Sonos recycled their recycle mode

isotopp image Kristian Köhntopp -
March 6, 2020
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So I wrote about the Sonos Recycle Program before Sonos announced their plans to actively discontinue support for their older Speakers. Back then, the program did make sense, because it was kind of voluntary and avoided sending stuff back to Sonos for a Trade-Up. Even then, people disliked it.

Then Sonos announced that they would discontinue support for these devices and it’s basically ‘you brick them now, or we are going to brick them for you in May and without a rebate for new equipment’.

Today, Sonos announced that they will recycle Recycle Mode , that is, they will allow you to “trade up” for newer devices, but the old ones will still work.

But that does not answer the actual question

Or won’t. From the article:

That said, it’s worth noting that Sonos hasn’t changed its plans to stop updating those legacy products come May. As a reminder, they’ll work as they do now but won’t receive new features or software updates going forward. But if you have some of those products and are ready for new gear, you can get a discount and still keep them working as long as possible.

So everything is still unclear.

That is, there will be no updates for any Play:5 (1st gen) devices, for the Connect:Amp and the Connect any more. We know that.

But it is unclear if these older devices will still work together with updated devices in the same network, and if you still will be able to group them. It would be a big loss of functionality if that does not work any more.

It is unclear, if “No Updates” means “No functional updates” or if they will effectively brick themselves when Streaming Service APIs change, a root certificate rollover has to be implemented or similar maintenance software changes are necessary.

What is Sonos focus?

Meanwhile, while Sonos is trying to play in the Home Voice Gadget market, their Sound Experience is increasingly looking long in the tooth. I mean, the actual sound the things make is pretty nice, but getting signals into Sonos Systems is somewhat ugly. I now have a Bluetooth Speaker (Non-Sonos) attached to my Windows Steam Machine, because I can’t Wi-Fi my “Elite: Dangerous” to my Sonos easily. How about the Desktop App being a Sound Source for the Speakers? Right, can’t do that unless the source is a Mac and the target is… the only IKEA speaker in my home. That’s pretty lame.

Windows System Output can’t be used as a Sound Source for Sonos. And Airplay does not work to most of my speakers, because they are “too old” and the new Sonos equipment does not relay to the old equipment.

Meanwhile I have to use the clunky Sonos App for my “Youtube Music” subscription on my phone, because while I can chromecast my Google Music to Sonos, for some reason Youtube Music can’t do that. Again, a problem with sourcing the stream.

The company seems to be obsessed with Home Assistants, when it should be obsessed about Sound.

So, yeah. What am I going to do? I don’t know. At this point, I will wait and see - I have halted all spending on them for this year, and if I am ever going to push money into the Sonos equipment at all any more, it’s probably going to IKEA. At least that are somewhat controllable sums for equipment with whatr is now an officially limited lifetime. Well, it was nice while it lasted.