Sonos Connect and Apple TV/Airport Express

  • 15 April 2012
  • 25 replies
  • 48171 views

Userlevel 2
Hi,

Have recently bought a Sonos Connect (attached to hi-fi in living room), Play 5 (in kitchen) and bridge (connected to Draytek router) and all seem to work fine.

How do I check or change which WiFi channel Sonos uses?

If I had an Apple TV could I connect the optical out of the Apple TV to the Sonos Connect to allow direct streaming of music from an iPhone or iPad to? What I'm trying to acheive is streaming from iPhone to Hi-Fi (via Sonos Connect) and Play5 not streaming to the TV. I have read the other threads on this but couldn't really find the answer. I appreciate I could use an Airport Express to provide the Airplay but quite fancy an Apple TV anyway.

Thanks for any help,

Phill.

25 replies

Welcome to the forums.

How do I check or change which WiFi channel Sonos uses?
You can do this via the Desktop Controller, under Manage/Settings/Advanced.

If I had an Apple TV could I connect the optical out of the Apple TV to the Sonos Connect to allow direct streaming of music from an iPhone or iPad to?
No, unfortunately Sonos only supports optical out (on the Connect). You would need to wire a device to the analog Line-In on Connect/Connect:Amp/Play:5. For Airplay the standard solution would be an Airport Express, but you could always interface an Apple TV's optical out to the Sonos Line-In via a cheap DAC.
Userlevel 2
Welcome to the forums.


You can do this via the Desktop Controller, under Manage/Settings/Advanced.


No, unfortunately Sonos only supports optical out (on the Connect). You would need to wire a device to the analog Line-In on Connect/Connect:Amp/Play:5. For Airplay the standard solution would be an Airport Express, but you could always interface an Apple TV's optical out to the Sonos Line-In via a cheap DAC


Thanks very much for the super fast reply and thanks too for the welcome!

Thansk for the info on the desktop controller, I've only been using the iPhone one and couldn't find the setting on that.

If I connected from the Apple TV to the Connect (via the DAC) could I then stream directly from iPhone to either the Connect or Play5 even though the analogue audio is only connected to the Sonos Connect?

If I used an Airport Express would I use this along side my existing WiFi or instead of it? I'm a little confused as thought Airport Express and Airport Extreme were WiFi APs not just addon devices to allow Airplay to be used.

Thanks again and appologies for my lack of knoledge on this!

Phill.
If I connected from the Apple TV to the Connect (via the DAC) could I then stream directly from iPhone to either the Connect or Play5 even though the analogue audio is only connected to the Sonos Connect?
Yes. Any Line-In source -- i.e. connected to any player -- can be sent to any other player(s).

If I used an Airport Express would I use this along side my existing WiFi or instead of it? I'm a little confused as thought Airport Express and Airport Extreme were WiFi APs not just addon devices to allow Airplay to be used.
The Airport Express defaults to being a router/AP, but it can also be configured as a client station in order to decode an Airplay stream and/or host a printer. In this mode it can either receive the stream via WiFi (as a WiFi client to, say, an Airport Extreme) or via a wired connection. Since the latter is more reliable this is the solution which Sonos recommends: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1241/~/sonos-and-airplay#3
Userlevel 2
Okay, thanks for this and the link to the Sonos tutorial.

I'm still a little confused. I'm assuming the iPhone (being wireless) has to communicate wirelessly with the Airport Express? The Airport express then decodes the Airplay and provides analogue audio to the Sonos' input, so what is the wired ethernet cable for?

I may well go the Apple TV/DAC route as both ethernet ports are alredy in use on my Sonos Conect (to my Sky+ to enable Anytime+ and Blueray sound system) but would like to fully fully understand the Airport Express solution before deciding.

It's a shame Sonos don't build AirPlay in natively, but I assume this is down to Apple's protective licensing policies?

Thanks again,

Phill.
Userlevel 2
Great, thanks for this, that makes sense. Also added bonus that not having the Airport Express acting wirelessly means less chance of wireless interference between Wifi, Sonos and Airport.

I assume if I wanted to go the Airport route I could add an extra Ethernet switch downstream of the Connect's two Ethernet ports to provide the third port?

Thanks again for the very clear and informative information.

