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Sonos to cease support for older products in May

The price of innovation?

by Andy Bassett
Hi-Fi News

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Sonos to cease support for older products in May

The recent news of how Sonos has implemented its recycling initiative for users who want to upgrade to its newer products has met with much discussion. The company has now notified its userbase that a number of legacy products will stop receiving updates and support from May 2020, and that the offer of a Trade Up is still on the table…

Despite Sonos explaining their position, this latest reminder could well spark off the debate again now that a number of older devices are being put on official notice that, from May, they will be classed as 'legacy' and will therefore no longer receive software updates and new features. The notification received by Sonos owners warns ‘This will affect your listening experience’.

The products that are affected were all introduced between 2005 and 2011 and are listed below:

All Zone Players (ZP80, ZP90, ZP100, ZP120)
Connect
Connect:Amp (sold between 2006 and 2015)
Play:5 (Gen 1)
CR200 wireless controller
Bridge

Sonos’s reason behind leaving these products behind remains as before and that is that the age of the technology means the devices “do not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation.”

Sonos’s rather stark warning about your ‘listening experience’ seems to centre around the fact that, since Sonos products all form part of a system, any modern Sonos devices remaining connected to legacy products after May will not receive software updates and new features either.

However, despite the proclamations of doom, Sonos points out that your older products will not suddenly stop working and that you can continue to enjoy them as you do now. However, since these older devices may no longer be able to support new products or services that Sonos and partners roll out - for example, a new or updated music streaming service - these legacy products will effectively become an impediment to the rest of your system since they will be the weakest link in the Sonos chain.

So what’s the answer?

Sonos suggests one of two things. Firstly, listeners can keep using their Sonos systems as they are but that, over time, access to services and overall functionality will eventually become disrupted.

Or, secondly, owners can take advantage of the Trade Up programme which offers a 30 percent discount on a newer product but which is predicated on the older device being put into ‘Recycle Mode’ which renders it inoperable after an irreversible 21-day countdown.

All in all, the relentless pace of technological advancements that lead to better features and functionality means that devices from manufacturers across a wide range of technology sectors will eventually become outdated - it’s a fact of the technology-based society we live in. Indeed, Sonos fares better than many other companies and a spokesperson recently pointed out that 92 percent of Sonos products that have ever been sold - including those launched over 10 years ago - are still in use today.

What do Sonos owners feel about the choices they have been given? Have you received your notification yet? Let others know in the discussion thread what you plan to do.

Source: Sonos notification
Image Source: Sonos
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