Sonos Eliminates Unpopular 'Recycle Mode' That Bricked Older Hardware

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Sonos is eliminating its controversial "Recycle Mode" that was part of the company's trade-up program that provides a discount of 30 percent on new devices, reports The Verge.


Customers who wanted to take advantage of Sonos' recycling program to get a 30 percent discount on a new speaker were required to download software that rendered existing speakers inoperable within 21 days.

Basically, after a customer initiated the trade-up program and confirmed it in the Sonos app, Sonos would provide the 30 percent discount and start a 21-day countdown timer that then caused an older device to enter Recycle Mode. Recycle Mode erased all data, permanently deactivated the speaker, and prevented reactivation.

Sonos is still offering the 30 percent discount for customers who want to upgrade to a new speaker, but is no longer requiring existing speakers to be bricked to get the deal. Customers can now choose to keep their speakers, give their speakers to someone else, recycle it at a local facility, or send it to Sonos for recycling.

According to The Verge, Sonos removed Recycle Mode from its app last week and replaced it with new language instructing customers who want a discount to call customer service. Sonos plans to update its website and app with a new system for the trade-up process within the next few weeks.

Products eligible for Sonos' trade-up include the original Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect / Connect:Amp devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015. Sonos no longer plans to update these devices with new software starting in May 2020.

Article Link: Sonos Eliminates Unpopular 'Recycle Mode' That Bricked Older Hardware
 

Rydawg96

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2018
30
0
Good, cause it wouldn't even guarantee the devise got recycled anyway, likely to cause more e-waste. Couldn't they offer a trade in program instead?
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,708
5,037
NC
I'm out of the loop on this topic.

Do these Sonos "smart" speakers have any functions after the software and services inevitably expire? Or are they totally and forever tied to the ecosystem?

It's like we always say about smart TVs... the built-in apps are only as good as the day they are shipped. They might get updates but they rarely gain new capabilities.

But at least a smart TV can still function as a TV if the built-in apps become obsolete. You can always plug something into a smart TV... a new AppleTV, game console, etc.

Do Sonos speakers have line-in jacks or speaker inputs? Can they ever just be normal speakers?

If not... it seems like a lot of money to spend on a limited-life product.

Even if a Sonos speaker is great today... it won't be supported forever.

Old-fashioned speakers can (and do!) last a looong time. But "smart" speakers are at the mercy of the platform.
 

philipk

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2008
438
190
I am in the minority who thought it was a good idea. Instead of wasting money and energy shipping it back to them you were able to recycle it yourself. It’s like Amazon. I have bought glass plates and bowls that have arrived broken. They want it returned at first. Then I got a hold of them and said I would take a picture of the broken item and dispose of it to save a wasted shipment.

To me it was a win-win situation. However, I understand that most people disagreed.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2012
2,509
3,413
Sydney
At least Apple is more subtle about doing this.

It’s also why the Home Pod is a risky purchase: it’s dependent upon software that can easily be revoked.
 

Release

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2012
126
102
Good for them for reversing the policy, its definitely thing right thing to do. I have a ton of SONOS throughout the house that are getting older. I still love 'em. One of the best decisions I've made.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,252
34,265
The damage to Sonos reputation is done, they overplayed their hand.
Overplayed? Sure, I’ll give you that. But ‘damage to reputation’ as big as a company as Sonos is? I doubt that. I don’t think this is something that will lose loyalty to customers, but it’s not a good look either.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,939
14,624
Central U.S.
I’ve actually been considering buying some of their gear lately to outfit my home as I don’t yet have many speakers in my home and most of our listening is done via AirPods or a mediocre sound bar. This seals the deal that I won’t be purchasing from them. What a terrible company. That’s so wasteful for the environment. Companies like this should be shamed into oblivion. You can’t just walk something like this back. It shows who they are at a core level and I don’t like who they are.

How long before these companies require us to pay monthly for using their hardware or it gets bricked? My grandpa was just telling me today that his doctor left to go start her own practice and she charges $100/mo to be seen once per year or $1000/mo to be seen as much as you want. I mean WTF is that garbage? Everything is turning into a monthly pay service! You want to get rich? Start a monthly pay service. Doesn’t matter what, people are dumb and love paying monthly.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2016
847
1,322
That’s an insane proposition in the first place. I think that’s asinine that they were allowed to do that at all! I mean seriously why do they think that they can pull off this weird wager with their customers and, moreover, what’s the benefit on their end even? That idea sounds like it was born from the mind of some craven executive
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,894
2,157
I'm out of the loop on this topic.

