New SONOS Brigde with integrated Apple AirPlay support


So far it is only possible to use SONOS and Apple Airplay when connecting a SONOS Connect or Play:5 with an additional Apple device supporting AirPlay (e.g. Airport Express). Therefore, the idea is to develop a SONOS Bridge which has integrated support for Apple AirPlay without additional hardware. 

Benefits would be in this case that
- no additional hardware and cabeling is necessary to use AirPlay in the SONOS system
- one could easily allow guests to quickly output their audio to the SONOS system
- all iOS devices would be supported as a sources without further software
- with an appropriate AirPlay software on PC / Mac one could even send audio from there into the Sonos audio system

The Sonos controller could then represent this "AirPlay input" as a new audio source within the complete SONOS system.

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29 replies

Apple is dropping Airport Express production? Could be...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/9to5mac.com/2016/11/21/apple-reportedly-stops-developing-airport-wifi-router-products-moving-employees-to-other-projects/amp/

With Apple now selling Sonos products, let's speculate about the future...

Apple Music app casting natively to Sonos, like Google now does? Apple invents a new, modern casting protocol like Chromecast or Spotify Connect (proprietary, of course, lol) which Sonos includes?
I agree, really supporting airplay will be just a MINIMUM from Sonos to fully enjoy its speakers from an iPhone, which just represent 1 on 2 smartphone !!!! :((((
And their walk around solution with the airport is just a BAD JOKE when you see the price of the speakers...
Great idea! If Sonos are ignoring native AirPlay support, I guess this is the next best thing.
I agree. Using the Apple TV or Airport is just crazy when the Play 5 already has the all the hardware that's necessary.
Come on Sonos you simply have to get on board or lose sales. In frustration I have already resorted to buying a JBL speaker. It hasn't got the sonic abilities of my Play 5 but it is so much more convenient. Sad but true.
Had I realised the AirPlay was not included I would have saved myself 350 pounds.
Airplay is outdated and unreliable technology. Sonos will never add it and good thing too.
Why would Sonos adopt something which Bose just dropped because they couldn't make it work with multi-room? Airplay triples the amount of bandwidth used, relies on the phone/tablet to stream, thus sucking the battery, and it isn't that reliable in the first place (i.e. Sonos had to substantially increase the buffer size on the line-in to accommodate Airplay's stuttering). I imagine even Apple is looking for a replacement for Airplay, since rival Google has adopted the far superior "stream direct to the device" method with Chromecast.
Well other manufacturers make it work perfectly well. JBL for instance.
Sonos are perfectly capable of making it work. All the evidence is that they don't think it's worth a minute of their limited development time. They may well introduce a casting solution at some point. They won't, IMO, touch Airplay with a barge pole.
BUT you can't ignore that half the mobile phone users on earth are Apple customers, so a solution is needed.. whatever it's called.
You can be an Apple user without wanting Airplay. There is an app for iOS devices. You can play music stored on your iphone or IPad direct to Sonos. You can play the music in your iTunes library including your playlists. Apple users are not exactly excluded.
Well other manufacturers make it work perfectly well. JBL for instance.

Last I checked it was to one speaker at a time only, which is the reason why Bose dropped it. You can't do multi-room with Airplay unless you do it from iTunes on a computer and even then the synch is not that great and the bandwidth used is atrocious. Airplay is simply crap compared to a true multi-room system, and Sonos isn't going to incorporate an inferior technology. That's what the line-in is for.
That's great news. I had no idea. I was told that I needed to use an Apple TV or Airport.
Thanks John B
You would need those things to play your computer's audio output, e.g. YouTube. But Sonos it really well set up for playing music files on your phone or Mac wirelessly. Now, is there any way we can help you to get that working for you?
Just downloading the App and will get back to the forum if I can't work it out.
Thanks again John B
That's great. Lots of advice on the Sonos Support website but do come back on here if any questions.

This link may help:

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2933/~/playing-music-from-an-iphone%2Fipad%2Fipod-touch.
airplay support is really needed. I have a so is system, but more and more I revert to by small JBL Bluetooth speaker which allows me to play anything from my iPhone.
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i've used airport extreme since I got a play 5 in 2011. Unfortunately, I've lived with connection dropouts due to wifi issues. I want another speaker to use elsewhere in my house, but now I'm wondering if I should even stick with Sonos since they don't support airplay. A bridge would enhance my connection but I then I can't use airplay at all.

I prefer using itunes/apple music for playing music and then just hitting airplay. I don't like the sonos app for managing and playing music.

I listen to alot of podcasts through an app called Downcast and that isn't available in sonos player.

Since apple is halting production of networking products, airplay should be a no-brainer in the bridge. I don't understand why the support isn't there. From what I can tell, it's not in many speakers out there. Wouldn't it be a great feature to help sell Sonos speakers?

I'm considering getting one or more bose speakers, at least I could use bluetooth as easy as in my car with those.
BRIDGE is a pure networking component, linking the wired and wireless (SonosNet) segments. It has no higher level audio processing functions at all. To add Airplay would be quite illogical.

Besides Airplay is a technology which even Bose opted to drop from their latest Soundtouch models. Having to loop the audio stream out through a device compromises reliability.
Casting would conform to the approved model, of passing the stream directly from source to player rather than forwarding it through the mobile device. All well and good for Apple Music (maybe one day), but it would leave other apps high and dry unless/until they could also cast.
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I really like the integration of sonos within it's own ecosystem of speakers. I just need reliable streaming to one sonos device from what I gather since once that is established, the sonos play 5 would cast to a play 1 using it's own network. Since sonos has added Apple music to their app, I can live with craftign playlists in sonos, and depending on a boost/bridge for better network.

I would however depend on the airport express and it's audio output to a primary sonos speaker in order to listen to podcasts…UNLESS sonos integrates more apps (I use downcast) into the sonos player. Downcast keeps track of my position in whichever podcasts I listen to, so when I move to a different device (like my iphone in the car) I am synced up.

It seems like it would be better to stick with sonos and just get another damn speaker and enjoy it 🙂 Nothing out there really supports airplay for multiple speaker support anyway from what I can tell.

Actually, does ANY speaker system create it's own network and play throughout a multiple set of speakers?
Actually, does ANY speaker system create it's own network and play throughout a multiple set of speakers?
I believe Raumfeld does, but they're a bit on the periphery of this market space.
AirPlay support would be great! Similar to Bluetooth Audio support...
Think this a great idea
Yes please add a full Airplay to Sonos
In theory, this is only a licensing issue, and it could be rolled out to each Sonos device individually as a firmware upgrade—it should be possible with the radio already in place, and it would be much better than the hack of attaching an AirPlay device. Further, it could work the same way that PlayTo works with Sonos...where you can simply select any of your Sonos devices as AirPlay output devices without having to touch a Sonos controller. Users who want to control AirPlay as a source could continue to use a separate device In.