No Airplay 2 for Playbar. GUTTED !!!!!



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I guess “fair” is a consensus descision by stake holders? But it’s also a personal moral question. It’s a matter of opinion. I didn’t study philosophy, but I am entitled to my opinion as much as you are to yours.
Indeed you most certainly are.

I'm a fan of inexpensive equipment as well. But that being said, I want the company and people who created the device/technology to be fairly compensated, and continue doing what I found to be useful. But that doesn't need to alter your opinion.

But as you say, it's up to me to decide whether what that company is charging is a "fair" value for the device technology. If I feel it's not, I don't spend my money..

There's a similar issue to that floating around these boards, where people are concerned about software features that haven't been released yet, and there are those who tell them that they never purchase a device based on what it might do in the future, but only what it can do at the point at which is was purchased. I'll admit to having been burned by that before, too.
I still feel like we are dancing around the issue. Marketing the playbar and playbase without pointing out to consumers that the playbar has inferior or older tech inside, rubs me the wrong way. A pricing difference would be an obvious way to differentiate the two. It’s not about the money it’s about the price as an indicator of capability. I don’t care about the price per say. In the last 6 months I have purchased over 15 Sonos speakers, including a playbar, a play 5, sub, boost, several play 1s and a Sonos one. I am pleased with the system, however I can’t shake the feeling that the pricing/marketing strategy for the playbar is not ideal. When they release a new model, if I’m not happy with my current playbar, I’ll just buy a new one. It doesn’t mean that I was incorrect above.
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Hopefully Sonos will add a sticker to stock boxes, to indicate that airplay2 is supported on that device when it happens.
Otherwise customers are going to think the playbar, play1, play3 will work with airplay2.
I don't think I've ever seen a product advertise it's release date when it's a few or more years old. It clearly doesn't help sell the product. I have seen older models priced lower than newer models, but the reason is always described as a difference in features between the two models, not due to difference of release date. For the playbar/playbase, there currently is no difference in features. Perhaps they will feel compelled to lower the price on the playbar when airplay is available.

Another way to look at this, Sonos was effectively selling the playbase at a discount because it had better future proofing then the playbar. Do you Sonos could have added to the price of the playbase and market the reason as 'more future proofed'? It will possibly be able to have some unknown feature at an unknown date that the playbar won't be able to do? There will be lots of customers who will view that as a cash grab by Sonos, not as them somehow doing the customer a favor. Some customers will probably even assume that Sonos is just blindly favoring playbar users over playbase as some sort of way to steer the market in the direction it wants.
Well with the playbar. If you have the surround speaker as Sonos one. Then that group will be airplay2.

With the connect family. Maybe Sonos will come out with an add on so airplay2 can find the older device groups. They have the tech already. Just rip the brains from a play 5 or Sonos one. And make it a small it to that you can add to connect groups.


Actually according to Sonos support the surround system lead device (Playbar) will be the determining factor in Airplay 2 capability. That means only a Beam or Playbase will be able to be used to make your home theatre setup Airplay 2 enabled.

Directly from Sonos support:

Hi, thanks for reaching out. If you have a home theater setup with stereo surrounds, it is your home theater product (Playbar, Playbase or Beam) that will determine your setup’s AirPlay 2 compatibility. Using Sonos One or the Play:5 gen2 as surround speakers with the Playbar won’t bring Airplay 2 to the setup. However, if you have a Playbase or Beam, you can use AirPlay 2 with your home theater system.
Gutted. Bought the Playbar, 2x Play Ones and bass. Opted for the Playbar instead of play base as reviews mentioned that the Playbase had a bit of a tinny sound. Pretty miffed that I’ve spent $2k on something that sounds great, but doesn’t work with AP2 as we have a predominantly Apple household. What are my options here? Cross over to the dark side (alexa) and purchase a sonos one as an add-on speaker?

