Question

Google cast and airplay support


Userlevel 1
Please add Google cast and Airplay support to the Songs line. It's fun to have guests stream their devices to my outdoor audio system.

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13 replies

Plug a Chromecast Audio or Airport Express into a Sonos Line-In socket. Or even a Bluetooth audio receiver.

Google Play Music on Android can already cast to Sonos players.

I'd say the chances of Sonos ever implementing Airplay are zero. It's an outdated technology, involving licensing costs.
Userlevel 1
I did plug a chromecast audio into the line in on my Sonos Connect. It's not a very elegant solution and restricts wireless streaming to apps that are cast enabled.

It also makes it difficult to switch between guests that have iOS and Android devices.

Airplay is far from outdated. It is in current apple products, and there are lots of Airplay speakers on the market. Apple has show no signs of discontinuing airplay technology.

As far as licensing costs go, there are lots of cheap airplay speakers available for under $100. For the cost of Sonos devices, I expected support for major cast/streaming protocols.

I guess just chalk me up as another disappointed customer - it's a pity since the rest of the Sonos ecosystem is pretty well thought out.
I did plug a chromecast audio into the line in on my Sonos Connect. It's not a very elegant solution and restricts wireless streaming to apps that are cast enabled.
But your request was for "Google cast support"...

Airplay is far from outdated. It is in current apple products, and there are lots of Airplay speakers on the market. Apple has show no signs of discontinuing airplay technology.

Proprietary and, by all accounts, not especially reliable. Unlike casting it requires that the stream be looped out to the mobile at all times, and it can't do multi-room from a mobile. In fact Bose actually discontinued support on their latest SoundTouch speakers.

For the cost of Sonos devices, I expected support for major cast/streaming protocols.

Maybe Google cast support will eventually appear, but Airplay is sufficiently flawed as an architecture that Sonos would think long and hard before tarnishing the brand. Likewise Bluetooth, which they don't consider has sufficient reliability.
Userlevel 1
"by all accounts, not especially reliable."

Just last night we streamed audio from an iOS device through an Airport Express. It streamed without interruption for over 5 hours.

Airplay, on a properly functioning network, is as reliable as anything else.

"Proprietary"

So what? If iHome and the like can manufacture speakers profitably at or below $100 then I expect Sonos to be able to at significantly higher price points.

They should license and implement the protocol. I understand that there is a license restriction that only allows an Airplay session to be restricted from one sender to one receiver. Does this preclude Sonos from duplicating that session across all other connected Sonos devices? If so, Sonos should simply let their customers know this. A webpage with "we can't implement Airplay across Sonos's mesh network without violating Apple's license" would be nice.

At least, Sonos's customers would know where the blame lies.
Set up a friend's place recently. She can't quite afford Sonos, so i tried some things with spare gear I have. She's running Pandora on her ancient 30-pin iPad in the kitchen.

First, we tried Bluetooth. Sorta worked, amp was about 10 or 15 ft across the room. Often, when someone walked between the iPad and the BT receiver, though, it would hiccup. Next!

She has really good wifi, streaming from Netflix, Amazon, etc is rock solid to her Roku. So, tried the Airport Express. Horrible, would simply drop out constantly, for no reason at all. From an iPad to an Airport Express, on a rock solid wifi, for goodness sake. Next! Airplay richly deserves its terrible reputation. I certainly don't blame Sonos for not wanting to take on the tech support for such a miserable protocol.

Chromecast Audio. Took 5 minutes to set up, the cast icon showed up on her Pandora. We listened to great tunes for at least four hours straight last night, zero dropouts, great sound quality. Done for now, maybe a pair of Play:1s for XMas.
Whatever the different opinions on Airplay, I have to disagree with @ratty that there is zero chance of Sonos adding Airplay support. I'd say the chances are rather less than that.

At least, Sonos's customers would know where the blame lies.



Bwahahahaha! I see you are new here. 😉

Chromecast Audio. Took 5 minutes to set up, the cast icon showed up on her Pandora. We listened to great tunes for at least four hours straight last night, zero dropouts, great sound quality. Done for now, maybe a pair of Play:1s for XMas.


Yes, but if she gets to see how slick the Connect is in operation, and particularly so if one is able to access and use the hard buttons on it, Chromecast feels very fiddly. As a bridge to a Sonos Play unit environment, it is excellent of course, but anyone with decent legacy hifi kit is much better off with Connect.
She discovered today that, as a Prime member, she has access to Amazon Prime Music. Panicky text message while I'm commuting home: "I can't Chromecast Amazon Music?!!!" Sigh. Explained the politics. Amazon and Apple don't get along with Google. Sonos, of course, is the ONLY way to cast Apple Music, Google Music, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify and Pandora without adding a mess of wireless adapters. Hopefully the Play:1 pair goes on sale again for Christmas.
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+1 for Cast on Sonos. It just make sense, for me, being a network based, multi room capable protocol.
Userlevel 7
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For Google cast on Sonos hardware the code would have to be runnable on older sonos equipment and I think there are questions if some of the old zp units have the memory and horsepower to do so. I know right now you only have a play:1 so no inputs. You may want to think about a connect next that can play sonos then through some of your legacy b&o equipment and give you input where you can hook a Google Chromecast audio dongle to then give you google cast across all sonos units. Of course sonos is working to add cast of their own from other various providers (only spotify so far and Google music for android)
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@Chris - In my question I focused on Sonos only, not to other components I own. Yes, I just have a Play:1 currently hance I may see that with a degree of simplicity, but as far as each single device is capable, the sum should be as well through the recent protocol extension with multi room support, at least in theory.
Play:1 is "radical" as have only network plug, no line, and I do like it for this simplicity. There is no line in, streams need to come from the network and this makes a good case for Cast.
Userlevel 7
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What I meant is that if you do get a Sonos unit with input like a connect or play:5. Then hooking a cheap chromecast audio dongle to it will then give you the ability to use Google cast on all your Sonos units (even the play:1). I mentioned he Connect because it seemed like a good next step giving you the advantage of adding Sonos to b&o unit you mentioned having in a mother thread and giving you an input that would then allow you to use file cast in all Sonos units (and even the b&o too).