Sonos has announced a number of additions to its streaming radio service, Sonos Radio. The ad-supported service, which launched last April, now includes a slew of new shows, podcasts, and artist hours. Of these, one of the major new shows will be Black Is Black, a new monthly radio show hosted by DJ Lindsey.
Sonos has described the show as “studying the impact of the black diaspora on modern music”. If you want to tune in, Black Is Black launches on Sonos Radio on February 4, 2021. And if you don’t own a Sonos or are not connected to your connected speaker system and want to listen, the show is also available on the MixCloud podcast platform. “Object Of Sound” is another new addition that Sonos announced this month. This weekly podcast covers culture and music and is moderated by poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib. Like Black Is Black, this show will be available on MixCloud at the same time as it premieres on Sonos Radio.
According to Sonos, Sonos Radio is now the fourth most popular streamed service for Sonos connected speakers worldwide, which is pretty impressive. As with traditional radio stations, there is no way to skip songs or rewind playback (at least not at the free tier). However, when an artist appears on a radio, Sonos includes a link that lets you search one of your streaming services for its catalog. Here’s a quick way to find Spotify playlists or albums hosted on Apple Music if you come across a new favorite during a show.
British music publication Crack Magazine also hosts a twice-weekly show where presenters talk to artists about the musical heroes who never achieved the fame they deserved. The show, titled Unsung, is now available to stream on Sonos Radio. The partnership with Crack Magazine follows a similar strategy from Apple Music, also available for streaming to Sonos speakers from the app, which has worked with Pitchfork, NME, GQ and Vogue, among others, to name a few.
Finally, Sonos Radio will also host new Artist Radio Hours that highlight the work of a number of notable artists, including Tiwa Savage, Chris Stapleton, A $ AP Ferg, Yola, Japanese Breakfast, and Sun Ra Arkestra.
In addition, Sonos Radio will have radio hours from D’Angelo, FKA Twigs, The Chemical Brothers and Bjork to tease their special stations on Songs Radio HD. The latter started in November 2020 and expanded its catalog with original radio stations from artists and experienced curators – all streamed with a noticeable increase in quality.
Like TiDAL, Sonos Radio transmits HD streams in high-resolution, lossless audio quality in CD quality (16-bit / 44.1 kHz FLAC). “Listening to high-definition audio provides even more detail on the thousands of songs handpicked for Sonos Radio, all curated and programmed for home listening on Sonos,” said the audio company at the time.
In contrast to the standard Sonos radio without HD, which can be streamed free of charge with the help of advertising for any Sonos owner, with Sonos Radio HD you get 7.99 euros back per month.
That’s a little cheaper than Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer monthly plans. However, Sonos Radio HD is likely to be an addition to these services – not a replacement.