Computer as Sonos Audio Source

  • 19 September 2012
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527 replies

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Yes, yes ,yes... This would inspire me to expand our SONOS network by at least another two devices.
This would definitely enhance the experience and is IMO a must! I actually thought this was possible, and had no idea that the only way of listening to your Sonos speakers is through the Sonos app. I just bought the playbar and sub and was quite disappointed. I would like to be able to listen to youtube as well as basically any audio coming from my Mac. Why is it not possible? It seems like such an easy thing to add.
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Any devices with audio line outs (I.e. TV, amp, computer) can be plugged into the audio line in of a Play 5 or Connect. The line in source can be selected in the SONOS app and be streamed to your other SONOS devices wirelessly. I'm not sure about Play Bar as I don't have one but the Play 3 does not have a line in. The Connect also has an optical input for higher quality sound if your source devices offers that.
Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
I agree. Now there is another device perfect for the desktop beside the computer: the play:1. But no chance to connect to. I've an old docking station for the iPhone (125$) now useless. What about a special plug to connect ANY analog device to the sonos net?
One year later, still no solution ? Just bought one Play:5, it can't just output my computer' sound unless I buy something else or plug some audio in, I'll turn it back...
Sonos guys? Anyone there?
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Sadly, this is a basic feature which lacking has me continually warning people away from Sonos, despite the fact they love our home's four zones.

So to echo a lot of people here, Sonos folks is this in the works?

Unfortunately, your silence makes it sound like a no.
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Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
@Gonzalo, @John M, while I appreciate your suggestions, purchasing special equipment, setting up streaming is really not the answer a customer is looking for - sure a great short term fix - but not customer friendly and not a real solution (what happens when your internet is laggy?).  Are there plans for a computer to be able to function as a line-in in a simple seamless manner? As customers, when can we expect this to be accomplished?
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Sonos doesn't seem to know how to communicate with its customers.
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I don't see the point of this, sounds like a place to vent your frustrations.
Just bought a complete Sonos system based on the rep saying that i can stream anything from the computer to the sonos system. Couldn't find how to make the computer an input in the configuration system and now finding this post. Very frustrating, returning the entire system > $2200......
Funny, that in the android sonos app you can stream the music stored on your phone, but you can't do the same from the desktop app (best would be to be able to just stream whatever is currently being output from the sound card on the computer, not just music). Also, the android version is much better in the regards that you can search for radio stations there (free text search), but there doesn't seem to be such functionality in the desktop version. While I do understand that the smartphone might seem more lucrative, I (like many others here) would very much like to have this functionality also on the desktop version, since a lot of people still use computers and being able to use the sonos system to stream sound from computers to their home audio system would be definitely a big plus!
Funny, that in the android sonos app you can stream the music stored on your phone, but you can't do the same from the desktop app (best would be to be able to just stream whatever is currently being output from the sound card on the computer, not just music). Also, the android version is much better in the regards that you can search for radio stations there (free text search), but there doesn't seem to be such functionality in the desktop version. While I do understand that the smartphone might seem more lucrative, I (like many others here) would very much like to have this functionality also on the desktop version, since a lot of people still use computers and being able to use the sonos system to stream sound from computers to their home audio system would be definitely a big plus!

This is the main reason I have not purchased any Sonos products.  I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying in hopes that Sonos will pay attention to what their customers (or potential customers) wants. 

We want the option to stream any audio from any of our devices to the Sonos systems. Think Bluetooth audio on steroids.  

Okay, begging time....

Come on... We want it.... give it to us.   Pleeeese
I was looking forward  a lot to buy a couple of Play:1, but when I realized that I can't play sound from e.g You Tube or web based TV channels on my Mac I'm not interested anymore. To connect a cable between speakers and computer is not an option for me.
I'd like to use my Play:5 as a wireless speaker for any sounds on my PC (BBC Iplayer, DVD's etc) or even connect to it as just a wireless speaker and use other media players eg WinAMP rather than the Sonos controller.
This needs to happen....even if it means switching to a single-user mode during use. Come on, Sonos.
I also think that it is a pretty stupid thing to have an expensive sonos installation (one bridge, 2 play3, 2 play 1 in the house) and still need to have speakers from my computer in the same room to listen to whatever the computer plays that's not on my nas (e.g. youtube, or a local video or anything else).

