Multiroom speakers: Sonos begins fragmentation

Sonos introduces a new operating system and a new app. The new app can no longer be used for older Sonos products. Conversely, the Sonos new releases will no longer work with the old app. The new app is called Sonos S2 by the manufacturer, the old version is called Sonos S1.

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Most of the previous Sonos products can be easily switched to S2 and will then also receive all future innovations. In January 2020, Sonos announced that some older products would no longer receive support.

The affected devices include the first generation Play 5, the Zone Player, Connect and Connect Amp of the first generation, Sonos Bridge and the CR200 display remote control. The manufacturer justified this step with the fact that older models did not have enough memory or computing power to implement future functions on them. Sonos partially withdraws this decision.

S1 system for users with older devices

Older products will not get any new functions, but security patches and bug fixes will continue to be available. In early March 2020, Sonos abandoned the controversial recycling mode. This means that anyone who owns old devices for which there is no longer any full support can buy new Sonos devices at a discount of 30 percent without having to make the old devices unusable.

If you want to continue using the older devices, you can use them with new devices by not bringing a Sonos product to the S2 platform. But this only works if none of the new launches like Sonos Arc, Sonos Five or the new Sonos Sub are in use that can no longer be used with the S1 app.

Otherwise, the S1 app can be used so that the Sonos ecosystem can be used as before. However, the newer devices will then only receive error corrections and security patches. There will be no new functions for the S1 platform. In future, all new functions will only be made available for the S2 platform. Sonos wants to work with all partners to make the music and voice services work as long as possible.

With the introduction of the second app, it is possible to operate the previous S1 system in parallel with an S2 system if required. Although this leads to functional restrictions, it does not necessarily mean that you have to dispose of the older devices. It will not be possible to group speakers from an S1 system with products from an S2 system.

No common names for the Sonos apps

Sonos offers both the Play Store and the App Store the new version of the Sonos app, but has actually given each app a slightly different name. With a manual search in the two stores, the new version is currently difficult to find; above all, the old version is displayed as the search result.

In the Android world, the old Sonos app is still called Sonos controller and the new version is called Sonos for Android. In the App Store, the previous app is called Sonos S1 controller and the new version has the simple title Sonos without a reference to the S2 as the version number in the description.

Further Details on the two Sonos apps the manufacturer offers in a support article.

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