I bought 8 Polk Audio speakers for $45 each plus a couple hundred feet of speaker cable from Monoprice and an 8 channel amplifier off Amazon which takes audio in from my receiver, which supports Chromecast and AirPlay.
I had the opportunity to do this because the ceilings were already ripped down to redo lighting.
The installers asked why I wasn’t going with Sonos and I said why would I replace a device which is literally impossible to become obsolete, requires zero configuration, and is almost impossible to break with a device which will maybe last 5 years if I’m lucky and requires configuration, software updates, and license agreements?
I get it if you have absolutely no way to run the wires then a WiFi system maybe almost makes sense. Otherwise how can you beat hard-wired speakers and a dumb 8-channel amp?
I really like some of the features of Sonos, but when doing 38 speakers and 20+ zones the cost is pretty high.
(Build thread here for reference: https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=409988)
I can imagine you would want to play the same music through the house when you have a big party. Other than that I don’t see much of need. You can simply have a sound system in each room so each family member can its own music , or carry a movable device with you.
note: one of the reasons i saw a lot of this was the company i worked for acquired a structured wiring company (system in a box) that did lots of home/office AV work
The only additional cost was the slight increase in wire length due to the minor path diversion.
Its not just a holiday thing, its a friday/saturday night thing, or a Saturday/Sunday day thing, or a work from home thing, if I want some instrumental stuff, and its also going outside.
I had a receiver in my old place in my living room, and we were gifted a sonos:1, and the sheer convenience of sonos made us not use our expensive home theater set up in lieu of the $199 bookshelf speaker- and it sounded pretty darn good as well. It integrates with my music library, Pandora, sonos, and a bunch of other stuff I don't use.
I now have Sonos amps that connect to speakers in the ceiling. I am not quite as F'ed as others, but those amps are $600 a piece to upgrade, and I have 6 in the house. I really enjoy it, and its better and cheaper than a receiver in each room, and sounds great. Another benefit to Sonos is that its hidden away- the speakers are in the walls, the amps run down to a central cabinet, and in a townhouse that is not small, but still every sq ft counts, this is a big win.
It may not be for you, but I really enjoy it. This was not a pleasant email to read- especially because I don't really want anything more out of the system, particularly the amps- they need to accept a stream and play it, that's it. I bet this has to do with alexa/google assistant/siri integration that is being forced down our throats in all new devices.
The idea of a movable source device makes sense, and I suspect a very common use pattern will be playing something over airplay/airplay2 from a iphone. The zone splitting just makes it possible to have more granular control over where that sounds is going.
I debated a lot about rather to install speakers at all, but I do want to be able to have some housewide paging/notification, and I would rather have each room have stereo speakers in the ceiling ( with a corresponding sub for some locations) then rely on a desk or table held speaker.
Also, the cost of doing in wall is pretty cheap now if you are building new.
Keep in mind it is possible in 3 years I figure out I did it all wrong, but that is the fun of home building. ;)
To those who might gloss over the link to the build thread - it’s not to be missed. I’m only part of the way through but will read more after the kids are in bed.
Calling it a “house” doesn’t seen quite sufficient. This is a detailed look at the whole process from plans to excavation to build-out of a veritable fortress.
Here’s just a taste;
> Due to the design of his house, he had to install bedrock pillars. There are 55 pillars in total, and each pillar is a bit over 3 feet in diameter and goes into the ground a bit over 50 feet.
Later on, talking about low voltage design for Cat6 and fiber drops;
> I expect to have a couple of hundred drops in total including for things like cameras, sensors, and the like. I expect there is be somewhere around 10km of wire to pull give or take a few km.
EDIT: Great drone footage of it all as it goes up too. How do you like the DJI Mavic? I was thinking of getting the Mini.
I suspect we are about 8 weeks away from completion.. and I need to update that thread as I am a month behind!
For control, there are two options - You can use the app/web page/iphone/table over wireless, and/or you can also use their wall control pads that use a single Cat5 drop back to the central location. For every speaker pair in the house I ran a Cat6A to a wall box in a good place to mount that control pad. That means in every room you have a control pad for that room, but also any control pad can put any source in any zone.
I'm curious to see what I use more.. I suspect I'll end up using the app control more than anything else.. but we will see.
My Father-in-law had a house built a couple years ago. The guy that did the A/V used the same setup you are talking about (Denon A/V receiver, multi-zone audio for whole house music, IR blaster for A/V system in a cabinet in the next room, 5+1 surround).
They struggle with that system. It required a dedicated smart remote to turn on and control all the gear. But instead of a Logitech Harmony, he used some other brand that "is easier for installers to program". I had to make YouTube videos to remind myself and my FIL how to operate the system, particularly for less used configurations like playing a DVD or playing music on the deck...
I was pretty shocked, because this was basically the A/V setup I had 20 years ago...
My current setup is: Everything goes to the TV (PS4, Chromecast, soundbar), Soundbar is controlled by the TV remote using CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). Most things are controllable by the TV remote.
CEC allows the TV to tell the soundbar to adjust the volume, the Chromecast to pause or play, though that doesn't seem to work when playing DVDs on the PS4, where we use the PS4 remote. CEC can also tell the TV to change inputs, so all I have to do is start casting to the Chromecast and the TV turns on and switches to the right input, turn the PS4 on and ditto, etc...
Music in the bathroom? That's a Google Home. Music in the garage or back patio? That's a Bluetooth Jambox. Though that comes with it's own issues.
Yes, simple is good. But these days I'd call this sort of CEC setup the simpler option. I appreciate the Receiver option, but I'm reluctant to switch away from this setup. I've been wanting to build some kick ass speakers using my woodworking and electronics skills, but I can't bring myself to introduce an amp/receiver to the mix.
Aside: Does anyone know of a CEC controller for embedding into DIY soundbars? They make some that do amp+bluetooth+aux in, but I haven't found one that does HDMI in with CEC.
Kodi compiled for the RPi can be buggy, and I wouldn't recommend this setup for a novice, but it works well enough.
Anyways, I was surprised to find that Kodi on the RPi supports CEC. I was controlling it with a wireless keyboard for a month before, one day after I switched the input and absent-mindedly pressed a button on the D-pad, the RPi responded to my input. It works really well (until Kodi crashes).
