Sonos Ends 'Recycling' Program That Disabled Older Devices


So, no 21-day irreversible "Recycle Mode" countdown that culminates in the bricking of your product. Consumers who own newer Sonos models and legacy devices have two choices: They can forgo software updates for all their devices, newer and older, and just receive security updates, or they can split the older devices into a separate system, which will allow their newer devices to continue to receive updates. This mode was required if you wanted to use the company's trade-up program and get a deal.

In what can only be seen as a swift about-turn, Sonos is now encouraging customers to perform a simple factory reset on their older gear before trading it in, but they can then choose to give it to someone, recycle it at a nearby facility or send it to Sonos and let the firm handle it.

Sonos is getting rid of its controversial "Recycle Mode" amid a backlash, as first reported by The Verge on Thursday and confirmed to Business Insider. The language that replaced the feature said anyone seeking a discount should call customer service.

This slow death of older Sonos devices is still likely to happen, with Sonos saying software updates for legacy products will stop in May.

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This decision should put an end to the criticisms Sonos faced at the end of previous year when Devin Wilson attracted attention to the recycling mode and raised questions about the company's sustainability practices.

Legacy products that are eligible for the Sonos Trade Up scheme include the original Sonos Play:5, Zone Players and Connect/Connect:Amp devices manufactured up until 2015.

Though Sonos says the speakers that are ceasing to receive support will continue to work in the interim, The Verge reports that problems, especially related to streaming music, could arise in the future.

'Today the Sonos experience relies on an interconnected ecosystem, giving you access to more than 100 streaming services, voice assistants, and control options like Apple AirPlay 2, ' wrote the company in a blog post in January. Despite the name, recycle mode is meant to get customers to give up those working, but old speakers. The company says its legacy hardware won't get new software features going forward, either. The company failed so much in its messages that CEO Patrick Spence published an apology and said "all Sonos products will continue to work after May".