Sonos warns customers that their older speakers will shortly be e-waste

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These smart speakers don’t look so smart now.


What updates do speakers need anyhow?



Seriously. The only connection that speakers need is the one to the amp.


Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It’s about to be screwed for… reasons


Amen to that!

With new plugs/connectors, I bet you could still use them.


The ones to the DRM to keep them operating.


Hm. They went public a couple of years ago, but the stock seems to be under-performing, trading below the IPO price.

If some founders wanted to cash out some Fuck You money, they might be wanting to boost that trading price by temporarily increasing the profits (by burning goodwill) to get there.

i.e. a lot of customers will be buying new equipment, increasing sales, but losing a lot of loyal customers in the process.

(Total pre-coffee speculation on my part.)


Even if we grant(and I’m not sure that we should; perhaps their are cases with products old enough to be using wireless links that don’t interact well with contemporary wifi or the like) that “future innovation” is a think that needs to happen to speakers this seems like a compelling argument for the speaker-equivalent of telling your ‘smart’ TV to shut up and leave the thinking to an attached device.

Short of outright abuse or extensive degradation of cone material speakers themselves last forever; and non-tube audio amplifiers about the same(with tube ones generally amenable to service when their tubes die).

If hardware must be replaced it really ought to be confined either to a little box with a line-level audio out; or a little board that pops into the speaker chassis if you must have that extra level of sleek.


Stuff like this is why I don’t buy things that require a connection to someone else’s server to function.


See you’re not thinking of the shareholders, won’t somebody please think of the shareholders? If the don’t get 4% growth each quarter they might take all the jobs and go home. (/S, right up to the point where they asset strip the company and run it into the ground)


It’s not clear that burning their existing customers is going to help in more than the very short term; but I suspect that Sonos is feeling the icy breath of mortality on the back of its neck.

By all accounts they were early(and good) at non-dodgy multi-room audio that you could do without a ton of cable pulling or a system integrator: their wireless backhaul mesh stuff was well behaved and managed to keep everything nice and sunchronized; attractive properties for someone with some cash to put into their stereo installation but not necessarily the inclination to run wires everywhere or rip the house apart.

Now, though, you’ve got the ubiquitous Bluetooth brick +dmartphone/laptop on the low end; not nearly as good but competent enough at bringing the audio where the action is for a pittance. On the higher end you have more Sonos-alike products from Apple and Google; which feature see degree of polish(and at least in Apple’s case are unlikely to exhibit less over time); and are also tied to music streaming services/stores, lines of smartphones and tablets, ‘voice assistants’, stabs at home automation, etc.

It’s not entirely clear how much value some of those things add; but unless the vendors push them so hard that they compromise the core sonos-alike capabilities you have a situation where the competition duplicates your features and has the potential to add new ones in a way that you do not.

Apple seems more likely to come up with something actually desirable; while Google and Amazon are more likely to go down the cheaper-than-Sonos-because-voice-assistant route; but either outcome is both bad for Sonos and an explanation of why they appear hell-bent on ramming in new features that require more hardware punch than the old hardware can handle.

The results of a rushed me-too ‘app store’ are likely to be grim; but fear makes you do stupid things…


I certainly don’t care about the shareholders and much as they do about themselves; but I’d consider “remember that after you burn your reputation there’s a lot less separating you from the guys pumping out good-enough takes on your technology at margins only a Pacific Rim ODM could stomach” to be good faith advice for the good of the shareholders.

It may not always be possible to survive commodification; but it definitely isn’t going to happen if buying from you isn’t something that people even want to do if they can avoid it.


I recently bought a Sonos speaker. Bose had screwed me by having a non-replaceable battery, which, when it died, turned the little unit into a paperweight… I wanted a speaker that didn’t have any battery. I also liked this particular Sonos because it didn’t have a microphone. I thought I had said good-bye to nonsense.

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I like my Sonos setup but I won’t be expanding it any more now.


This (and terrible overall security) is why I avoid IoT crap. You don’t own it, some company that gives no shits about you does.

I used to get excited about the possibilities of network connected devices, but the way it’s all turned out is extremely disappointing. If the manufacturer can unilaterally shut down equipment I’ve paid good money for, I’ll take a pass.


so, so tired


To be fair, a Sonos speaker isn’t the same as your uncle’s speaker. Even calling it, or other smart speakers, a “speaker” is misleading. It’s more like a source computer, amplifier, and speaker. If you inherited all of those components and they all still worked, that would be impressive.

Looking at that 3 part package. I would bet the speaker part could last just as long and the amplifier part probably almost as long. It’s the source computer that’s the issue. Since this source depends on some technical thing that’s changing and goes in and out of support as older clients come and go, it’s not likely to last as long.

Are the changes bricking old devices or just stopping support and if you never update clients can you continue to use them?

Which could still be an issue if you update a client that will not work with them anymore. An issue for anything that depends on a smartphone for it’s interface.

An argument can be made that it would be nice if the three parts could be separated and each have it’s own life cycle. If they cost thousands of dollars, they probably would be. But, in the hundreds, the extra cost probably doesn’t compete well. At this price, it’s hard to market “lifetime cost is cheaper” vs “initial cost is cheaper” and make the sale. The same issue with every single battery device that isn’t user replaceable.

An argument can also be made if it’s been long enough to discontinue support for the computer part or not. Which also relates to if it’s broken now, or simply no longer updated.

None of that means people like it. We all always want stuff to work longer, forever, for no more cost. :slight_smile:


I agree! Love the Sonos app and all, but not including a simple “line in” is a dick move on any powered speaker.


Am I the only one impressed that Sonos has provided 9-15 years of support for their speakers? That is pretty damn good in this day and age.

These things are 1/2 speaker and 1/2 computer, and this support time beats the pants out of any smartphone and even most (maybe all, I don’t keep up anymore) Mac ‘real’ computers.