Sonos has promised its legacy products will continue to work for “as long as possible” despite them no longer receiving software updates.
Last week the smart speakers company announced it would stop providing software updates for some of its oldest products from May.
Affected products included all Sonos Zone Players, the Connect and Connect:Amp, first generation Play:5, the CR200 controller and the Bridge.
“Without new software updates, access to services and overall functionality of your sound system will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their technology,” the company said in a statement.
This was happening because, Sonos said, these products have been “stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power”.
The announcement was met with outrage from many Sonos customers, with some even calling for a boycott of the company.
Concerns surrounded fears the expensive speakers would soon be unusable, and that the company was deliberately trying to get people to buy newer versions of the products.
Following the backlash, Sonos chief executive Patrick Spence apologised for the announcement and promised that support for the old speakers would continue in the future.
“We heard you. We did not get this right from the start,” Spence said. “My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward.”
He did not however backtrack from the main announcement, saying that while the legacy products would still get fixes for bugs and security patches, they won’t get software updates.
“We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence and we are not taking anything away,” Spence said. “Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intended to honour that investment for as long as possible.”
“If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.”
There was also an issue around legacy speakers that may be connected to newer products in a home, with concern that this would prevent both devices from being updated.
Sonos is now working on a fix for this that will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
“We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state,” Spence said.
“We’re finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.”
Customers with the impacted legacy products have also been offered a 30 per cent discount towards a newer Sonos product if they recycle the old ones.
“While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so,” Spence said.
“That’s the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.”
Sonos prides itself on the long lifespan of its products, claiming that 92 per cent of its products ever sold are still in use today.
“I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust,” Spence said.
“Without you, Sonos wouldn’t exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.”