One question though: if a simple bluetooth sound receiver (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Speaker-Adapter-Bluetooth/dp/B004VM1T5S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&a...) is connected to a sonos Connect, could the audio sent to the bluetooth adapter be streamed throughout the sonos installation (i.e. in each room equipped with a play) ? Wouldn't that resolve the problem discussed in this thread? Of course, that would mean buying a USD 349 connect, + USD 30 adapter and placing them both at bluetooth distance of the PC equipment...

Is this correct?
I was about to pull the trigger on a Sonos system until I double checked this functionality and found this discussion.

Even with the connect, running a long RCA cable is just not a good solution when I'm using my laptop on the couch. Wanted bigger sound than my ultimate ears (which are great for travel, outdoor, etc..) bluetooth speakers, I guess this is not the solution.
Even if Sonos implement this feature, there will be a very noticeable delay between audio out on the pc and what comes out of the Sonos speakers. For all use cases where you want to have audio through Sonos and video on Desktop in sync this will not work. Just forget it.
Stream all the music on earth??? False advertising for sure.

What is the problem with implementing wireless PC sound? Is there a patent infringement or is a sync problem or what? This is fail.
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Stream all the music on earth??? False advertising for sure.

What is the problem with implementing 

Tell me again how this is false advertising?  Tell me again how this is fail?

You CAN stream all of the music on your PC.  You CAN stream any online audio stream.  You can stream ALL the music on earth.

What you can't do is be a cheap skate tight a$$ and and bypass the system to get a free audio source without buying a ZP-90 (aka connect) or a Playbar to use as your PC speaker (which I did) or a Play:5 with audio input placed near enough to your PC to become an audio source port.

This request is POSSIBLE as it currently stands, what people are asking for is for it to be simpler.

No false advertising here, and certainly not a fail.  Simply behind slightly on the desires of the user.
Stream all the music on earth??? False advertising for sure.

What is the problem with implementing 

The fail is I cannot do this wirelessly with just a Bridge and any Sonos device (Play 1 or Play 3).  It seems like a simple request that I be able to play my computer, or really any device with wifi, through any Sonos speaker WIRELESSLY.  Other than some potential latency/delay, how is this any different than me plugging in my device to any other speaker?  Come on Sonos, please make this work!
The fail is I cannot do this wirelessly with just a Bridge and any Sonos device (Play 1 or Play 3).  It seems like a simple request that I be able to play my computer, or really any device with wifi, through any Sonos speaker WIRELESSLY.  Other than some potential latency/delay, how is this any different than me plugging in my device to any other speaker?  Come on Sonos, please make this work!
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I agree with so many here. I am a new owner of a Sonos Bridge, Play:1, and Play:3 and am trying to decide whether to keep them. My primary use case for getting a Sonos system was to wirelessly redirect the audio from a Windows laptop to the Sonos speakers. I can partially achieve this goal if listening to local radio stations or media libraries supported by the Sonos controller app. However, there are scenarios where usage would be simpler or I'd have more control (e.g., auto playlists, equalization controls) just using native apps (e.g., Spotify, Windows Media Player). For those cases, I don't want to be constrained by the current limited functionality of the Sonos controller app.

Ideally, Sonos would add a "Use this computer as source" option in Controller, or at least make it simpler to redirect my local audio to the Bridge. There are numerous workarounds that folks have found to do this, but even the relatively cleaner solutions still seem like too much extra work and cost. For example, one workaround could be to use Airfoil for Windows to redirect laptop audio to an Apple TV, from which you use a converter to change digital audio to analog audio, and then use that as a source to Sonos Connect, from which audio gets converted back to digital for wireless delivery to Sonos speakers. Achievable? Yes. Cost-effective? At ~$500, not so much. Technical kludginess: High. 

