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Meet Sonos S2, a New App and OS — and legacy product solution

It’s been a controversial couple of months for Sonos, with owners of the wireless sound system products becoming increasingly irate over the company’s handling of its older products. On Tuesday, Sonos announced its solution, a new operating system that will simultaneously allow its newer products to move forward, and its older devices to remain supported.

Read more: How to supercharge your Sonos system

The wireless speaker company unveiled Sonos S2, a new app and OS that will “power the next generation of products and experiences,” according to information posted on Sonos’ website. Among other features, Sonos says Sonos S2 will “enable higher resolution audio technologies” for music and home theater.

For owners of our earliest products, we want to provide more details on what to expect for your system later this spring. Learn how we’re extending the life of your products and innovating for the future with a new app and operating system, Sonos S2.

— Sonos (@Sonos) March 17, 2020

We’ve wondered for a while why it took Sonos so long to support hi-res audio, and with this announcement, we might finally have a reason why. Sonos has not offered an official explanation for the lack of hi-res support in the past, but we can assume that Sonos’ older products, dubbed legacy products, didn’t have the hardware to support it.

So, with this new app and OS, Sonos seems to be aiming to solve two issues at once. They’ll bring new features, including that coveted hi-res audio support, to their newer products. And they’ll appease owners of legacy products by letting them operate within the confines of the old system. They won’t get new features, but they’ll still be supported for the foreseeable future.

The updates will be available in June, and will be compatible with most Sonos products, according to the company. Compatible Sonos products are listed below.

Legacy products will not support the S2 updates. Those legacy products include Zone Players, first-generation Sonos Connects, first-generation Sonos Connect Amps, and first-generation Sonos Play 5s.

Sonos didn’t offer additional details about the features of the new app and OS. But it did provide a frequently asked questions section, mostly regarding what the new app will mean for legacy product owners. In a nutshell, if you have products that are incompatible with Sonos S2, you can continue using the system as is without upgrading.

Sonos does recommend updating to Sonos S2 if all your products are compatible. If you choose not to, the system will not get any new software features, but it will receive bug fixes and security patches. The company reiterated that it is not ending support for older products and said that it will continue to support them through the umbrella of the older system.

If you have a system mixed with legacy products and newer devices, you have an option. First, you can use the system as is. Second, you can make two separate systems, one with the compatible S2 devices and one using the older system with the legacy products.

Sonos is, of course, still offering its Trade-Up program as an incentive to upgrade legacy products to devices that are compatible with Sonos S2.

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Nick Woodard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
  As an A/V Staff Writer at Digital Trends, Nick Woodard covers topics that include 4K HDR TVs, headphones…
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