At least five product families are now listed under Legacy
Sonos has announced that it’s dropping software support for its oldest devices because they’ve been “stretched to their technical limits.” While this looks bad for Sonos’ future-proofing, the company does offer a couple of options to survive this mini apocalypse.
Beginning May 2020, the following products will stop receiving software updates in the form of new features and security patches:
- Zone Players
- Connect (and Connect:Amp)
- Play:5 (first-generation)
Interconnected Audio Products since 2006
To be fair to Sonos, these devices were launched between 2006 and 2009, which means they were fully up to date for over a decade. Considering how most tech brands offer only a two-year lifespan for their products, getting a notch over ten years is a healthy life cycle.
Sonos is best known for its interconnected home audio speakers and accessories. These gadgets rely heavily on processors and hardware that constantly need updating in order to function properly. Its latest blog post explains that the brand’s oldest products can no longer keep up with today’s standards.
To its credit, the blog entry also claims that 92 percent of all Sonos’ products are still in use today, proving further that its device library has had unmatched support since 2006. With that, the company is keeping its customers’ best interests in mind with a few options for a smooth transition.
So What Can You Do Now?
The first and most obvious one: simply continue using these devices without expecting any patches or new features. Just because the software updates stop coming doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly stop working. As long as you take care of their physical condition, they could possibly last another decade or so with you.
Just because the software updates stop coming doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly stop working.
Alternatively, if you’re dedicated to the product family and have the cash to spend, Sonos is offering a trade-up program that provides 30 percent credit for every legacy gadget you give. These credits can be used to purchase any new item found on their website or retail stores.
All you have to do is submit a qualified device to a certified e-recycling center or ship it to Sonos directly. The company claims that they’d be happy to pay the shipping cost, although they didn’t divulge more information on the mechanics.
To ensure that your device is included on the legacy list, you may visit the System tab on your account at Sonos.com. The company’s website also contains a complete list of both legacy and modern products in their current system.
Striving for a Greener Future
Sonos promises to continue its environmentally friendly and forward-thinking strategy. Even though legacy gadgets are beginning to get the ax, the brand ensures that each new product will maximize its lifespan through more advanced chips and future-proof components.
Received this news from Sonos via e-mail, and frankly it will eventually mean the death knowl for me as far as “going Sonos” is concerned. And I say that despite loving my 4-component system in terms of sound and functionality, despite it being legacy. In fact, its longevity is one of the primary reasons for loving it! If a component were to die on me, I’d have replaced it, because I’ve come to trust in Sonos quality. Now, however, Sonos is taking would could be customer loyalty and tossing it out the window. Why? Because they are implementing new software features that only new hardware can support. Fair enough, but why not continue supporting older units alongside the newer ones, at least in terms of basic stability and security? That would seem like a simple task. Their installer/update could recognize legacy components as such and simply not install the new (unsupported) features, but indeed update the basics as necessary. I fail to see how providing basic support for older units is “stretching them beyond capacity”. And the 30% swapping offer might sound generous, replacing 4 (or more) components at once would carry a huge price tag, despite the discount! I, for one, cannot afford it. So when the system stops working (in half a year? a year? a bit longer?) I will be forced to junk perfectly good hardware. Customer loyalty? They killed mine. Incidentally, I posted a public comment on their FB page a few days ago, but not a word from Sonos on that. It seems they are not that interested in cultivating loyal customers, preferring to dazzle new ones with new features. Maybe they’ve come to the realization that creating solid hardware that lasts for a decade or more was a stupid idea. Better to get customers looped into forced “upgrade deals” so as to generate more money, eh? But who cares? In the age of high-res Qoboz and Tidal streaming and state-of-the-art Bluetooth speakers, who really needs Sonos, anyhow? Used to sing their praises. No longer.