Older Sonos speakers will stop receiving updates in May, so here's what you should do

Key Points
  • Some old Sonos speakers will stop receiving updates in May, including the Play:5 released in 2009.
  • Speaker systems that use older models will be stuck on older software.
  • Here's what to do if you have multiple Sonos speakers in your house, including older models.
Patrick Spence, president and CEO of Sonos, speaks during a Bloomberg Technology Television interview in San Francisco on Feb. 11, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Older Sonos speakers will stop receiving software updates, including new features, in May, the company said this week. This includes popular products like the first-generation Play:5 speaker, launched in 2009, and earlier devices.

Sonos said it's retiring the old products because "they have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power."

It may affect a lot of people. Sonos said 92% of the products it has ever shipped are still in use. That means someone who has multiple speakers around their home, including newer and older products, will still be affected. A system that has older speakers in it, like the Play:5, won't get updates with new features, even if there are newer speakers being used.

Sonos said people who own the older products can keep using the older speaker in their system, but the new speakers won't receive updates either. A spokesperson told CNBC this is because all speakers on run on the same software, so an older one will lag the system behind if it's still in use.

Sonos told CNBC in May it will launch a way for customers to segment the older products into a separate speaker group, which won't receive updates, while another group of newer products will continue to get new software.

Finally, Sonos said it will offer customers who own its older products a 30% discount toward any new product. If someone takes that deal, the old speaker will go into recycle mode and will remove all personal information. Customers can then send it back to Sonos (it will pay for shipping) for recycling or drop it off at any electronics recycling center.

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