Adding Newer Speaker To Enable Airplay 2

  • 8 June 2019
  • 8 replies

Badge +2
Briefly: Already have
Living Room: 2 x Play:3s in stereo (hardwired, and closest, to my router)
Kitchen: Play:1
Main Bedroom: Play:1

Living Room and Kitchen are grouped.

I've been thinking for a while that it would be really nice to play music from YouTube on my iPhone or MacBook Pro to my Sonos system. My current setup is too old to support this but my understanding is that I can achieve it as long as I add one of the newer speakers e.g. Sonos One. And Father's Day's coming up so it would be a shame not to! I'd realistically only want to play YT to the Living Room + Kitchen group.

Firstly, am I correct?

Secondly, where would you recommend putting the new speaker? I obviously don't want it as part of the stereo pair for aesthetic reasons (the Play:3s are on stands). I could add it to the Living Room somewhere else but it's a very small room so 3 speakers is probably overkill. Or would I be better relocating the Play:1 in the Kitchen somewhere else e.g. upstairs, and using the new Sonos One in the kitchen. I suppose I could make a stereo pair in the Kitchen but that room's pretty small as well.

Appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks.

8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I have a Sonos One in my bathroom. With the built in Alexa/Google it is nice to have in bathroom as you can then play music etc. hands free. Just think in the shower and want to hear Bruno Mars - yell out Alexa Play Bruno Mars and there you go. Time on the toilet going to be longer than you thought - Google Play Panic at the Disco. Also I like in morning to be able to say things like Alexa what is the weather today etc. Lots of hands free and morning type stuff can do with Sonos One in Bathroom (or nearby bedroom for that matter).

So - back to your real point. Once you have the Sonos One in your system it will show on your iPhone. So example you want to Play to your Kitchen using Airplay. Just group the Sonos One to your Kitchen and then anything you send via airplay to the Sonos One will also play in Kitchen. You can turn down the volume of the Sonos One if for some reason you don't want the music playing in the room with Sonos One so then only the kitchen can be heard.
Badge +2
Thanks for that. Here's an idea - please tell me if it's stupid. Could I add a new Sonos One to my existing Living Room - which currently has 2 Play:3s as a stereo pair? My thought is, if I locate it near the Play:3s but in its equalization settings, I could set it to very bass-y so it wouldn't spoil the stereo effect but add some bass (or, as you say, turn its volume right down). It's obviously a bit of a waste of a speaker but I'd really be buying it as a means of enabling Airplay 2 on my current system.
Userlevel 7
Hi ploppy

Adding a Sonos One (between a Play 3 stereo pair) and setting it to be "bass-y"; as you say isn't going to improve the low-end. It will just sound like a third speaker with very little high/mid range. The resulting effect in the same room will most likely diminish your listening experience.

You can place the Sonos One in another room and still access it with Airplay2 then group it to your Play 3's. You might follow your own advice and swap the Play 1 in the Kitchen for the Sonos One and repurpose the Play 1 elsewhere. FYi, the Play:1 is moisture resistant (not water proof) and therefore could be placed in a bathroom.

Also, it you want to free-up the Play 3's hardwired to your router for better placement; you can invest in the Sonos dedicated Boost module to establish the SonosNet.

Badge +2
Thanks for that advice. Sounds like the best option is to place the Sonos One in the kitchen, per my original idea.

I wish I knew more about how the SonosNet actually works then I could answer my own questions. For example, I hardwired my Play:3s in the living room because I'm wary of the wireless-ness not being good enough to support high quality music playing. The Play:1 in the kitchen is obviously wireless and performs fine, so I don't know why I'm worried. I'm on fibre broadband and the wifi is dual band 2.4/5GHz so it's plenty good enough. It always surprises me, in a good way, when I'm listening to music in the living room, then go into the kitchen for something and hear the music playing in there as well.

Now, I'm wondering whether, because the Play:3s are hardwired, that one of them acts as the "master" for distributing the music to the others in the group. Don't know if that's how it works, but in my mind it does! Given that assumption, would the fact that the Sonos One is the only one that has Airplay 2 mean that it becomes the "master" for any music played over Airplay (and then distributes it to the others)? And would the fact that it's on wifi, and in the kitchen, mean that the "Net" is not as robust? And is there any effect on other services e.g. Spotify. Again, this is based on my assumption of how SonosNet works, so may be completely wrong.
Userlevel 7
Responding on my cell so please excuse any typos.

It only requires one Sonos component to be Wired to your router. I use the term component as it does not have be a Sonos speaker. Therefore, you could purchase a Sonos Boost module ( about the size of a hockey puck) to establish the Sonos net and allow more freedom of placement for speakers.

The Sonosnet is still a form of wi-fi but produces a stronger signal than that provided by your router.

Wiriing as many speaker as you can is always good as it strengthens the SonosNet communication. However, wiring every Sonos component is not necessary under normal conditions.

To be clear the only speaker that should not be wired to create the backbone of the Sonos net is one that is used as a surround.

The Sono One as the only natively capable Airplay 2 speaker in your hone would be the backbone and others would join it in a AirPlay 2 senario.

I hope this answer your questions. If not feel free to post again.

Badge +2
Thanks, that clarifies the question about Airplay 2 audio. But can I just clarify that in other cases e.g. streaming from Spotify, it will be as it was before I introduce the Sonos One. I assume, in that case, one of the hardwired Play:3s will be the master (or backbone, if it's the same thing?).
Streaming from Spotify wouldn't be changing.
Badge +2
OK, done. Setup was simple - although I did rename the existing Kitchen speaker and ungroup it from the Living room before adding the new Sonos One as the new kitchen speaker. Haven't set up Alexa yet - don't know if I will because I spend most of my time in the living room.

Have tested Spotify and YouTube. Have to say though, that YouTube audio quality is not brilliant.