Airplay 2 support for PLAY:1, PLAY:3, PLAYBAR - BEWARE


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Be warned about all this talk of old speaker compatibility. It is very misleading. I was advised prior to Airplay 2 release about the functionality we were likely to get. It is very limited. Based on that advise I now have mixture of compatible (SONOS ONEs) and in compatible SONOS speakers (PLAY 3, PLAY:1s, PLAYBAR). Firstly if you have ONEs set as surrounds to a PLAYBAR they will not be compatible with Airplay2 as it is a closed group and the ONEs cannot be seen, this is because the PLAYBAR is the lead speaker in that set (not compatible). This negates Airplay 2 completely. (this is what I did in an attempt to provide access to my older speakers throughout the house). The only way I can bring that theatre set into play is by having an additional play ONE (thats 3 now) to drive the airplay2 commands. Also, 'accessing' older speakers by simply having a single SONOS ONE limits your entire network of speakers as it must be part of the group. For instance if room A has a compatible SONOS ONE and room B has an in compatible PLAY:1 you cannot play music in room B without playing in room A too (as it needs to be one group/room not two), which kind of ruins the notion of multi room. Essentially you have to set up your entire multi room house as one single room/group and toggle the mute/volume on each room depending on which you want to 'hear'. This will then further restrict the beauty of airplay 2 and Siri as you will not be able to send room commands to seperate spaces. You will not be able to say 'play music in the kitchen' as the kitchen will be grouped with the rest of the house. Its a complete hack.

The ONLY way around this is to have at least one compatible speaker in each room/group. ie, ditch everything you have and start again.

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I think you are missing the point I am making. I understand older speakers are not compatible, clearly. My point is that despite the advise (from SONOS themselves) and subsequent general assumption that your network of older speakers will open up to Airplay 2 by simply adding one SONOS ONE is misleading. Yes adding a ONE will activate any older speakers within that group but that in turn means you then lose all Muti room function as every old speaker needs to be grouped as a single room if you want access to airplay 2 functionality. Not sure how clear I can make that. The crux of my point it that if, like me, you have a mix of speakers that are either compatible or in compatible with Airplay 2 you cannot use the multiform feature in the same way when using airplay 2, ie via the Apple music app / Siri (which is essentially the stand out reason for people wanting to play music via airplay2)

Do you disagree that you cannot control multiple groups/rooms that include older speakers and a single SONOS ONE?

to your point:
"You would only need to do that if you want to control everything from airplay 2 functions and/or siri, completely ignoring everything else that Sonos does."

Of course, thats the entire point of this conversation. There is a massive compromise if you wish to do so. it also means toggling between airplay 2 use and regular SONOS app use will be a nightmare as you may have set up 4 groups around the house for regular mutiroom use and when the moment arises you'd like to use airplay 2 instead you will have reconfigure those 4 groups into one and control individual rooms via the mute button.

I am not complaining about the facts, I am bringing to light the reality of attempting to activate your entire 'old speaker' network on to Airplay2 because it is not viable in the way I believe most people will anticipate.

And yes granted, the title of my thread suggests I thought PLAY:1 etc was compatible when I know that is not the case. Its the percieved notion of them becoming compatible I have a problem with.
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I'm actually really impressed with the way Sonos have implemented Airplay 2. It mostly just works. You only have to look at Bose who have promising Airplay 2 for over a year and they aren't even giving their customer's an update on when they should see it. Between Airplay 2 and Sonos supporting Apple Music I've never been so reassured I chose Sonos over Bose. For what it's worth I flogged most of my Play:1's on eBay (They do fetch a good price used) and then paid the remainder to upgrade them to Sonos Ones, which meant it wasn't too expensive. Personally I think Sonos should ditch selling the Play:1 altogether, just like they did the Play:5 Gen 1.

The Playbar not having Airplay 2 is my only big disappointment, and that Sonos Ones as rears don't bring it to the system. Here's hoping Sonos work that situation out somehow. Bringing out some kind of connect like device compatible with Airplay 2 that can speak to the Playbar would probably be the most logical solution if the Playbar can't handle it natively. Buying a Sonos One just to group with the Playbar on mute is a very expensive way round.
Bails,

'Grouping' is a term that is usually used when a user goes into the Rooms Tab in the Sonos App and the user groups/ungroups two or more rooms with each other. These groupings are sometimes 'temporary' and people can switch speakers around and into different groups so that music plays in different combined areas of the home. Some users though like to leave some areas permanently grouped together.

'Pairing' is a term that is usually used when a user makes a 'stereo pair' from two identical speakers in the same room. This is usually done on a permanent basis.

