Blind Sonos Users’ Share New App Experiences & Sonos Responds

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During May, a new update to the Sonos app brought a complete redesign intended to make it easier for people to enjoy their music, radio and podcasts on their Sonos multi-room hardware and TV sound systems.

However, the reaction was less than positive from all corners with some complaining that popular features like alarms and reminders had been removed from the options. For blind users though, there was a far more serious issue – accessibility within the app for those using screen readers such as Voiceover was almost completely broken – leaving many unable to use their speakers or systems at all.

What made this situation worse for many was that early beta testers of the new app had informed Sonos ahead of the app’s release that these problems existed yet the update was issued regardless.

For many blind people Sonos had become an attractive option not only because of the excellent quality of their products but also their seeming commitment to accessibility. Up until this update the app was very accessible, with lots of new features and bug fixes noted by the blind community taken on board quickly.

So what happened this time around, and why were so many blind people left frustrated? Steven and Shaun spoke to two Sonos customers, Nicki Keck and Elliot Stonhill, to get their views. Listen to that conversation above.

We also put their concerns as well as the wider view from articles circulated during May to Sonos, and they sent us the following statement read by Double Tap’s Laura Kirker.

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