Sonos owners can now stream songs from the free streaming radio service


Sonos, the company behind some of the most popular wireless speakers, is taking a big leap forward in streaming with Sonos Radio.

This is an ad-supported free streaming service for owners of Sonos hardware. Listeners will have access to 60,000 local radio stations as well as original and curated programming from Sonos.

Sonos will integrate several Internet radio services, including TuneIn and iHeartRadio. Users will be able to access content based on their zip code, or simply connect to any station in the world, such as SomaFM in San Francisco or ByteFM in Germany.

Then there are the artist stations, run by people like Thom Yorke from Radiohead, which are ad-free. In Yorke’s words: “Here in a new form there is this ever-moving compilation / desk board habit that I have of putting together what I have recently found that fascinates or moves me, this that obsesses me, challenges me, opens new doors, reminds me of what I might have forgotten is incredibly complex or elegantly simple, violent, funny, messy, heavy or light. … eclectic.

Other artist stations will be launched “in the coming weeks”, thanks to Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, David Byrne and Third Man Records.

Sonos is also launching Sonos stations, which are free but ad-supported. They’re inspired by the genre, says Sonos, and with names like Concert Hall, Kids Rock, and Hip Hop Archive, they’re a lot like Apple Music stations. Sonos says they will be regularly updated and hand picked.

Finally, the Sonos Sound System is a Beats 1 type radio station with music handpicked by DJs and artists such as Angel Olsen, JPEGMAFIA, Phoebe Bridgers, Jeff Parker (Turtle) and Vagabon. It is also ad-free.

Sonos Radio is the new default setting for Sonos owners. In a way, it competes with existing streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The advantage for Sonos speaker owners is that they can enjoy free music without having to pay additional monthly payments. Of course, Sonos will continue to support over a hundred streaming services like it did before.

The new service is only available on Sonos speakers and soundbars. In addition, the streaming quality is 128 kbps according to The Verge, which is much lower than Spotify (320 kbps) and Apple Music (256 kbps).

The service has a somewhat phased launch. Global radio stations are immediately available worldwide, while original programming launches today in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia, with more countries to follow.