New Sonos OS Will Enable Hi-Res Audio, New Features

Wireless speaker pioneer Sonos has announced plans to a release a new operating system (OS) and app in June that will enable hi-res audio and other new features on all but a handful of its oldest products.

Details were scant, but the forthcoming Sonos S2 OS update will bring “usability updates and more personalization” in addition to an unspecified level of high-resolution sound.

The company said most of its products will be compatible with the new OS but noted that to download the new app, all products in a system must support S2.

Sonos owners will receive a notification in June when the S2 app is available for download; existing speaker settings and preferences will update automatically.

“Some of our oldest products, previously referred to as ‘legacy’ products, will not support the advances of S2 due to their memory and processing power,” Sonos said in a statement.

To avoid another misstep like the faux pas in January that prompted a public apology by CE Patrick Spence, Sonos was careful to point that owners of older products “can continue to use your system as you do today.”

S2-compatible Sonos products include Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 (Gen 2), Playbase, Playbar, Connect (Gen 2), Connect:Amp (Gen 2), One (Gen 1), One (Gen 2), One SL, Beam, Amp, Port, Boost, Symfonisk, Move, Sub (Gen 1), and Sub (Gen 2).

The following older products will not be compatible with S2: Zone Players, CR200, Bridge, Connect (Gen 1), Connect:Amp (Gen 1), and Play:5 (Gen 1).

Owners of wireless systems that include a mix of old and new Sonos speakers will have the option of not updating to the new S2 operating system so they can keep using the system as is they do now. The current app will be renamed the Sonos S1 Controller and continue working with existing music and voice services.

While the S1 Controller will not include any of the new features enabled by S2, it will continue to receive bug fixes and security patches. Products released after May 2020 will not be compatible with the S1 Controller app.

Owners of old and new Sonos speakers will also have the option to create two separate, incompatible systems: one with products that are S2-compatible and one with products that are not.

Sonos reiterated that owners of older non-S2-compatible products can opt to upgrade to new compatible speakers through the company’s ongoing Trade Up program, which offers a 30% discount.

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