Sonos Will Stop Updating Some of Its Older Products This Year

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Sonos, the connected and smart speaker company, will stop pushing software updates to some of its legacy models. The company plans to phase out support to older models starting in May of 2020.

Earlier today, the American company announced that it will stop releasing software updates to a group of its older models: the Bridge, the Connect, the Connect:Amp, the CR200 controller, the Play:5 (first generation), and all Sonos Zone players. These speakers won’t get any new features in the future.

The Connect and Connect:Amp devices that are manufactured after 2015 are exempted from the legacy list, so they will continue receiving software updates. In a blog post, Sonos explained how these products have been stretched to their limit and their old hardware will not be able to run newer software. The company noted that some of its products were released in 2006, prior to the launch of the original iPhone.

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.” 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.

Our Take

This is probably the first time that smart speakers from a major brand are being phased out of service because their ‘smart’ hardware components (microprocessor, memory, and storage) are now too old to run newer software. We might see ourselves habituated with similar things happening with Echo and HomePod speakers over the next few years.