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


Userlevel 5
Badge +6
Extremely disappointed today to learn that the £700 current and only soundbar from Sonos will NOT have the AirPlay 2 feature, which we (Apple users) have been so looking forward to.

Also gutted as we have just approved a major kitchen rebuild with integrated ceiling speakers and Connect:AMP and there's no alternative for that too.

Airplay 2 for should be for ALL your top price products please.

At least, a very strong trade in programme should be announced soonest.

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

105 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Extremely disappointed today to learn that the £700 current and only soundbar from Sonos will NOT have the AirPlay 2 feature, which we (Apple users) have been so looking forward to.

Also gutted as we have just approved a major kitchen rebuild with integrated ceiling speakers and Connect:AMP and there's no alternative for that too.

Airplay 2 for should be for ALL your top price products please.

At least, a very strong trade in programme should be announced soonest.


Yes, I have the Playbar so can well understand your anger.

TBH I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with Sonos as there seems a definite bias towards Apple, whereas Android can go and fiddle. Perhaps it's because their 'home market' i.e. the U.S. is so Apple orientated so they assume the rest of the world is too.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Sorry while people don't like that about tech company. A 10 year old design just won't work with the demange of the new season driven tech. It is just the way the tech wagon rolls. The Apple TV one just can not process all the new media that the newer AP TV can. That is why apple had to stop supporting it. The Samsung s3 one of samsung top seller of all time just can not support the newer andriod OS. Lollipop was the last update it received. The first and second gen iPad can not be upgraded to iOS 10. All this is due to hardware limitations. There are countless tech items that just can not keep up with the new times. It was not like they used full computer chips when they design them. They used chip costing a lot less.

The Playbar is not a cheap bit of kit though - it was top of the range re: playbars and as such should have been better future proofed.

I won't be fooled a second time.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Well, they did tell it would be an software update to ALL players.
My earlier post about that have been deleted.
The original post where they say this have been edited by sonos and now say “only new models”
Editing month old posts in the middle of old topics ? Really?

This stinks sonos!

I can totally live with “only new models do airplay” thats how tech works......it will be outdated some time.
BUT be goddamm honest about it from day one, but hey....if you did that nobody would have bought the old devices anymore right?
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Great discussion everyone. Thanks for staying friendly!

Just like with laptops and mobile phones, sophisticated new features sometimes require new hardware. For example, adding voice to Sonos required us to build a microphone into Sonos One. However - because of the way we’ve built Sonos, adding just one Sonos device with voice capability means you can now control your whole system with voice, even those speakers without microphones that we first released many years ago.

AirPlay 2 works in a similar way. The computing platforms and software architecture in some of the older Sonos players like Play:3 and Play:1 simply don’t have the horsepower to support AirPlay 2, and we also have to make sure that introducing new features doesn’t impact the current experience across the system. It all comes down to the hardware and software requirements that the protocol demands of the devices that are going to act as targets or receivers for the Airplay 2 stream. The Playbar doesn't meet those requirements.

However, when you group one of these speakers with other, more recent Sonos devices, you bring AirPlay content to your entire Sonos system. Other's have mentioned this already in the thread, but what this means is you can use an Airplay 2 supported Sonos device to play to with other Sonos players in the home, just like any other audio source that's playing. It won't function quite like the line in though, you'll need to have the Airplay 2 stream going to the one room and group it with any others.

Also, there are some TVs out there which offer Airplay 2 functionality which can act as receivers for the Airplay stream, or you can use the Apple TV device itself hooked to the TV. Then it'll be playing right to your Playbar without the device being capable of receiving the signal directly.

While development was ongoing with Airplay 2 (and for that matter with any software development), we didn't want to give away too many details. When it comes down to it, software development is often a moving target and in the early stages, it's hard to say where things will land exactly. It was never our intent to be misleading with any early messaging around this, and our official message has been pretty consistently vague. We try not to share too much early on for just this reason when we talk about new things. With the Airplay 2 integration, you will be able to target any of the newer Sonos devices, and from there, group and play to all Sonos players out there (including our first ever produced players).

