Apologies if this is a duplicate post (I looked about 15 minutes ago and didn’t see anything), but I just received an email from Sonos about this and thought I’d post it here… Products affected include Connect (ZP90), Connect:Amp, Play:5 (Gen 1), and Bridge. Though I primarily use Roon now with my better quality playback gear, I do still have some Sonos zones around here that I enjoy using (garage, kitchen, study). Hopefully Roon will continue to support streaming to these now-ancient Sonos devices!
Their blog post is here:
If Roon works on them now, then it should continue to work on them. However, as I understand, if you choose to “trade them in” they will be remotely bricked and unusable.
I am not a Roon user yet and interested in this as I also received the SONOS notice and I have 6 units around the house and don’t want to replace them all. So interested in if this will work for the foreseeable future.
I don’t have any inside info (like you, I’m just an end-user), but my take is that the Sonos gear will continue to work, per Sonos, for the ‘foreseeable’ future. And as @Rugby mentioned above, Roon => Sonos functionality should continue to work as well. Who knows, the Roon => Sonos connection may even offer the older Sonos gear a longer useful life than directly from Sonos! Of course, this is anyone’s guess – no guarantees.
In my case, I’ve already transitioned three of my six Sonos zones to Roon, with a Roon Nucleus now directly driving my old-but-still-fine Peachtree Audio (24/192 USB input) DAC, with two other Sonos Connect boxes now replaced by a pair of Sonore microRendu units, streamed-to via Ethernet from the Nucleus, and driving their respective DACs and systems (which were already in place, but previously had been driven via S/PDIF (coax) from the Sonos pieces, but now using USB inputs on those same DACs).
I’m not too concerned about the Sonos legacy gear’s lifespan at this point, especially as a Roon user, but thought I’d post the info received from Sonos earlier today, in case of others trying to make informed purchasing decisions about new equipment.
If your Sonos gear works now, it obviously doesn’t need any more updates or new features.
SONOS is publically traded. They want/need to up their financial game. What better way than “obsoleting” old units. Although Roon may not be effected, they could (do something like) make legacy units not use forthcoming mudic services. We have SONOS in 9 rooms, each of the 4 kids have SONOS in their homes, and we have SONOS throughout our office. I have never used SONOS with Roon, but I am not fond of their obsoleting equipment. Indeed, any new units will not update with legacy units in the system.
I guess it may not even be possible to add new units if legacy units are stuck on an older version of software.
I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. Suppose Tidal make changes to their servers that cause the stream to become unstable on older Sonos devices? Or it could be Qobuz, Soundcloud, an internet radio station, or any other service. That might be resolved behind the scenes between Sonos and the provider, and this can be time consuming, especially if you have a long list of supported services, as Sonos have. One of the reasons for releasing new hardware is so that it can run current services effectively, and keeping the full range of services running on old hardware can become increasingly difficult, or even impossible.
I believe you can add new units, but they will function as though they are legacy units…to wit, no updates.
Obviously, it something else changes so that your Sonos does not work with the new whatever it is, that’s a different situation. I guess you can either maintain your system as is or replace everything that no longer works. I don’t think manufactures are under any obligation to maintain legacy systems indefinitely.
It will be interesting to see what happens after they stop getting updated.
If the Sonos app stops working with them but they still function as dumb end points with Roon I will be moderately happier.
There is one Sonos only integration that I will miss - Mixcloud. Is there any way to integrate this into Roon? Eg does Roon support 3rd party integrations?
And with what @Jim_F says in mind, I will be looking for a way to send music throughout my house using my computer, and other less expensive outboard devices, as SONOS charged IMO quite a bit for these things. To me, they were music devices, not laptops or cell phones. I have come to understand the issue, but again, with that in mind, I will be looking for a different solution. An alternative to the Connect/now Port, that can be used as an end point, as my old legacy stuff fails. And it will be a must that these units can handle high res. And a couple stand alone end point speakers. High res will be less important there but would be nice. And thinking Roon MAY be the thing to drive all that. As SONOS will not be supporting high res, no way I am sinking more money into replacing my current legacy editions with new models that also do not support high res.
I had considered Bluesound Node 2i’s. Hoping some viable competitors come out and make the pricing more competitive. All I really need is high res endpoints.
rPi3B+ or rPi4 with DIGI hats running Roipee will do the trick then.
Ok, that is completely greek to me, but I will learn.
You can assemble your own high resolution endpoint by using a Raspberry Pi 3 or Pi 4 and a DAC that goes on top. Then download the free RoPieee program and burn to a micro SD card to insert into the Raspberry Pi. All of this for around $100. You can purchase what you need from Amazon.
I just did one for a headphone endpoint and spent $74. I didn’t need a DAC because I used my Dragonfly Cobalt instead.
And you can do it in about 30 minutes or less.
Sonos have supported these old devices for quite some time after introduction, so fair play to them. You can’t keep adding new features to old hardware which was built down to a low price in the first place.
Many companies are much more aggressive when it comes to stopping support. Google I think only guarantee updates for 3 years after introduction of a new phone. Apple aren’t much better.
If you have a computer with Win 95 (or even one with DOS 3.1), it will continue to run as it has. It and Win 97, Win2k and Win 7 will all run apps that it did when in production.
I have an early iPad that cannot be updated, but it runs as it did when purchased.
There was, I felt, an ominous note in the SONOS announcement that they do not assure owners that their current units will continue to operate as they do now (but without future updates).
SONOS does have the ability to shut down units which it does when you “trade” in a unit.
(I do not use SONOS personally for ROON function. I use it only to play Pandora as background music in five homes (incl. children) and the office. )
Regardless of the past longevity, it appears a bit manipulative to cease to let a device function as it always has. Then again, perhaps that is not their intent.
It certainly was their intent when a software update rendered the CR100 dedicated controller literally unusable. While it is possible to avoid updating Sonos software in the short term, it becomes quite difficult in the longer term and (in my experience at least) pretty much impossible if you need to add devices to the system.
The CR100 overlapped with the use of mobile devices to serve the same purpose and the CR100, I suspect, was not a big seller.
My concern is that after going public, they have not inspired investors (in contrast to ROKU for example).
So if this new “it will not longer take updates and may, in the future, no longer work at all” is a means of increasing quarter profits and projections. If the latter is true, then the past consumer is left unportected/unsupported.
I have a 2003 Dell desktop that is on Win98. I use it for one application. It is not on the internet or wifi. It does not have USB devices. It is a legacy machine that works flawlessly for its sole task. I would prefer that all these SONOS devices will go on indefinitely playing Pandora, their sole purpose.
In either case, thank you for the discussion. They will decide our future.