Answered

SONOS v. HEOS - Collateral Damage


Badge
Hi,

If you have been following the lawsuit between SONOS and Denon related to the HEOS line of Denon products, you are probably aware that SONOS won two major court victories recently. The result so far has been that Denon has removed certain functionality from their App. Not surprising, Denon is instructing their customer service people to tell the public that certain functions were removed from the App due to 'market research'. This removal impacts me because years ago, it would seem I bet on the wrong horse. When I was setting up my house for whole home audio I went with HEOS rather than SONOS for one simple reason, I believe the HEOS speakers sound more in line what my use and taste in music. The SONOS line is setup more for treble and vocals whereas the HEOS line is setup more for raw volume and heavier bass. The HEOS App was always crap but worked most of the time, now it is kinda useless and is making it difficult to use the speakers.

I find myself in the predicament of not being happy with either company. SONOS is the one who sued Denon, and is the ultimate cause of certain App functions being removed. And Denon is the one who essentially sold me an illegal product. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of speakers an an App that was limping already but is now crippled. Denon seems uninterested in taking the blame to fix the issue and wants to deny they are responsible in any way, and Sonos is saying we are sorry for your trouble (even though we created it), here's a measly 10% discount.

I have lost faith in Denon and am interested in switching over to SONOS but considering they are partially at fault for creating this mess, I expect them to be a bit more helpful about fixing it.

So, finally arriving at my question, if I want to buy a large quantity of SONOS speakers where is the best place to get them for the best price? I would probably be buying a PLAY: BAR, two subwoofers, two PLAY: FIVEs, and two ONEs at the outset.

Any thoughts on the best avenue to proceed are greatly appreciated.

Thx,

Atari
icon

Best answer by airforceteacher 4 April 2018, 01:34

Setting aside the quagmire of discontent you've brought into this thread, your bottom line question is: how can I outfit my home at least expense.

1) eBay is always an option. Lots of stuff on eBay discounted heavily, and nothing I've gotten on eBay or open box has ever failed me.
2) Best Buy or Amazon open box or clearance. At least for Best Buy, warranty still applies. Amazon I think not, as they sell their open box as "used."
3) If you have access to the Base Exchange, then Sonos is usually best discounted there, and even better around Christmas time. Added bonus is no sales tax and usually free shipping. Active duty, reservists and retirees can shop in store, veterans can shop at aafes.com online once they verify their status.
View original

36 replies

I'm not sure how you can blame Sonos for aggressively protecting their patents, when actual patent infringement has occurred? This isn't like Monster Cable frivolously suing the Boston Red Sox over the use of the name Green Monster (a name which preceded Monster Cable by over 30 years). This is a company suing for blatant and obvious infringement on patents owned by them.

As to pricing, Sonos pricing is the same no matter who you purchase from. You can sometimes find slightly discounted items on Amazon, but that is rare. Mostly you will find uniform pricing from all dealers.
Are you in the States? If it were me, I would sign up for the Best Buy credit card and earn points you can apply toward future purchases. I've gotten a lot of my Sonos gear from them and it was deeply discounted because of the points. Plus they routinely have the Play:1s on sale.
Badge
@jgatie SONOS's blame starts and stops in that their action resulted in harm to consumers. I understand why they filed the action they did and, as a consumer, who is right and wrong in the battle between the two companies is not my concern. As a consumer my life is being impacted by their actions. Think of it like this, a grocery store is selling bread. You buy some. On the way out of the store, someone walks over and says this is my bread, the store stole it and sold it to you. They take your bread and then say hey would you like to buy some bread. Even if they were in the right, it is still their fault that you aren't going to be having bread tonight. Even more so it is on them do something about it if they are going to have the audacity to then say hey would you like to buy some bread? SONOS has to take whatever actions it feels are appropriate but the damage is not just to Denon. It is to consumers that have already bought those Denon products. SONOS can't expect those customers to think fondly of SONOS if they aren't going to work with the customers to replace what SONOS has taken.
You have a very skewed way of looking at fault. The origin of the impact is Denon's actions. The fact is, if not for Denon's unlawful actions, Sonos would not have done anything, and no harm would have come to you. If you were in traffic and a tractor trailer ran a red light, t-boned a car and sent it into your vehicle, would you fault the driver of the car?