Do these Sonos "smart" speakers have any functions after the software and services inevitably expire? Or are they totally and forever tied to the ecosystem?

It's like we always say about smart TVs... the built-in apps are only as good as the day they are shipped. They might get updates but they rarely gain new capabilities.

But at least a smart TV can still function as a TV if the built-in apps become obsolete. You can always plug something into a smart TV... a new AppleTV, game console, etc.
My “Smart” TV that I’ve owned for a few years has yet to be connected to the internet. If I have my way, it’ll never be connected. Especially after all those reports came out of all your viewing habits being transmitted to the manufacturer.
 
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WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,203
2,633
UK
I have nearly 20 of their devices, they tried to tell me that 8 of them are end of life and as a result of being on the same network, so would the others. For speakers with a wifi module bolted on. Pathetic

They will not see a penny more from me for the foreseeable, if ever.
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,894
2,157
I have nearly 20 of their devices, they tried to tell me that 8 of them are end of life and as a result of being on the same network, so would the others. For speakers with a wifi module bolted on. Pathetic

They will not see a penny more from me for the foreseeable, if ever.
My band mate has this Bluetooth doohickey that allows him to send audio/music from any Bluetooth capable device to any amplifier’s audio input jack. I believe he said it cost $40.

After seeing it in action at practice this week (paired to an iPhone), I’m definitely snagging one. This way I can hook it up to whatever amplifier is in the room instead of buying special WiFi or Bluetooth speakers. Took 2 seconds to connect it to the mixing board for example.
 

didztran

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2013
20
0
I’ve actually been considering buying some of their gear lately to outfit my home as I don’t yet have many speakers in my home and most of our listening is done via AirPods or a mediocre sound bar. This seals the deal that I won’t be purchasing from them. What a terrible company. That’s so wasteful for the environment. Companies like this should be shamed into oblivion. You can’t just walk something like this back. It shows who they are at a core level and I don’t like who they are.

How long before these companies require us to pay monthly for using their hardware or it gets bricked? My grandpa was just telling me today that his doctor left to go start her own practice and she charges $100/mo to be seen once per year or $1000/mo to be seen as much as you want. I mean WTF is that garbage? Everything is turning into a monthly pay service! You want to get rich? Start a monthly pay service. Doesn’t matter what, people are dumb and love paying monthly.
You do understand that the subscription model is one of the most ecological business model, as companies are actually encouraged to make durable products?

Making a comment for environment and against monthly subscriptions makes no sense in my opinion.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2016
374
668
I’ve actually been considering buying some of their gear lately to outfit my home as I don’t yet have many speakers in my home and most of our listening is done via AirPods or a mediocre sound bar. This seals the deal that I won’t be purchasing from them. What a terrible company. That’s so wasteful for the environment. Companies like this should be shamed into oblivion. You can’t just walk something like this back. It shows who they are at a core level and I don’t like who they are.

How long before these companies require us to pay monthly for using their hardware or it gets bricked? My grandpa was just telling me today that his doctor left to go start her own practice and she charges $100/mo to be seen once per year or $1000/mo to be seen as much as you want. I mean WTF is that garbage? Everything is turning into a monthly pay service! You want to get rich? Start a monthly pay service. Doesn’t matter what, people are dumb and love paying monthly.
I agree it was a terrible policy but “shamed into oblivion”? Really?

Every company — even the great ones — makes mistakes. How can we ever expect companies to improve if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes?
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,157
11,997
Europe
My band mate has this Bluetooth doohickey that allows him to send audio/music from any Bluetooth capable device to any amplifier’s audio input jack. I believe he said it cost $40.

After seeing it in action at practice this week (paired to an iPhone), I’m definitely snagging one. This way I can hook it up to whatever amplifier is in the room instead of buying special WiFi or Bluetooth speakers. Took 2 seconds to connect it to the mixing board for example.
The problem with bluetooth is: (1) range, (2) needs a smartphone to be on and present, and (3) bitrate.

(1) If you go into another room or down the hall, the music cuts out of stops.
(2) If you leave the house or turn off your phone, the music stops.
(3) Unless both the smartphone and reiver support aptX, the sound quality is meh.

The thing I love about Sonos is that it plays music without needing a smartphone at all. Sure you use the smartphone to start the music by telling it what to play, but then you're free to go anywhere, turn off your phone, go outside, whatever, and the Sonos will continue playing because the Sonos itself is the thing pulling down the stream.
 
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