Airplay 2 Support


Userlevel 1
Delighted to see AirPlay 2 support annouced. However, bubble well and truely burst by twitter support confirming it only works on newest devices - the play5 gen 2, and play base.

Can this be explained further, is it :

(i) Only new devices will support AirPlay 2. So if I have 6 Sonos speakers, 2 of which are play5:gen2, only those 2 will show as airplay speakers?

Or

(ii) You need at least one compatible device in your ecosystem, which acts as a bridge for older devices. So in scenario above, as at least one play5:gen2 is in the mix, all speakers are available.

I am crossing everything that it is (ii)... or there will be a lot of very unhappy people!

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

103 replies

I recommend ignoring all social media rumours on this topic for a few days.
From the Sonos Support twitter - it sounds like option i. Huge disappointment. I would hope they could use newer speakers as an enabling hub or even release a separate hardware hub to enable Airplay 2 on all speakers (similar to how the Boost connects to the network).
So I'm assuming that a current Sonos:Connect will not get the Airplay 2 support, correct?
I may be off base here, but (i) doesn't make any sense to me, (ii) does. The reason I'm thinking that is that you just need a way to get the signal in to the Sonos ecosystem, which apparently requires some "extra" chip, or something special, that is in the PLAY:5 gen 2, or the upcoming Sonos One. But once it's in the ecosystem, you should be able to share it all the way around, the same way a line-in works, or the optical connection on a PLAYBAR/PLAYBASE. Once it's "in", then anything can be done with it.

That seems like a logical assumption to me. Happy to have opposing viewpoints discussed.
Badge
Very interested in this. Which Sonos products will specifically support airplay 2? Are there any limitations to specific products? Would love to hear directly from Sonos on this.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Very interested in this. Which Sonos products will specifically support airplay 2? Are there any limitations to specific products? Would love to hear directly from Sonos on this.
We're not quite sharing all the details on this yet, still early into development. Newer players have the needed hardware. So the PLAYBASE, PLAY:5 gen2, and the Sonos One will all have it.
Very interested in this. Which Sonos products will specifically support airplay 2? Are there any limitations to specific products? Would love to hear directly from Sonos on this.
We're not quite sharing all the details on this yet, still early into development. Newer players have the needed hardware. So the PLAYBASE, PLAY:5 gen2, and the Sonos One will all have it.


The earlier you announce it, the earlier you can help consumer to make up decision how they can setup their system and stop them running into competitors like HomePod
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I am going to assume if you have one Sonos device hat is capable you can group any other Sonos unit to that one to get the signal. Ie if you have a play:5 gen2 you can play from iOS tonthat speaker then group in any other speakers you want to play the same music. But you have to have the play:5 playing that stream. Kind of like with playbar you can play tv sound to any speaker in the house as long as the playbar is playing tv.


The earlier you announce it, the earlier you can help consumer to make up decision how they can setup their system and stop them running into competitors like HomePod


Yet one of the main complaints about Alexa support was it was announced too soon, so people were getting impatient and looking to competitors. Damned if they do and damned if they don't. Plus, some people will complain about anything.
Userlevel 1
I am going to assume if you have one Sonos device hat is capable you can group any other Sonos unit to that one to get the signal. Ie if you have a play:5 gen2 you can play from iOS tonthat speaker then group in any other speakers you want to play the same music. But you have to have the play:5 playing that stream. Kind of like with playbar you can play tv sound to any speaker in the house as long as the playbar is playing tv.

The make or break element of this chris will be whether you have to leave the airplay controller on your iOS device to do the grouping. If you airplay from iOS then group in SONOS app, it’s a very poor user experience. If however one device acts as the hub for all other speakers, perfect.

We live in hope...
What good are my other play 1s and soundbars going to be with no airplay support? Some of my speakers will work with it and some won’t? That doesn’t sound like whole home audio. Alexa is fine but I only use it because airplay and Siri aren’t available yet.
Sonos has given no details about the Airplay 2 implementation. Maybe waiting until Sonos actually states what is or is not coming with Airplay support before complaining is in order. Also, if it is a requirement of Apple to have special hardware in the unit, what exactly is Sonos supposed to do to make your legacy hardware compliant?
I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to find out if I should replace my play:1 speakers now while they are worth more. Once the ONE speakers are available people will pay less for used Play:1 speakers. But if I don’t have to replace them I won’t.
My hope is if you have a Play:5 gen 2 or Sonos ONE that it acts as the hub of sorts. So if I have audio playing in Apple Music and open my speaker options in Control Center, I want to see ALL my Sonos speakers listed as an audio target. Just as it currently works within the Spotify app, I want to see as I do now: living room, kitchen, and bedroom. That is the implementation I want at minimum.
That sounds reasonable to me. As long as your Airplay 2 sending unit can see the receiving unit, it should extend to all the connected devices.

I'd actually have a hard time understanding if it were implemented in any other way.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Check post #6 in this thread. Sounds like good news.

