Sonos extend support for legacy products after backlash

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Credit: Amazon

Sonos have backpedalled on earlier plans to discontinue software support for older products.

Responding to criticism earlier this week, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has penned a blog post admitting the company "did not get this right from the start."

Spence says that "many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible."

"While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience."

In addition, he revealed Sonos are now "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 finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks."

Earlier this week, Sonos announced they'd be ending support for several legacy audio products, including the Connect, Connect Amp and Play:5.

Affected customers were given a choice. The first option was to continue using older products and forfeit the ability to recieve software updates for any devices in that Sonos system. The other option was to embrace Sonos' divisive "trade-in" program by placing their older hardware into Recycling Mode - a state which essentially wipes any user data on the speaker and then bricks it after a confirmation period of twenty-one days.

The latter quickly came under fire by critics on Twitter over the contrast between how the company positioned Recycling Mode and the inherently wasteful reality. At that time, the case that Sonos was looking to drive sales by incentivizing users to render otherwise-functional speakers inert rather than selling them second-hand or giving them away to friends and family is easy to make.

Spence now insists the company "want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so."

For additional information on Sonos' trade-in program, visit the official site here.

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Fergus Halliday
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