If you are still within your return period then just return the playbar for playbase. If not you can just sell the playbar on craigslist and get the Beam when it comes out next month. Either solution will give you Airplay 2 for the whole system.
Gutted. Bought the Playbar, 2x Play Ones and bass. Opted for the Playbar instead of play base as reviews mentioned that the Playbase had a bit of a tinny sound. Pretty miffed that I’ve spent $2k on something that sounds great, but doesn’t work with AP2 as we have a predominantly Apple household. What are my options here? Cross over to the dark side (alexa) and purchase a sonos one as an add-on speaker?

If you are still within your return period then just return the playbar for playbase. If not you can just sell the playbar on craigslist and get the Beam when it comes out next month. Either solution will give you Airplay 2 for the whole system.


***Update***

I went back to the store today and explained the situation. They were really understanding and were very happy for me to return the Playbar and swap it out for the Playbase. Have set up the unit and although it does seem a bit tinny in the top end for treble compared to the Playbar, it’s overall a great sound. I’m hoping that overtime as more software updates are released the sound gets even better. Very happy!
I too am super disappointed Sonos didn't at some point just update the CPU without a major overhaul to ensure future proof. My playbar is about 6 months old..
I didn't buy Playbar to buy into Sonos, it was more practical, hang under TV that can turn and it works well for that
It's plugged to Apple TV anyway so no for Airplay on playbar. I try not to use their App at all but what annoys me is I can't even change the EQ without being forced to update the Playbar - I don't want to update the Playbar software, leave it alone it works fine the way it is!
It's not the CPU, it's the memory. And although upgrading the memory a while back makes sense in hindsight, it never did in the past. Sonos couldn't have predicted that Apple (or someone was) going to coming up with a protocol that was going to need more memory than the playbar could give to it.

As far as the software updates. you can change the settings so that it won't look to update whenever an update is available.

And honestly, you're super disappointed that Sonos doesn't have more hardware updates, want more future proofing, disappointed the playbar won't have a software update for airplay 2, but don't want any software updates because you think the playbar is fine the way it is?
And honestly, you're super disappointed that Sonos doesn't have more hardware updates, want more future proofing, disappointed the playbar won't have a software update for airplay 2, but don't want any software updates because you think the playbar is fine the way it is?

haha, yes indeed, as I said I didn't buy Playbar to buy into Sonos; think I was aware at the time about Airplay 2 so didn't matter but I'm disappointed nonetheless. I like to choose when to do my updating, not being forced to update before I can change the eq setting. I'll check the updates option. I hate autoupdating; as a long time computer user, updates don't always mean BETTER, sometimes they do worse things.
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Well with the playbar. If you have the surround speaker as Sonos one. Then that group will be airplay2.

With the connect family. Maybe Sonos will come out with an add on so airplay2 can find the older device groups. They have the tech already. Just rip the brains from a play 5 or Sonos one. And make it a small it to that you can add to connect groups.


ENTIRELY WRONG! Sadly... It's clearly indicated in the FAQ section of Sonos website that it's not the surround speakers but the home-theater speakers that determine if the setup will be compatible with AirPlay 2. They give the exemple of the Playbar connected with Sonos One and NO it will not be compatible with AirPlay 2.

Personally I don't buy that BS about the Playbar being to old. As a manager I know for certain that it's a business decision from Sonos. That the old Playbar bought 7 years ago can't be compatible ok I can easily accept that. But that the Playbar a customer bought last year doesn't have an updated hardware compatible that's unacceptable. The whole world knew for the last 12 months, since Apple's 2017 WWDC, that Apple was coming with an important update to their streaming protocol for multi-room audio. We've have been waiting a whole year for that. So when Sonos sold Playbar last year they knew about Airplay 2 (probably not the new name, but what was coming). They could have made sure ALL their line-up of products would be compatible. They have done do it with the Playbase BEFORE Airplay 2 was released. They could have done the same with their flagship Playbar. They didn't. That was a marketing/management decision. And now soon this year they will most probably release a Playbar 2.0

Now we know that Sonos is like most companies in the electronic industry and in this capitalist world, they want us to throw away our current products and buy new ones. I naively thought Sonos was better than that.

