This leaves everyone in a more reasonable, but quite complicated situation - namely if you’re a long time Sonos user with older speakers. Here we've outlined all the issues and what options you have.

Sonos Arc soundbar

Upgrading to Sonos S2

For most Sonos users, upgrading to S2 shouldn’t be too dramatic. It’s been designed to support the 2020 products such as the Arc soundbar (they don’t work on S1) but also a decent amount of existing Sonos products.

If you only have compatible products then you only need to download the S2 app and delete the old one.

Here’s a list of Sonos speakers compatible with S2:

And here are the Sonos products not compatible with S2:

  • Zone Players
  • CR200
  • Bridge
  • Connect (Gen 1)
  • Connect:Amp (Gen 1)
  • Play:5 (Gen 1)

Carry on using S1

It’s worth noting that if you don’t play to buy any of the newer products, you can stay on S1 (it will be called Sonos S1 Controller) if you like. Your products will continue to function normally and you’ll still get bug fixes and security patches.

However, Sonos warns that you won’t benefit from any of the new features found in S2. Sonos says users can expect “support for higher resolution audio technologies, increased security and improved design,” including “saved room groups”.

Use S1 and S2 apps simultaneously

If you happen to have Sonos devices that are not compatible with S2 (see the list above) and also plan to use products that require the latest app (Arc, Sub Gen 3 or Five), you can run the two together.

Sonos S2 app saved groups

Those older products will have to operate independently as their own ‘household’. Sonos says “It is possible to split a Sonos system that contains a mix of devices that are compatible with S2 and devices that are not compatible with S2 into separate systems.”

You’ll need both S1 and S2 apps, although they don’t have to be installed on the same device. You won’t be able to group S1 and S2 rooms, for example. Here's a table of how the split between S1 and S2 works:

  S1 S1 (split) S2 (split) S2
Bug fixes Y Y Y Y
Security patches Y Y Y Y
Music service support Y Y Y Y
New software features and services     Y Y
Increased audio bandwidth     Y Y
Compatibility with products released after May 2020     Y Y

Be warned though, you will encounter issues when using services like Spotify that have a streaming limit of one device. This means you’ll only be able to listen on S1 or S2, not both at the same time.

Furthermore Sonos warns that “Using the same voice service on both an S1 system and an S2 system requires two separate voice service accounts, one for the S1 system and another for the S2 system. However, this is not recommended as you will experience issues with both systems responding to commands simultaneously.”

If this all sounds too complicated for you then Sonos does offer an Upgrade Program, where you can get up to 30% off newer products for each eligible product you own.

Find our more details on Sonos Upgrade Program and read our buying guide to Sonos speakers.