Sonos is trialing a new speaker rental service dubbed ‘Flex’

Sonos – the California-based audio company known for its networked hi-fi systems – has just launched a subscription service called Flex, which allows customers to borrow their speakers.

At present, only 500 companies in the Netherlands have the option to sign up for Flex. However, if the test phase is successful, Sonos will probably launch the service worldwide.

Three ways

Currently, the service is offered in three levels, each with different speaker configurations.

For € 15 a month, you can rent two Sonos One smart speakers to pair for stereo use. In addition, for $ 10, you can add a Sonos Beam soundbar for great TV audio with added connectivity options.

However, for a total of $ 50 a month, you can upgrade to a Sonos Playbar, Subwoofer, and two Sonos One speakers. This can either lead to an impressive home theater array or be distributed throughout the house for a connected audio setup.

Subscriptions can be canceled at any time. During the subscription period, units will be replaced by newer models when released.

Hardware subscription services

This is not the first audio hardware subscription service we have seen. Melbourne-based Nura offers its Flagship Nuraphone headphones for a monthly fee earlier in the year.

Similar to NuraNow, Sonos Flex aims to provide a world-class audio experience without the customers having to spend huge sums of money immediately.

The structure of the above two services works well for customers who always need the latest version of the product as they do not need to repeatedly re-invest the full price in the latest version of the hardware as it is released.

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However, these services may not be useful for those who want to use their speakers or headphones over the long term because they will not own the device even if they paid the retail price equivalent over their subscription.

Another step Sonos undertook to make its range of speakers more accessible was its partnership with the Swedish furniture brand Ikea. The Symfonisk speaker series is the most cost-effective solution offered by Sonos. It is integrated into products such as bookshelves and lamps.

If the trial proves successful, we'll learn more about Flex's international availability in the near future. Until then, however, you will need to increase the full price if you want to enjoy the Sonos experience.

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