Sonos drops controversial ‘Recycle Mode’ tradein requirement that bricked older devices

Sonos has announced that it is abandoning its controversial Recycle Mode. This was a requirement of its Trade Up program, with Sonos requesting that users essentially brick their older hardware in exchange for a 30% discount on a newer Sonos speaker.

When a user used the Sonos Trade Up program, the company would enable something called Recycle Mode on the legacy speaker. This would start a 21-day countdown, after which the device would stop working. The pitch was simple: Enable Recycle Mode on a legacy speaker and get a 30% discount on a new Sonos product.

Sonos argued that the “feature” was designed to protect user privacy, but critics said it had a harmful impact on Sonos’ sustainability.

The Verge reports today, however, that Sonos is ending that policy. Now, when a Sonos customer uses the Trade Up program, they’ll now get to pick what happens with their old speaker. They can choose to “keep it, give it to someone, recycle it at a local e-waste facility, or send it to Sonos and let the company handle the responsible recycling part.”

Best of all, the Trade Up program still offers a 30% discount, even if you opt to keep the old speaker and keep using it. Sonos will still encourage users to erase their old speakers before giving them away, selling them, or recycling them, the company says.

Legacy Sonos products eligible for the Trade Up program include the original Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect and Connect:Amp devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015. Sonos still says, however, that legacy products won’t receive new feature updates, though it will keep rolling out necessary security fixes.

Learn more about the Sonos Trade Up program on the company’s support site right here. What do you think of the Sonos Trade Up program and the controversial Recycle Mode requirement? Let us know down in the comments!

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