This is actually what "Chromecast Audio" was, sadly now discontinued
I bought a bunch before they stopped selling and have them all over my house, attached to cheap dumb speakers
They still work for now, hopefully they will for a while
They used to be unreliable, but before I could get annoyed enough to get Sonos gear, Google seems to have fixed the problems. I have whole house audio with relatively little at risk of being EOL'ed, and individually pretty cheap to upgrade if eventually needed.
The key thing is: Audio is not a moving target. My Klipsch speakers are over 40 years old. They are connected to a McIntosh receiver I found literally on the scrap metal pile at the town dump.
This seems to be a more resilient approach than either going 1970's analog with wiring in the walls, or buying a suite of proprietary speakers with audio distribution built in. The expensive bits have an indefinite lifespan. Sonos decided to combine that with microprocessors, NICs and software that, they discover, has to have the lifespan of a PBX or airplane control panel, not a mobile phone.
since i'd vowed never to pay into the cable cartel, i watch most things via my apple tv. i just have to hit one button on the apple tv remote and the apple tv, receiver and tv come on automatically, and will switch to the right hdmi input (and tv input) if not already set. even if the apple tv is not being used, i can still use the volume buttons on it (easier, since it's radio and not infrared like the receiver remote). it's great!
Try covering the little black area at the front of the remote and you’ll see what I mean. At least in my case the volume buttons stop working.
The Sonos equivalent is something like the Sonos beam connected to the TV via CEC. AppleTV v2 is now obsolete and I think was sold until 2015, so that's pretty much the same as the Sonos policy.
But it's a fair point - for simple setups this can work fine.
Is the Yamaha experience better?
(Also, the Yamaha MusicCast speakers are exactly the same as Sonos in that they are software dependant, and pre-2015 ones don't get the update to AirPlay2. Not clear if you are talking about this or the amps though)
and to confirm the other responders, i have a set of "dumb" polk speakers connected to the receiver. for audio, i'll often just stream to the receiver over bluetooth from my mbp, iphone or ipad (so yes, i'm apple-dependent, but not in the way you meant =)
airplay works well to stream video via apple tv to the receiver (and then to the tv screen).
- The tv and cable remote are both able to turn off the off the tv, which will tell the a/v receiver to turn off
- Pressing home on the fire stick causes the tv and a/v to turn on
- The volume on the tv, cable remote, and denon remote all trigger the volume of the denon to change. The tv and cable remotes do not trigger the denon's volume's "speed up how fast it changes" on the volume (I don't like that feature, so it works out well)
Just pressing the button you would expect to work results in the expected action. I imagine adding sound multi-channel would add complexity (it, picking a channel), but that should be orthogonal to the rest of the setup, and be the same level of complexity between wired and not.
What kinds of issues did you run into?
Edit: To be clear, I'm an a/v newbie, I doubt I'd be able to offer any advice. I was just curious what issues you saw.
Mine has a built-in web server running there that serves up a status and settings site that lets you do most or all of the things you'd normally do via the remote and on-screen menus, which sometimes gets tedious.
The web server is very slow, so it is still tedious, but a "twiddle your thumbs" tediousness as opposed to "way to much remote button pressing to navigate" tediousness.
They also have some kind of much faster network access, probably still through the web server but without all the GUI stuff which is apparently where the slowness is. They've got an app on the iOS  and Google stores that uses this.
Did any of you have trouble getting ARC to work? It simply would not work for me, until I finally noticed that the Denon manual very specifically says you have to use a “Standard HDMI cable with Ethernet” or “High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet” for HDMI. I was using a regular HDMI cable. Switching to one "with Ethernet" made ARC work.
This puzzles me. Everything I've been able to find says that for the version of ARC available in 2013 it should not require a special cable. It should work with any HDMI 1.4 cable. A "with Ethernet" cable should only be required for eARC. I don't think eARC was even in the pipeline in 2013, and didn't start showing up on receivers until 2019.
I've checked some Denon manual for later models, and they also have the explicit "with Ethernet" requirement. What is going on?
I use it between my LG OLED and Denon AVX4300, and it is still a wonder to me why it takes 10-15 seconds upon start-up for sound to make it from TV to receiver.
If they don't have it listed for your receiver, a couple I know have them are AVR-1913 (Rev 8.5.0 of the protocol document) and AVR-X4000 (Rev 10.0.3).
I tried it and it worked.
echo -ne MVUP\\r | nc denon 23
The remote app on my phone is able to get a listing showing my favorite stations in the internet radio app of the receiver, and I didn't see offhand how that is done via the telnet interface, so I watched via tcpdump while the app did it, after some difficulty .
It turns out that the remote app for my AVR-1913 is not using the telnet interface. It's doing HTTP POST to the receiver's web server. All the ones I saw were to /goform/AppCommand.xml. What it posts is some XML with one or more commands. For example, it posts this periodically to get information:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
Here's what is coming back for the <tx> shown above (formatted a bit nicer):
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
 I set my switch  to mirror the port the receiver is on to my Mac, but was not seeing anything with tcpdump on the Mac. Took me an embarrassingly long time to remember that if you don't explicitly specify the interface to monitor, it monitors them all but not in promiscuous mode, so you only see traffic to/from yourself.
 TP-Link SG-108E. I highly recommend this or the SG-105E or others in the family. They are unmanaged switches, but they do support port mirroring, some VLAN features, and some QOS features that you normally have to go to an expensive managed switch for. My 108E (8 port) was only $30. The only thing I don't like about it is that the status lights for the ports are in the back, above the connectors, rather than on the front.
As far as it's IP address, I don't have it connected to the internet.
The amp I bought  has a volume dial for each channel, one speaker is wired per channel.
I walked around the house one day to normalize the perceived volumes from each speaker. I’ve never touched the volume dial since. I don’t see the point of wiring volume controls in the walls of each room. I can control the AirPlay source volume on my phone.
The A/V receiver in my living room is a 2-zone system with a Zone 2 Preout. So there’s a 25’ RCA cable ($10 - do not waste money on fancy cables) going from the receiver to the amp.
