Sonos owners ‘feel let down’ by decision to cut support for older speakers

Owners of older Sonos speakers have expressed their outrage at the company’s plans to drop support.

The audio giant announced it would stop sending software updates to a number of products from May, which has angered some customers.

Its original Zone Player, Connect and Connect:Amp – which were launched in 2006 and include versions sold until 2015 – are affected by the move.

The first-generation Play:5 and CR200, both released in 2009, as well as 2007’s Bridge will also no longer receive software updates or new features.

In a statement, Sonos said it made the decision because older devices had been “stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power”.

“Ideally all our products would last forever, but for now we’re limited by the existing technology,” it said.

Paul Beebe, from Birmingham, said he bought a Play:5 speaker less than three years ago for £400.

“I feel let down by a company I have invested a lot of money in,” he told the PA news agency.

“It will certainly make me think twice before extending my system, especially as now many other manufacturers have caught up in terms of grouping audio amongst a group of speakers, which was something quite unique to Sonos.”

Mr Beebe, who has several other speakers of mixed age, said he was thinking about adding a speaker to his bathroom but would “reconsider” following Sono’s decision.

“I am pretty annoyed, people keep audio equipment for years and years, typically.”

Another customer in the UK, Andy Powell, told PA he was “hugely disappointed”.

“I was a fan, an early adopter and even an advocate promoting them to others,” he said.

“But with this and the whole ‘recycling’ issue a few weeks back, the trust is gone and I’ll definitely be looking elsewhere.”

Sonos said customers will be able to continue using “legacy” products after they stop receiving software updates but warned that “some functionality will be impacted over time”.

People with multiple Sonos speakers including one of the affected products will also see their system impacted.

“As changes are made to technology in the future, particularly by music service and voice partners, access to certain services or features may be disrupted,” the company said.

“An example would be a music service partner issuing a new update that isn’t backwards compatible with legacy software.”

The firm is offering owners the option to trade up to a new Sonos product with a 30% credit.

Doing so will put the older device into recycle mode, meaning it will be deactivated and no longer functional.

Last year, Sonos offered owners of dated products a similar offer, but was criticised for not allowing people to resell their old kit.

For those unable to take devices to a recycling facility, Sonos will pay delivery charges to have affected items shipped to the company for recycling.