Sonos is also adding a handful of its in-house curated stations to the paid tier, including six stations focused specifically on providing sleep background sounds. Other stations, like the world music-focused Distant Kingdom and Chill Beats are not dissimilar to what you’d hear in the existing station list, but Sonos says some of its new stations — like Full Symphony are well-suited to the increased quality of the HD service.
Finally, Sonos Radio HD subscribers will be able to play all of the service’s curated streaming stations without ads, which is a pretty key inclusion for a paid service. Beyond that, subscribers will also be able to rewind, skip and repeat songs from those stations. Obviously, there’s no way to control terrestrial radio stations, but you’ll have a lot more control over the Sonos-curated options.
It’s worth pointing out that subscribers will still only have access to Sonos Radio when listening on Sonos speakers, so there’s no way to take this paid content with you. And it’s also entirely plausible that lots of Sonos users are already paying for enough music subscriptions that the idea of adding another one could be a stretch. But Sonos says that its free radio service is already the fourth most popular streaming option on its platform, and also that its listeners were asking for features like high-definition and skipping songs. Sonos Radio HD might end up a relatively small niche in the company’s business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find some fans.