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Sonos controversially drops support for older products

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Sonos has announced that it is ending software support in May 2020 for its products launched between 2006 and 2015, angering many of its loyal customers. While software support ending for smartphones is nothing new, audio equipment traditionally is a purchase that lasts forever. With Sonos positioning itself in the premium audio space, the news is at odds with its image as a serious audio brand.

Many loyal users have taken to social media to post the emails they have received with news of the products on their Sonos networks that will no longer be supported. The loss of software updates means the legacy equipment will gradually either not work, or will not work on a home network with newer Sonos equipment.

In a blog post Sonos explained the decision, saying “we’ve now come to a point where some of the oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power”, but that users could continue “using these legacy products, recognising that your system will no longer receive software updates and new features.”

It is offering a trade up program that will give a 30% credit for each legacy product replaced. The affected products are:

  • Bridge
  • Connect
  • (Manufactured 2011-2015)
  • Connect:Amp
  • (Manufactured 2011-2015)
  • CR200
  • Play:5 (Gen1)
  • ZP80
  • ZP90
  • ZP100
  • ZP120

The news comes a month after troubling reports that Sonos’ recycle mode that it encourages people to put their kit into if recycling it actually bricks the equipment, keeping it from the second hand market. The company offers a discount on new Sonos kit if you put your old kit in recycle mode.

The two stories are poisonous for the Sonos brand and shows a company that had a glowing track record suddenly – and rightfully – come under a lot of scrutiny. Sonos has a well-earned reputation for good quality audio equipment at reasonable prices, but if the gear won’t last more than ten or fifteen years it’s going to put off audiophiles who expect a much longer lifetime from their purchases.