Personally I don't buy that BS about the Playbar being to old. As a manager I know for certain that it's a business decision from Sonos. That the old Playbar bought 7 years ago can't be compatible ok I can easily accept that. But that the Playbar a customer bought last year doesn't have an updated hardware compatible that's unacceptable. The whole world knew for the last 12 months, since Apple's 2017 WWDC, that Apple was coming with an important update to their streaming protocol for multi-room audio. We've have been waiting a whole year for that. So when Sonos sold Playbar last year they knew about Airplay 2 (probably not the new name, but what was coming). They could have made sure ALL their line-up of products would be compatible. They have done do it with the Playbase BEFORE Airplay 2 was released. They could have done the same with their flagship Playbar. They didn't. That was a marketing/management decision. And now soon this year they will most probably release a Playbar 2.0

Now we know that Sonos is like most companies in the electronic industry and in this capitalist world, they want us to throw away our current products and buy new ones. I naively thought Sonos was better than that.


You obviously don't know Sonos very well if you think thats how they operate and you being a "manager" means absolutely nothing unless you are a manager at Sonos. Their business decision is to support their products as long as possible with as many features as possible. Most of the products in their lineup are pretty old and have not seen updates. The Connect and Connect:Amp are VERY old products that were previously known as the ZP90 and ZP120. With the exception of Airplay 2 the original products support every feature that the beam coming out next week supports. Just because they may or may not have known about Airplay 2 since early last year doesn't mean they can just magically change the specs of all of their products to be compatible. Especially if the guts of the playbar are in the 6-7 year old range it likely requires significant engineering work to update plus testing etc. I am sure at some point probably sooner than later a new version of the playbar is coming that will support airplay 2 and when it does it won't be just a quiet update done on the manufacturing line.
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You obviously don't know Sonos very well if you think thats how they operate and you being a "manager" means absolutely nothing unless you are a manager at Sonos. Their business decision is to support their products as long as possible with as many features as possible. Most of the products in their lineup are pretty old and have not seen updates. The Connect and Connect:Amp are VERY old products that were previously known as the ZP90 and ZP120. With the exception of Airplay 2 the original products support every feature that the beam coming out next week supports. Just because they may or may not have known about Airplay 2 since early last year doesn't mean they can just magically change the specs of all of their products to be compatible. Especially if the guts of the playbar are in the 6-7 year old range it likely requires significant engineering work to update plus testing etc. I am sure at some point probably sooner than later a new version of the playbar is coming that will support airplay 2 and when it does it won't be just a quiet update done on the manufacturing line.

First, that is exactly what I said, I though I knew Sonos, I thought they were better than this, clearly they're not. So don't repeat what I said to start your argument, that's pretty lame.

Second, you on the other side don't no squat about how today's high tech businesses are manage. So go get your MBA boy, go work and manage people in a high tech international company, then come back to continue the argument.
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Sonos put the Playbase on the market in April 2017. The Playbase is compatible with Airplay 2. Sonos could have use the Playbase new hardware to update the Playbar. Period.

Not putting a new Playbar 2.0 on the market. Simply updating the Playbar 1.0 hardware. The hardware had already been tested inside the Playbase. It was working for the Playbase, so it would have worked for the Player 1.0 without drastic modifications, I'm certain of it. We're not talking about a visual facelift, simply an internal hardware update. And the Sonos speakers are not rocket science, they're actually pretty low tech devices. The real deal in Sonos is their app. Modifying the new Playbase hardware to physically fit in the Playbar would have been an easy task. These days, electronics components are so small, you can rearrange them extremely easily into the layout you want. The Chinese would have done that in a week for Sonos.