The amp has two “main” inputs which go to all channels, and then each channel can also take its own dedicated RCA input — but I don’t currently use them. Since all the speakers are on the same floor, there’s no point in driving different sources to different speakers at this point.
If my Receiver had pre-outs for each channel of Zone 1 then in theory I could drive two of the living room ceiling speakers as rear/surrounds when watching movies by just wiring up the RCA jacks.
When I AirPlay from any phone in the house to the receiver it just defaults to playing on Zone-2. There’s an app which lets me change the zone that a source plays on, but I never use it.
In theory I could play a movie on the “house” speakers but then it wouldn’t be 7.1 surround; my receiver anyway can’t do 7.1 on the Zone 1 speakers while also doing a basic Stereo downmix over Zone 2. But I have never missed this.
Basically the use case for the ceiling speakers is listening to music during breakfast or dinner. The kids love choosing songs and having little dance parties morning and afternoon. Anyone can start whatever song they want from their phone. Of course sometimes that results in the children trying to override each other, but usually all in good fun.
IMO it’s definitely worth the ~$600 for dumb speakers, dumb amp, and dumb wiring to have absolutely future proof ceiling speakers throughout the house. The same exact system could easily be pumping tunes 30 years from now.
The AirPlay receiver that drives the amp doesn’t count toward the cost because it’s the same home theater receiver you’re going to buy anyway. It’s also the only piece of the puzzle that runs software and hardware (WiFi) that will become obsolete in a relatively short time frame. It does support CEC and it is also the source selector but honestly the only source right now is the AppleTV. All that is really kind of “besides the point” you could say when it comes to the house speakers. Anything could sit in front of it, as long as you can get an analog stereo output from it. It could be a Raspberry Pi even. The only requirement is being able to AirPlay/Chromecast to whatever is providing the RCA source.
It can be a huge mood boost and a great way to start the day before rushing the kids off to school to blast some tunes while cooking pancakes, and with eight 8” woofers the sound is a lot more immersive than a single “smart” speaker could muster.
 - Pyle 8-Channel Home Theater... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UL0XIQ
This past fall I spent a week crawling around in my attic wiring up every room on the 2nd floor with some JBL 6" speakers, that were also somewhere around $50 per pair. I figured if they weren't good I could very easily upgrade them in the future, but they sound great. I ran the wires to a DIY network cabinet in my basement.
We have two Chromecast Audios hooked into it, so my wife an I can stream simultaneously. We use it daily: Podcasts in the shower, white noise in whatever room the baby is sleeping in, music in whatever room we want, whenever, and the guest room TV is hooked up as an input so we can put the news on and listen anywhere. There are never sync issues, and the quality is absolutely excellent.
Wiring it all was not fun, since this was all done in finished rooms - which meant a lot of drywall patching and a fairly concerned wife. But it was so absolutely worth the time and effort for the system as-is. Also, I'm getting pretty decent at patching drywall.
Obviously, I get the draw for a wireless system. It's significantly easier to set up, and the features are lovely. But I'm glad to know my whole-house-audio will continue to work for many years regardless of what happens to any entity outside of my home. I can upgrade the speakers as needed. I can replace the receiver as needed. In a similar vein, it's mind-blowing how much better wired ethernet performs over wireless, especially in the realm of video streaming.
As for overall cost - I'm just under $1k, but that's because I found the amp for a great price on craigslist, which is pretty rare. If it weren't for that, I probably would have gone with the Monoprice Amp and still fit into that budget. Full price would be significantly more, but not much more than a Sonos system.
However, my chromecast audio stopped working (possibly related to the product sun-setting?), and I was surprised to learn that Apple no longer manufactures the AirPorts. What kind of audio receiver did you use?
I ended up purchasing a "new" AirPort Express on Ebay, but how else does one use AirPlay these days with off the shelf audio equipment? I couldn't find anything helpful via googling.
It has an RCA output for “Zone 2” which goes to the whole-house 8 channel amp.
I already had the receiver in my living room for my 7.1 audio setup for watching shows/movies. So it didn’t cost anything to hook up the Zone 2 other than a $10 cable.
I vouched for Cecja’s comment below. If you don’t have a WiFi device which can output analog audio and receive AirPlay, you can actually rig something up using a Raspberry Pi and open source software. Since there’s nothing to configure ever after the initial setup your family shouldn’t have any issues using it - it should “just work”.
If you want to be able to play different streams to different rooms, I think you could even do it with several RPi’s each as their own AirPlay target, and then each wired to different channels of the amp.
If you had walls and ceiling torn down, it makes waay more sense to run wire.
Why pay $649 for 2 channels versus $250 for 8 channels? My amp is in a rack in the basement.
What’s the benefit of having the AirPlay software integrated into the amp? I already have an AirPlay endpoint in my AV receiver. I just run a $10 RCA cable from there to the dumb amp.
I guess I just don’t get the Sonos value proposition.
Much lower latency so it can sync with video. Much higher audio quality because analog rca and crappy dac is not involved. You can power up to six Sonos in ceiling, in wall or outdoor speakers on one amp
Some people genuinely like the Sonos software.
I do like a lot of things about the Sonos software.
This is an opportunity to revisit that decision. In 2020, what should I replace them with that’s equally convenient (including for visitors), letting you control all the rooms from anywhere on your phone, can handle all the random streaming services, and can still play my library from the basement?
Any streaming service on your phone (or guests phone) will just AirPlay to the amp.
To play music off the file server, I’ve heard Roon app is pretty good.
If you want different music per zone, you can just setup multiple Raspberry Pis connected to different inputs on the amp and give them different AirPlay names.
Surround speakers need a priority switch if you want matching amp profiles in the home theatre.
I have in ceiling speakers each pair connecting to a sonos amp. Outdoors, in garage, etc. It’s great - for me. I have Play:1s in bathrooms without mics and it can all sync.
Guests can also control it via phone.
What pisses me off:
- Lack of auto firmware updates at night
- Latency with external sources unless you use a sound bar, maybe fixed with port? The connect sucked
- Spotify premium required
Investing in any proprietary hardware universe has proven to be a fools errand. As the standards change, I can still listen to music via any system, service or format.
