Sonos CEO Issues a Half-Baked Apology, Continues Bricking Old Speakers and Sending Them to Landfills

Sonos CEO
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Sonos CEO
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Photo Credit: Sonos

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has publicly apologized for confusion around Sonos’ smart speaker plans.

The company announced that older hardware would stop getting software updates in May. Those devices will continue to function, but any new equipment in systems with old devices will not receive updates. Sonos is working on a solution to address that problem, but many people are angry.

“We heard you,” the letter starts. “We did not get this right from the start. Come May; when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work as they do today. We are not bricking them; we are not forcing them into obsolescence, we are not taking anything away,” he continues.

Spence says that legacy products will no longer get new software features. However, he says the company will continue keeping them updated with bug fixes and security patches ‘for as long as possible.’

Sonos’ legacy products include the original Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect / Connect:Amp devices earlier than 2015.

The letter from the Sonos CEO doesn’t retract anything that the company announced last week. It just clarifies some points of how the system will work.

Sonos still offers its terrible Trade-Up program, in which old speakers are bricked on their servers before being sent to landfills. Sonos admitted that 92% of its devices are still in use, which is terrible for selling new speakers to old customers.

Those wanting to avoid the headache of maintaining two entertainment systems are being offered 30% off new Sonos speakers. Old speakers must be put into recycle mode, which bricks the device. Technically, it’s a choice the customer makes and not one that is being forced by Sonos directly.

“I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep and let us earn back your trust,” Spence writes, not addressing the actual problem people have at all. If you participate in the Trade-Up program, your old devices still end up in the same landfill.

But at least you got an apology for it, right?