I can't share all the Airplay 2 details today, but I'm happy to try and answer the questions I can.
Badge
[quote=jI highly doubt the processor can be upgraded easily and inexpensively enough to make it worth it to Sonos and/or its customers.[/quote]

The Playbar is CAD $899 + taxes = CAD $1035

I agree that an hardware upgrade perform by an authorized dealer ($$) that would cost let's say between CAD $300 and $400 and only add Airplay 2 compatibility, would not be attractive to many customers. Thus not worth to Sonos.

But, if Sonos would come up with a small box, compatible with Airplay 2, with optical and HDMI inputs, that would be receiving from now on the signal that is currently being sent to the Playbar.

Exemple, in my case, from the optical output of my TV which gets all the different signals from the HDMI output of my Rotel pre-amp/processor/now-retired-and-only-acting-as-HDMI switch. Btw my Rotel wish to thank Sonos for the very smart idea of not putting at least one HDMI input on the Playbar when every other similar devices in the industry already had at least one even 5 years ago. So now my TV optical output would go in the small box optical input.

And that small box would dispatch the signal through wi-fi (or RJ-45 hardwire connection) to all speakers : Front/Center/Right channels to the Playbar and Left/Right surrounds to ANY rear surround speakers (not only new AP2 compatible surround speakers like Sonos One).

That way, only the new small box would need the new AP2 compativle hardware. And the small box would play to role of the master device. The Playbar would become a slave device (F/C/R channels) exactly as a pair of Sonos One is on a 5.1 setup (L/R surrounds).

Sonos came up many years ago with a small box called The Bridge (if I remember correctly) so that someone could put up an exclusive wi-fi network only for his Sonos setup. I'm sure Sonos could come up with a similar box to give AP2 and HDMI (and more powerful CPU and memory thus compatible with futur features via wifi updates ) to customers that paid CAD $2000 for a Playbar + Sub combo or even more for a 5.1 setup. Those customers might probably be willing to pay $200 or $300 for such a box to keep their more than $2000 equipment up-to-date.

Just an idea...
Okay seriously upset, I just bought a playbar and sub - 5 months ago - totally sucks beyond belief 😠. Okay SONOS - here's what you gotta do - like seriously think about this from a consumer perspective - If Id have known I was gonna not bea little bit future proof I wouldn't have invested the $2000 Canadian - I feel you need to offer some type of incentive like a trade-in or a massive rebate or something. Alternatively what is it that allows a new Sonos One that is in the group to be able to do AirPlay 2 - make that a standalone box (small - not a speaker) and sell that as an add-on upgrade to enable this feature in a non-crappy way to customers that have invested heavily in your gear. I love it, but I cant love it for $2000 every few years, I dont have that kinda money or loyalty.:@
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
maybe dumb question - I only use my playbar, sub and play:1 for home theatre sound - but what is airplay 2 and why is it a must have feature?
Not a dumb question... Many people want Airplay support so they can take music from ANY app on their iPhone or iPad and stream it through their Sonos system, even if it's not a service that is available in the Sonos controller. That's why it's such a big deal to many. You can use your favorite podcast app. You can use your favorite music service. And it doesn't matter if they're a Sonos service or not.
The reality is that what they promised - to let you play any iOS app sound on Sonos is already available via that awful solution - analogue AirPlay via a airport router to a Sonos speaker with input. So they promised very little with AirPlay and delivered less. For me and most others this airplay solution is a mess. What I have to buy a Sonos One for evey room now? Thats 4 new speakers that I don’t want to make any noise. And if I have 2 prior gen play 5s and a sub I’m 1 room how am I supposed to keep that crappy Sonos One ‘third wheel’ quiet without muting it each time so I can enjoy my music. If the tech is too old on my 10 month old $999 sub (grrr) then at least they should have a Alexa dot sized small puck available to buy with no speaker that I can add on to each room.
The reality is that what they promised - to let you play any iOS app sound on Sonos is already available via that awful solution - analogue AirPlay via a airport router to a Sonos speaker with input. So they promised very little with AirPlay and delivered less. For me and most others this airplay solution is a mess. What I have to buy a Sonos One for evey room now? Thats 4 new speakers that I don’t want to make any noise. And if I have 2 prior gen play 5s and a sub I’m 1 room how am I supposed to keep that crappy Sonos One ‘third wheel’ quiet without muting it each time so I can enjoy my music. If the tech is too old on my 10 month old $999 sub (grrr) then at least they should have a Alexa dot sized small puck available to buy with no speaker that I can add on to each room.

