COMMENT: Loyal Customers Screwed By Sonos As They Desperately Try To Force Upgrades
If you were an early adopter of a Sonos sound system and you have a house that has been configured with their speakers, you have just been well and truly screwed as Sonos try to force you to upgrade to a new speakers despite their products not being 24bit or UHD audio capable.
According to custom installers customers who configured Sonos speakers into a custom home configurations, have “bombarded” them with emails and telephone calls following an overnight email from Sonos telling clients that their product will longer being supported by the struggling US speaker Company.
Basically, Sonos legacy speakers rely on a proprietary Sonos OS which the Company is now saying they won’t support which means houses that that have a custom installed configuration with Sonos speakers will face future problems as new speaker technology emerges and Sonos is unable to update these speakers.
Sonos speakers which only deliver 16bit sound are already old hat in that they rely on a proprietary OS and are not 24bit sound capable.
Early adopters of the US Companies speakers are well aware that Sonos is constantly updating their OS which is one of the reasons that consumers are switching to a new generation of 24bit networked speakers from Google and Amazon as well as Yamaha, Denon, Bowers and Wilkins, JBL and Harman.
Unlike the legacy Sonos speakers most of these new speakers work on voice commands can be configured in seconds and don’t need a proprietary OS.
Overnight Sonos said that they will stop pushing software updates to some of its legacy models a move that is set to create problems for customers installers who for more than a decade have been configuring Sonos sound systems into homes and retail stores.
The company plans to phase out support to older models starting in May of 2020.
Among the products that will be denied access to upgrades is the Bridge, the Connect, the Connect: Amp, the CR200 controller, the Play:5 (first generation), and all Sonos Zone players.
Len Wallis a Sydney customer installer said that his Company had received several emails from concerned customers today.
A Gold Coast based installer said, “We are recommending that customers move to a new speaker from the likes of Denon or Bowers & Wilkins”.
They added “There is nothing wrong with the older model Sonos speakers it’s the proprietary Sonos software that is the problem which is why Amazon and Google are getting the sales. Consumers are also worried that both Google and Amazon will stop supporting Sonos with voice capability after Sonos took legal action against Google”.
Sonos claim that their legacy products have been stretched to their limit and their old hardware will not be able to run newer software.
Sonos warned in its blogpost that without software updates, its legacy devices would face disruptions in functionality and music streaming services such as Apple Music as its “partners continue to evolve their technologies.”
In what is seen as a blatant upgrade marketing program that last month saw Sonos labelled environmental vandals the Company is now pushing customers to upgrade directly with Sonos bypassing the retailer where they initially purchased their early Sonos speakers.
The Company claims that those who wish to continue using newer features can trade-up their existing products with newer Sonos models with a 30% discount.
Users who don’t want to exchange or upgrade should know that their existing Sonos devices would continue to work in the near term.
If you have any Sonos speaker or device that is mentioned in the legacy list, you should detach it from your Sonos system (which might have other newer devices).
If you don’t do that, the entire Sonos system that’s spread across the rooms in your home will stop receiving updates. This is because all the Sonos devices in a system are meant to run the same version of the software.
The company also plans to continue using the ‘Recycle Mode’ for which it recently faced a backlash. The Recycle Mode is a software kill switch that is activated when a customer decides to trade-up their Sonos device. Sonos says that the feature wipes all the user data and it is helpful in encouraging responsible e-recycling practices.