Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products in May – The Verge

In May, Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products, and they’ll no longer receive any new features. The decision impacts “legacy” devices that are currently part of the company’s trade-up program, including all Sonos Zone Players, the Connect and Connect:Amp, the first-generation Play:5, the CR200 controller, and the Bridge.

“Without new software updates, access to services and overall functionality of your sound system will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their technology,” Sonos warned in a blog post today. The company says customers can choose to either keep using these products after support ends — they should continue functioning in the near-term — or replace them with a modern Sonos product at a discount.

Platform obsolescence. While individual devices would continue to work even without software updates, the fact that they integrate into a platform makes this impossible.

I think Sonos is offering users a fair deal, with 30% discounts for upgrades. But it still feels wrong. You can use a 50-year old stereo receiver but you can no longer use something that’s just over 10 years old. (To be fair, though, the Play:5, which is the first speaker that is end of life, does have an aux in jack, so you can run audio from some other network bridge into it.)

Update: It’s worth noting that there is a lot of ire among Sonos users. I follow a Facebook group, and there are a lot of people who bought devices just a year ago that are affected. I also heard from someone on Twitter who had hard-wired a bunch of Sonos stuff in a house, juts five years ago, and it will all be affected. In that case, I update what I said just above; this isn’t a fair deal, this is a catalyst for a class-action lawsuit.

I wonder if this decision is simply because Sonos doesn’t want to do the necessary software development to keep older devices working, or if they can’t. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about this soon. Sonos users tend to be quite vocal in their appreciation for the company, and that appreciation has quickly changed to anger.

Oh, while I’m at it, I have a bunch of Sonos stuff and I use it only with AirPlay, but the company still doesn’t support music libraries over 60,000 tracks (if you point the Sonos app at a folder containing your music files). Yet in practice, this number is much smaller. When I tried – about five years ago – it only managed to see about 40,000 tracks. This is because a lot of my music library is classical, and has a lot of metadata. The library size is limited by the amount of text that can be stored in a database, and with classical music, you can use fewer tracks because the metadata is often larger. Seriously.

Source: Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products in May – The Verge

5 thoughts on “Sonos will stop providing software updates for its oldest products in May – The Verge

  1. “you can no longer use something that’s just over 10 years old”

    According to the websites, they are still selling the connect at Bestbuy and Amazon. Seems a little quick to obsolete it.

  2. Whatever it takes to hit quarterly numbers is what public companies will do. Peoples’ memories are shorter than ever. Most will forget Sonos did this in about a day.

    • I’m not so sure. Sonos has a core user base of long-term users than is irate. To be fair, they’ve been shifting this user base in the past couple of years to people who use Sonos products along with other devices, but some of the people I’m seeing discuss this have spent thousands of dollars on hardware that is quickly obsolete. One of the devices was still being sold a year ago.

  3. Sonos’ mesh technology and how it play music with features like normalization are effected by the older chip designs. Their product was based on having very similar chipsets. Kirk, your library limitation is one of such challenges. I’m a Sonos user as well. These things happen when you purchase technology.

  4. You’ve got it wrong if you believe that “Sonos is offering users a fair deal”. When Sonos customers bought their gear they were not advised that at some time in the future that the company would deliberately make their purchases obsolete, had this been the case the Sonos market would be a fraction of what it currently is. In my view, which I believe will be shared by many, this is pure short sighted avarice and treachery, the customer is tired of being ripped off, a similar case applies to Apple and its current range of portables – with only one port forcing (blackmailing) users to buy a bunch of adapters to connect to peripherals.
    Mac and Sonos have underestimated the customer, its only a matter of time before both and other market leaders to find that their competing in a market that won’t tolerate being deliberately ripped off through built in obsolesce and operating systems not capable of being updated.
    A perfect example of soft-ware obsolesce is MS Word the current version is no more capable than Word 98 the only difference is that it more complicated and convulated than ever – why what’s point its as if the whole purpose of life for the nitwits who write this stuff is to frustrate and piss-people-off.

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