And better: I get the same functionality as Sonos with a few Yamaha receivers and Spotify and/or Apple Music. Oh and my system offers much much, much better fidelity and infinite upgrade options which is far more important to me as a music junkie and musician.
The Denon receiver is the HDMI switcher + 7 channel amp + Dolby/DTS decoder + AirPlay endpoint which has Ethernet and WiFi etc. It’s in the living room connected to the TV and all the peripherals. But it has a “Zone 2” output which sends analog 2 channel line out audio to the amp in the basement. There are hard-switches on the amp where I have switched 4 of the speakers to be “Left” and 4 to be “Right” from the line-in.
So I can AirPlay to the receiver (most any new receiver will support this) and it will send that 2-channel audio to Zone 2 out to the basement amp.
IMO the best system is a dumb amp which is not on Ethernet or WiFi or Bluetooth or anything. That makes it totally future-proof. It’s also stupid cheap. $45 per speaker, $30 per channel of amplification.
The receiver in my living room I would assume is going to have to get upgraded every few years because it runs software that I have to touch and needs to support the latest HDMI standards, etc. That’s the device which you can connect to via AirPlay or Chromecast or even Bluetooth.
Because it saves you running wires around the house and getting an 8-channel amp accessible from one place rather than every phone. I can run wires, but... what's the point?
Even if I did want to run the wires, either the time to do that + required tools/materials, or getting an electrician costs me more than a set of sonos speakers.
Not many people actually use it as multiroom speakers
Source? This is still my primary use of Sonos, I have 4 of the original Play 1s and I love them as much as I did when I got the first because of the multiroom functionality.
Either way the damage is done. It's become clear through the "recycling" program, the revision of the Sonos ONE after only 16 months and now the lobotomizing of the original Play 5 that they are not going to stand behind their products like they used to. I'm not buying more $400 speakers from a company that's aim is to force upgrades by deprecating support to bring up their quarterly sales figures.
Time to buy some Chromecast or Airplay 2 devices and sign up for an ecosystem from a company that has a different revenue stream and doesn't need to force rapid hardware refreshes.
By comparison, whenever any of my modern kit breaks down I find the offending part will be unique to that unit, the spare parts supply is nonexistent, and there will be no published specs allowing one to cobble something together.
They'll all continue to work exactly as they already do.
At least from the screenshots of emails I read, it stated that old devices won’t get software updates, but will continue to work. Additionally, any newer devices will not get software updates _while they’re on the same Sonos network as the old one_, because they all have to run the same version.
Edit: here’s what I read https://mobile.twitter.com/seanbonner/status/121976046002876.... It very plainly states the devices will continue operating but none of your connected devices will be updated while you’re using old ones.
That's pretty much the exact opposite of "will continue to work".
I’m not sure what more you could expect.
Yeah, that's false.
All you people suggesting chrome cast as an audio solution are hilarious. It’s literally already in the unsupported state without updates that Sonos is going to do with products ten times as old. Wtf are you thinking? What is the difference in your mind between Sonos issuing bug fixes but not new features, and relying on chromecast audio which already stopped supports years ago? It’s absurd
At best, there’s a vague pledge to update legacy players a bit longer, but they’re still breaking your current whole home audio system, because legacy and modern players will need to be split into two separate systems.
“First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away.”
“Half house audio” is the new hotness.
“In May, you’ll be able to decide if you want to keep your legacy devices operating with your modern devices, and you’ll be able to put them all into a non-updating legacy system”
So they are actually reversing course to a certain extent.
If there’s one thing Sonos has shown throughout this mess, it’s that they’re really quite poor at communicating things clearly.
Here's the original Email Sonos sent on Jan. 21 (Tuesday). It's pretty bad and implies that your legacy products might stop working in the future and almost definitely won't work with new products.
> End of software updates
> In May the following products in your system will be classified as legacy and no longer receive software updates and new features. This will affect your listening experience.
> Legacy products were introduced between 2005 and 2011 and, given the age of the technology, do not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation.
> Please note that because Sonos is a system, all products operate on the same software. If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features.
> You have options
> Continue using legacy products
> You can continue using legacy products after May, but your system will no longer receive software updates and new features. Over time this is likely to disrupt access to services and overall functionality.
> Trade up legacy products
> Save 30% on a new product when you upgrade through the Sonos Trade Up program.
I hope the blowback doesn't cease and people stop buying Sonos, but maybe I'm just being vindicative. If they stop their greedy policies, that would also make the world a better place.
The original ONE is still supported
>lobotomizing of the original Play 5
discontinued 4 years ago - that's a pretty long tail and in line with Apple
>Time to buy some Chromecast or Airplay 2 devices
Airplay support depends on mfg of your device. Apple has a similar policy to sonos (5 years for phones, i believe) - but they state it on their site!
I think Sonos' biggest mistake was not having a transparent policy like Apple does. The real issue here, to me, is that they broke an unstated and unwritten promise: consumers inferred that devices had lifetime support - an inference that i think is completely reasonable!
My stereo system was built in 1999. It still works fine and will continue to do so no matter what Sony does with their web servers.
The smart components in these will get outdated quickly (perhaps slower now than 5 years ago, but still quite quickly), but I'm gonna be fine with my current TV panel for far longer than I will the OS that's on it.
I'm very concerned about what will happen to all of these TVs when consumers feel that they are too slow or can't install the apps they want to use. I fear they will just replace the TV with another smart TV that will last 3-4 years.
It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Who is making receivers now that people will enjoy in 2073?
Not too long back I bought a bluetooth adapter for my old Realistic component stereo system (that I bought as a high-schooler in 1989) - my wife likes to use it to listen to music and audio books, both inside the house and outside on the back patio.
If I ever wanted to do some kind of "streaming music/speaker system" - there are plenty of open source options out there. Or I would run wiring for speakers like others here have done. But for now, our needs and simple, and we're fine with that.
That may be in line with Apple, but it's not a long tail. It's short. I expect that any hardware I buy will function for decades.
