Grouping Play:1’s to AirPlay Speakers - Issue


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I have already contacted support about this and they are looking into it, but thought I’d ask in case anyone had a solution:

My Setup - I have a 5.1 system in my lounge (PlayBase, Sub, 2 x Play:1’s), 4 x Play:1’s spread around the house, and a newly purchased Sonos One.

What I Want - I want to use AirPlay 2 to stream Apple Music without using the Sonos app. My idea was to link my 4 Play:1’s to the Sonos One, giving me one AirPlay volume slider to control all of those speakers, and a separate AirPlay volume slider for my 5.1 setup (as this is louder than my Play:1’s).

My Issue - My issue is that the Sonos app seems to link my 4 Play:1’s to the PlayBase rather than the Sonos One, meaning one AirPlay slider changes my 5.1 system and my 4 Play:1’s, and the other AirPlay slider changes my Sonos One.

Does anyone have any idea how I can change this?

Many thanks.

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Ok, my video got too big to upload here. Basically, I am experiencing the exact same behavior that Matt showed in his You tube Video.

To make it simpler let's reduce the setup to 2 rooms.

Setup:
In the family room are placed (next to TV)
Sonos Ones as Stereo Pair : LIVING ROOM
Playbar / Sub

Outside we have:
Amp with some wired speakers: OUTSIDE

All devices connected via Sonnet channel 11 (amp is hardwired to router)

Scenario 1:

We don't use the Playbar. "Hey Siri, play music in Family Room and Outside". Apple Music opens with 2 rooms selected and 2 volume sliders per room. Works as expected. We can also now use SIRI to give volume settings to each room like "set volume in family room to 20%" and all that good stuff. Lovely!

Scenario 2:

As the stereo pair of Ones could need a bit more oomph - I would love to add the SUB that I am using with the playbar. But that can't be easily done without removing the sub first from Playbar (and loosing that true play setting) and then having to retune the stereo pair of ones with sub.
Ok, so I figured I can just group the playbar / sub to the stereo pair of ones so that those play together.

So scenario 2 ...we start off with all things ungrouped completely. We open the Sonos app and go to the Family Room and group the playbar to it.

"Hey Siri, Play music in family room and outside" - Apple Music opens and both rooms are check marked and each room has a volume slider. If I go back to the Sonos app now everybody is grouped together in one big group. In Apple Music when we move the FAMILY ROOM slider only the sonos ones change in volume. When we move the OUTSIDE volume slider the outside speakers change in volume and ALSO the playbar changes volume.


I am not sure how to fix this. Maybe if there was a way to combine multiple speakers in a deeper level then just the group?

Can anyone reproduce the above scenario?

Thanks so much!
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Let me find a way to show this in pictures or a little video. Stand by.
I just found this thread. I am having the exact same issue.
I have only airplay enabled speakers except playbar and sub.
As long as I keep the playbar / sub out of the mix, airplay works as expected. I see 3 rooms and I can control volume on those via airplay volume sliders.
The Moment I add the playbar / sub to ANY of the 3 rooms via the sonos app before I engage airplay 2 - the volume sliders in airplay behave as a global volume. It’s not consistent, sometimes one volume slider overrides the other.

Seeing this post from 9 months ago is a bit discouraging.

For now my workaround is using the Sonos app to control volume when the playbar is added in. Total bummer because SIRI functionality for individual volume is lost (hey Siri, turn volume to 10% outside) because it changes all volume globally.

I’m not quite sure I follow your post, but does it fix things for you, if you close the AirPlay selector window and then re-open it again and slide the global volume control to the left and then select a new global volume? Just to save you opening the Sonos App.
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I just found this thread. I am having the exact same issue.
I have only airplay enabled speakers except playbar and sub.
As long as I keep the playbar / sub out of the mix, airplay works as expected. I see 3 rooms and I can control volume on those via airplay volume sliders.
The Moment I add the playbar / sub to ANY of the 3 rooms via the sonos app before I engage airplay 2 - the volume sliders in airplay behave as a global volume. It’s not consistent, sometimes one volume slider overrides the other.

Seeing this post from 9 months ago is a bit discouraging.

For now my workaround is using the Sonos app to control volume when the playbar is added in. Total bummer because SIRI functionality for individual volume is lost (hey Siri, turn volume to 10% outside) because it changes all volume globally.
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Thanks Ken, highly informative. I really hope they go down the route that we seem to want. Fingers crossed.
mattnunn1985,

I would maybe hold fire with iOS 12, as it will bring about other problems, not mentioned, or relevant,to this thread. It still has a way to go.

I can see what you are hoping for here and my guess is Sonos will (hopefully) make it work the way you want it to.

In my case, I have a similar situation to yourself. I have two Sonos AirPlay devices:

'AirPlay Hallway' is a Sonos One Speaker... I have this grouped with older Play: 1’s around different rooms in my home.
'Dining Room' is a Sonos Beam with bonded surrounds

They look like this in the iOS AirPlay list:


They always remain as two separate Sonos Room Groups in my Sonos App and never merge, or change, from their original grouping with play 1’s etc. The two devices never merge into one single sonos group like you are currently experiencing in your Sonos App when you play the same song to both devices.

