Sonos App controls no longer appear on your lock screen

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226 replies

Why didn’t Sonos warn us PRIOR TO UPDATING that we would lose lock screen functionality????
Userlevel 1
Very unhappy with this. It has effectively broken the basic functionality of my Sonos system.

There are so many reasons why this is an issue, but essentially it comes down to the update removing an essential feature which most users would use multiple times daily, in order to introduce a new feature to a small number of users that would benefit them in only a very specific use case.

I am unable to switch off AirPlay functionality on my other devices, my AV Receiver needs to be on in order to amplify my Sonos connect. The AirPlay functionality is built into that device and cannot be disabled.

This definitely needs to be resolved ASAP, because the current scenario is unworkable and frankly unacceptable. My Sonos has effectively been broken by the update, as it no longer functions in the way it did when I bought it.
Userlevel 4
In a multi-room, multi-user household, AirPlay is useless for audio. When I start a playlist on Sonos, anyone with the Sonos app on their device (iOS, Android, PC, Mac), can open it up, see what's playing, change the track or the volume, etc.

With AirPlay, the only person who can do that is the one who started streaming it from their device. Why would Sonos choose to hobble the great functionality they built over the years to cater to a niche Apple-only use case?

A quick look through the Apple developer docs show it is possible to enable/disable AirPlay support. Heck, Sonos suggested we do this for our 3rd party apps. If 3rd parties can do it, why can't Sonos? This would solve this mess and provide users a choice for how they want to engage with their Sonos system.

This thread has 3500 views as this time. I'm sure there are many more users besides the posters that feel the same as we do.

Please fix this Sonos.
Userlevel 1
This is BS. I used the lock screen controls many times per day. I’m not disabling Airplay. I used it as well. I’m really thinking about selling my $4000 worth of Sonos and switching back to Bose.
This is the dumbest freakin update idea they’ve ever had. Who is the idiot that thought this was a good idea? Fire him or her and bring back the freakin controls. It is the biggest selling point for me.
Just stupid.
I won't be buying any sonos products until this is fixed. This is a product management fiasco.
Userlevel 1
I think losing the lock screen capability is horrible, especially for Apple Watch users. It was such a joy to control music playing on my sonos from my watch. Definitely a step backwards!

After being plagued with this issue for TWO years, here is the definitive fix:

  1. Go to your Apple TV:
    • Settings > AirPlay & HomeKit > Turn AirPlay Off
  2. Go to your Sonos app:
    • Settings > App Preferences > “Lock Screen Controls” toggled on
    • On the same screen, scroll down to the bottom and click “Reset App”
  3. Close the Sonos app. 
  4. Reopen the Sonos app and play music.
  5. Lock your iPhone and VOILA! Lock screen controls are back! 


A few additional things to note:

  • When you hit “Reset App,” a scary looking pop-up says that you are going to disconnect the app from your system. Don’t be afraid. Reconnecting it is literally just a matter of closing and re-opening the app. Super easy. 
  • If you have an Apple Watch, that does not interfere with the whole “no other Airplay devices” thing. Seems to just be Apple TV.
This is so extremely disappointing! Sonos needs to give users the choice to enable or disable airplay functionality. Sonos controls in the lock screen was one of the main things that sold me on Sonos!! Sonos you NEED to fix this!!!

Agreed. The Sonos-AirPlay protocol/functionality should be disabled from within the Sonos App, NOT from my existing AirPlay1 devices.

This will satisfy people with older devices, like me, who have Lock Screen Controls and Airplay1 devices working seamlessly on one network.
Userlevel 2
I’m not a fan of anger posting but Fuck! I’m pissed! And Sonos just don’t give a fuck! It’s like they don’t use their products 😠
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
This sucks big time!
I have numerous Sonos units around the household - but no AirPlay 2 capable devices.
I have Apple TV 4K which I use for AirPlay and an Airport Extreme which I use for AirPlay of sound to my Sonos environment.

