The Sonos Trade-Up program started a year ago. It offers you a discount for a new device if you set your device to recycle mode. When users do so, the device turns useless.

Sonos states that the program aims for sustainability, which does not appear to be true after all. This method destroys the device and turns it into a pile of waste. An e-waste recycler shared recently that Sonos’ recycling practice intentionally bricks old devices so they cannot be reused.

This program raised debate on Twitter as some Sonos Play: 5 users shared their experiences. Each speaker is worth about $250, and it is mandatory that customers set their devices in ‘recycle mode’ to access the program.

After 21 days, the device is deactivated and cannot be ‘recycled’ as it renders the device permanently useless. This could turn out more as a marketing strategy than a proper recycling option.

Many program participants think they’re helping the environment. That is not true, because when the devices join the ‘recycle mode’ the devices become useless. The next and last step of the Sonos device and their final destination is the landfill.

All in all: if you have a Sonos device, be as careful as possible. Know that if you activate ‘recycle mode’ accidentally, it will stop working. That mode takes 21 days to set the device totally unusable. There is no way to stop it once enabled.

The bricked hardware can’t be repaired. In addition, the serial number of the speaker gets to a blacklist on Sonos servers and the product is dead.
The salvaged parts can not be reused and the campaign is not as recycle friendly as it claims in first place.

Sonos responded to the unhappy Twitter thread. In conclusion, they affirmed that ‘Sonos Trade-Up program helps customers interested in upgrading to the next generation of Sonos products. The program offers a 30% discount by removing speakers from used circulation, rather than recycling them’


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