Sonos jumps into paid CD-quality music streaming with Sonos Radio HD

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Maybe it was inevitable that Sonos would observe up its free web radio aggregation service, Sonos Radio, with a pay-for high-resolution model. Sonos guarantees to ship music encoded in 16-bit FLAC for simply $7.99 per thirty days, beginning right this moment. However earlier than you pour one out for providers like Qobuz and Tidal that cost greater than twice as a lot for a similar high quality, notice that that is radio, not music on demand. You gained’t be capable to name up your favourite artists, albums, or tunes everytime you get the hankering to listen to them.

That stated, you possibly can poke across the tons of of stations till you discover one thing that matches your vibe. And in contrast to typical radio—by way of the web or over the air—a lot of the music streaming on Sonos Radio HD will likely be free from advertisements (I’ll clarify that “most” half in a bit). The subscription price can even entitle you to skip tracks you don’t look after and replay ones that you simply do. The target is to create a lean-back listening expertise that encourages music discovery, in line with the Sonos spokesperson I talked to.

The paid service will likely be accessible solely on the Sonos S2 app, and can initially be out there solely within the U.S. and the U.Ok.. As with its present Sonos Radio—which is able to stay out there on each the first- and second-generation Sonos apps—Sonos says it can supply unique content material and artist-curated stations which can be extra than simply playlists. These will embody all of the stations on the free Sonos Radio—streamed in larger decision, after all—plus new stations that will likely be unique to the paid service.

The corporate plans so as to add 5 new artist-curate stations early subsequent yr, which is able to be a part of the likes of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s Within the Absence Thereof…, Alabama Shakes’ singer Brittany Howard’s Encyclopedia of Brittany, and Jack White’s Third Man Information file label’s Third Man Public Tackle System. First amongst these will likely be Dolly Parton’s Songteller Particular (Parton’s present can even be out there on Mixcloud).


Dolly Parton’s Songteller Radio will likely be among the many first new artist-curated stations out there on Sonos HD radio.

To have fun the launch of Sonos Radio HD, the corporate is including new content material to the ad-supported free tier and increasing its availability to 5 new international locations. The HD service is getting seven new high-resolution channels: Distant Kingdom (an eclectic mixture of music from all over the world), Full Symphony (classical music, after all), Mellow Morning (acoustic units), Unforgettable (jazz classics), Chill Beats (hip hop beats and “mellow grooves”), Americana Ramble (people, nation, bluegrass), and The Interior Now (ambient and environmental tracks appropriate for meditation, focus, and relaxation).

Now, for a proof of that “largely free from advertisements” remark Sonos Radio HD can even carry feeds from 60,000 terrestrial radio stations, most of that are advert supported, so these advertisements will play. These stations additionally management the standard of their streams, so don’t anticipate the identical pristine expertise you’ll hear from the customized and curated stations.

Sonos is providing a 30-day free trial of the service, and we predict Sonos customers ought to give it a pay attention.

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