And frankly, at the time I purchased my 1's and Playbar it was partly on Sonos publicizing Airplay 2 compatibility being in the works and I would have thought the technical requirements would have been well enough understood when they committed to Airplay 2 for Sonos to know that some of their products would not be able to support it.
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?
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
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.
Wrong, in the beginning the stated that any sonos device grouped with an airplay compatible device would work.no mention of 5.1 rules. Even worse, long time ago sonos stated all sonos devices would work. Strongly disappintment by Sonos. (Again)
I bet this comes pretty handy when Sonos is going public....(many will trade in their bar now)
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
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.
Userlevel 5
Badge +6
I don't - which means spending £350 (as you have to buy a pair). I think there will be a lot of unhappy folks out there (while the Airplay news IS good - I very much welcome it - just a bit gutted)
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
The inability of the older product are due to the processing power the have according to the German blog. So it is not that Sonos did not want to add it to them. They just can not do to the limitations of the hardware inside. It won't make apple users happy. But it was not an intentional omissions on Sonos side I think.

This is an excuse often used by tech companies and quite frankly is wearing thin, especially when it provides a new selling opportunity for the companies concerned.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
TBH I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with Sonos as there seems a definite bias towards Apple, whereas Android can go and fiddle. Perhaps it's because their 'home market' i.e. the U.S. is so Apple orientated so they assume the rest of the world is too.
Sonos has more office locations in other countries (9 offices in 7 countries) than they do in the US (3). While their headquarters might be in the US, that doesn't mean they're focused solely on the US.

And if they're so "Oh, Apple!", why did they pick Alexa first instead of Siri for the Sonos One? I bet Google Assistant support gets added to the Sonos One before Siri does. If Siri ever does.

Also, note that today's Airplay 2 announcement only said that you'd be able to give Siri commands to play music on Sonos speakers... not that you'd be able to give Siri commands THROUGH Sonos speakers. You're still using Siri on your Apple devices to play music.
Yes, I have the Playbar so can well understand your anger.

TBH I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with Sonos as there seems a definite bias towards Apple, whereas Android can go and fiddle. Perhaps it's because their 'home market' i.e. the U.S. is so Apple orientated so they assume the rest of the world is too.


Oh really?

This statistic shows the market share held by smartphone platforms/operating systems in the United States from January 2012 to January 2018. In June 2017, 53.3 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers were using a Google Android device. Apple was the second most popular smartphone operating system with a 44.9 percent market share.


https://www.statista.com/statistics/266572/market-share-held-by-smartphone-platforms-in-the-united-states/
The Playbar is not a cheap bit of kit though - it was top of the range re: playbars and as such should have been better future proofed.

While it is true that technology progresses and upgraded internals required to support new features, I have only had my Playbar and 1 setup since December and am not thrilled that I paid the same price as the Playbase for an out of date product that would not be able to support features becoming available in the very near future. I feel there should have been some degree of disclosure or a price differential between the Playbar and the Playbase in the same way as there is a 25% price increase between the 1 and the Alexa enabled One.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12

I'm not arguing that older products won't have the capacity or features of newer ones. Generally though, deprecated models get a price cut or the newer and more capable is at a higher price. I researched the sound quality and found the trade off between the Playbar and the Playbase to be negligible from the reviews, so went for what I considered to be the more attractive option. Granted, had I researched more I guess I would have found out that there may be a forthcoming reduced feature set as a result, but as the price point was the same I did not consider that it would be the case, so didn't delve deaper.


I think you just got caught buying at the limbo time. As play 3, and playbars has been discounted as of late. The playbar was recently selling for 350 dallars at Target.

But if you brought it say 9 months ago. Airplay2 was still up in the air. And if Sonos started the playbar update. It was still in the early r&d cycle. So it would not make sense to discounts it then. Typical R&d cycle for tech items are around 18 months. Some as along as 3 years. But say Sonos is 18 months. Would you think dropping the price of you product 16 month before you release your replacement makes sense? Remember playbar replacement is still rumors right now. I would say if they are true. We are still 6 months aways before it is available. It would not make for good business to drop you prices 16 months before the launch of a new product.

