Today, Sonos announced that it will cut off certain legacy products from future updates starting this May. That includes both software updates and new features. If you happen to own both legacy and newer Sonos products, your entire multi-audio system won’t be able to use new features released in the coming months. Legacy products include the original Zone Players, Connect, and Connect:Amp, first-generation Play:5, CR200, and Bridge.
Update, 1/23: Sonos published a new blog post today to offer clarification to the upcoming changes. The company made it clear that while legacy products wouldn’t receive new features, they would continue work and receive patches to address bugs and other issues.
Sonos also confirmed that it is working on a way to split legacy products out of a system with newer products. That will allow the newer Sonos speakers to take advantage of new features. The company didn’t provide a timeline yet. While the tone of the update is conciliatory, it’s worth noting that Sonos isn’t changing its plans to stop providing new features for Legacy devices.
The original report is left intact below.
Most of the affected devices are over a decade old, so the company’s reasoning for cutting support isn’t surprising—the hardware is too old to support new features. Technology moves fast, and often “powerful hardware” from just five years ago seems pitifully weak compared to what you can buy now.
Still, for some Sonos fans, the move may still come as a surprise. While Sonos launched the Connect, and Connect:Amp in 2006, the company continued to sell it until 2015. That equipment might feel newer than its release date.
The good news is that Sonos did say that legacy products will continue to work if you choose to keep them. However, the company’s FAQ does warn that if you use legacy products and new Sonos products, you’ll miss out on new features even on your latest hardware. It’s an all or nothing scenario.
But according to The Verge, the company promised to introduce a feature to “split” the legacy products away so your newer hardware can take advantage of new features, so you may want to keep an eye out for that if you plan to keep your legacy products.
Sonos does offer a trade-up program that will net you a 30 percent discount on newer hardware. But as Engadget points out, the process requires you to place your Sonos hardware into a “recycle mode” that effectively bricks the hardware, leaving recyclers no choice but to strip the equipment for parts.
It’s not the most environmentally friendly choice, and you could always take your chances on eBay. But now that support is ending, you may find fewer buyers than you would have before.