Sonos Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Certain Speaker Models

Joanna Estrada
July 13, 2018

The lack of a user-friendly interface has put off some Sonos owners from buying more speakers for their house or caused people to buy instead lower-fidelity but easier-to-use speakers like the Echo.

If you're not an Apple Music user, you'll still likely get some benefit from the AirPlay 2 update. In April 2018 it then confirmed the speakers it would be updating. Today, we're confirming that newer Sonos speakers like Play:5, Playbase and Sonos One will support AirPlay 2, as will future Sonos products.

However, you're not out of luck if you have older Sonos products as long as you have at least one of the compatible speakers.

Thanks to the help of AirPlay 2, while you're watching your favorite TV shows and movies on your iPhone or iPad, you can send the audio to your Sonos speakers. Now, just over a month after Apple added AirPlay 2 as part of iOS 11.4, Sonos is the first third-party speaker company to dive head first into the new tech.

Of course, Google Assistant support has been promised since we first heard about the Sonos One a year ago, and it's as yet unclear if Amazon would act on the above if Sonos starts cosying up with its competitors in the voice-controlled speaker arena.

After the update is complete, hit Open or manually head back to the Sonos app. This means you can have a multi-room audio setup with a mix of speakers, not just ones from Sonos. That means that even non-AirPlay compatible speakers like Playbar or Play:1 can reap the sonic benefits of our AirPlay 2 integration, provided theyre grouped with one of our newer, AirPlay-friendly devices in the Sonos app. You can skip tracks, adjust volume, and control which speakers are playing.

The reason that it is only available on these speakers comes down to processing demands.

Following Sonos version 9.0, if you have an AirPlay capable device in your household with AirPlay enabled, it will no longer be possible to control your Sonos system from the lock screen of your iPhone or iPad when using the Sonos App to initiate playback.

Sonos notes that you can use the Alexa assistant built into the One and Beam to control music started through Siri commands, too, although, to be clear, Siri is less involved here than it is on the HomePod where it is integrated from the ground up.

Over time, Sonos let music services like Pandora and Spotify control the output on their speakers by allowing users to use the streaming apps for selecting songs and playlists.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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