Not surprisingly Sonos has a new app and OS on its way for June. On the heels a clumsy effort to get people off legacy products and ready to use an inevitable new platform, Sonos has laid out its multiroom home audio future. It revolves around a new app and OS called Sonos S2 that will run on many current Sonos products and be the foundation for all of the company’s future devices. Sonos S2 will be released in June and power “the next generation” of Sonos products and experiences. But it also represents the fork in the road where older, legacy hardware will be left behind and stop receiving new features.
Switching to a new OS will result in expanded capabilities, according to Sonos. Sonos S2 will allow for higher-resolution audio, whereas, right now, the company’s speakers are limited to CD-quality lossless audio. The revamped software may finally result in Sonos adopting Dolby Atmos for home theater sound..
Sonos 2 promises improved room groups functionality and “more connected and personal experiences,” according to the company.
The company had said already that some legacy devices will no longer receive new features as of May since they lack the necessary processing power, though they’ll still get bug fixes and security patches. “We will work with our partners to keep your music and voice services working for as long as we can,” Sonos reiterated today. The company posted this FAQ on the transition.
Once the app is released you’ll only be able to use legacy products with the old Sonos app. When that happens, there will be two Sonos apps on both Android and iOS: the current app will be renamed as Sonos S1 Controller. (To consumers, the newer S2 app will simply be called “Sonos.”) Legacy products will remain on S1, and modern Sonos gear will make the upgrade to S2.
Legacy products include: the original Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect / Connect:Amp devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015. All other products are considered modern, and will be upgraded to Sonos S2, and will continue to get software updates after May.
Sonos has presented options for people who still want to hang onto legacy products:
1) Remove the S1-only products from your system. With only S2 compatible products remaining, you’ll be ready to download the new Sonos app in June.
2) Trade up S1-only products to their S2 compatible equivalents. For customers who choose this option, we continue to offer a 30 percent discount as part of our Trade Up program.
3) Run your existing system on the S1 app. You’ll still get bug fixes and security patches, and we will work with our partners to keep your music and voice services working for as long as we can.
4) Separate your system into two. We’ll publish detailed instructions for how to do this nearer the time. Unfortunately, it won’t be possible to group an S1 system with an S2 system.
Note that if.you go with #3, your modern Sonos devices will no longer receive new features — even if they’re fully capable of supporting them — since the oldest device in your system determines what software runs across the entire thing.
S2 will ship on all new products it releases after May. The company’s most recent product are tthe Sonos Move, Sonosl One SL speaker and the Sonos Port.
The Verge reports that Sonos will continue to support Alexa and Google Assistant with S2, but considering how contentious its relationship with Amazon and Google has become, you’ve got to figure that the company is charting out its own voice assistant future,