Anyhow ...
The volume slider beneath 'Dining Room' always controls the Beam and it’s bonded surrounds.
The volume slider beneath 'AirPlay Hallway' always controls the Sonos One and it’s grouped Play:1’s (**but see my note below)
The very bottom volume slider in the iOS AirPlay controls all things as though they were all 'joined at the hip' ... just like the group-volume slider in the Sonos App itself.

I assume that’s exactly how things work with Apples own Homepods too and how you were expecting things to work for you.

Sonos are still developing AirPlay 2, it’s very much early days, so you may eventually get what you are hoping for. I can see you don’t like the fact the Sonos App currently automatically changes your original Sonos groups and merges them altogether into one huge group.

SOMETHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT, PERHAPS?...
** Note: there is mention in the community that Sonos may make the iOS volume controls work the same way as the 'hardware buttons' do on the speakers themselves.

Presently if you 'group' several sonos rooms together, say for example, lounge, bathroom and bedroom and then walk into the bedroom and adjust the volume on the bedroom speaker, it will only change volume in just that one room... even though the room is grouped with the lounge and bathroom, the volume will not change in those other rooms. I think that situation is both understandable and entirely acceptable.

They may bring this same idea over to the iOS AirPlay controls in the future. So what will that mean? I hear you ask... ha ha

Well, just take my ‘AirPlay Hallway’ Sonos One Speaker which is grouped with several Play: 1’s... should the iOS volume slider for that device just change the volume on the Sonos One itself or should it also change the volume of the other Play:1 Speakers that are grouped with it ?

Here then is a decision that Sonos may need to make, somewhere down the line. If they stick to using the same method that they use for their 'hardware buttons', then it looks like only the Sonos One (AirPlay Hallway) will alter its volume. The Play:1’s grouped with it may 'stick to' their original volume.

Anyhow, I’m just guessing here and in truth we will have to see where Sonos decide to go with this. A user can always change the volume of the Play:1’s in the Sonos App itself, I guess.

I know what I would like to see ... but many here may have a different opinion to me.

No matter what though, I’m looking forward to seeing the next few versions of their software.
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That is spot on Ken. I want to be able to do everything outside of the Sonos app. The 5.1 system is much louder than all the Play:1’s, which is why I would like to be able to control that independently. Exactly as you have described. I will be really disappointed if this is not possible as it seems to me that this is how it should work, and I will have to return the Sonos One which is a real shame.

I am going to put the iOS12 beta on my iPad and see if I get the same results you are. If I do, I will be keeping my fingers firmly crossed that it continues to work this way in iOS12 and beyond.
mattnun1985,

Seems my sonos system on iOS 12 beta is not currently operating correctly then, or as it should be, but I can see your reasons for wanting Sonos to not automatically merge your two original sonos groups into one huge group, behind the scenes in their App, whenever you select them both in your AirPlay list within iOS. That one seems a bit strange to me too!

The Sonos App is obviously not doing that in my case on the iOS beta software, and mine remain always as two separate groups. So perhaps I’m the lucky one here, as I’m able to continue to control them independently of each other... which is what you were hoping for here, I believe?

I assume you also want the iOS volume slider-bars that appear in the actual iOS AirPlay list (beneath each of your selected speakers) to control the volume of the Sonos Group that the volume-slider relates to... and for the two groups to be operated independently of each other using those slider bars that are close-by to each of them.

Then the other main group slider-bar at the very bottom of the iOS AirPlay dialog box to control the volume of both your groups together?

Do I have all that correct, I just want to be sure I’m understanding you correctly?
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Thank you!
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Thank you, I can try that tomorrow. Is there any chance of it officially working as I illustrated in the second photo? To be able to choose which AirPlay speaker the non-AirPlay speakers connect to and have the volume sliders control the AirPlay speaker and the rest of the group? Thanks again.
I'll pass it along as a suggestion for you. It doesn't hurt to ask 🙂
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Thank you, I can try that tomorrow. Is there any chance of it officially working as I illustrated in the second photo? To be able to choose which AirPlay speaker the non-AirPlay speakers connect to and have the volume sliders control the AirPlay speaker and the rest of the group? Thanks again.
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I am 100% certain. Adjusting the volume of the PlayBase with AirPlay 2 adjusts the volume of all my speakers except for the Sonos One.
I'll do some investigating on our side on that one, as it sounds like it could be an AirPlay 2 bug. It shouldn't work that way from what I know. The volume slider for either of your individual players shouldn't control the rest of the group. With that said, even though the Playbase is doing it, there isn't a way that's intended for the Sonos One to be the one that has this experience instead.

My guess is it could be because the Playbase is the only wired Sonos player. And it could be because it's set up at the group coordinator. Or it may be entirely unrelated to this. (Since it's not the intended functionality, it's a bit tricky to pin down right now.)

