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Sonos announces new Sonos S2 Hi-Res Audio Compatible Operating System with new Apps and Hardware

At Sonos Inc. a significant generational change has been announced. It is announced that a new operating system, Sonos S2, will be introduced in June 2020, and new controller apps will be available. By the end of May 2020, Sonos Inc. is expected to introduce new products powered exclusively by Sonos S2 and the new apps.

Sonos Inc. was once considered the clear market leader in the field of multiroom audio streaming systems, a position that was clearly lost in recent years, not least due to many a bad decision and a sometimes completely wrong assessment of the market. Not only did one competitor after the other appear on the scene, but their solutions were and are all clearly superior to those from Sonos Inc. from a technological point of view, and thus also in many cases in terms of function and quality. Sonos itself has so far not responded to this development, or has only made improvements in details, but these have not really made up for the shortfall.

However, Sonos Inc. is now also announcing a generational change, and the initial information that has now been released is of a more general nature. Sonos Inc. announces that a new operating system, Sonos S2, will be released in June 2020, along with new apps. The new operating system, along with new apps, is designed to perfectly support the next generation of Sonos Inc. products. These new products are expected to be available by the end of May 2020, when they will be able to run exclusively on Sonos S2.

Sonos Inc. promises to provide customers with the best listening experience with the new Sonos S2 software and apps. The focus will be on greater personalization and support for “higher-resolution audio formats” for music and home theater. What this means in concrete terms is not yet clear, but it’s clear that Sonos Inc. is moving away from a long-propagated philosophy. For years, Sonos Inc. has claimed that customers simply don’t need Hi-res Audio, which is one of the reasons why all other similar solutions have been and continue to be superior to the Sonos Inc. system.

In any case, Sonos Inc. is now reporting that the latest generation of solutions have improved audio bandwidth, as well as improved usability, making access to music and all content even easier.

For existing customers, this means they’ll have to go back to the way they were using their existing systems. An upgrade will probably not be possible, at least for “older” models, according to the manufacturer, without becoming concrete. Some older models do not have enough memory or processing power to be compatible with the new Sonos S2 operating system version, according to Sonos Inc. Such devices will be controlled by the then old Sonos app, which will be listed as the Sonos S1 Controller in Apple and Google’s App Stores.

The latest generation, however, will simply be called the Sonos Controller and will be available in June 2020 for the launch of new solutions based on the new generation software.

Sonos Inc. has a number of scenarios that differ depending on which systems are used in a multi-room audio streaming network.

If you have only S1-compatible equipment, everything will remain as it is. Customers can continue to use all functions via the previously available apps in the usual way, but not new features. Nevertheless, they will be offered bug fixes and security patches. Sonos Inc. will also continue to work with partners around voice control and music services to support S1-compatible solutions. How long this will be guaranteed is of course completely open…

If you’re starting from scratch and are only using solutions compatible with Sonos S2, this new operating system is scheduled to be available in June 2020, with an automatic update. According to Sonos Inc. everything is ready for future features…

For a configuration consisting of a product mix, the following options are available:

Of course, according to Sonos Inc., you can remove all S1 products from the system, so you can only use S2-compatible solutions. If you want to trade-in your S1 products for new ones, Sonos Inc. is offering a 30 percent discount on all new solutions as part of a trade-up program.

This allows you to keep your existing generation of solutions that can’t be upgraded with Sonos S2 software and the latest generation of products separate. Grouping an S1 system with an S2 system will not be possible. However, Sonos Inc. plans to release details shortly.

Getting to the point

It’s been a long time since Sonos Inc. has been a leader in multiroom audio streaming solutions. Heos built-in systems from Denon and Marantz, Yamaha MusicCast, BluOS from the Lenbrook Group, all of these solutions have long since left the former industry leader behind, providing modern, flexible, very convenient solutions. But before Sonos Inc. sinks into insignificance, they want to change course and present new products in May 2020 and the new operating system version Sonos 2 with new apps in June 2020. Many details are not yet known about this, but so far there is only talk of more personalization and higher resolution audio formats for music and home cinema.

Manufacturer:Sonos Inc.
Distribution:Sonos Inc.
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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