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/exciting-partnerships-in-the-queue-6791309
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Ah that’s a bummer, I just ordered a Play 1, should of went with Sonos 1 instead. But since Airplay 2 isn’t coming until 2018, I probably will end up ordering a Sonos 1 by then.
Sonos has given no details about the Airplay 2 implementation. Maybe waiting until Sonos actually states what is or is not coming with Airplay support before complaining is in order. Also, if it is a requirement of Apple to have special hardware in the unit, what exactly is Sonos supposed to do to make your legacy hardware compliant?

Airplay 2 is software only no hardware required.
I have seen varying reports if Airplay 2 will be provide on current hardware.
Airplay 2 works with multiple devices although there are ways to do that with current Airplay. It also has a much larger cache and streams faster than real time to eliminate lag.
I just got my Sonos One by the way and its sounds great 🙂. I was going to buy two Homepods but this is more flexible.
Ah that’s a bummer, I just ordered a Play 1, should of went with Sonos 1 instead. But since Airplay 2 isn’t coming until 2018, I probably will end up ordering a Sonos 1 by then.

I would reckoned you return the Play 1 and get a Sonos One.
It sounds better to me than a Play 1, looks better (to me), and will get more updates in future.
My hope is if you have a Play:5 gen 2 or Sonos ONE that it acts as the hub of sorts. So if I have audio playing in Apple Music and open my speaker options in Control Center, I want to see ALL my Sonos speakers listed as an audio target. Just as it currently works within the Spotify app, I want to see as I do now: living room, kitchen, and bedroom. That is the implementation I want at minimum.

That is how it works.
What good are my other play 1s and soundbars going to be with no airplay support? Some of my speakers will work with it and some won’t? That doesn’t sound like whole home audio. Alexa is fine but I only use it because airplay and Siri aren’t available yet.

You can currently do Airplay to all that with Airsonos.
I'm not seeing a technical reason why Airplay 2 can't be implemented on existing hardware.
What good are my other play 1s and soundbars going to be with no airplay support? Some of my speakers will work with it and some won’t? That doesn’t sound like whole home audio. Alexa is fine but I only use it because airplay and Siri aren’t available yet.

You can currently do Airplay to all that with Airsonos.
I'm not seeing a technical reason why Airplay 2 can't be implemented on existing hardware.
Badge
Unless there is a hardware technical limitation to older devices (which I am not going to pretend whether or not I know there is or is not), it is rather greedy of Sonos to only enable for Gen2 Play:5 and Playbase's. AirPlay 2 is software authenticated. to quote The Verge "Unlike the original AirPlay, AirPlay 2 doesn't require special hardware anymore, but is entirely software-based, which allows for companies like Sonos to add support to their devices after the fact." https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/4/16418944/sonos-airplay-2-support-apple-ios-siri-2018

So unless the original Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 and Playbar do not have the hardware capabilities to make the software authentication work - I foresee no reason why older devices cannot work. And if they do not, I would fully expect Sonos to be transparent on this and tell us why.

As soon as HomeKit went software authenticated, thousands of devices were updated to support it - including older devices. Those companies did not require users to introduce new hardware to make their old hardware compatible.
Alot of speaker companies are saying they can update their speakers to use Airplay 2 but those are mostly companies that already do Airplay. Some that do Airplay now are saying they cannot update. Hard to say if they are jsut trying to sell new speakers.
Has anyone tried Airsonos with the Sonos One's?
Im a huge fan of Airplay by the way and have used it for multi-room for some time as there have been ways to do this before Airplay 2. I don't use bluetooth and one of the reasons I didn't buy Sonos products before is they restricted you to using their app. The combination of promising Airplay 2 and Alex in the Sonos Ones is what spurred me to buy two Sonos One's.
If they had the Play 5 with built in Alexa I would have bought two of those.
If they ever put HDMI into their home theater products I will buy those.
Unless there is a hardware technical limitation to older devices (which I am not going to pretend whether or not I know there is or is not), it is rather greedy of Sonos to only enable for Gen2 Play:5 and Playbase's. AirPlay 2 is software authenticated. to quote The Verge "Unlike the original AirPlay, AirPlay 2 doesn't require special hardware anymore, but is entirely software-based, which allows for companies like Sonos to add support to their devices after the fact." https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/4/16418944/sonos-airplay-2-support-apple-ios-siri-2018

So unless the original Play:1, Play:3, Play:5 and Playbar do not have the hardware capabilities to make the software authentication work - I foresee no reason why older devices cannot work. And if they do not, I would fully expect Sonos to be transparent on this and tell us why.

As soon as HomeKit went software authenticated, thousands of devices were updated to support it - including older devices. Those companies did not require users to introduce new hardware to make their old hardware compatible.


There are plenty of technical reasons why older devices cannot support Airplay 2 beyond the fact that there are no specific hardware chips required. Starting with memory limitations and processor capabilities. As to the Verge statement, there were plenty here and in the press who claimed Airplay 1 required no such hardware and therefore Sonos could implement it in software any time. Now it turns out special hardware was required. So I take any "definitive" statement on whether a chip or other special hardware is required for Airplay 2 with a big grain of salt, no matter what the source.