It’s been a rough week for Sonos, but even rougher for users of some of the firm’s older multi-room speakers, who learned support for their expensive audio set would be coming to an end within months.
Naturally, the initial decision to end updates for the the original Zone Players Connect and Connect:Amp (sold between 2006 and 2015), the Play:5 (Gen 1), CR200 and Bridge this coming May was met with fury by the affected users.
The company’s CEO has apologised and vowed the affected models will “continue to work as they do today.” He says it will not be bricking the devices into obsolesce and that it plans to honour users’ investment in Sonos set ups from as long as possible.
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So, has everyone calmed down about it now? Well, a Twitter sentiment summary shows that just 21% of the tweets were positive, while 55% were negative. The rest were neutral.
Here are some of the most pointed reactions from the famously calm and rational people on Twitter.
1) Reeking of desperation
While some users appreciated the reassurance from Sonos CEO Patrick Spence, they’re not ready to forgive and forget just yet. Twitter user Jeremy Palmer said it was “going to take a while to recover the bad taste in most of our mouths,” and even used the hashtag #SonosBoycott.
Others had a stronger view on the matter. Ben Forta, who is senior director of education initiatives at Adobe, said Sonos’ actions showed ‘desperation’.
2) Where are the sustainable solutions?
Part of the ire felt by Sonos users comes from the company’s policy when encouraging user to trade in older and soon-to-be-unsupported speakers for a discount on newer models in the range.
Sonos does not plan to refurbish and resell the models. Instead, when users trade up, Sonos will place the old devices into Recycle Mode, effectively bricking them permanently. From there, it is advising customers to take the old speakers to local recycling facilities
Detlev Artelt (@voice_compass) called on the Sonos bed to find a smarter solution that didn’t mean “killing millions of perfectly working devices.”
3) Hypocrisy and the stock market
Another Søren Granfeldt (@MrGranfeldt) pointed out a quote from a Sonos bean counter, from less than two years ago, around the time of its IPO, claiming Sonos’ product “persists.” He also called for the #SonosBoycott.
MJ DeMarco believed that the stock market floatation a couple of years back may have been the beginning of the end of the firm, claiming they’ve “hit the shitter” since.
4) ‘Could go either way’
Sonos has backtracked somewhat after the initial furore, promising it was looking for 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.”
This could quell the growing storm, according to Twitter users like Chris Fralic, who believes the apology and fix will work. He believes the anger is simply as sign of how much Sonos fans love their speakers.
What do you make of Sonos’s week? Self destruction? Or the correct path forward despite upsetting loyal users? Share your thoughts with us @trustedreviews on Twitter