(Pocket-lint) - Sonos CEO Patrick Spence has responded to the backlash over its decision to end support for older devices.

In a statement published on the company’s website, Spence acknowledged that the messaging has been confused to date: "We did not get this right from the start," he said.

On 21 January, Sonos announced it will stop rolling out software updates and new features to its legacy devices in May. Although the company said those speakers will continue to function, which we also detailed in our explainer feature here, customers took to social media and forums to voice their complaints.

In the wake of such criticism, with some worried that their speakers will stop working altogether, Spence reaffirmed that older Sonos devices - including the first-gen Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, Connect and Connect:Amp products made between 2011 and 2015 - will "continue to work as they do today".

He also thanked customers for all the feedback: "Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible."

Sonos will continue to push out bug fixes and security updates to legacy products "for as long as possible". If Sonos should "run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed", he explained that Sonos will "offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience".

As the main reason for the phasing out of older products is their (lack of) technical prowess, Spence reaffirmed that customers will be able to split their system so that newer products still work in the same household as old kit: "We’re finalising details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks," he said.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.