There’s no shortage of streaming music options in the world, but the fine folks at Sonos decided we can all do with one more. Following the April launch of the ad-supported Sonos Radio, the company just announced a $7.99 a month premium tier called Sonos Radio HD. As its name implies, this is a streaming radio offering, rather than a full-fledged music service like Spotify/Apple Music.
The other bit the name should make clear is the bit rate is much higher. It’s 16-bit, versus the standard radio’s 128kbps, putting it at around lossless CD quality. The ad-free premium tier also adds the ability to skip and replay songs, which you can’t do on regular Sonos Radio.
There are a smattering of additional station offerings only available on Radio HD. In addition to Sonos Radio’s Thom Yorke, Brittany Howard, Jack White and Ludwig Göransson stations, HD gets Dolly Parton’s Songteller Radio. Which, fine, everyone loves Dolly Parton, to the best of my knowledge, so good get there. Additional artist-curated stations are coming at some point down the road.
There are a handful of additional curated genre stations, as well as a bunch of “soundtracks,” aimed at different moods like relaxation and productivity, including white noise, pink noise, brown noise, rain, rainforest and piano sounds.
The original Sonos Radio is now the No. 4 most listened to streaming service on Sonos speakers, according to the company. The fact that it’s free no doubt played a major roll in that. I suspect an $8 a month premium service is going to be a much heavier lift with all of the different options out there.
If you’re interested, it’s available starting today in the U.S. and U.K., following a one-month free trial.