How to set up and use AirPlay 2 with your Sonos speakers

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How to set up AirPlay 2 on Sonos speakers

Let us take you back to a darker time - circa 2013 - when Sonos users were imprisoned in one of the worst ecosystems: an app so bad it was borderline unusable; a requirement to run every speaker through a bridge.

How far we’ve come. No more bridge. An app that doesn’t suck. And now - finally! - AirPlay 2.

Read this: The best AirPlay 2 speakers

Apple’s latest wireless protocol is live on Sonos speakers, letting you stream music straight from an iOS device to your speakers. In fact, using AirPlay 2 you can circumvent the Sonos app entirely and still group your speakers together. You can also group your Sonos speakers with Apple's HomePod.

Which Sonos speakers are compatible with AirPlay 2?

Short answer: all the new ones. The Sonos One, second generation Play:5, Sonos Beam soundbar and the Playbase. Anything else won’t be able to play with AirPlay 2 directly, however that’s not the end of the story. You can also get older Sonos speakers working with AirPlay 2.

How to set up and use AirPlay 2 with Sonos speakers

How to set up AirPlay 2 on Sonos

If you haven't done so already, you're going to need to update your Sonos speakers. But wait! Before you do that, make sure the app itself is up to date, otherwise you may not be able to update the speakers. Once you've done that...

1. Open the Sonos app. You should see a prompt to update, but if not, tap on More. If you still don't see a prompt, tap on Settings > Online Updates. The app will manually scan for any updates available.

2. Open up AirPlay 2 on your iOS device by bringing up the Control Panel and then Force Touching the music widget (or just tap the top right corner of the box). Then tap the AirPlay icon. You should see your updates Sonos speakers appear in the list.

3. Select the speakers you want to play from. Remember, AirPlay 2 lets you select multiple speakers at once.

How to get Siri working with Sonos

Right now, only Alexa is available natively on Sonos speakers - and only on the Sonos One and Sonos Beam soundbar. Sonos has an open philosophy with smart assistants and plans are afoot to add Google Assistant to the aforementioned speakers later this year.

Where does that leave Siri? Don’t expect it to live natively on Sonos speakers any time soon (Apple’s not the type of company to completely bequeath its assistant to others). However, you can get Siri working with Sonos, via AirPlay 2, if you register it in the Apple Home app. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to ask Siri to play music on specific Sonos speakers, so long as you’re using Apple Music or playing music from your local Music library (it’s just one of those annoying limitations right now, sadly).

How to set up and use AirPlay 2 with Sonos speakers

To set this up, head into the Home app on your iPhone or iPad and hit the + icon at the top right. Select ‘Add accessory’ and on the next screen tap “Don’t have a Code or Can’t Scan?”. If your Sonos speaker is switched on and nearby, it should appear here. Tap on it to assign it to a room and give it a name. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to say things like, "Hey Siri, play Animal Collective on Sonos One".


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