It’s fair to say that Sonos’ announcement that it would end support for older speakers in May has not gone down well with owners who have spent hundreds to thousands of pounds on a connected sound system.
In fact the news has gone down so poorly that CEO Patrick Spence has taken the unusual step of publishing an apology and clarification on the company website.
“We heard you. We did not get this right from the start,” he wrote. “My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward.”
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First, Spence assured owners that the impacted models – the original Zone Players (ZP80, ZP90, ZP100 and ZP120), the Connect and Connect:Amp (sold between 2006 and 2015), the Play:5 (Gen 1), CR200 and Bridge – would still “continue to work as they do today.”
“We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honour that investment for as long as possible.”
This part isn’t actually new. It’s possible that casual readers were conflating the news of updates ending and recent reports that Sonos brick perfectly healthy speakers when sent in for recycling.
Sonos did add that it’s looking at ways to ensure newer speaker systems can receive updates in homes with older devices, but at this point it’s not clear if this is just a reiteration of what was said previously. “We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state.
“We’re finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks,” he added, so it should become clear soon.
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Spence ended his note with thanks to customers’ loyalty and understanding. “Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn’t exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.”