Sonos, the independent premium audio brand, has now started facing flak for its decision to not provide software updates to its older generation audio products any longer, hence freezing them out of any new software features that Sonos introduces via OTA firmware updates. Announced earlier this week, Sonos states that all Sonos Zone audio players, Sonos Connect and Connect:AMP, Sonos Bridge, Sonos CR200 controller and the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 speaker are no longer supported for software updates by the company.
After facing backlash on its announcement, Sonos’ CEO Patrick Spence has issued a letter of apology to its users. While he has attempted to clarify his stance on the matter, and justify why he thinks it is perfectly fine, there has been no change on the fact that the older generation speakers will not receive any further software updates. However, Spence has stated that Sonos’ older speakers will continue to receive maintenance and security updates going forward.
Sonos has previously faced flak for a similar, controversial decision to brick its older devices. It featured a setting called Recycle Mode, which, if activated, was a one-way killswitch that would render an older product completely useless after 30 days of flicking the switch. The move was considered strange, since many well-functioning products would simply stop working if put in this mode. From what it appeared, this was a move by Sonos to urge its users to upgrade their products more frequently, even if they did not need to.
Sonos has stated that users who have both old and new Sonos products at home may be able to group new and old speakers into separate groups, in order to maintain two individual audio product lineups. This does sound a bit inconvenient, and yet again brings us back to the aspect of the company trying to push users to upgrade their devices, even if their older one might be working just fine.