But now I no longer can have Sonos control from lockscreen from any of my iDevices!
This is NOT acceptable!
Userlevel 1
I don't have Airplay 2 and was planning on upgrading my Sonos network with an AP2-capable device first chance I got. I understand this is Apple's problem ultimately and not Sonos...but Sonos was aware enough of the problem to give me a pop-up once I had upgraded, but not thoughtful enough to say, "Hey, if you don't have Airplay 2, you might want to be aware that this is happening..." ahead of time. If they sent out a warning, I didn't see it. It looks like others didn't see it either. So Sonos basically saying, "Well, just kill all your Airplay and it will work again..." that is silly.

Very disappointed. Plans to upgrade the network are on hold until I see how Sonos fixes this. And is theirs to fix because they allowed the problem to happen to their customers when they knew it was going to be a problem. If I had known I was going to reduce my functionality, I would have waited.
Userlevel 1
Booo! Sonos I hope you are reading this. I am so angry!!! I switched my whole house over Sonos because airplay was crap. I have no Airplay2 devices and did not intent to get any. Now you take away the feature that makes Sonos usable - the lock controls! What were you thinking?! I'm not going to stop using my apple TV airplay because I still use that to stream video. Guess I should just go buy the apple speakers? I think apple just tricked you.... maybe beat you! Fix it! Just fix it! Please post how to downgrade back to previous version or something, I want my lock screen controls back. Mad as hell!
Userlevel 1
If this is a ploy to pull an “Apple” on us to make us upgrade to AirPlay2 then I won’t play ball. Maybe it’s time switch products after all.
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
During 2018 Sonos has succeded in removing every instant remote control from their product line. In April the support for CR100 (the old sturdy quick access remote control) was removed. And now a few month later the quick access for controlling Sonos on iDevices has been removed.

And Yes - I am using AirPlay (Not AirPlay 2) for multiple purposes in the household - and a wast amount of other people are as well.

I am used to be able to turn down volume within a few seconds (when the phone ring or someone is at the door), this is no longer possible.

You (Sonos) has changed an elegant sophisticated integrated music system into some neerdy gadget that totally lacks the instant, convenient usefullness. You are scaring your own customers away.
Thanks for ruining my weekend Sonos. Fix this please, otherwise us users will revolt. I am being serious.... very annoyed.
Just lost my lock screen controls as well. Since my system is mostly built-in speakers with Sonos Connects, I will not be using Airplay 2.

This is a HUGE disappointment, please add an option to completely disable Airplay 2 in the app for those of us who can't use it and return our beloved lock screen controls!
Just venting and echoing the frustration of the group here.

Just seems to me that sonos consciously removed the single differentiator that sets them apart from the competition: a native sonos app that fully isolates the activities on the phone and the music playing.

Now, sonos is just another “speaker company”. Their lock on your market has been given back. Now that their speakers—the few they sell with airplay 2 compatibility—will be no different from a HomePod. What sets you apart now from the competition.

I am truly disappointed. Best we can do is keep shouting and maybe they will change it back.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
The Sonos implementation of lock screen controls was built in a way that's no longer viable and with the launch of AirPlay 2 on Sonos, we made the decision to remove the functionality in households that use AirPlay.

And nobody on the team expected this reaction? You should be aware you have tons of customers with older hardware.

...and if turning off AirPlay on the non-Sonos devices in your home isn't an option...

I appreciate your feedback, but I can hardly believe this was a serious suggestion.
Userlevel 2
You may have heard this already, but iOS does not natively provide a way to control devices on your home network from the lock screen in iOS, the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself. Because of this, the Sonos implementation of lock screen controls was built in a way that's no longer viable and with the launch of AirPlay 2 on Sonos.

