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New Sonos Trade Up Program permanently disables older speakers

Upgrade your Sonos set-up at your own risk

Sonos is launching a new trade-in scheme that requires users to intentionally brick their existing Sonos device. The “Trade Up Program” allows customers to nab a 30% discount when they upgrade to a new Sonos speaker; the only caveat is that customers are required to put one of their current devices into “Recycle Mode”.

Users will then receive a 30% discount code for use on the Sonos store that lasts for 21 days.

This mode deletes all user data and deactivates the speaker, which has prompted a number of concerned Sonos users and environmentalists to pipe up in protest.

Last week, Twitter user @atomicthumbs called the audio tech firm out with a series of Tweets that highlighted the seemingly wasteful nature of the Trade-Up Program:

In response to the complaints, Sonos issued a statement that clarifies its position. Simply put, the company feels that many of its older products are now unable to support the increasing number of new features found on current Sonos speakers.

“Over time, technology will progress in ways these products are not able to accommodate. For some owners, these new features aren’t important. Accordingly, they may choose not to participate in the Trade Up program.

But for other owners, having modern Sonos devices capable of delivering these new experiences is important. So the Trade Up program is an affordable path for these owners to upgrade. For those that choose to trade-up to new products, we felt that the most responsible action was not to reintroduce them to new customers that may not have the context of them as 10+ year old products, and that also may not be able to deliver the Sonos experience they expected.”

Sonos advises customers to send their deactivated speakers to a recycling facility or return them to the company itself. Judging by the above statement, it seems unlikely that Sonos plans to resell these older devices.

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