Sonos isn’t bricking old speakers anymore – but you can say goodbye to updates for them.
Today Sonos revealed details surrounding its multi-room home audio strategy going forward. The smart speaker manufacturer drew heavy criticism when a recycling center employee highlighted its practices. Sonos was not recycling the speakers from its recycling program – they were bricked and sent to landfills.
After heavy criticism, the Sonos CEO announced it would be retooling its current recycling program. Now the company is ready to detail a new app and operating system called Sonos S2.
Many current Sonos products will run Sonos S2, but older hardware will not. One of the main benefits is Sonos S2 will allow for higher-resolution audio. Right now, Sonos systems are limited to CD-quality lossless audio. Revamped software enables Sonos to compete with Amazon’s push into the niche, but growing high-fidelity music market.
Sonos S2 also paves the way for Dolby Atmos home theater sound in future Sonos speakers.
Sonos says several improvements are on the way with the update. An improved room group functionality is coming in June, along with “more connected and personal experiences.” Sonos hasn’t shared any details on what those might be. Home automation is one educated guess, where playlists can be pinned to rooms in your home.
Sonos also says it will continue to support Alexa and Google Assistant with its new operating system. That’s a surprise, given that Sonos has become somewhat adversarial to Big Tech. Rumors suggest Sonos may be working on its own voice assistant in the future, which S2 is already built to utilize.
Legacy devices will no longer receive new features after May. Sonos says they lack the necessary processing power for features it has planned. These legacy products will still receive bug fixes and security patches – just no new features.