Well, how do Spotify do it? Using Spotify connect, Spotify plays through Sonos Speakers. And you get the lockscreen controls after the Sonos 9.0 upgrade and with airplay 2 devices, like apple TV gen 4, running. Spotify is NOT playing on the device itself. You can remove spotify from memory, take the iPod to another location, even destroy it if you want, and Spotify continues playing through the Sonos Speakers. So your statement "the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself" is incorrect. If we can have the lockscreen control when using Spotify connect with airplay enabled devices on the network, then why we have it when using the Sonos app? Perhaps the Sonos developers should ask Spotify how they do it.
Well said! My thoughts exactly. BS cop out by SONOS who charge like wounded bulls for their hardware albeit great quality, then expect us to deal with sub standard software and a bucket load of excuses.
Userlevel 4
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I'll get it to the team. You may have heard this already, but iOS does not natively provide a way to control devices on your home network from the lock screen in iOS, the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself. Because of this, the Sonos implementation of lock screen controls was built in a way that's no longer viable and with the launch of AirPlay 2 on Sonos.

@Ryan S - Respectfully, this completely misses the point of the frustration expressed here. What I believe we're saying is AirPlay is NOT a primary use case for us (and likely a silent majority of Sonos customers). You've decided to favor AirPlay support over usability and critical functionality. I would bet the customer surveys to gauge desire for adding AirPlay support didn't ask if adding it would come at this price.

We all purchased Sonos for it's native multi-room, multi-provider capabilities which are far superior to AirPlay (see my prior post for my perspective on this).

If you cannot provide an option for us to disable it (which I bet the dev team can), it would be better for you remove AirPlay entirely until you can work this out with Apple.
Badge +1
We don't want a solution which means we have to start turning things on and off to do this or that. Sonos is meant to be a consumer device, not something techos have to fiddle with to get it to work. What we need is a proper solution which does not require users having to fiddle around. As noted previously Spotify has a solution: if you use Sonos Connect from the Spotify app you get the lock screen control even though Spotify is not playing audio on the device itself. So it is clearly possible possible. Sonos should therefore do what Spotify does.
Userlevel 4
While Apple is not really a friend to anyone outside their walled garden, this problem falls squarely on Sonos.

Spotify has neatly solved this. They have lock screen controls for both their own Spotify Connect protocol as well as when using AirPlay.

There is no technical reason Sonos can’t do the same. I’m not saying it’s not complex to implement, but that’s not our problem.

Sonos took away critical functionality to support an inferior multi-room protocol, that makes their speakers act just like any run of the mill AirPlay speaker.
I am just as disappointed as all others. Just writing this reply to let SONOS know. I just this functionality with my Apple Watch and phone..until the update. Please make a workaround for your customers who are using this. I don't even have AIRPLAY speakers from SONOS.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Indeed, can’t understand how deezer, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube can go over AirPlay limitation and not Sonos.


Because those apps actually PLAY MUSIC. The Sonos app doesn’t play any music, its just a remote control.

As we all know, the lack of control from the lock screen now means to do basic tasks I need to unlock my phone, switch to the Sonos app and do whatever I need. Now this may be something wrong with my system, but I find when I switch to the Sonos app (and when I’m already playing music), it takes the app about 10-15 seconds to actually sync-up with the Sonos system and do what I want. There may be a couple of “system not found” messages during this time. But that’s the delay I experience.

If this is common with others, then surely the QA/testing at Sonos would have identified some sort of additional time delay between this and the lock-screen control. Whether this delay is 5 seconds or 20 seconds. It doesn’t matter. The lock-screen control was always there AND always very responsive.

As someone else has said, the Spotify app gives control at lock-screen so it can’t be something inherent within the iOS not allowing Sonos to do this.

My Sonos was working fine with the control screen until the upgrade to Sonos v9. I’d been on the latest iOS v11 for ages before upgrading to v9 and that’s when this disappeared. So in my view, there’s been no limitation in access to the iOS system. So it just seems like something underlying changed in the Sonos code which meant this feature broke and they couldn’t be arsed to fix it before the major v9 release.

So then Sonos, how come Spotify has the screen-lock control but you seem to blame Airplay2? Perhaps you should go pinch some of the Spotify app dev team to help you fix this and hopefully improve your image.