After announcing the Sonos ONE with heaps of fanfare they introduced a 2nd Gen revision only 16 months later and said that in the future only the 2nd Gen ONE would receive new features. Considering past Sonos products had been sold with the same hardware for multiple years updating after such a short time signaled a move to planned hardware obsolescence and quicker upgrade cycles confirmed by their latest moves. As someone who rushed out and bought a 1st Gen ONE this had already soured me before they crippled all my Play 5s.
"We've now come to a point where some of the oldest products have been stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power,"
Since when does playing back music files stretch the limits of what these speakers were designed to do? I have invested pretty heavily in Sonos but now realize I would have been better off connecting an Airplay adapter to a traditional sound system...
Playing back music files is a use-case that is antagonistic to their current business model and something they would disable immediately if they could.
Playing back music files has no social component, does not require a mobile phone app, and can be done without generating metrics and personally identifiable information.
Playing back music files is the last thing Sonos wants you to do.
I also have to be on my wifi to talk to my speakers. They don’t need to keep servers running on the internet for me to talk to my speakers.
They have one job.
If they’re requiring internet connectivity for everything control or local-stream powered, they’re absolutely doing it wrong.
Instead, they chose to upgrade all devices until they are maxed out and then turn around to their pioneering customers telling them they need to buy new hardware just so that they can keep development costs low.
Sending working hardware to the dump is not a long term fix.
But old processors, old software platforms, etc. tend to doom a lot of these types of hardware, and I'd love to just replace the "computer part" of them. But the only way I could see that making financial sense for these businesses who'd rather just sell you the whole thing again, is if there was some sort of financial penalty/tax for bricking hardware.
(I am currently lamenting that my 2016 TV, only around three years old, can't get the CBS All Access app, even though it got Disney+. Apparently CBS and LG thinks only people who bought TVs since 2018 want to watch Picard.)
This saved significant time installing the thing. I did not have to rewire it or reattach the exhaust. Sure, I did have to waste the old, defunct parts, but it's better than wasting the big metal box too.
I think there's a lot of long term value in making semi-modular appliances. What if you could take out the logic board of one of these speakers and replace it with something more current? That saves the speaker itself, the mesh on top, and the entire enclosing.
Trick is I don't know if most consumers would care / be savvy enough to do this. Laptops have been doing a semi-modular design for a while in 2005 - 2015, but no one really updated it - they just threw the entire laptop out and bought the latest and greatest. Makes me wonder why the same mentality doesn't apply to these Sonos speakers.
And example modules
I was involved in a project where we had to measure certain changes in the ground and the climate above.
The station which measures how much the ground has moved broke.
We didn't know what broke, so we called the company as we had already invested quite a bit in a new software from them as the old one had issues with the server.
Instead of replacing the whole station(without any sensors, just the base station) for around 2000€ we send in the "CPU Core" and got the newest version for around 600€ I believe and it works fine.
Keep in mind that the station was brought about ten years ago, and thanks to the new client side software still works fine with windows server 2016 and beyond.
Why can't we have that in things like this in other parts, where space and energy efficienty is also not that important?
I have the feeling more and more api,software and hardware change are just for the sake of changing and not for any benefits.
For what it's worth regarding CBS All Access: If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can subscribe to the CBS All Access 'channel' in Prime Video, and use the Prime Video app to watch those shows.
I'm in the same exact TV situation, had to find this workaround to catch Star Trek Discovery, really lame.
I don’t get it if I just want to stream music, the very reason why I bought a Sonos speaker in the first page. Threatening to just discontinue this service for no reason is just not cool.
I see my mistake to have bought an all-in-one package instead of an external streaming device.
I need the speakers to talk to each other so I can play throughout the house over wifi but as I have a Sonos Bridge to my old hi-fi I don't need them to talk to the internet themselves.
No hardware is being made obsolete, or getting sent to the dump.
I assume this is in response to Sonos' program where they brick perfectly-usable devices (which then get sent to the dump) to prevent re-use after you take part in a trade-in program.
It's not just Sonos. Hardware manufacturer's business model is to make their products obsolete so we replace them. And it's only going to get worse with the wave of IoT gadgets that are coming in the future. It can't work forever.
Do you think these sonos speakers will still be fully functional in 20 years?
I expect the ones with audio inputs ports will still be usable as speakers in 20 years.
In any case, presumably in this proposed scenario secondary service industries would pop up to do this for them/offer ongoing alternatives. Much like computer maintenance and repair.
The original producers of the software could be unhelpful even if they comply though. That's another story.
It seems completely incompetent, but makes sense if you believe they're going to be acquired this year.
Ben Einstein said last in July 18 (https://blog.bolt.io/sonos-one/) Sonos are "a traditional speaker manufacturer incrementally adding technology in an attempt to keep up with a fast-moving race". Sonos probably still have the best multi-room speaker solution, but 1) their lead on that is slipping, and 2) I don't think new buyers care about multiroom as much as they do streaming services & features - i.e. the bits Sonos must be being squeezed on.
Their proposed solution for customers with old devices is a software-managed network split between old & new - that will kills multiroom playback for holdouts! That's the worst of both worlds - Sonos paying programmers to prop up old devices, while owners still prepare to see a fundamental degradation in their system.
Then the tie-in with IKEA seems like an enormous dilution of their brand. Now you can buy Sonos components from IKEA, and the IKEA home app can also control all of your Sonos speakers (not just the IKEA ones).
So that's that I think they have a deal in the works (IKEA?) - and they're massaging a few quarters to show briefly increased profitability while the long-term vision can go to hell.
In that light, cutting off old products in the face of so many angry customers makes sense. They remove a legacy support liability instantly, allowing them to be bullish about future R&D costs. And the angry customers are the ones bought into Sonos' 15yo product vision - they just may not represent much future revenue.
What are you talking about? This letter from the CEO of the company clearly apologies, takes 100% responsibility, makes zero excuses. And among other changes, it plainly promises the devices will be supported for the foreseeable future.
To quote: "[T]hey will continue to work as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away."
If you worked at this company in any role (CEO or something else - you choose), what specifically would you have done differently so far?
It doesn't say the devices will be supported for the foreseeable future! It restates the woolly probability that you'll have to partition your system, and lose multiroom at, without stating what features that is going to be traded against after May, or at what point that will happen. That is absolutely taking something away! It just doesn't say when.