As to your statement that Sonos "have the audacity to then say hey would you like to buy some bread?" You are not locked into buying "bread" from Sonos. Bose, LG, Samsung, Bluesound, and others make a comparable product without having to unlawfully infringe on another company's patents. It's not like Sonos is forcing you to buy from them just because you formerly used Denon.

Sorry, but you are way off base here. The only one keeping you from your bread tonight is the one who stole it in the first place. They are liable for any damages, and you should be seeking reimbursement from them, not the aggrieved party. Denon is the one who breached contract with the consumer, not Sonos. JMHO.
Is it still April 1?
Badge
@jgatie Again, not my lawsuit, not my place to judge who is right and wrong. See it how you want but SONOS's actions have impacted the public in a negative way even if they were in the right to take such actions.
Actually, HEOS impacted their customers by their actions. If I had a product that was infringed on, I would go after the offending party to protect not only my product, but also my customers that are using it. Their customers are not my problem. Their customers are THEIR problem.
I looked up the lawsuit. Denon is completely to blame. So many opportunities to do the right thing for it's customers and chose not to. Pitiful.

https://www.cepro.com/article/sonos_vs_denon_heos_understanding_the_patent_lawsuits
Badge
Wow. This is not a discussion about blame in the lawsuit, and quite frankly no one here is qualified to say who is to blame. If you would like to show your patent attorney credentials, as well as your appointment as a judge, great, otherwise please be quiet.
This is probably the most childish thing I've ever seen...

SONOS owes you nothing, so there's no reason to expect them to offer you a significant discount on their products. You should be reaching out to Denon and asking them to reimburse you for lost features. This is not a necessarily a discussion about blame, but you are blaming SONOS.

Like jgatie said, buy different a different brand's audio equipment. You are not entitled to purchase SONOS products, or receive a discount on SONOS products.
@jgatie Again, not my lawsuit, not my place to judge who is right and wrong. See it how you want but SONOS's actions have impacted the public in a negative way even if they were in the right to take such actions.

You are the one who brought up assessing blame in the lawsuit. You also seem to expect some type of compensation or discount from Sonos due to their their "impact on the consumer". As to your statement "not my lawsuit, not my place to judge who is right and wrong"? True, it is the court's and jury's place to judge who is right and wrong. In case you were not aware, the jurors took less than 2 hours to decide, including lunch and a delay, and they found Denon 100% wrong in their actions. It was a cut and dried case if there ever was one, and therefore, it is Denon's actions which "impacted the public in a negative way." Period.
Is it still April 1?

Indeed.
Wow. This is not a discussion about blame in the lawsuit, and quite frankly no one here is qualified to say who is to blame. If you would like to show your patent attorney credentials, as well as your appointment as a judge, great, otherwise please be quiet.

Uhhhh, I believe there was a judge and jury appointed to say who was to blame. It took them less than 2 hours, including lunch and a delay, to decide. That is all the credentials I need to know.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@jgatie Again, not my lawsuit, not my place to judge who is right and wrong. See it how you want but SONOS's actions have impacted the public in a negative way even if they were in the right to take such actions.

That makes no sense. Say you had a good idea that you patented, and someone stole it from you, used it in a product and sold it. You're not going to sue that someone because you believe it has a negative impact on the public...the people that did not even buy you're own product? You'd just eat the financial loss?

No way.

That makes no sense. Say you had a good idea that you patented, and someone stole it from you, used it in a product and sold it. You're not going to sue that someone because you believe it has a negative impact on the public...the people that did not even buy you're own product? You'd just eat the financial loss?

No way.