Like I already said, I'm 100% certain that was a management / marketing decision from Sonos. Nobody will convince me otherwise.
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One day I decided to toss out my 7.1 THX Ultra built with separate pre-amps and power amps because I got tired seing those big speakers, those garden hose size speaker wires on the floor, I was tired of my living room looking like a cinema like, an aggressive environment, and not an actual living room where it's easy to relax. I then decided to go with Sonos for the simplicity of their system, surely not for the sound quality. After 25 years playing with home-theaters I knew that sound wise the Sonos could not offer the quality that can be achieved with a traditional system. But I wanted simplicity and that's what I got with Sonos. And I'm happy with my Sonos! Of course when I'm watching a sci-fi Hollywood blockbuster I miss my old system.

But my audiophile / videophile friends were all against the idea of replacing a main system with a Sonos. They all ask me what are you going to do when the Sonos speakers can no more follow the Sonos application? I answered nah! no problem, the Sonos speakers are updated wirelessly via the app. And Sonos keep the same Playbar speaker for years now, they don't come up with a replacement model every six month, so they must keep their wining classic design and simply update the hardware to keep it up to date, because yes that's so easy to do now these days. I mean, which company would keep on advertising that they're at the leading edge of the multi-room wireless technologies and keep on selling the same speakers years after years at the same premium price tag and never update them right?

Boy i was so wrong! And my expert friends were so right. Sonos fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.
@DavinciQC The hardware requirements for airplay 2 were not set a year ago. The original design was that each speaker would need to have a specific chip. That got discarded. As well, (and I could be wrong about this) there was a time when the designed was for the speakers to stream the audio themselves, without using an iphone/ipad/ATV as a go between. That decision, if it really was the case, would have had a big impact on hardware requirements. I believe hardware requirements were not set until this year. That included a lot of memory for buffering, much larger than one Sonos currently uses for buffering.

I also don't know that Sonos really could have upgraded the hardware in the playbar without creating a 2.0 or 1.1 version, particularly since it would result in different features for the product. Customers would probably still complain about that, and would created a lot of issues for support.
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Since we know a Sonos One can be the group leader and stream to a Playbar, it follows that the Playbar 5.1 setup could also be programmed to proxy the Airplay protocol through to a linked/slaved Sonos One surround speaker. Available bandwidth and latency are unlikely to be problematic.

Heck I've done exactly that sort of thing in large distributed applications, conceptually it's "merely" offloading the processing to a more powerful neighbour.

However if I was a Sonos product manager I would probably not have this on my roadmap. Just because it's possible, and clever, and customer-friendly, doesn't mean it's worth the bother of going through all the engineering work, testing, and then handling all the support issues from weird edge cases.
Since we know a Sonos One can be the group leader and stream to a Playbar, it follows that the Playbar 5.1 setup could also be programmed to proxy the Airplay protocol through to a linked/slaved Sonos One surround speaker. Available bandwidth and latency are unlikely to be problematic.

Heck I've done exactly that sort of thing in large distributed applications, conceptually it's "merely" offloading the processing to a more powerful neighbour.

However if I was a Sonos product manager I would probably not have this on my roadmap. Just because it's possible, and clever, and customer-friendly, doesn't mean it's worth the bother of going through all the engineering work, testing, and then handling all the support issues from weird edge cases.


Are you suggesting that the Sonos One could perform this function on behalf of the playbar AND handle it's own tasks? I kind of doubt that was much of a possibility. If not, well, yes, that's pretty much what happens when you group the One with a playbar. You could even turn down the volume on the One if you don't want audio in that zone.
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Are you suggesting that the Sonos One could perform this function on behalf of the playbar AND handle it's own tasks? I kind of doubt that was much of a possibility. If not, well, yes, that's pretty much what happens when you group the One with a playbar. You could even turn down the volume on the One if you don't want audio in that zone.


Wearing my tinkering engineer's hat I can say yes, I'd personally have put it on my things-to-try list. I'm presupposing that a One that's been linked to a Playbar in a 5.1 arrangement is not otherwise doing an awful lot with its CPU.

However, there's some potentially really hairy stuff at the boundary of the audio synchronisation mechanisms and Sonos's bespoke networking behaviours, which is exactly where a proxying mechanism would sit, so that's where the idea starts to look like a fun lab project but not necessarily product-worthy.