It didn't acknowledge that only in November, Sonos reassured a customer on Twitter that No, the Recycle function absolutely didn't mean they were about to make products obsolete.
It seems incompetent because it doesn't acknowledge how the Sonos products have now changed from permanent, reliable, expensive hifi units to fly-by-night junk that will lose support after as little as 3 years, and thousands of customers on their own community boards feel duped by a huge change.
In answer to your question, if the CEO were planning that change to the brand, and it didn't matter to Sonos long term - maybe nothing different? They are competing against low-lifetime electronic junk rather than quality hifi, it's clear that's what Sonos now represents.
The Connect is what connects my Sonos devices to the internet. By forcing a partition of my network, the other devices not being end-of-lifed will not be connected to the internet. To fix this I would need to buy a new device, move a speaker into the closet where the internet is, or run a Cat5 from the bedroom closet to the living room -- this is non-trivial.
The other device is the Connect which allows my TV to play on the other speakers in my living house and living room. By partitioning my network, the speakers won't be able to play off the TV. I will have a living room setup with 2 sets of speakers that can't be synchronized.
So ... unless they come out with a solution to let me keep all my devices on the "old" network and have a partitioned "new" network, I'm F*ed. I end up with 3 speakers on one network (one of which I guess has to be in a closet and just act as a little broadcast node) and 2 speakers on another network. I have my Play5 and a Play1 in the same room, which wouldn't be able to play the same thing.
So, yeah, I'll never buy another Sonos product again. I'm effectively out a couple thousand dollars. Better to learn my lesson and move on.
But I don't think the same way about speakers. The part that really matters for a speaker is the construction of the cabinet and the quality of the actual speakers (woofers, mids, tweeters, etc.). Traditional speakers have very little electronics involved.
Too bad Sonos didn't design a more modular/swappable system. I can understand needing to replace a central receiver/hub on occasion to take advantage of new capabilities, and/or swap out a component of the speaker, such as a bluetooth receiver. But to make all speakers in a system no longer supported is hard to understand.
Yes, you can build a good stereo system, connect some kind of streaming system and end up with something roughly the equivalent of Sonos.
But this is the whole Dropbox vs Git+Remote Backup+Your own server thing.
The ease of use and "it just works" simplicity is the feature, and every other setup compromises this to some extent.
I have a Onkyo & Dali hi-fi setup. It's a great system. And I've made attempts to make it as easy to use as Sonos.
Let's go through the things I've tried and the compromises they have:
- Harmony remote + CEC to control the TV and stereo. This is ok (the Harmony products are good) but has *exactly the same issues as Sonos: a propriety system that is subject to upgrades. I've had to throw away one system already.
- Bluetooth streaming. Tried Airplay, but there is no reliable Android support. Bluetooth is ok, but if the range is annoying if someone is walking around the house.
- Zones. My amp sort of has a concept of this, but I haven't even attempted to get it to work. The wiring of speakers is enough to put me off it.
Sonos solves all these problems. But obsoleting their speakers is horrible, and 4 years seems too short a time for this.
I'm not sure what the solution is, but some kind of maintenance fee is something I'd consider - especially for older hardware. It'd have to be substantially less than what I pay for Spotify though. Maybe after 5 years I'd pay $10/year?
I mean - that's just the first hit I found searching for open-source multi-room audio streaming for the raspberry pi. There were others.
Seriously - once you got one node to work, at that point clone the sd card (just dd it), and pop the image onto new cards for each new node. I don't know what kind of configuration or fiddling you might have to do, and while it isn't a "plug-n-play" thing like Sonos, you (and everyone else here) probably have the smarts to figure it out.
And once you have it figured out for one - the copying it and duping it to the other nodes and setting them up is probably not much of a stretch.
There a lots of these projects. They all sorts, kinda work if you are prepared to do work and ignore the faults.
For one, it doesn't do HDMI CEC. For another, no form of surround sound. No Spotify support. Etc etc.
I just don't think that trade-off is worthwhile.
One you buy active speakers (which have to be wired to the raspberry pi, sigh..) it isn't even much cheaper.
I have HiFi equipment literally from the 1970's and 1980's that will continue to operate well beyond the lifespan of any cloud-connected web-app-configured third-party-controlled WiFi Sonos type bullshit.
It's not like there have been really ground breaking improves in speaker technology since the 80's anyway. Maybe some material improvements? I'm pretty sure my B&W speakers from the 80's can still hold their own against a decent stereo today...
So what are you paying for? WiFi connectivity? Is that even really any more convenient? How about when it stops working?
God, I'm triggered.
But regarding speakers: There have definitely been advancements in modern speaker design. Probably the biggest advancement is the state-of-the-art science of psycho-acoustics, developed by the Canadian National Research Council, and later continued by the research division of Harman International. The results of this research has directly lead to better speakers by Harman Intl. companies (Revel, JBL, etc.) and throughout much (but not all) of the speaker industry.
Psycho-acoustics informs speaker engineers how to objectively measure flaws in a speaker in ways that go far beyond an old fashioned on-axis frequency response plot (which tells you nearly nothing): measuring FR and others in a densely sampled sphere surface around a speaker in an anechoic chamber has been shown to provide almost all the info you need to evaluate and design a speaker.
The end result of this is pretty amazing speakers for great prices. A $500 pair of JBL 308p Mk II will probably get you 80% of the way to audio perfection for most people, for example. A Neumann KH120A ($1300/pair) will get you maybe 90% to perfection, though at the expense of some bass extension which you may want to complement with a subwoofer.
And then we have some exotic speaker designs made affordable; for example, you can get speakers with a RAAL Ribbon Tweeter from Ascend Acoustics which will blow away any other modern speaker costing 2-3x as much. A $2k - $3k speaker and subwoofer system from Ascend+Rythmik will probably get you to 99% of the best sound quality in the world.
For example, I’ve owned Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 before discovering the science and innovations of some exotic components like the RAAL tweeter. This research later lead me to buy Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers, which while costing significantly less than the B&W 702 S2 sound many times better. (Bowers and Wilkins intentionally choose to ignore the science). The difference (to my ears) is truly astounding — the Ascends are truly in another league of quality and realism. And, the versatility improvement of neutral (flat frequency response, on and off axis) speakers over colored ones is amazing if you like listening to a wide range of music.