Also you brought your playbar with features builted in. But even with the airplay2 announcement. Sonos still have not removed any features from your playbar. The fact is they just could not add one particular feature to the playbar natively. In fact at the same time. They actually found a way to give you that ablity. Though it does not sit well with some having to buy a Sonos one. But if you look at it realistically, Sonos added abilities not taking away feature to something design 7 years ago. Shoot they also just added audible since you brought your playbar most likely. So at the end I would argue base on facts they added ablities to a 7year old design.

It does suck when you get caught buying something at the wrong time. I would say I just hope, up till this latest uproar. That you were able to enjoy you playbar up till now. It will most likely be hard to stomach going forward. But hopefully you got to enjoy it for a little bit.
Just voicing this cos I want to, it’s not to add value or provoke anyone but I am bitterly disappointed that the Playbar will not be receiving AirPlay2.

I really don’t get why they didn’t refresh the internals of the Playbar when they launched the Playbase, I would love to understand how difficult or costly that would have been.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
#1 - no one purchased any of these older devices with any expectation of them ever having Airplay Ability (although they do with server software airtunes).

#2 - they still will have airplay ability by grouping them with a newer device that has the processing ability.

All kind of electronic devices get updates that don't appy to older units. Its a fact of life. How about appreciating the fact we are getting a free upgrade to a new (not even released yet) standard. If the cost to some people with only older equipments is $199 for a nice new additional speaker in your house - - so be it!
I read the October message to mean that Sonos and Apple negotiated the licensing agreement so that it could happen. Since Airplay 2 wasn't closed to being finalized at that point, Sonos could not (and did not) specify which devices it would work on. I suppose they could have been more specific at that point, but I don't think that really should be expected. That level of detail typically isn't provided in the early press releases.

As far as disappointment in Airplay 2 not supported on the playbar, I get the disappointment. However, I just don't think it's realistic. Sonos, in my mind anyway, has gone well beyond what most companies do in supporting their old hardware. What I mean to say, if I went and bought a $700 receiver last year for example, I would not at all be surprised if it didn't support an upcoming new standard. Same goes for a new computer, or any other tech I buy. I just don't have an expectation of future proofing. I always figure I get what I pay for, and anything else is gravy.

Sonos has changed that in many ways as they have attempted to future proof products and do add new features to old products, despite the fact that it may not push new sales. So in a sense, they've created an expectation, and as a result they are judged differently then others, because of the expectation. It's not exactly fair, but it's reality.

I also think Sonos does a good job of future proofing the physical design. By that I mean the playbar doesn't look it's been on the market for years. It's not suprising that a consumer would assume it's only been out on the market a short time since it looks rather modern. Other products, they don't give you that same feel.

And perhaps you can blame Sonos for not letting a product stay on the market without a hardware update for so long. Perhaps they should upgrade the hardware, even though there is no new functionality to be added and it wouldn't drive any sales, just so they can support features that may or may come to pass and need that new hardware? I don't think that makes a lot of sense. Other companies do that, like with phones, because they know it will drive additional sales. That wouldn't happen with Sonos.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
That may be the first official confirmation that it will work much like Playbar and TV. You have to have the device playing in order to group to play to others. It will not serve from the speaker without playing.

That's also in the blog post that was put up last week here:

We’re making great progress. Today, we’re confirming that newer Sonos speakers like Play:5, Playbase and Sonos One will support AirPlay 2, as will future Sonos products. When you group one of these Airplay-enabled speakers with older Sonos devices, you can bring AirPlay capabilities to your entire Sonos system.

But I might have said it a little more in depth.
I guess you're missing my point: The Playbar costs the same as the Playbase, but has a hidden software deficiency. Continuing to sell the old Playbar model without a price drop is unfair.
what is legal and what is fair are two different things. I never said that anything was illegal. I do like to have all necessary information when making a purchasing descision. The fact that the playbar is less “future proof” than the playbase should be reflected in the price.
No, but as someone who hopes that Sonos goes "public" so that I can purchase stock, I'm hoping that they continue to make money. Shoot, even if they don't go public, I want them to make money, so they continue supporting the system that I currently own.

But I was serious in my question. Who decides what "fair" is?