All the best,

Phill.
I assume if I wanted to go the Airport route I could add an extra Ethernet switch downstream of the Connect's two Ethernet ports to provide the third port?
Yes indeed. A small dumb 5-port 10/100 would do the job fine. Sonos ports are 10/100 so there'd be no point in going to Gig-E.
Userlevel 2
Great, thanks for all the help,

Phill.
Userlevel 2
Just an update, connected the Apple TV up with optical out going to the DAC you suggested with phono connectors to the Sonos Connect and can now stream music from iPhone an iPad straight to any Sonos in the house by selecting "Line In" for the Sonos.

Thanks for all the advice works really well. Occasionally get drop outs but might be due to the iPhone doing background tasks as certainly if it updates an app musoc completely pauses while it does so. I guess it might help if I upgrades my wireless AP to N as only used G at present.

Can't help thinking there'd be a market for a Sonos including a licenced Airplay decoder chip so it can decode Airplay natively, but for the time being this is a good workaround.

Thanks again for the help,

Phill.
Thanks for all the advice works really well. Occasionally get drop outs but might be due to the iPhone doing background tasks as certainly if it updates an app musoc completely pauses while it does so. I guess it might help if I upgrades my wireless AP to N as only used G at present.
It's doubtful that the extra offered by N would make a difference. You could however have some interference between your WiFi and Sonos. Conventional wisdom is that you should put WiFi on a different channel to Sonos -- choosing from only 1, 6 or 11 -- and that you shouldn't use 40MHz/'wide' channels.

Can't help thinking there'd be a market for a Sonos including a licenced Airplay decoder chip so it can decode Airplay natively...
Only a fraction of installations may wish to decode Airplay, and most of those would only wish to decode one stream at a time. However for the Airplay decode option to be universally available it would have to be included in each and every Sonos player. It would therefore unnecessarily burden the build cost for all of them.
Userlevel 2
Thanks for this.

The Wifi and Sonos are on different channels as you describe. I get no dropouts when using the Sonis by itself (eg streaming from Spotify) only when streaming direct from iPhone via the Apple TV. I wonder if it would be better to connect the Apple TV by Ethernet cable to the Sonos Connect rather than it being wireless or wouldn't that work?

AirPlay wise would it not be possible to have an option of a decode module incorporated into the bridge? Can't help thinking that as it works using the Apple TV connected to a single Sonos device there must be a viable single Sonos solution rather than it having to be built into every device as can see that would be expensive in terms of licensing.

Thanks again,

Phill.
I wonder if it would be better to connect the Apple TV by Ethernet cable to the Sonos Connect rather than it being wireless or wouldn't that work?
That may well help. Sonos recommend precisely this topology when streaming via Airplay to an Airport Express as it's more reliable.

AirPlay wise would it not be possible to have an option of a decode module incorporated into the bridge?
I can understand your point, but as it stands the Bridge contains no audio processing capability whatsoever. It's just a layer 2 bridge, albeit a smart one. Maybe this function should be added to the wishlist for a possible central Sonos box of some kind which also addresses index size limitations, extra tag support, S/PDIF in, etc, etc.
Userlevel 2
Thanks for this.

So if I connect the Apple TV to the Sonos Connect by Ethernet will I need to change any settings in either? A bit confused of the path the stream from the iPhone will then take. At the moment as far as the iPhone is concerned its just streaming to the Apple TV but if the Apple TV isn't wireless will it all still work fine via the Sonos wireless network?

Thanks again,

Phill.
Userlevel 2
HELLO forum-

I am new to the Sonos family and to this forum.

I recently bought a Play 5 for my (Kitchen/Sun Room )and Sonos Bridge. The set up was easy and sound quality is amazing.

I use iPhone and wanted AirPlay. So I bought the new Airport Express base station and connected it to my Play 5 line in. It does AirPlay for me.

I need help for following :

- If I buy one or more Play 3 for my bedrooms upstairs, will the AirPlay feature work on all the Players or do I need different Airport express for all?

- I am also considering setting up a home theater system with my TV in living room. If I buy Sonos Connect and connect my Apple TV ( as mentioned in the forum ) to it will that help me play Sonos music, TV sound and AirPlay music from my iPhone to the home theater system and the Sonos Play 5, Play 3 etc.?


Thank you
Thank you
Userlevel 2
The line in from any Sonos component is available to all on the same network so if you have Apple Express or Apple TV connected to any one component you can then stream from you iPhone to any other Sonos component, you don't need a separate Apple express for each component.