The Neumann KH120A is probably the most amazing sounding compact speaker I have ever heard. It is seriously mind blowing how amazing such a small speaker sounds, and how much quality bass it can put out. It also has some of the most impressively perfect scientific measurements I’ve ever seen (which you can review on the link above in the “data and diagrams” section).
The only thing better is Ascend’s speakers with RAAL tweeters, or Genelec pro monitors (which are quite overpriced).
 Example: Ascend Sierra Luna pair + Rythmik F12 will probably get you to 98% of audio perfection:
It seems like you've done a lot of research on this. Do you think these are some of the better speakers in that price range?
I was looking at some Martin Logan ESL, but IDK if the electrostatic thing is a gimmick.
In my opinion and from much research I believe Ascend speakers (with RAAL tweeters) and Rythmik servo subwoofers are very nearly the best in the world for probably the best price you’ll ever find. Others make comparable and perhaps even better options but they’re generally exponentially more expensive and harder to obtain (not always mass produced).
Even some of the best within 2-3x the price aren’t as good. For example, before I tried Rythmik, the best subwoofer I found was from JL Audio. A JL E112 costs twice as much as a Rythmik F12, yet the Rythmik F12’s sound quality is a league beyond (due to their servo feedback loop tech, the accuracy and precision of their bass is just amazing). And the Rythmik F18 combines massive power (for movies) and incredible precision (for music) in the same product still far below the price of even JL Audio’s entry level stuff.
And other than the Sierra RAAL Towers, my second favorite tower speakers are Revel F206. The Revel F206 are fantastic speakers, but despite costing much more, they still simply aren’t as good as the Sierra RAAL Towers!
I have several speakers from Ascend, Rythmik (subwoofers), Revel, and Neumann. All of these brands are mindblowingly good, but Revel and Neumann are twice the price to get maybe only 90% as good as Ascend. Brands I’ve owned but sold or returned (due to poor performance vs price) include Bowers and Wilkins, KEF, Paradigm, Axiom, and some misc others.
Martin Logan electrostats look very cool and also can sound very impressive but they have two huge limitations:
(1) They’re far from neutral, which means they’ll make some music genres sound great and others worse. With neutral speakers, you can equalize them to suit your preference. But with colored (non neutral) speakers, you often cannot equalize them to fix their flaws (I could explain more why this is, if you want), so neutral is almost always the best choice.
(2) They ONLY sound good if your head is perfectly on axis. If you are seated in precisely the right position and don’t move your head an inch, they can be quite nice, but it’s really annoying to have the sound degrade so horribly everywhere else in the room.
But there is a certain magic to electrostats (when you are in that listening sweet spot) you don’t get from most regular speakers, so it’s a shame they have these flaws. Wouldn’t it be great if a speaker existed that combined the magic of electrostats with none of its flaws?
As it turns out, the RAAL tweeter achieves just that! RAAL’s ribbon tweeter (used in Ascend’s high end speakers) achieves the best of all worlds: these are the only speakers I know that achieves that magical holographic treble precision (detail without being harsh) usually associated with electrostats, while ALSO achieving some of the widest and most consistent dispersion pattern of just about any speaker in the world. The RAAL tweeter is a planar diaphragm very much like an electrostat, so some of the same benefits are achieved but with exceptionally wide dispersion rather than exceptionally narrow.
This amazing dispersion pattern not only makes for the most consistent sound throughout the room I’ve ever heard, but also increases sound quality on axis (because actually the majority of sound heard at any listening position comes from wall reflections, not direct sound).
Note also that all ribbons are not created equal: most of them (e.g. Martin Logan’s lower end hybrid speakers) sound (and measure) worse than a high quality traditional “dome” tweeter. RAAL is fairly uniquely exceptional, and BTW this is reflected in their objective measurements (not just subjective descriptions of “magic”).
And that's not the only issue. There is no economic reasons for companies like Sonos to maintain devices for ever, for free. So either they stop doing so, or a new business models will arise, making connected devices yet another subscription-based play. Why not?
Connected devices exist because of our laziness at the cost of sustainability, privacy, security, control.
Apart from that they are a great deal!
The house was built about 10 years ago with what (I presume) was a state-of-the-art system at the time - an "AudioAccess WHEN" system. It works fine - there are keypads and speakers in every room, and I can pipe audio from the Sonos (or an Airplay receiver) to anywhere.
It's a weird topology, however - the speakers in each room are wired to the keypads (which is where the amps live). Each keypad has a power connection, and some kind of (presumably proprietary) Cat-5 connection to a central hub. The hub in turn is connected via Cat-5 to a head unit with FM receiver, CD/AUX inputs, etc...
When we moved into the house, the head unit wasn't working - it refused to establish a connection to the hub. I managed to track down a working tech support phone number, only to hear that they don't make this system any more, and that the head units often fail in this way. I managed to find what may have been the last replacement head unit in existence on Ebay - bought it, and fortunately everything started working!
I am, however, dreading the day when it inevitably dies. Since the speaker wires go to the keypad amps, and not to the wiring closet (where the hubs live), I'm not sure what I could replace it with - beyond re-running new speaker wire to a completely new system in the wiring closet.
If you find you can run the speakers on a single pair per speaker - that will leave you with 2 other pairs on the cat5 - which you could use for control or communication.
But what I would do before all of that is try to reverse-engineer the protocols or whatnot that the whole system is currently using, so you can keep the keypads/amps and such, and create some kind of custom main "head unit" later.
For a company that builds their brand loyalty on keeping existing customers happy with their purchases (via OTA updates and slow replacement frequency), 4.5 years isn't long enough in my opinion—hopefully there weren't a ton of play:5 buyers in that final year. Forever isn't reasonable either of course with how heavily cloud based they are. I think it should be closer to 10.
It's a little hard to imagine 2010 devices keeping up in 2020, but I'm sure that 2030 will be kinder to 2020 hardware. In the same way a 1995 laptop is far less capable than a 2005 compared to 2015. I think they could make that commitment.
