Why won't Sonos allow wireless audio streaming for movies from Mac/PC?

  • 25 November 2014
  • 37 replies

Userlevel 2
This has been a long requested feature for years. Why limit the listening experience to music only? I love the sound when pairing two Play Ones. I wanted to keep them, but the fact I couldn't also stream the sound of my movies from my MacBook was a deal breaker. Why would I want to invest hundreds or thousands on a system that's limited to music only. I have a MacBook Pro, and I watch plenty of movies. Why should I have to buy additional speakers from another company just to enjoy movies? No one should have to resort to buying a play5 only to plug it into an airport express through the auxport. No one wants any more wires sticking out of their speakers. Using the auxport defeats the purpose of a wireless solution. Why won't Sonos allow software driver based audio output through their PC/Mac controllers that will allow any app to stream audio. For example, I want to run VLC player or Divx movie player and have the audio stream through the Sonos system. Can we get an explanation as to why this hasn't come to fruition despite an overwhelming number of requests from your customer base? It's almost at 2015, and it has been ignored for years. If this was available, I would've kept the two Play Ones and purchased the sub too.

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37 replies

i'm asking because for some unknown reason they are not selling, despite the low price i am asking.... go figure.
and yeah, because i am not experienced at selling things i buy since i'm not easily so disappointed.
since you asked.
You'd be the only person in history who wasn't able to sell Sonos gear on the second hand market if that were the case. But whatever.
This has been fun to read. But a little crazy at the same time. You know you can just go out and get a Bluetooth receiver for 3.5 mm jack and plugh it on the back of the Sonos system and you can wireless stream any music on your phone or computer to it. Every company does makes what they think is a good product and better companies usualy leave ways for customers to make modification as the needs of each are different. Just some food for thought. The Bluetooth receiver is like $50 and you can add it all your systems.
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I found it surprising that I could not play my local audio stream in the way that a number of people have got upset about. When I came to understand the way in which the system works via streaming services I came to understand rather better that the synchronise system does need the speakers to all work together and the stream from my Mac book (or for that matter any customers' random computer) would be difficult to accommodate.

Having got the Sonos airplay system to work I am now content to use the system as intended for the most part. Just seeing it work served to 'lance the boil' of my frustration and now I am happy. I used node 5.5 with El-Capitan and the fact that I had X-Code installed was necessary to the compilation process. (XCode is free).

Granted that the Sonos support peoples' tone is a bit patronising and they avoid the issue to an extent that a politician would be proud. On the other hand, the tone of some customers above this post makes me understand why I would swiftly lose a job in any customer facing role.
Gawd, if only i had read these posts before buying 2 x Play1.
The workaround to get the sound in sync with a movie playing from my macbook is just hilarious.
Hi Sonos Development Tem, I love the SONOS products are in danger of moving from an innovator and leader in WiFi music plsyback to second place or worse. My house (and most house and apartments now days) are WiFi covered. I stream movies, music and MTV from a home NAS and also from other external streaming services to phones, tablets and Smart TVs throughout the home. All of these devices have love grade speakers and I want to stream the audio off to SONOS speakers. But is not possible. When watching a movie via say PLEX i am reduced to needing a TV soundbar for decent audio...yet i have perfectly good Play 1 and other SONOS speakers I could (and would prefer) to use! What's the point of a good (and exspensive) wireless speaker network if you can't stream a wide variety of audio sourses to it easily????? PLEASE IMPROVE THE PRODUCT for "air play" type and also blue tooth connection options. The system as it stands is now behind the times ans is far too limited in what and how it can stream audio from various sourses. A supporter, but the patience is running out. A Sony or Bose WiFi system may replace you. Why not LEAD THE MARKET and OEM your technology to the others for royalties! Please!
Does this workaround still work? Have done this as you said, however, keeps coming up Unable to play, unable to connect to 192.168.etc.



Here's a solution I just tried, and found that actually works  for sound! (I'm assuming that the video and sound would be out of sync).

I would assume that SONOS might be able to offer a similar solution, unless (of course) licensing issues prevent them from doing it without permission from Apple.  (Don't know... just speculating here).

This software solution provides an "airplay" driver on your mac that points to one of your Sonos players.  Once it's installed, you use it with three simple steps.

Step 1)  Open a terminal prompt (command prompt) and type airsonos.  This starts the driver.
Don't close the session.  It's OK to minimize the window.

Step 2) You use the Mac's "System Preferences..." , "Sound" to select the sonos as the output for your sound.  Now, play some music on your mac, and turn up the volume, and the sound comes out of your Sonos" instead of your Mac.   No wires.  No hassle.

Step 3) Grin from ear to ear as any and all Mac sound streams wirelessly to your Sonos!


(I can't take credit for creating it, but I'm so happy to have found it... thank you Stephen! ... that I'm willing to share it far and wide!)

airsonos a Node.js application, and it's free!   

You need to install the right version of Node.js (it's an older version),

and then you need to use npm (the Node package manager) which will download, compile and i

install airsonos.   It's all pretty easy.  You don't need more than basic computer skills to get it done.


I found info here:

and installation instructions here:

IMPORTANT NOTE: It states it requires Node.js version v0.10.33 or greater.

I tried it with the current release of Node.js (v0.12.xx) and it wouldn't compile. 

When I downloaded and installed Node.js version v0.10.33, and then tried to install it everything worked!

Here are the brief instructions:

Step 1)

Download Node.js v0.10.33 from here:

or use google to find it.

Step 2) Run the install (node-v0.10.33.pkg) to install Node.js

Step 3)  Open a terminal prompt, and at the command line type:

sudo npm install airsonos -g

This will cause the npm (the node package manager) to download, compile and install airsonos and the packages it requires.  It took about 5 or 10 minutes to complete.

Now it's installed!

To use it, it's two simple steps:

*** First) open a terminal and at the command prompt type:



You should see output similar to:

MacBook-Pro:~user$ airsonos 

Searching for Sonos devices on network...

Setting up AirSonos for Basement {}

Setting up AirSonos for Office {}

On my machine these messages were repeated several times.  

LEAVE THE TERMINAL WINDOW.  Don't close it, or kill the airsonos app.

It *IS* OK to minimize the window.

*** Second)

Go to system preferences... (under the apple menu), select "Sound" and for "Output" create one of the airsonos outputs.  For instance, in my situation I selected .

"Office (AirSonos)                  AirPlay".

Now play some music on your mac, turn up the volume on your mac, and listen the music come out through Sonos!

This is awesome.  You can now send steaming services to Sonos, you can output your itunes music to sonos.  Want to hear a playlist of songs from youtube... done,  amazon music prime... it now works!, etc, etc.

Many, many thanks to Stephen for creating this and sharing the info.

I didn't create any of this, I'm just sharing the information since I've wanted this feature for so long, I'm happy to finally find a quality solution that works!