'Bonding' Is a term that is usually used when speakers and/or sub are put together with a PlayBar or Beam and used for TV surround sound in a 5.0 or 5.1 setup. Again this is usually done on a permanent basis.

Note: if a Sonos One or Play-5 (gen 2) are 'bonded' with a PlayBar or Beam, they cannot also be used as an AirPlay controller device... officially, these two speakers can only handle AirPlay control, when they are set as 'standalone' speakers, or they are 'grouped' together, or they are set as a 'stereo pair' with another identical device.

Finally, I don’t get any 'dropout' issues with my speakers, or my iPhone, or my iPad. That only usually happens if there is some kind of WiFi interruption or interference. Here are a couple of tips to hopefully help reduce wireless interference ...

Turn off 'WiFi assist' on iOS devices... this makes iPhones, for example, switch over to 3G/4G networks in weak WiFi areas.

Set the SonosNet WiFi channel at least 5 channels apart and completely different to your routers 2.4ghz WiFi channel. So if router is set to channel 6, for example, then use either channel 1 or 11 for SonosNet.

Position your Boost well away from your router, at least 4 feet away.

When running in Boost Mode always remember to reset/remove your stored WiFi credentials in the Sonos App in 'Advanced Settings/Wireless Setup'

Don’t use WiFi extenders/repeaters or powerline adapters, if possible, some of these adapters can often cause interference with Sonos devices, particularly if they are set to the same channel as SonosNet, or if the are given the same WiFi SSID and password as the main router.

I hope these few 'tips' go some way in helping to reduce any potential WiFi interference issues you may encounter in your home.
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The Playbar not having Airplay 2 is my only big disappointment, and that Sonos Ones as rears don't bring it to the system. Here's hoping Sonos work that situation out somehow. Bringing out some kind of connect like device compatible with Airplay 2 that can speak to the Playbar would probably be the most logical solution if the Playbar can't handle it natively. Buying a Sonos One just to group with the Playbar on mute is a very expensive way round.


Just on the theatre issue, would having an Apple TV solve this issue? That would provide the access point surely.
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Ok, having just had a play around I can see the limitations of ATV being using as an access to the playbar as per points above. Parking that idea, I have set up a ONE (disconnected surrounds) and I am having trouble seeing the playbar (still set up as 'lounge'). Sonos described this as the solution. The playbar is not recognised as an available speaker (this goes for 2 x PLAY:1s in the house too). I'm unable to group the ONE with the playbar or any other speaker apart from another ONE.

All in all so far its not working as described. I have not deleted the room configurations on the SONOS app and re set up speakers from scratch. Perhaps that is what it needs?

Regarding your comment "Just use the sonos app" I agree, but the major plus with airplay 2 was the opportunity to finally use the Apple Music app for multi-room. If you cant use the Apple Music app its actually redundant beyond streaming sound from video on an iPhone ipad.

Has anyone actually got old speakers working on airplay2 when grouping with a ONE?


If you are using one of the ones which was bonded as a surround you might need to reset it so it can be used as a standalone Sonos One first.

I completely agree Airplay is superior to the Sonos App for Apple Music, unfortunately the Apple TV workaround for the Playbar is very flawed as I wrote above and if you were going to go through all the effort to turn your TV on and disable night mode and dialog enhancer (if you use them) in the Sonos app anyway, then in that case Airplay wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

As for Sonos Ones grouped with non airplay Sonos players, I can confirm this does work. Outside on my patio I have 3 Play:1’s grouped with a stereo Sonos One pair and when I Airplay to the Sonos One’s the music goes to all the grouped Play:1’s outside.


I'm sorry. I'm a big fan of Sonos products but that sounds like marketing bull. How much CPU power does the Play:5 has that the Play:3 doesn't? and how much processing power does AirPlay2 requires at the first place?


It has been suggested Airplay 2 requires a 64 bit processor, which the newer Sonos have, whereas the older units are 32 bit. Also, if it were marketing bull just to get you to buy new devices, why stop at the older devices? Why give Airplay to the Playbase when you can force people to buy a Beam? Or the Play:5, or even the One?
Bails,

See the first screenshot attached of the Sonos App. This screenshot shows all my Sonos Rooms. .. most have two speakers in them, set in stereo pairs. The room called 'AirPlay Hallway' is a single Sonos One speaker and is used as my AirPlay Master controller.

