Work around for lack of "add speaker" functionality in desktop app and Android < v5

  • 29 January 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 114 views

I just fell foul of Sonos obsoleting support for (re)adding new speakers in the desktop app, and only supporting it for the Android app. Even the Android support only works if you are using what they deem a modern enough version of Android.
In my opinion, removing such basic features and forcing people to go out and buy a new phone so they can (maybe) continue using their already very expensive system they've had for years is very shabby. I'm also sure there are some people who don't have and don't want a smart phone at all.

As I am a miser and an engineer, I devised the following procedure that didn't require me to go out and spend $1000 on the latest iPhone. Unfortunately, the procedure requires a bit of time and, if you are not familiar with concepts like "virtual machines" maybe a bit of self education.

i) Install Oracle virtualbox https://www.virtualbox.org/ on your PC or laptop. Versions are available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux
- Check that your PC/laptop supports virtualization, and that it is enabled in the BIOS.

ii) Follow the general procedure described in https://www.howtogeek.com/164570/how-to-install-android-in-virtualbox/ to install an android virtual machine.
- Configure the Android virtual machine to use bridged networking (e.g. bridge the wireless adaptor on your PC)
- it is necessary to use Android > 5 to have the add speaker functionality. I used android-x86-7.1-r2.iso

iii) Install the sonos controller app in the virtual machine.
- You should now have the ability to (re)add your speakers from the settings menu.

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4 replies

Another work around is a cheap Android tablet and one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/BobjGear-Micro-USB-OTG-Ethernet-Micro-USB-Warranty/dp/B012LSJ6IK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548785086&sr=8-3&keywords=USB+ethernet+adapter+for+android

Make sure you pick the correct USB (micro or type C) for your device.
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I just fell foul of Sonos obsoleting support for (re)adding new speakers in the desktop app, and only supporting it for the Android app. Even the Android support only works if you are using what they deem a modern enough version of Android.


Incorrect. iOS is supported as well. And I could be off on this as I really don't pay attention to my android version much, but I imagine it's very rare for a user to have an android/iOS phone that can't be upgraded to a supported version.
Current Android support (full) is 5.0, which goes back to 2014. Partially supported is Android 4.4, which goes back to 2013.

Compare this with iOS 10 (2016) and iOS 9 (2015) respectively. So it appears you get at least 2 more years out of an Android device.
I just fell foul of Sonos obsoleting support for (re)adding new speakers in the desktop app, and only supporting it for the Android app. Even the Android support only works if you are using what they deem a modern enough version of Android.


Incorrect. iOS is supported as well. And I could be off on this as I really don't pay attention to my android version much, but I imagine it's very rare for a user to have an android/iOS phone that can't be upgraded to a supported version.


Yeah. I forgot about iOS - I've never used it.
My cell phone provider (T-Mobile US) would much rather I bought a new phone when stuff like this happens so there is a positive disincentive for them to provide OS updates. If I had time to burn, I'm sure I could "root" the phone and install anything I want on it and it might (or might not) work on their network... but life is too short.