Airplay 2 on Sonos

  • 2 January 2018
  • 71 replies

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Can anyone confirm whether you will need a Sonos One or a Sonos Play 1 to be able to play content from Apple products using Airplay?
I know that Playbase and Play 5 will support it, but don’t have either of them. I currently have a Playbar, a Sub, and 6 Play 1’s, (in a 5.1 configuration, a Stereo Pair and 2 seperate rooms with a single Play 1 in). I want to add one more speaker, would prefer a Play 1 as I have absolutely no interest in voice control, but would buy a Sonos One if that is the Only way to add Airplay to my system.
Thank you in anticipation.

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71 replies

Currently using AirPlay 2 on my iOS devices (11.3 BETA1) and tvOS (11.3 BETA1) and I have to say this is so much better and more convenient compared to using the Sonos-app.

Don't get me wrong. I love Sonos, and I love what the app is capable doing but its so fiddly and the app itself cluttered and the UX-design isn't all that great and using Apple Music through the Sonos-app compared to using actual Apple Music-app is two very different things and in order to playback audio that is not supported in the app I have to AirPlay (v1) to my AirPort Express connected to line-in on a Sonos Play:5 Gen2 which then sends the audio to whatever speaker og speaker group I choose. The functionality is great, but having to AirPlay to the Express, then going into the Sonos-app to select the correct speakers and to have volume control in iOS controlling AirPlay and another in the Sonos-app controlling the actual speakers etc is making for a really cluttered user-experience.

With AirPlay 2 (I can only AirPlay 2 to my three Apple TV's so I still can't directly AirPlay to my Sonos Play:5 Gen2 in my hallway, living room and bathroom) its so darn easy to just click AirPlay and select the speakers you want and you're golden. Volume control is all done directly on iOS so the volume up/down always works, you get access to now playing on the lock screen etc.. And it doesn't kill my battery life like the Sonos-app, especially if you have hardware and lock screen controls enabled.

Its even better when playing back podcasts.. No more AirPlay to the Express, then into the Sonos-app and whatnot. Just click AirPlay, select the speakers/rooms I want and its working. I can even do everything directly on the Apple TV which is great for parties.

I can't wait for all of this to be embedded directly into my Sonos speakers so I can have it on all of them, in every room and to be able to actually not having to power on the Apple TV's for it to work.

I guess I'm somewhat lucky as I the following speakers;

Living Room:

1x Play Base
1x Play Sub
2x Sonos One

1x Play 5 Gen2 (separate, for when we use the surround system for TV audio but want music playback in the bakground)


1x Play Bar
2x Play 3


Play 5 Gen2


Play 5 Gen2

The only room being problematic would be the bedroom as it only has the Play Bar and Play 3's? I could always swap so the Sonos One's are the surround speakers in the bedroom and the Play 3's are the surrounds in the living room but I guess that wouldn't help much as its the Play Bar that is the "hub" in a surround system so I guess you need to have AirPlay 2 support in this device so whatever the surrounds supports doesn't really matter?

I can't wait for AirPlay 2 support to arrive.
AirPlay 2 has been removed from iOS 11.3 Beta. Oops. Sounds like Apple is finding it a bit more difficult than they thought to fix AirPlay.
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As others have said, we're not sharing too much while development is ongoing. For now, I'm happy to confirm that the Sonos One will be able to receive an Airplay2 signal and play it. Beyond that, you'll have to stay tuned for the future.
I’m actually scooping up more play 1’s since they are still discounted. Just bought 2 more. Knowing that adding just one gen. 2 speaker to my existing system gets AirPlay 2 capability is really pretty amazing. I can’t think of any other tech gear I have that is 10 years old and still performs without any issues with updated functionality. I have a iMac from 2008 which is unable to update to the latest Mac OS and is now painfully slow trying to run software it was never designed to run in its current state. I think the ability of legacy Sonos gear to be plugged in and work no matter the age is incredible.
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Yes. I officially adjust my airplay 2 prediction to — between Spring and thanksgiving.
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I'm sure they have done some preliminary work (if they hadn't I don't think they would have mentioned supporting yet). But Sonos seems to normally require fairly extensive beta testing before they release new firmware. And until the public actually has access to Airplay2 they can't really beta test. That's why I think about 3 months from Airplay 2 release sounds like a normal cycle for them.
I really hope AirPlay will be supported on all Sonos devices. I have a e-mail confirmation from the Danish Sonos technical support team, that all will support AirPlay. That’s the only reason why I invested in Sonos.
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I really hope AirPlay will be supported on all Sonos devices. I have a e-mail confirmation from the Danish Sonos technical support team, that all will support AirPlay. That’s the only reason why I invested in Sonos.
I do hope you are right Dinnsen. I have no interest in voice control and am not confident with the way that the Sonos One fits onto a wall bracket. The Play 1 is attached with a screw so there is no chance that it will get knocked off.
I need one more speaker, would prefer the Play 1, but am holding out until it is clear before I buy.
Exciting times ahead! So if Airplay 2 will work the second gen of sonos devices....does that mean that we could probably pair it with appletv too?
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Exciting times ahead! So if Airplay 2 will work the second gen of sonos devices....does that mean that we could probably pair it with appletv too?