You could try this:
1. Wire the Sonos One into the network and disconnect the Playbase from the network.
2. Reboot all of your Sonos devices.
3. Try AirPlay 2 out again and see if it behaves differently.
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I am 100% certain. Adjusting the volume of the PlayBase with AirPlay 2 adjusts the volume of all my speakers except for the Sonos One.
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Great pictures!

Once you have the same AirPlay 2 content playing on all of your Sonos devices, the way it should work is closest to the first one, but what should happen is this:

1. Volume slider for Lounge Sonos (Playbase) should adjust the volume of the Playbase and its surround speakers/Sub.
2. Volume slider for Hallway Sonos (Sonos One) should adjust the volume of just the Sonos One.
3. Volume slider at the bottom (unlabeled) should adjust the volume of all of the devices at once.

The same behavior should carry over if you were to press the volume up or down on any of your individual players (adjusting just the one room you've pressed) or use the volume sliders in the Sonos app.

Are you certain that what you're seeing in that first picture is what's happening? Adjusting the volume of just the Playbase with AirPlay 2 shouldn't affect the Play:1s that aren't bonded with it. Looking at the video, the only part that doesn't seem to match up with what's expected is the last few seconds, so I just want to confirm that you aren't pressing anything odd like the hard buttons too, those affect the overall volume, and would put the group at a different level.
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Thanks for the response Ryan. For clarity, I have attached two photos showing my Sonos set up and the AirPlay screen on my iPhone. The first picture shows what is currently happening, and the second photo shows what I expected/want to happen, and the sole reason I purchased a Sonos One. The arrows show which speakers each AirPlay slider turns up/down. Is this really not possible?
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Thanks for all the details you two, and some really great steps taken so far.

The expected behavior with AirPlay 2 and multiple streams is that they should get grouped together in the Sonos app. This is for what we call continuity of control, but it comes down to being able to control what's playing using all of the methods of doing so. For example, to start a stream using AirPlay 2 from your phone, turn the volume up with Alexa voice commands, and pause the stream by pushing the Play/Pause on any of the players. In order for this to work, they have to all be grouped together in the Sonos app.

Matt, your system is actually behaving properly (the way it's supposed to) and it's Ken's system that isn't doing the right stuff. If you're running on the iOS 12 beta, it could be due to that. I know there has been some trouble with that software and AirPlay 2 integrations, eventually, it'll get sorted out and should wind up working correctly, the way Matt is seeing it.

As to being able to control the volumes separately using the AirPlay sliders, the group volume control should affect both of the AirPlay 2 speakers volumes and the grouped Sonos players that aren't AirPlay 2 compatible all at once. Using the individual volume control sliders will affect just the single room you choose in the AirPlay 2 app (which can only select AirPlay 2 compatible players). There isn't a way to have two different groups for volume control, but you can adjust them all together at the same time, and then use the individual slider to turn down the volume of the AirPlay 2 compatible player you wanted to have at a different level.

I'll pass along a request for you to get more control of the volumes and grouping, but currently, this is behaving as it should.
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Will do, thanks again!!!
mattnunn1985,

Thanks for the diagnostic submission, that should help. The matter has been passed to Sonos. If you can you leave the video in place for a while, so they see your issue and then maybe take it down, when the matter is sorted.

Thanks...
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144937802 - Here is a diagnostic as requested.

Thank you very much for the help, really appreciate it.
mattnunn1985,

Just to also let you know, I will try to highlight this matter for you too with Sonos, so they can maybe take a closer look at your grouping issue. Your diagnostic will help of course, when you get a chance later.

All the best ... hope the issue gets resolved for you soon.
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When the rooms join together by themselves next time, can you also submit a diagnostic ... here’s a link to show how to do that:

Submit System Diagnostics

And can you post the diagnostic reference number here too please... thanks very much !


Yes of course, I am out now though so will do it when I get home.
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This is the problem, I have no idea why it is forcing them into one group in the Sonos app. I could update to the iOS12 beta if it’s stable enough? Unless there are any app settings you can think of? My PlayBase is connected via Ethernet cable and the Sonos One is not?!?! Not sure if that’s a possible issue?
When the rooms join together by themselves next time, can you also submit a diagnostic ... here’s a link to show how to do that:

Submit System Diagnostics

And can you post the diagnostic reference number here too please... thanks very much !
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That is correct. I did not choose to make them one group. They were seperate in the Sonos app until I selected both the AirPlay enabled speakers, and then the Sonos app grouped them. This is the point I have been trying to get across. I want it to work the way yours clearly is! I wonder if this is a problem with iOS11 and iOS12 fixes it?!?!
We just need to find what it is that’s making the two room groups join together as one BIG group in the Sonos App and then report that perhaps as a possible bug ... the problem is it could be an Apple AirPlay issue that’s causing the problem and the reason mine isn’t doing it, is maybe because I’m using the iOS 12.0 public beta on my iPad.

If you can find what you do that causes the rooms to group into one big group, that would be of help and I could then try to replicate it here.

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