Not to mention having to subsidize the people who bought the other product, just because you decided not to be a helpless victim of patent infringement. Crazy stuff.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
No idea if it would be worth an individual suing but you can bet that there will soon be a class action suite brought against Denon if there is any hope of recovery. You may get pennies out of it but the lawyers will do quite well.

Sonos prices are supposed to be pretty firm but Best Buy is a pretty shady operation and you can possibly use that against them. Negotiate your bulk purchase of Sonos gear and a Best Buy warranty package, get the Sonos prices discounted as much as possible (maybe mention ebay) and agree to full price for the warranty. Wait 24 hours and then return the warranty for a refund.

This works because Best Buy pushes the warranty packages hard and the sales guy gets punished for not selling enough of them.

A caution about Best Buy though, they often unload "old stock" or "storage damaged" items on customers. Check your items to insure they are recent, not a couple years old and inspect carefully. Don't be me and get a three year old CR-100 that had been setting in a steel shipping container for two full Phoenix summers and had the innards completely rotted. It lasted less than a month before it failed with a burst battery and cracked case.

Sonos initially told me that I was out of warranty, that made sense once they told me the production date of my unit but relented when I faxed them the Best Buy sales receipts.
Badge
It sounds like there needs to be a class action lawsuit against Denon. Though I’m sure they probably included some bull in their TOS that prevents it.

But I agree, sonos owes you nothing. Take the 10% and be happy.

As far as buying them: my advice is:

If you have good credit find a good cash back credit card that has a 0% apr and a good sign on bonus and then buy at a store like Best Buy where you get bonus points which provide further discounts towards other products.
Badge
Or does sonos limit the 10% to their online store only? If so I still say find a good cash back card with a sign on bonus.
Badge
So entertaining how so many have unqualified opinions on well...everything. But were it not for trolls there would be no internet. To those who responded with actual help, thank you.
We are unqualified to state that a judge and jury determined in a court of law that Denon and not Sonos were at fault? And to say otherwise makes us trolls?

Unique way of thinking. :?
Userlevel 5
Badge +13
Setting aside the quagmire of discontent you've brought into this thread, your bottom line question is: how can I outfit my home at least expense.

1) eBay is always an option. Lots of stuff on eBay discounted heavily, and nothing I've gotten on eBay or open box has ever failed me.
2) Best Buy or Amazon open box or clearance. At least for Best Buy, warranty still applies. Amazon I think not, as they sell their open box as "used."
3) If you have access to the Base Exchange, then Sonos is usually best discounted there, and even better around Christmas time. Added bonus is no sales tax and usually free shipping. Active duty, reservists and retirees can shop in store, veterans can shop at aafes.com online once they verify their status.
Atari_Prime,

If I were Sonos, I would not even consider offering you any form of discount in this situation.

Denon, by all accounts, stole directly from Sonos and passed off those thieved goods or services as though they were their own. The claim here is against the thief...Denon... Sonos is just the original victim of Denon and all they have done is brought the offender to justice.

Those who bought HEOS, need to seek redress from Denon, the thieves, who mis-sold their product with its stolen parts.

I don’t see that Sonos has any moral or legal obligation to offer HEOS customers any discount whatsoever.

Take the 10% (extremely kind) offer and then go sue Denon for selling you a 'sour lemon' in the first place.
SONOS's actions have impacted the public in a negative way even if they were in the right to take such actions.
I don't know this well enough, but your sentence above suggests that Sonos were right in taking such actions. If that is admitted, your first part of the quote misses the big picture. By not losing revenue to be obtained from their development efforts by such actions, Sonos is able to sustain further developments that will benefit all customers as a group and this impacts the public positively in the long run.

Don't Denon also have a way of keeping their product fully functional by just paying Sonos the license fees for the features in question? If they are choosing to not do this, who is to blame?

As someone else did, I too suspect April 1 here.
Right on, Kumar. The only reason this is a negative to Atari is because he bought HEOS. Otherwise none of his grapes would be sour tonight.
If so, equating himself with the public is a stretch. Or even equating all HEOS customers with the public.

Reply