Sonos One SL Functionality and Question

  • 21 February 2021
  • 6 replies

  • Contributor I
  • 3 replies

I have four Sonos One SL speakers (2 in the living room and 2 in the bedroom) and wish to add one more, but I have a question and a problem.

First, my problem: With the exception of Spotify (and perhaps 1-2 other apps I don’t use), in order to listen to anything on my speakers, it HAS to be accessed through the Sonos app itself (meaning you can’t just open your app and have it connect to the speakers) AND be on the Sonos app’s limited list of available apps. So you can’t use your speakers to listen to anything. Aside from the obvious inconvenience and significant restriction this places on your use of the speakers, there are other problems with this. An example: I have an app called Calm that offers nature sounds, meditations, soothing music, etc. I use it primarily as white noise because some of its nature sounds do a great job masking the noise from my upstairs neighbor. It won’t connect directly to my Sonos speakers, but luckily, it is available through the Sonos app. Great, you say. HOWEVER. Through the Sonos app, the Calm app is actually different. My selections are extremely limited and the nature sounds I like require me to pay for a Calm subscription. In the Calm app itself, those sounds are free. Since they’re the only ones that mask the upstairs noise well, I went ahead and PAID for a Calm subscription simply so I could listen to them with my Sonos speakers. I think that is freaking ridiculous. In general, the configurations of other apps in the Sonos app look and function differently than they do on their own (more like Beta versions of themselves), making everything feel off even if they don’t require you to pay for things that are otherwise free just so you can utilize the speakers you invested good money in. I have another meditation app I’d like to listen to on my speakers, but it’s not available in the Sonos app, so I can’t. 

At this point, almost everything is app-centered, so I find it unacceptable that Sonos restricts the use of their speakers to only a few apps and mainly through THEIR app where they might not function the same and handoff to the apps themselves is non-existent. If I start listening to a Spotify album through the Sonos app and have to leave home, I can’t continue listening to it via the Spotify app & my headphones because the Spotify app itself has no record of what I played on its Sonos-app iteration. I have to look everything up again. At the very least, Sonos should make their app more functional and allow users to add other apps to it rather than giving them a fixed number of options. 

Anyway, that was my complaint. Now for my question: If I buy a different type of Sonos speaker, like a Move or a Sonos Five, would I be able to group it with my existing One SLs and have them all work together? 

6 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

To answer your last question… yes, a Sonos Move or Five can be grouped with your existing speakers so you will be able to play music through all of your speakers together.

Thank you! Perhaps that way, the Move’s or Five’s Bluetooth functionality would override the restricted connectivity of the One SL? In other words, if I connect my iPhone to the Move/Five via Bluetooth, and that speaker is grouped with my One SLs, could I listen to anything on my iPhone on all the speakers? Thanks again for the response.

Userlevel 6
Badge +17

The only Sonos speaker that uses Bluetooth is the Move. And when it is in Bluetooth mode, you cannot group your other Sonos speakers with it. Grouping is only allowed when the Move is in Wi-Fi mode.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

But you could use the Line-in on a Five to connect anything with a suitable output, and group your other speakers to the Five. 

I see. My One SLs are connected to my WiFi network, though. Not sure if that would make a difference.

Thanks, nik9669a. The One SLs are compatible with Airplay 2, which I could technically use to bypass the app connectivity limitations, but while they show up in the Sonos app’s Airplay settings, my iPhone itself doesn’t recognize them (and it’s a new, up to date device).