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Sonos experiments with monthly rental option in the Netherlands

We’ve all grown accustomed to the idea of renting our music on a monthly basis, so why not rent our speakers too? That seems to be the idea behind a new option from Sonos called Flex, which lets customers rent various packages of wireless speakers from as little as 15 euros (about $16.50) per month.

Currently only available in the Netherlands, Flex offers three different Sonos packages: A pair of Sonos Ones ($16.50 per month), a pair of Sonos Ones plus a Sonos Beam ($27.50 per month), and a full home theater package with a pair of Sonos Ones, a Playbar, and a Sonos Sub ($55 per month).

Customers can pick from a black or white option (except for the Playbar). Along with the rental option, Sonos is also offering free installations if you rent the home theater package and live in Amsterdam.

The Flex rental option is only available to 500 homes in the Netherlands, according to The Verge, and the arrangement can be canceled at any time. Sonos is offering to upgrade renters’ equipment as soon as new models are released at no extra charge and shipping is free.

We reached out to Sonos to ask about the company’s future plans for Flex and were told that “it’s a small test,” and currently, it doesn’t have any future plans to expand the program outside of the Netherlands.

Renting hardware can be an attractive option for those who find the initial cost of some products too expensive. There’s no question, Sonos wireless speakers aren’t exactly cheap. They do, however, maintain their value exceptionally well thanks to their excellent build quality and Sonos’ long-term support of its products. Even 15 years after the first Sonos product was launched, you can still use it today on an existing Sonos system.

This raises an obvious question: Does it make sense to rent? Such an arrangement would give you access to the latest gear as it gets released. However, after only 30 months of renting a pair of Sonos Ones, you will have spent the same amount as buying a pair of these speakers.

It’s somewhat curious that in all three Flex packages, Sonos is using a pair of Sonos Ones. Given that the intent is to create a stereo pair (in the case of the cheapest option) and varying degrees of home theater sound in the other two options, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have two smart speakers in one room. With the Sonos Beam package, you end up with three smart speakers. Hopefully, Sonos will adjust the options to make use of the newly-launched Sonos One SL, an acoustic twin to the One, but without the smart speaker extras.

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