Whats Going on with my Sonos System?

Date Posted:4 February 2020 


 

 

 

Around the 22nd of January Sonos users started receiving an email titled, “Your System Requires Attention” which was followed by the comforting tag line, “End of Software Updates”.  This email, in my case, then went on to list a large number of devices, which are part of my Sonos system, which will be classified as “Legacy” at some stage in May, no actual date was supplied.

 

So what do Sonos mean by “Legacy”?  At this stage a “Legacy” product for Sonos is any product introduced between 2005 and 2011, these products include the Connect, Connect:Amp, Play:5(Gen 1), the Bridge and the older ZP products.

   

What happens in May when these products become “Legacy”? At first, nothing.  In theory you shouldn’t notice any change.  In practise we are unsure; but can tell you that at some stage in May (again no exact date has been supplied), these “Legacy” products will stop receiving firmware updates.  Over time the lack of these updates will stop the “Legacy” units from talking to services (Deezer and Spotify for example) and eventually they will stop talking to the control app.  If you have a mix of “Legacy” and “Modern” (Beam, Amp, One etc.) Sonos products they will also stop receiving these firmware updates. Due to the way Sonos works as a system.

     

The official reasoning behind these actions is that there is “not enough memory or processing power” in the “Legacy” models and this has come about due to the “age of the technology”.  Essentially saying that the issue is their products have been built too well, and therefore lasted too long.

This email and its “call to action” lead to a lot of confusion and backlash from Sonos customers; some of whom have had their soon to be “Legacy” products for close to 15 years and others who have had them for less than 12 months.  This backlash took the form angry, vitriolic messages on Sonos’ social media pages and their helplines being inundated with angry customers wanting clarity and more information.

All of this resulted in Sonos suffering a large loss on the Stock market and a second email, being sent.

 

 

On the 24th of January, Patrick Spence, the CEO of Sonos issued an email that was part Apology, part clarification, though for some people it wasn’t enough of either.

In this email Mr Spence admits that Sonos made a mistake in how they informed everyone of this up-coming change.  He stated, as mentioned above, that all existing equipment will continue to function throughout May.  He also stated that while the “Legacy” equipment will not receive new features, they will continue to receive “bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible”.

Mr Spence also took the time to address the issue of “Legacy” and “Modern” products not being able to “co-exist” in the home.  Saying that they were working on a way to “split your system” so that the “modern” products talk to each other and receive updates, and the “Legacy” products  continue to work as they are, however separate from the “Modern” products.

All of this leads to the crux of the issue: What does it all mean for me, and what can/should I do?  Well, in all honesty it means that no one knows for sure what is going on, or what will happen.  It would appear that due to the major backlash, Sonos, globally, are going to make it up as they go along until a clear plan is formed.

As for “what can/should I do?” you have a few options:

Option 1: Do nothing;  It’s kind of Zen, I know, but you can just sit back, go with the flow, and continue to use your system as is and see what happens when the dust has settled.

Option 2: Swap over your “Legacy” equipment for “Modern” products and take advantage of the 30% discount that Sonos is offering.  This can be done in-store with us, or via the Sonos website.

Option 3: Move on all your Sonos equipment, and look at a different “eco system” from one of the other manufacturers including BlueSound, Bose Music/SoundTouch, or Yamaha MusicCast.

 

Bluesound Logo Black Background Yamaha MusicCast Logo

In the end it comes down to this, Sonos are making changes to their system that in time, be it this year or in 10years, will make their “Legacy” products obsolete.  They went the wrong way about announcing this, and are now in crisis mode while they try to appease their clients, this reaction from Sonos has muddied the water preventing us (and them) from having a clear view and path for the future.  It is not the end of the world as there will always be options.  If you would like some more clarification or to discuss your current options please get in contact with us by the usual methods: Email Phone In-store message


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