So if I’m sat in my bedroom, for example, and decide I want to play YouTube on my bedroom speakers, either from my iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, then all I do first of all is hit the 'group' button on 'AirPlay Hallway' and add 'Bedroom' to it. This 'groups' the Sonos One with the two older Play-1 speakers that I have in my bedroom. The grouping will remain this way until I change it. I can of course add ANY other rooms to this group if I want to, but let’s just keep it simple for now.

Now at this point I could completely close the Sonos App if I wanted to, but I tend to 'minimise' it on my iPad and keep it running in the background in case I want to make changes later, to room volume, or EQ settings etc.

Right then, my AirPlay grouped room is now ready to play audio to it. So I can then open up YouTube/Netflix etc. on my chosen device and switch the audio-out AirPlay stream to play to my 'AirPlay Hallway' device, as shown in screenshot 2 attached. This means any YouTube/Netflix videos I then play, will output their audio to 'AirPlay Hallway' and that device passes the audio stream onto my bedroom speakers, to all play in sync. I could really end my explanation there, but let me mention a few additional things...

I may often 'mute' my 'AirPlay Hallway' device, so that I then just hear audio in the grouped room, the Bedroom, in my given example above. If I do that, I also tend to use the individual room volume slider bar in the Sonos App, rather than the main 'Group' volume slider bar, which presently unmutes the 'AirPlay Hallway' Master device. I have reported this matter to Sonos, but things do work absolutely fine with the individual room volume slider bars.

If I’m watching a YouTube video on my iPad and decide to leave my Bedroom and come downstairs to the 'Dining Room', I simply go into the Sonos App and press the group button on 'Dining Room' and then select 'AirPlay Hallway' from the list ... this switches the grouping of my 'AirPlay Hallway' Sonos One speaker over from the 'Bedroom' to the 'Dining Room' ... my YouTube App video I’m watching will then simply switch the audio-out over to my Dining Room speakers. Obviously I can switch the AirPlay Audio to any room in my home in this way.

I can even group my 'AirPlay Hallway' speaker with two, three or more rooms... or even group it with every room.

Whatever 'Room(s)' I choose to group with 'AirPlay Hallway' will output my chosen AirPlay Audio... so all I ever have to choose from the iOS AirPlay list of devices as shown in screenshot 2 attached is the 'AirPlay Hallway' device... all the output changes are mainly done within the Sonos App itself.

I hope that provides the answers you were looking for?
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In the Sonos controller, group room A with room B. In iOS, send the signal to Room A, and it plays in both rooms simultaneously.

I see. I was trying to avoid all use of the Sonos app but clearly you cant. So using the apple music app is now possible just means im grouping rooms in SONOS not in iOS. Thanks for spelling that out, you are the first to do that.

Are you deadset serious? I wrote the below to you on the previous page.

You will not see the Play:1 in airplay at all. You need to group the Sonos One with the Play:1 in the Sonos App first and then when you airplay to the Sonos One it will automatically also play on the Play:1 which was grouped. When using Airplay you will not see the Play:1 at all. As far as Airplay is concerned, it is simply playing the audio to the Sonos One.

If you cannot group the Sonos One and Play:1's in the Sonos app then there is a problem you need to work on with Sonos Support.
So same goes for PlayBase? AirPlay2 is not compatible to PlayBase? Only to Beam?
I've got a Playbase, it is Airplay2-enabled.
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Be warned about all this talk of old speaker compatibility. It is very misleading. I was advised prior to Airplay 2 release about the functionality we were likely to get. It is very limited.

Sonos never said old speakers were airplay 2 compatible. You're thread title isn't stating anything new. As for you being advised, by who?


Based on that advise I now have mixture of compatible (SONOS ONEs) and in compatible SONOS speakers (PLAY 3, PLAY:1s, PLAYBAR). Firstly if you have ONEs set as surrounds to a PLAYBAR they will not be compatible with Airplay2 as it is a closed group and the ONEs cannot be seen, this is because the PLAYBAR is the lead speaker in that set (not compatible). This negates Airplay 2 completely. (this is what I did in an attempt to provide access to my older speakers throughout the house). The only way I can bring that theatre set into play is by having an additional play ONE (thats 3 now) to drive the airplay2 commands.


All correct. and Sonos has stated the exact them thing. Although of course, you can use play:1s for your surround speakers.


Also, 'accessing' older speakers by simply having a single SONOS ONE limits your entire network of speakers as it must be part of the group. For instance if room A has a compatible SONOS ONE and room B has an in compatible PLAY:1 you cannot play music in room B without playing in room A too (as it needs to be one group/room not two), which kind of ruins the notion of multi room. Essentially you have to set up your entire multi room house as one single room/group and toggle the mute/volume on each room depending on which you want to 'hear'. This will then further restrict the beauty of airplay 2 and Siri as you will not be able to send room commands to seperate spaces. You will not be able to say 'play music in the kitchen' as the kitchen will be grouped with the rest of the house. Its a complete hack.


