Sonos Kills Recycle Mode

The mode initiates an irreversible 21-day countdown, after which that device is permanently blacklisted from Sonos' servers. Once activated, the speaker could not be taken out of the mode.

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 now backing away from its Recycle Mode but will still offer the trade-up program. The change means device owners can keep it, give it someone, or actually recycle it.

Recycle Mode was removed from the company's app last week in favor of an advisory asking customers seeking a discount to call customer service. The language that replaced the feature said anyone seeking a discount should call customer service.

Sonos had said that it would stop delivering software updates to so-called legacy products like the first-generation Play:5 because the older devices lack the processor and memory capacity to run many new features.

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.

Sonos financial results reveal that 92% of Sonos speakers are still in use and working perfectly fine.

In January, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence apologized to Sonos customers who were frustrated at the announcement that their speakers would stop getting updates, and assured listeners that every Sonos product would still work past May. "Rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work as they do today", he wrote in a blog post on the company's site.

As a result, customers will have two options going forward, says the company.

"Trade Up was created to help customers transition from legacy products to modern Sonos experiences", a spokesperson for the manufacturer told us on Thursday.

While these speakers will continue to play music, they will prevent newer hardware from updating. The company is expected to provide more details in the next few weeks about how legacy and modern products will be able to work under the same roof.

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