Sonos takes on SiriusXM with new paid Radio HD service

Sonos has introduced an $8-a-month radio service, as well as a revamped upgrade program for users of older speakers.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury

Sonos on Thursday launched its own paid radio service called Radio HD, which includes exclusive curated content such as Dolly Parton's Songteller Radio. 

The service includes more than 45 genre and artist-curated stations in lossless FLAC (16-bit/44.1 kHz), and it is in addition to the existing free Sonos Radio. Radio HD launches initially in the US and UK and will be available for $8 (£8) per month after a free 30-day trial.
The music-based service can only be listened to on Sonos speakers, whereas the $8 SiriusXM Essential Streaming service can be listened to on PCs, phones and smart speakers. Given Radio HD users are confined to wherever their speakers are (though Sonos may have headphones in the works), its appeal appears to be limited, especially compared to other $10 streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The company also detailed the new Sonos Upgrade Program, which allows current users to get discounts on new speakers if they own existing products, some of which are no longer getting software updates

  • 15% off any Sonos product if they have the Connect:AMP (Gen 2), Connect (Gen 2), Play:1 , Play:3 , Play:5 (Gen 2), Playbar  or Playbase . One discount per eligible product. 
  • 30% off the Boost if they have the Bridge. One discount per eligible product.
  • 30% off any Sonos product if they have the Connect:AMP (Gen 1), Connect (Gen 1) or Play:5 (Gen 1). One discount per eligible product.