Earlier this year, Sonos’ announcements about their plans for their legacy speakers got heavily criticized forcing them to retract their initial plans. But now they’re releasing an updated controller app and the Sonos S2, a new OS for their multi-room speaker system. The bad news is that older Sonos speakers will not be able to run the new software. The good news is that you’ll still be able to use those speakers, but they’ll be running on a different OS which is being renamed Sonos S1.
Sonos has six legacy products that will not be able to run the Sonos S2: Zone Players, Connect, Connect:Amp, Play:5 (1st Gen), CR200, and Bridge. Instead, their current controller app will be updated and will be called Sonos S1. They will still be able to work together with all the other existing, pre-S2 devices. But you will not be able anymore to add new S2 speakers to your multi-room network.
So your choice would be to still stick with your current system or to upgrade to newer devices. The Sonos S1 devices can still be used separately from the newer speakers and they’ll be in a different group. This is still better than the previous plans to brick the legacy devices and have users just trade them in for newer ones. There aren’t any specific numbers as to how many old speakers there are but it was enough to cause an uproar with their original plan.
As for those that will be transitioned to S2, the speakers themselves will have to be upgraded before you can get the updated controller app to work. All upcoming new speakers, including the previously announced Arc, Sonos Five, and the 3rd generation Sonos Sub, will be running the S2 upon release. There will be more streamlined controls for the multi-zone playback, new grouping options, and later on, increased personalization.
Before you upgrade to Sonos S2, you’ll have to run the latest S1 software so don’t just delete the old controller app until you’ve seen the newest update. Upgrading the speakers will take some time probably so make sure you’re not in a hurry to use the speakers immediately.