Sonos backpedals on bricking its traded-in tech

Last month, we picked up on the rather environmentally unsound way Sonos was “recycling” its old speakers that customers would “trade” for a 30% discount. In short, Sonos’ “trade” process required customers to place their device in “recycle mode” to receive a 30% trade-in discount. While “recycle mode” sounded good, it was more like a self-destruct mode as it turned your once glorious speaker into an unusable brick.

That policy drew the ire of many Sonos faithful, as it was a waste of good tech that Sonos could refurbish and resell or the user could donate to a friend. Not to mention it unnecessarily added more work for e-waste recycling centers.

After plenty of blowback from fans, Sonos quietly walked back its policy of placing devices in “recycle mode” by deleting the option from the app and replacing it with a prompt to call customer service to receive the 30% discount.

When you call the customer service, they will give you the 30% discount and prompt you to perform a factory reset, which clears your data but leaves the hardware functional. After you complete the reset process, you are free to recycle the old product, keep it or pass it on to a lucky friend.

According to the report from The Verge, Sonos will soon release a new trade-up program without “recycle mode” where you will not have to call anyone to get your discount.

Sonos still plans to cease updates on legacy models

It’s not all sunshine for your old Sonos equipment, though. The company still intends to cease updates for legacy devices starting in May 2020. So, while these products will continue to function, they may longer receive patches, bug fixes and other critical updates in May.

Sonos’ legacy lineup includes:

  • Sonos Play:5
  • Zone Players
  • Connect / Connect:Amp devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015

All other Sonos products not on this list will continue getting updates after May 2020.