Sonos will stop bricking older speakers with its Recycle Mode program
What you need to know
- Sonos has killed its "Recycle Mode" program that caused a lot of controversy earlier this year.
- Recycle Mode bricked old Sonos speakers and allowed you to purchase new ones at a lower price.
- Now, you can still get the 30% discount when upgrading to a new speaker, no bricking required.
Back in January, Sonos was the star of a juicy controversy. It announced that regular software updates would be ending for some of its older products, and while that on its own was enough to get people riled up, it also brought the company's "Recycle Mode" under the spotlight.
Recycle Mode was part of Sonos's Trade Up program, which allows owners of older hardware to upgrade to a new model for a 30% discount. However, in order to get that discount, the old speaker had to be put in Recycle Mode. After 21 days from initiating Recycle Mode, the old speaker was bricked and could no longer be used. As you might expect, a lot of people didn't like this.
On March 5, The Verge reported that Recycle Mode is no more.
Now when you Trade Up an old Sonos device, you get the same 30% discount and the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You can keep using the old speaker if you'd like, give it to someone you know, take it to your local e-waste facility for recycling, or ship it back to Sonos and have the company properly dispose of it. Recycle Mode has since been removed from the Sonos app, and according to The Verge, a new interface will be added to the company's website in the coming weeks to guide users through this new process.
If you ask me, this is a huge step in the right direction. While I didn't understand the outrage of Sonos ceasing software support for decade-old speakers, forcing people to brick their old hardware in order to upgrade to something new never sat quite right.
For anyone that's been holding off on upgrading to Sonos's newer offerings as a result of the Recycle Mode fiasco, your time has come.
Sonos ending support for decade-old speakers really isn't a big deal
The one to get
Sonos in the modern era
Still holding onto old Sonos gear? Check out the Sonos One. It's one of the more affordable entries in the Sonos lineup, offering fantastic sound and lots of smarts at a great price. It supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple's AirPlay 2. Plus, it works beautifully with all of Sonos's other speakers.
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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
Let me get this straight, your legacy speakers would get bricked after upgrading some other units? Is that even legal to disable your owned hardware?
If I understand the article correctly, the bricking wasn't in exchange for upgrading, it was in exchange for the 30% discount. I can sort of understand why Sonos came up with that but it is a great example of our decision making.
I was completely unaware of this "fiasco". Kudos to Sonos for understanding the importance of customer relationships and making the change.