May 6, 2020

Sonos will launch its new app and big S2 software update on June 8th


The new app that Sonos announced in March will be released on June 8th, and with it will come the launch of the S2 platform that exclusively powers the new Sonos Arc, Five, and Sub. That new underlying operating system will soon make its way to other Sonos products — pretty much everything except for those very old legacy devices that we keep writing about.

When the revamped Sonos app arrives, the current version will be renamed “Sonos S1 Controller” in the Apple App Store and Google Play. The new one will simply be “Sonos” and, while its design will look familiar, Sonos says S2 opens up a lot of possibilities:

This next generation of the app features support for higher resolution audio technologies, evident with the Dolby Atmos experience on Arc, as well as increased security and improved design for easier use. User interface updates make it simpler for customers to search for content, control sound, and personalize the experience with new features — starting with saved room groups.

Saved room groups are one of the improvements coming with the S2 app.
Image: Sonos

Sonos has routinely noted that you don’t have to update your existing system to S2. If you have a multiroom setup that includes one of the below products that won’t be getting new features any longer, you can just keep everything as it is today.

“Your system will receive bug fixes and security patches, but it will not receive any of the new software features found in S2,” the company says in its FAQ. “We will work with our partners to keep your music and voice services working with our oldest products for as long as we can given their memory and processing power limitations. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we will let you know.”

Image: Sonos

Your other option is to split your Sonos system into two, allowing the S2-compatible devices to continue receiving software updates with the older ones in their own separate system that permanently stays on the older Sonos S1 platform. Sounds a little confusing, right? Thankfully, Sonos has published a thorough help section on this forking process. Just be aware that the two systems cannot be grouped together to play the same music.

Here’s a chart from Sonos that attempts to make this whole transition a little clearer:

Image: Sonos

Remember that if you’ve got a legacy Sonos device and want to avoid this whole thing, you’re eligible for a 30 percent discount on anything from the company’s modern lineup. Here’s something else worth keeping in mind: beginning with today’s three product announcements, new Sonos hardware will only work on the S2 platform and is incompatible with S1 altogether.

When the new Sonos app is released, your settings and preferences will automatically transfer over. Like the version it’s replacing, the Sonos S2 app will be available on iOS, iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. The Trueplay feature, which tailors the sound of your Sonos speaker based on the room it’s in, can only be done on an iPhone or iPad, however.



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