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Sonos is a wireless speaker company. They are one of the most popular wireless speaker brands in the world. Sonos created wireless speaker systems for the whole house. They were the first company to let people easily play the same music in every room of their house. People normally build Sonos systems into their houses so they are not easy to replace.

Sonos has now said that their older systems will not get new updates. This means they will eventually stop working in the future. They need updates to continue working. Many people are angry because they still use the old products. 92% of Sonos products ever sold are still used today. People expect to use these music systems for many years.

The situation is made worse when compared to traditional home music systems. Traditional music systems can be used for decades without any changes or updates. It is not something that people want to update often.

Sonos has added a new “Recycle Mode” to the products. If Recycle Mode is activated, then the device can never be used again. If a customer wants to buy a new Sonos product, they can get a 30% discount if they activate Recycle Mode. People are angry at this because it means they can’t be reused and reusing things is better for the environment than recycling them. Many of these products could be sold and reused but this Recycle Mode means that can never happen.

Difficult Words

Wireless (adj): To have no wires or connections to something else.

Eventually (adv): To happen after a long delay.

Mode (n): An option allowing a change.

Activate (v): To turn on or start.

Discount (n): A sale or option to pay less money.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Wireless  A. In the end
 2. Eventually  B. Sale
 3. Mode  C. Start
 4. Activate  D. Option
 5. Discount  E. Cordless

True or False?

1. Sonos is a smart watch company. T / F

2. Sonos makes speaker systems for the house. T / F

3. It is easy to replace Sonos home speaker systems. T / F

4. People expect to replace speaker systems every few years. T / F

5. Sonos is offering a discount to recycle your old speaker. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. speaker / wireless / a / Sonos / is / company

2. created / wireless speaker / the / for / systems / whole house. / Sonos

3. eventually / stop / working / means / This / will / they

4. updates / They / need / working / continue / to

5. for / be / can / used / Traditional / decades / music systems

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English: 

Expect Wireless Environment
Device Eventually Decades

Sonos is a wireless speaker company. They are one of the most popular (1)___________ speaker brands in the world. Sonos created wireless speaker systems for the whole house. They were the first company to let people easily play the same music in every room of their house. People normally build Sonos systems into their houses so they are not easy to replace.

Sonos has now said that their older systems will not get new updates. This means they will (2)_______________ stop working in the future. They need updates to continue working. Many people are angry because they still use the old products. 92% of Sonos products ever sold are still used today. People (3)__________ to use these music systems for many years.

The situation is made worse when compared to traditional home music systems. Traditional music systems can be used for (4)____________ without any changes or updates. It is not something that people want to update often.

Sonos has added a new “Recycle Mode” to the products. If Recycle Mode is activated, then the (5)_________ can never be used again. If a customer wants to buy a new Sonos product, they can get a 30% discount if they activate Recycle Mode. People are angry at this because it means they can’t be reused and reusing things is better for the (6)________________ than recycling them. Many of these products could be sold and reused but this Recycle Mode means that can never happen.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you own any Sonos or similar products?
5. Do you have any smart products in your home?
6. Is it right for people to be angry over the environmental impact of making the products unusable?
7. Is the 30% discount on new products fair?
8. Does this story make you nervous to install smart products in your home?
9. Are there any other products that you think should last for decades?
10. How often do you like to replace your major electronics?
11. How often do you like to remodel your home?
12. Do you think the response from the CEO is reassuring to customers?
13. Is it right to expect a product like this to last for more than 15 years?
14. Are there any products that you don’t want to buy because of how long they might last?
15. Are home music systems popular in your country?
16. Are home movie systems popular in your country?
17. What is the longest you have ever owned a product?
18. Do you think companies try to make products obsolete more often these days?
19. Do you think products lasted longer in the past?
20. Are there any questions you’d like to ask the CEO of Sonos?