The Sonos Watershed

Jan 24, 2020

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Starting from May 2020 legacy products will no longer receive any software updates or new features from Sonos, but they will continue to work (in the meantime). The reason for the caveat, is because if any of the music streaming providers, like Spotify change their 'api' (which allows the two systems to communicate), then without a future update from Sonos to correct that fix, the service will cease to work.

These affected products are listed below.

Connect (2011-2015 models)
Connect:Amp (2011-2015 models)
PLAY:5 (Gen1)

Sonos claim this is because the hardware has been taken to its limit and will not be able to handle the requirements of future software updates. So, they will continue to work, just without any new features or updates. Sonos' CEO has vowed to make sure these legacy products are kept up to date though, with security patches and bug fixes so they cannot be compromised.

Existing Sonos systems need to have up to date software across all devices. So, if there is a mixture of legacy and new products in your system, Sonos is working on way to split your system so that they will work together.

We don't have a crystal ball, but it seems very likely Sonos are planning some big announcements for 2020, and this recent negative news paves the way for some more positive changes. Rumours include a new app, and a potential high-res music offering, to take on the likes or Roon, and Bluesound. Those who like to keep their tech up to date will certainly be swayed (or should we say coerced!) into upgrading if and when those announcements do come.

To soften the blow, anyone with legacy devices will earn 30% off the cost of upgrading to new equipment, however the old device will be turned into an expensive paperweight - which has received very bad press in the media, especially in these climate crisis times. To combat this, NVI are e-cycling any old Sonos product which is upgraded.

If you'd like to know more about keeping your Sonos system up to date with the latest features, updates and models contact us, we'd be happy to help.

If you're just getting into Sonos, and would like to see a demonstration you can book an appointment at our showroom here.

Update: 24/01/20 - an email from the Sonos CEO:

"We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward:First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honour that investment for as long as possible. Whilst legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, whilst legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We’re finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.Whilst we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That’s the intent of the Trade Up programme we launched for our loyal customers.Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn't exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Sincerely,PatrickPatrick SpenceCEO, Sonos"