Sonos is discontinuing several of its legacy speakers and devices – it will not support them with new features past May 2020.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for legacy Sonos kit users as there are several options on the table.
Here, we detail the different devices that will be affected, plus the choices you have on what to do with them.
What Sonos speakers and devices will be discontinued?
From May, Sonos will no longer support the following devices with software updates or new features:
- Sonos Bridge
- Sonos Connect
- Sonos Connect: Amp
- Sonos CR200 wireless remote
- Sonos Play:5 (Gen 1)
- Sonos Zone Players (ZP90, ZP100, ZP120, etc)
Why are they being discontinued?
Like TVs, smartphones, tablets and most other forms of entertainment equipment, Sonos devices have a limited lifespan – not because of their audio tech, but because of the processing and storage capabilities available when first launched. The affected devices will soon no longer be capable of effectively running the latest software or the more advanced, modern streaming services.
After all, some of the devices are 13 years-old. How many people expect a 13-year-old TV to run Netflix, 4K or even BBC iPlayer these days?
Indeed, we’re surprised that Sonos has been able to maintain and update its legacy kit for so long without facing barriers long before now. Spotify, for example, didn’t even exist when the original players were launched.
Sonos will continue to release patches for the legacy gear if security holes are detected, Pocket-lint was told, but not the same significant upgrades as the rest of its family of speakers.
What to do if you own an affected Sonos speaker or device
If you do own any of the devices above and are worried that they’ll simply stop working in May, rest assured that won’t be the case.
Instead, you will be able to continue to use them on their current software. There are some caveats to this, however.
For example, if you use legacy products with newer, continually supported speakers as part of the same Sonos network you will not be able to update the newer devices. They will all continue to work together, but your newer devices will not be updated.
Alternatively, you can isolate the older, affected devices and run them separately from a network with your newer speakers – ie. run two connected zones in your home rather than one. That way, your newer devices will get the latest updates.
Trade up your Sonos device for 30 percent off a new one
If you don’t want to continue to use your affected Sonos devices in the future, you can opt to utilize the company’s Trade-Up program instead.
This effectively allows you to get 30 percent off a brand-new replacement device by “bricking” your old one permanently, in order to then dispose of it ethically at an e-waste facility. You can also choose to ship it back to Sonos instead, at the manufacturer’s cost, for it to dispose of.
To “Trade-Up”, you need to set it into Recycle Mode which will wipe it of any personal data and render it inoperable.
This has been seen as a controversial action by some, but Sonos had said that it was the only sensible option, as the devices would no longer be supported and may not even run some partnering services in the near future. Buyers could be disappointed if they purchase a second-hand Sonos speaker that doesn’t do what they expect.
As we say above, owners can continue to use their older devices without putting them into Recycle Mode, even sell them on, but will not be able to get the 30 percent discount on new Sonos products.