'Smart' and built in obsolescence (Sonos)

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  1. #1

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    'Smart' and built in obsolescence (Sonos)

    A reminder that anything you buy which relies on 'smart' internet connectivity isn't a purchase for the long run. According to the article, some of the devices being depreciated here are from 2015, and as it stands your whole Sonos network stops working if they're still connected (looks like Sonos is working on a way to not disable all the newer devices too)

    https://arstechnica.com/information-...purring-storm/


  2. #2

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    Owners of an affected product basically have two options. Either they can take advantage of Sonos' "Trade Up" program to snag a discount on new Sonos stuff, or they can keep using their old product with the understanding that inevitably, certain functions will simply begin to fail over some long, unspecified period of time.
    Sounds like humans... I expect to fall over and die in some amount of time.

    Am I missing something? Its not like they're remotely switching speakers off...

  3. #3

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    The article is a bit vague, but looks like there are two direct problems:

    Firstly that some functions will simply stop working over the. Article doesn't say what, and as I don't have a Sonos system, I couldn't guess.

    Secondly, newer devices won't update with an obsolete device on the network. Looks like Sonos is fixing this, but it's such a weird and unexpected problem to crop up in th first place.

    Traditionally, good audio equipment should last decades easily. If I had the space, I'd be running audio gear from the 70s. After a couple of decades, capacitors might start to bulge, but these are replaceable with a soldering iron. The gear that currently have, which is modest, should last me the rest of my life. I won't have to worry about replacements or upgrades, which I personally find relaxing. Versus, say, buying a computer which I think about how many years it will last in its primary role before having to fold into some secondary role.

    Sonos to me isn't so much dedicated audio gear, it's convenience lifestyle gear that happens to play music. Which is fine, but from some of the negative reactions to the products going end of life, it looks like some purchasers don't realise what they're trading off against.

    Edit: I should add that I'm not against what Sonos is doing at all, I think five years is totally reasonable for this kind of product.

    Last edited by jgl; 23-01-2020 at 09:07 PM.

  4. #4

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    I've had some of my Sonos gear for 10 years plus now. 10 devices in all and it all still works just fine.... I'm mainly curious as to what these new features are which the old hardware can't support... If they justify an upgrade then fine, but I'm unconvinced that anything dramatic is going to happen in the music streaming service world in the next 5 years at least. Too many people still listening on slow data connections so it's not like the slow bitrates are going to be switched off by Spotify etc.

    Meanwhile their "recycling" plan where they remotely turn your device into a brick in return for a 30 percent discount on a new speaker seems pretty criminally wasteful to me.


  5. #5

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    Criminally wasteful indeed, like Europe forcing (or trying to) mobile phone operators to use only 1 type of charging socket to prevent vast amounts of totally unnecessary electrical waste. In this world of ever increasing climate and environmental stress, all sorts of material wastage (and the manufactures who induce it) should be stamped on hard.


  6. #6

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    Just got a 1979 Sansui amp and some old speakers. No one listening in or controlling it except for me and I'm loving it.


  7. #7

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    I wonder if the 'smart' can be separated out to extend the life of the 'speaker' part. Could you achieve the same thing by hooking up nicer speakers to something like an Echo Dot?

    I believe the Dot has a speaker out.