In theory you will indeed be able to send the Audio from an Apple TV to Sonos, in fact I am really hoping this will work.
Userlevel 2
Got the Homepod. It's great, different than Sonos, but great. Looking forward to see Airplay on my Sonos speakers (Play:1, Play:5, Playbar). The Playbar is never leaving my TV, but if Airplay doesn't come at all, I am going to sell the other speakers (even though I love my Play:5). It's just not very convenient for me to use the Sonos controller apps, rather than just Airplay it from my lockscreen/control centre.
Userlevel 3
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an update on this would be great.
I feel like both Apple & Sonos are due to let us know what or when to expect it.
If Sonos already knows some hardware will be incompatible, please communicate it officially.
It seems that Apple is now delaying Airplay2 from october 2017 to summer 2018. We're now in march 2018 and there still isn't any official update regarding Airplay 2 from apple...
And especially as Apple appears to still be working on the final implementation, as they've pushed out the update for stereo pairing. I imagine as soon as the Sonos engineers have a "final" version that they can be sure that won't be changing, they'll feel more comfortable about releasing some information to us as to how it will work.

But until Apple is final, I wouldn't expect anything from Sonos...and to be honest, I'd expect a few month wait after Apple releases the final API, so that Sonos can check that the implementation they have works properly, and gets both alpha and beta testing under the belt.
Which means that it might be possible that Sonos can work on it....assuming that Apple doesn't pull it again before sending 11.4 out the door, like chicks pointed out they did in 11.3. The problem in these situations is that you don't want to invest a lot of development time in a product that will change (potentially) substantially before it finalizes. So it's possible that Sonos won't have started their development yet. Unless they've gotten word from Apple that it's not going to change at this point.
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You'll need more than just a speaker. Also AirPlay 2 compatibility is not yet available but you can be notified when it is. Here's your answer just follow the link:
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Thanks for your input Airgetlam. I will save my money and wait until we know for sure.
All the best to everyone for 2018.
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Airplay2 was supposed to launch in December with the HomePod. The HomePod was delayed until a January so then I would assume Airplay2 then pushed to January. There was supposedly airplay2 developer code in the last iOS beta that was pulled on public release a few weeks ago.
We currently don't know. They haven't released any details about the way the implementation will work.
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I think we all know the underlying hardware is there and is capable of supporting it. What a terrible and user-hostile choice.
How do you know that? Please share.

Because AirPlay 2 is a software protocol. They should be able to add it to the app.

It should not require new hardware. Sonos One and Play:1 both have Wi-Fi. My understanding is that the One only added microphones and a different driver.

I use AirSonos now it AirPlay to my Play:1's now.

I'd love to hear their explanation why it won't work on Play:1.
Well, number 1, the Sonos app does not process the protocol the Sonos devices do, and number 2, regardless of it being a software protocol, it will have minimum processor and memory requirements that may not be met by older Sonos equipment.

Any questions?
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Hey Sonos could just end of life all the Gen1 stuff like a normal company would and force you to use all Gen2 for new features. How does that work for you svomak! I'm sure we could get all kinds of cool gee wiz stuff then for you.
The fact is, Sonos has not yet said that Airplay 2 will not work on a PLAY:1. They've only said, and I quote Ryan S here: " For now, I'm happy to confirm that the Sonos One will be able to receive an Airplay2 signal and play it. Beyond that, you'll have to stay tuned for the future.

There's nothing in that statement that says the PLAY:1 will not work. What I interpret out of that is something along the lines of "We're still working on the implementation, and don't really know what the end will be yet".

I can only imagine that if they're able to make it work on a wide variety of their speakers and other hardware, they'll certainly do it. I would suspect the request to the engineering team is exactly that.
I'm interested in using this as a cobbled return to Audible (audiobook) capability. Will Airplay2 bring this back?
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Timeline: I would expect actual Audible support withing next 30 days. I wouldn't expect Airplay2 until the spring.
While I would generally agree with the Audible timeline, based on Sonos' own marketing materials, I'd actually be surprised if Airplay 2 came out that early. But since they don't give timelines to us riff-raff, we'll find out when they actually release it. I certainly hope Chris is right, and I'm wrong. 🙂