In context: It’s never a fun time when a corporation ends support for its older products, but it’s often considered a necessary evil — after all, it can become quite expensive and impractical to keep particularly old software or hardware alive. Nonetheless, Sonos generated quite a bit of controversy earlier this year when it suddenly cut off support for many of its legacy products.
The company’s Sonos Bridge, its first-gen Play: 5, the CR200, the Zone Players, and Connect and Connect: Amp (most of which were launched in the early 2000s) were all put out to pasture, which infuriated some of the company’s most loyal long-time customers. Sonos stopped issuing software updates to these devices due to “technical limits,” such as now-archaic CPUs and memory capacities. This means that, eventually, at least some of the gadgets are likely to stop functioning properly.
However, an end to official support wasn’t the only irritating part of Sonos’ decision for many users. The company’s “recycling” program also ruffled some feathers. In exchange for a 30 percent discount on the purchase of new equipment, this program instructed customers to put their existing gadgets into “recycle mode,” which bricked their functionality.
For those who wanted the discount but also wished to continue using their products (or give them to a friend), recycle mode felt like a slightly-draconian measure. Now, it seems Sonos agrees: it will be killing off recycle mode outright. Owners of the “legacy” products mentioned above can still get a free 30 percent discount on new products (without needing to trade in their old ones) by simply providing proof of ownership.
To do so, you’ll need to validate the serial number of whichever legacy product (or products) you own. Recycle mode will not be necessary, and you’ll be free to keep using your aging devices, sell them, or give them away. If you already participated in the old recycle mode program, Sonos advises you to contact its customer service team for assistance.
Although we’re not sure how pleasant your experience will be if you choose to retain your old gadgets, we’re still glad that Sonos has reversed course here. Forcing your loyal customers to brick their devices to get a discount on new products wasn’t a great look for the company.