Hope that makes sense,

Phill.
Userlevel 2
The line in from any Sonos component is available to all on the same network so if you have Apple Express or Apple TV connected to any one component you can then stream from you iPhone to any other Sonos component, you don't need a separate Apple express for each component.

Hope that makes sense,

Phill.



Thank you Phill.

Now I am thinking whether to buy Sonos Connect and use my apple TV for my AirPlay as you have done and return my Airport Express.
Now I am thinking whether to buy Sonos Connect and use my apple TV for my AirPlay as you have done and return my Airport Express.
Unless you have an old model Apple TV with RCA outputs you'll be unable to do this directly. Sonos has no optical input option. You could always purchase a cheap DAC to go between the two.
Userlevel 2
Unless you have an old model Apple TV with RCA outputs you'll be unable to do this directly. Sonos has no optical input option. You could always purchase a cheap DAC to go between the two.

I have the latest Apple TV (ATV 3) that was released earlier this year. Using the DAC option, will it be possible to use my ATV 3 and Sonos Connect to do what I am trying to do?
Userlevel 2
Exactly what I have, a cheap D to A converter from Optical to RCA phono. I'm suprised thd Sonos Connect doesn't have optical in, but the separate converter works transparently. A shame Sonos don't make an Airplay add on to the Bridge as I'm sure a lot of people, as I did, assume you'd be able to stream directly from iPhone/iPad to the Sonos.
I have the latest Apple TV (ATV 3) that was released earlier this year. Using the DAC option, will it be possible to use my ATV 3 and Sonos Connect to do what I am trying to do?

Yes. But note that you will only have the single Airplay stream available. It can be played on any and all Sonos devices, but it will only be a single stream.
Userlevel 2
Yes. But note that you will only have the single Airplay stream available. It can be played on any and all Sonos devices, but it will only be a single stream.

That should be fine. One stream in all zones while doing AirPlay.

I am also considering to use the same Sonos Connect to get input from my TV so that I can a buy a Pair of Play 3 ( use L and R ) and use it in my living room to give me surround sound.

Is it possible to use the Connect to get input from the HDTV and Apple TV using DAC ?
Medguru,

I don't recommend attempting to use PLAY:3's as part of a surround system. You'll find that there is a 70ms delay between a SONOS Line-In and output from SONOS units. This delay cannot be avoided and it will create an "echo" effect.
Is it possible to use the Connect to get input from the HDTV and Apple TV using DAC ?

The Connect, like the other Line-In equipped units, has only one input. Connection of more than one device requires some type of switching facility. That can be something as simple as a user swapping cables, to a cheap manual switchbox, all the way up to the most exotic switching multi-component arrangements.
Userlevel 2
The Connect, like the other Line-In equipped units, has only one input. Connection of more than one device requires some type of switching facility. That can be something as simple as a user swapping cables, to a cheap manual switchbox, all the way up to the most exotic switching multi-component arrangements.

Thank you NoBoB.
Userlevel 2
Medguru,

I don't recommend attempting to use PLAY:3's as part of a surround system. You'll find that there is a 70ms delay between a SONOS Line-In and output from SONOS units. This delay cannot be avoided and it will create an "echo" effect.


Alright experts-

Thank you for the suggestions.

Here is what I have:

1. HDTV
2. Apple TV 3 (Latest model)
3. Sonos Play 5 with Bridge

I am planning to buy:

1. Bose 2.1 Cinemates speaker system for my HDTV
2. Sonos Connect
3. Fiio D3 (a DAC converter), Optical cables etc.

I want to have two audio inputs into my Bose Cinemates and Here is how I am planning to do it:

- From HDTV < Optical Out > Bose receiver

- From Apple TV < Optical cable > Fiio D3 DAC < Analog cable > Sonos Connect < Analog cable > Bose receiver

By doing this I will able to do the following:

1. Have surround sound for my HDTV via wired speakers from Bose

2. Use Sonos and have different streams in different zones.

3. Use Airplay through my Sonos speakers and also my Bose speakers. (Though Only one stream in all zones, but thats ok)

Please suggest.

Thank you
Userlevel 2
Hello forum-

Update:

As I had mentioned in my last post. I was able to set up the system as I had mentioned and it works seamless.

Thank you all.

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