This is all speculation on my part but there are undoubtedly some bright sparks at Sonos whose minds it will almost certainly have crossed.
I get what you're saying, and I have no doubt that Sonos engineers tried this out. It's not hard to predict that customers would want their playbar with Ones as surrounds to be airplay compatible. I would guess that it didn't work.

It could so be that it breaks some fundamental walls of the framework they've setup. In that case, the playbar is sending audio to the very same speaker that it's receiving audio from. It also means that the One is both a slave, in the surround speaker sense, and a sort of master over the playbar when it comes to airplay. It's not elegant at all, which can often lead to things being not so stable and falling a part eventually. In other words, even if it worked, I personally would be hesitant to pull the trigger on that choice.

But yes, interesting to speculate on.
This is ridiculous! Just found out that my home theater setup wih a Playbar and 2 Sonos ONE as surrounds doesn’t work with AirPlay2!! Wtf? In order to get airplay2, i have to remove the sonos one from the setup.
It has been said in many locations that as long as there was a single AP2 speaker in a grouping you could control the whole group and now it seems we are finding out otherwise. My issue is I have a large room with wall mount only option so a playbase or Beam will not work for me in my 5.1 set up but I very much want AP2 controls in my 5.1 set up. So I guess I either have to down grade to a Beam or wait with hopes that Sonos releases a new full size playbar some time soon. Little frustrated since I have read countless places stating that the 5.1 systems would have AP2 control if you had Ones as surrounds
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Since we know a Sonos One can be the group leader and stream to a Playbar, it follows that the Playbar 5.1 setup could also be programmed to proxy the Airplay protocol through to a linked/slaved Sonos One surround speaker. Available bandwidth and latency are unlikely to be problematic.

That would have been nice if possible. But like I already said in my earlier posts, Sonos is crystal clearly in their FAQ section that the mix Playbar and Sonos One or Play:5 (2nd gen) will NOT give access to Airplay 2. I don't think they would go as far as lying to us in their FAQ. So we can assume that sadly what you are suggesting is not possible. But they if you have the equipment already and have the time to try this out, be my guess, if you make it work you'll be our savior :-)


This is ridiculous! Just found out that my home theater setup wih a Playbar and 2 Sonos ONE as surrounds doesn’t work with AirPlay2!! Wtf? In order to get airplay2, i have to remove the sonos one from the setup.

I hear you, we are all very angry at Sonos right now. I have been thinking about buying a pair of Sonos One for a while now, and with their actual small discount when you buy a pair of Sonos One and my local store paying taxes until August, I really was gonna pull the trigger.

By the way, you have it the other way around, to have Airplay 2 you should not remove the Sonos One from your setup but rather your Playbar. Yeah it's that ridiculous.
It has been said in many locations that as long as there was a single AP2 speaker in a grouping you could control the whole group and now it seems we are finding out otherwise.

The statement actual is true. The issue problem is in your understanding what a group is within Sonos terms. Speakers in a 5.1 setup are not grouped together, they are bonded. A stereo pair is not a group either. A group is actually two separate rooms temporally set together to play audio in sync.

I get why people can interpret the statement differently, since the 'word' group is rather generic in the English language, not specific as it with Sonos. Hard to even really blame Sonos for this as tech companies used generic words for a more specific meaning all the time, to at least give users a clue about what they mean rather than inventing words.

By the way, you have it the other way around, to have Airplay 2 you should not remove the Sonos One from your setup but rather your Playbar. Yeah it's that ridiculous.

Within the Sonos app, you cannot remove the playbar from a 5.1 setup. You can remove the surrounds, which then put the surrounds as a separate stereo pair. Of course, you can also remove the sub, but that's irrelevant here.

I understand that your looking at it from a perspective that the playbar is sort of blocking the Sonos Ones airplay 2 functionality, and that's not inaccurate. However, that's not accurate in terms of what would need to be done within the control app.