If Sonos would make it easy to get other audio sources into their system without needing to buy a Connect (and third-party hardware for wireless sourcing) for each new Line In input, I'd not only keep my new Sonos speakers, I'd gladly jump in deeper and outfit more areas of my house with Sonos. If necessary, I'd even buy more Bridge-like devices (assuming similar or smaller sizing and pricing) to act as wired or wireless Line In devices.
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I agree with so many here. I am a new owner of a Sonos Bridge, Play:1, and Play:3 and am trying to decide whether to keep them. My primary use case for getting a Sonos system was to wirelessly redirect the audio from a Windows laptop to the Sonos speakers. I can partially achieve this goal if listening to local radio stations or media libraries supported by the Sonos controller app. However, there are scenarios where usage would be simpler or I'd have more control (e.g., auto playlists, equalization controls) just using native apps (e.g., Spotify, Windows Media Player). For those cases, I don't want to be constrained by the current limited functionality of the Sonos controller app.

Ideally, Sonos would add a "Use this computer as source" option in Controller, or at least make it simpler to redirect my local audio to the Bridge. There are numerous workarounds that folks have found to do this, but even the relatively cleaner solutions still seem like too much extra work and cost. For example, one workaround could be to use Airfoil for Windows to redirect laptop audio to an Apple TV, from which you use a converter to change digital audio to analog audio, and then use that as a source to Sonos Connect, from which audio gets converted back to digital for wireless delivery to Sonos speakers. Achievable? Yes. Cost-effective? At ~$500, not so much. Technical kludginess: High. 

If Sonos would make it easy to get other audio sources into their system without needing to buy a Connect (and third-party hardware for wireless sourcing) for each new Line In input, I'd not only keep my new Sonos speakers, I'd gladly jump in deeper and outfit more areas of my house with Sonos. If necessary, I'd even buy more Bridge-like devices (assuming similar or smaller sizing and pricing) to act as wired or wireless Line In devices.

@redmondChris,

As someone who bought in to the Sonos ecosystem early on, who has gifted Sonos products to friends and family, it pains me to say this - but, I'd recommend returning them.

Why?

1. I've been watching this thread for a year, others threads for YEARS.  Almost daily you'll see a post like the one you've written (sometimes not as articulate), you'll almost never see a response from Sonos -- if you do it is the kludgy streaming hack above.

2. I've tried a number of solutions:
- Airplay to AppleTV plugged in to a Connect:Amp: this is so, so.  Sonos has a setting to try and auto detect the incoming signal, in practice though this works maybe about 20% of the time.  You're still dealing with the hassle of dual volume controls (the AppleTV's and the Sonos) and most of the time you'll start the airplay stream only to have to flip over to the Sonos app, adjust the zone settings and then flip back to whatever the source is to restart it.

- I've improved on the streaming setup Sonos suggests, except without using a 3rd party service, thus avoiding streaming your audio to a 3rd party which then streams it back to you (a lot of lag).  I am on OSX, but if you're interested, used Soundflower, JackOSX, dark ice and ice cast to accomplish this. These are some serious tools, it works, but there is a tremendous kludge factor to the whole thing.  Not to mention a lot of setup and technical bits.

- Wearing my software developer hat, I've looked in to writing my own Sonos/UPnP server and interface (if you're saying WTF, aren't we customers and this sounds like way too much time? Like I said, I adopted early and have a significant amount of Sonos gear).  You can see folks work at http://github.com/SoCo/SoCo (a Python implementation of Sonos controls). I also know though, that a workaround like these will never be able to rival a system that is baked in to the product.

- Lastly, as I've dove down this rabbit hole, two things have become very apparent:

a. There are a significant number of frustrated Sonos owners.

b. Sonos just really isn't listening.