I have 1 play 5 (1st gen), 1 play 3, 2 connect:amp , 1 sonos one, 1 bridge and the playbar. I really enjoy the ecosystem, but it is not an option to start replacing units every year

Sonos is not (should at least not) be like a cell phone or laptop. I have only one laptop for long periods as it only needs software updates and for sure it is not a cell phone, otherwise It would be like having 7 children that need new cell phones each 2 , 3 years...

I believe that if Sonos start to discontinue support to old speakers, people would stop purchasing "old solutions" creating a lack of solutions for a ecosystem.

I was not happy with the controller phase out. Not providing the expect updates to keep it running was really not smart, but considering that people have free app solution to continue running the system, ok. But to discontinue one speaker and forcing me to purchase a new speaker to keep the ecosystem that might be discontinued shortly as well ? I will probably find new market solutions that are less expensive
Sonos record so far: one ancient piece of tech became unsupportable 10 years after sales discontinued. All speakers / players still fully compatible and usable, including ZP80s from 13 years ago and not on sale for ages. Sonos' record for avoiding obsolescence is second to none. Up to you if you choose to go elsewhere, of course.

Reply