Sonos the New Era

Date Posted:23 June 2020 

A few months ago we posted an article about some “dramatic” changes happening with Sonos.  At the time there was a lot of unknowns with regards to how Sonos would proceed with their “Legacy” products and their relationship to new Sonos products and the new software.  This month we have received some clarity; for clients and users the clarity initially came in the form of an app change and an update indicator (this is a staggered roll out so if you haven’t seen it yet don’t panic), though after the adjustment to a new colour scheme there wasn’t much that changed.  Those of us in “the industry” were invited to a series of webinars, (no face to face meetings at the moment, and we all know why), that walked us through the coming changes and some of the new products.  The following is the relevant information to come out of these meetings.

In our original article we started with an explanation of which Sonos products will be classed as “Legacy”.  This needs to be revisited as there has been some minor changes.  First and foremost, Sonos are no longer using the term Legacy; instead the products will be known as S1 (as shown by the new naming of the original app). 

Sonos S1 app

The other change comes with what products are now classed as “S1”, originally this was older ZP products, the Bridge, Play:5(Gen 1) and all Connect and Connect:Amp modules.  This has been revised, and any Connect and Connect:Amp modules made after 2015 will now be classified as S2 (or “Modern” in the original parlance).

This leads to the question: how do I know the manufacture date of my Sonos equipment?  If you have a look at the underside of you Connect or Connect:Amp (or on the model number sticker of any Sonos product) you will see the serial number, the first four numbers at the start of this serial number are the manufacturing date (YYMM).  For example the Sonos Connect pictured below has the first four digits of: 1408, which translates to August 2014, this means that the shown Sonos Connect is S1 stock, and cannot be used with the S2 platform.

Sonos Connect Serial Number image

The next question asked in our original article was: what happens when these products become “S1”?

This question is now, relatively, easy to answer.  If all the products in your Sonos system are S1, then nothing.  All that changes for you is the look of the app.  However this does mean some changes if wish to add new units but we will cover that a little later on.

If you only have S2 products, again, not much happens for you.  Push through the firmware updates on the S1 (original app), download the new app and carry on as normal (the exact steps are indicated by the apps themselves and are easy to follow, if you do have trouble then please get in contact and we will help you out).  You get to enjoy any new updates and can add any new products you like.  S1 users, sorry no new updates for you, and no new products.

Sonos New App

Now if you have a mix of S1 and S2 products, it starts to get a little tricky, there are three option for people with mixed systems:

Option 1: Run everything as S1

                This means you run everything like always and stick with the S1 app.  Choosing this options allows you to continue to group all your existing zones together, but you will not receive any updates, and you will not be able to add any of the new products (Sonos ARC for example) to your system.

Option 2: Split the systems

                Essentially this means you will have two completely separate Sonos systems.  System one consists of all the S1 devices and uses the Sonos S1 app, this system doesn’t receive any new updates or services.  System 2, has all the new devices and receives all the new updates, services and can have new devices added.  It cannot be stressed enough: These are two separate systems and cannot be grouped together.  This also means that streaming services that only allow one stream per account (Spotify) can only be used on one of these systems at a time.

                If you decide to take this option it is recommended that you get a professional out to do the setup as it does involve a number of steps and some factory resetting.

Sonos Trade-Up Banner

Option 3: Up-Grade (This option is available to anyone with S1 products!)

                Sonos are still offering a 30% upgrade discount for anyone that has S1 products.  However there has been a change to this offer; you no longer have to stop your S1 products from working to receive this discount.  All you need to do to receive this discount is supply us with the serial numbers for you S1 products.  Then you can do with the old products whatever you like, up to and including: Keeping them running in your home and setting up a split system (option 2), Sell the S1 products (we would advise you fully disclose the situation to the buyer if you make this choice), give them to you kids/friends/family members, set them up in your holiday home (if you are lucky enough to have one) or take them to your local e-Waste facility for recycling, the decision is all yours.  This 30% discount is only like for like with the Bridge (i.e. 1 x Bridge = Discount on Boost).  All other products are available for discount, so you can trade in your Play:5(Gen 1) and get the discount on any other current product, including the new Sonos ARC, or Play:5.

Sonos ARC

We hope this clears up some of the confusion and   misinformation around Sonos, which has muddied the waters since February.  If you are still confused and have questions, or would like to discuss your options around new Sonos or changing to a new system altogether then please get in contact via the usual methods (Phone, Email, Facebook, Visit the Store)

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