I give Sonos a longer time I would others because they justify their price tag based on how unlikely you are to have to replace it. Rather—that's how I justified all of mine.
And they should be up front with what that duration will be when you buy it.
It’s ok if old products don’t have new features. It’s not ok if old products don’t work anymore just because the company feels like it.
I wouldn’t be impressed with a decade of use out of a speaker.
All the more reason they should be explicit so the consumer knows what they’re buying. I certainly don’t mind 10 year lifecycle even if that bothers you.
I’m less optimistic. I live in Mac land. We had a sweet spot in about 2010 when computers were good, and lasted really well. I don’t think I’ll see 10+ years out of today’s Macs, or many of my other purchases, and I specifically buy things to last.
Another interest of mine is coffee, and looking to upgrade the espresso machine is depressing. Too much computerisation and plastic. My 20+ year old machine and older grinder are really hard to beat and are nice to work on, and even at significant cost I don’t think it would be an upgrade. Instead I’m looking backwards at 60’s and 70’s machines. How did it get like this?
Durability should not be a problem with these products. Frankly they feel super solid but more importantly they rarely even get touched (the interface is an app). They have a couple of touch sensitive buttons (volume and skip/prev only) but that’s it.
We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward:
First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.
Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.
While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That’s the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.
Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn't exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
This would mean that if you want continued software updates you just plug in the expansion pack, like I did for my N64.
As long as possible is not a super clear commitment, but otherwise I’m happy with this. I don’t need new features, I just want my Sonos setup to keep working.
Glad they listened.
If the bricking happened irrespective, I think it maybe broke expectations across the consumer/supplier boundary. If you are 'turning in' a device to get a discount on a new device, I don't personally have a problem with them bricking it, because you are doing the virtual equivalent of giving it back to them, to get the new one.
e.g. Google say five devices. you want to add a sixth? you have to de-licence one. If you do, its local copy of Google IPR protected content could wipe. Switch google accounts? it can wipe. This is not "nice" but its not uncommon.
Did I mis-understand? (not a sonos customer btw, outside observer, un-involved)
EDIT: I just realized this is the equivalent of the "asking questions already answered by my shirt" meme. The existence of this headline just causes people to ask the question why the headline needs to exist.
 - https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/a-lot-of-questions-already-an...
The headline makes you think everything is back to normal, and that they’ve reversed course, but I can’t actually see that much has meaningfully changed.
It sounds like all your speakers will work after May, but if you have a mix of legacy and modern speakers, you’ll be forced to split them into two totally separate systems.
I don't know how I feel abouy a company that sends mixed messages about the shelf life of their products and can't manage to consistently serve a blog post to its customers.
This is why the direction that the IoT market has decided to take things makes any of that stuff completely unacceptable to me. None of it can be trusted -- it is more likely than not spying on you, the way it works can change at any moment without notice, including ceasing to function.
Take a car for example. You can now lease the latest and greatest car, but you don't own that car, it's not your asset. If your in dire straits; where if you need to sell, you cannot, you don't own it, it's not yours to sell.
Not forgetting that the vendor then decides the price you pay. "Cool, due to climate change tax, we are increasing your payment". All you can do is pay the demand or live without a car which if you need to commute, your screwed.
What you might own may be junk, it still has a value. When you lease, you get none of all that. It's a worrying trend.
I use a 2004 era laptop to power my media experiences throughout my home, connected to regular ole amplifiers of variying vintages. 10-15yrs old off ebay seems to be a sweat spot, you pay ~10% the original 2-10k price tags because these units are purchased by wealthy consumer audiophiles.
I have two play 3's, playbar and a sub and after having them for 4 years it still blows me away the sound and how convenient to is to use between watching TV and playing music.
The way this has played out in social media has been weird. I've seen more than one person turn this into "Sonos is going to brick all my devices!". It's either the world's worst communication strategy at work or people deliberately conflating two parts of one message.
It goes beyond that, because they won't update any devices on the same network as old devices either. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/01/sonos... In May they plan to have a way to segregate old devices onto a separate network, but they still won't work together with new ones.
Which is the whole thing Sonos is clearly trying to get away from. Supporting legacy devices forever is clearly untenable.
With that said, I do see another angle they could have pursued. They could have led with the network segregation approach, making it clear that the legacy devices will still work perfectly with one another on their own network.
Sonos could also have said that legacy devices may stop working as expected without warning after any future update that applies to current devices only. This strikes me as likely to work great until it comes down and then it blows up catastrophically when the update lands.
Those are the best options I can see, but my vision is of course quite limited. Perhaps you have better ideas!
What I don't understand is why. Let's look at the two options.
Option one: User must brick device and trash it, Sonos sells new device at 30% off, basically losing out on their margin.
Option two: User can keep old device, maybe even sell it to a new Sonos customer who can't afford new devices. Sonos sells new device at 30% loyalty discount, losing out on their margin (but gaining a new customer who can't get that loyalty discount if they decide to upgrade in the future).
From a company perspective, Option 2 looks much more attractive: Same initial cost, but you look more environmental and you gain a potential new customer.
Option two: User buys a nice, expensive wireless speaker at a discount. After setting it up, they learn that it will literally never get an update and they can't get any support for it. Their experience sucks, and worse, it always will. Now they feel like they've been screwed by Sonos on top of however much money they paid for the thing. Their brand new-to-them device is forever hobbled.
That doesn't sound like a happy new customer. That sounds like an angry secondary-market consumer that will never be a customer and a tarnished brand. That seems sub-optimal for a company that highly prizes loyalty and the user experience.
>That seems sub-optimal for a company that highly prizes loyalty and the user experience.
It's not the customer's fault that their product is never getting updated and they can't get any support.
It's also a consequence of a user potentially failing to do their research before purchasing.
If a company is going to drop support for older devices, ensuring that poorly informed users don't get screwed by this seems like a reasonable decision. I understand that some may consider this completely unreasonable, particularly on the basis that halting support is in no way a business decision that should ever contemplated.
Again, you're right. This is a consequence of Sonos' decision to stop supporting some of their products. It's just perhaps considering that there may be some small amount of room for nuance.
Really this is their fault for announcing that while the device bricking fiasco was still in play.