Huh? Sonos was a multi room system long before airplay 2 was even thought. The idea that Sonos is no longer a good mutiroom system because not all of the speakers in the line are airplay 2 compatible....doesn't make any sense. There are plenty of choices for audio outside of airplay 2. There is zero need to group your entire house together at one time....only when you want to play audio in the whole house. You absolutely can music in the kitchen while you play music elsewhere.


The ONLY way around this is to have at least one compatible speaker in each room/group. ie, ditch everything you have and start again.


You would only need to do that if you want to control everything from airplay 2 functions and/or siri, completely ignoring everything else that Sonos does.

I am not complaining about the facts, I am bringing to light the reality of attempting to activate your entire 'old speaker' network on to Airplay2 because it is not viable in the way I believe most people will anticipate.


You’re not bringing anything to light that hasn’t been thoroughly documented by Sonos and the technical press. What you believe most people will anticipate only applies to the uninformed, who are not most Sonos customers.
I think an ATV would address this issue.... if you trust Airplay in any form to be reliable, which many do and some (me, for example) don't. At least not yet.

Let's also not forget that whatever its limitations, Airplay 2 is a free enhancement on Sonos. As @melvimbe says, take away Airplay 2 and Sonos is still a market-leading multiroom hifi system. It's obviously desirable that people know what is and isn't possible, but I think Sonos has been pretty clear on that.
I really don't understand what's the issue with adding AirPlay 2 support on previous speakers. is there any hardware limitation?
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I really don't understand what's the issue with adding AirPlay 2 support on previous speakers. is there any hardware limitation?

Yes there is
And the limitation is...?
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The Playbar not having Airplay 2 is my only big disappointment, and that Sonos Ones as rears don't bring it to the system. Here's hoping Sonos work that situation out somehow. Bringing out some kind of connect like device compatible with Airplay 2 that can speak to the Playbar would probably be the most logical solution if the Playbar can't handle it natively. Buying a Sonos One just to group with the Playbar on mute is a very expensive way round.


Just on the theatre issue, would having an Apple TV solve this issue? That would provide the access point surely.
An Apple TV is only a half solution.

What I mean by that is that the newer Apple TV's compatible with Airplay 2 only have an HDMI port, no optical. This means in order to use it with the playbar you have to turn the tv on first. It also means that if you have dialog enhancer or night mode on, you will also need to go into the Sonos App to disable them, so they don't affect the music as it is coming through the TV audio and therefore Sonos treats it as TV sound. If you have to jump through all these hoops, why even bother with Airplay? Just use the Sonos app.

For people who have an existing Play:5 with line in, our best bet outside of Sonos figuring this out, is if Apple do release an software update to the airport express making it compatible with Airplay 2. If this happens, you can plug the airport express into the Play:5 line in, name the airport express "Lounge" or whatever you like and then set the line in to default to your Playbar system. This in theory would work very well and only needs a software update from apple.
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Ok, having just had a play around I can see the limitations of ATV being using as an access to the playbar as per points above. Parking that idea, I have set up a ONE (disconnected surrounds) and I am having trouble seeing the playbar (still set up as 'lounge'). Sonos described this as the solution. The playbar is not recognised as an available speaker (this goes for 2 x PLAY:1s in the house too). I'm unable to group the ONE with the playbar or any other speaker apart from another ONE.

All in all so far its not working as described. I have not deleted the room configurations on the SONOS app and re set up speakers from scratch. Perhaps that is what it needs?

Regarding your comment "Just use the sonos app" I agree, but the major plus with airplay 2 was the opportunity to finally use the Apple Music app for multi-room. If you cant use the Apple Music app its actually redundant beyond streaming sound from video on an iPhone ipad.

Has anyone actually got old speakers working on airplay2 when grouping with a ONE?
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I do have the ex-surround set up as an individual ONE and can access this via airplay2.

Unlike you I cannot see my Play:1s in order to group via airplay. They simply do not show in the list to group to. They are set up as different rooms of course but I was under the impression that you simply group the room with the ONE to the room with the Play:1s?

Unless the terminology is confusing people. I am trying to 'group' room A (ONE) with room B (play:1). If this is not even possible I go back to my first comment that ALL speakers are a single room and the ONE needs to be in the same 'room' to work?
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I do have the ex-surround set up as an individual ONE and can access this via airplay2.

Unlike you I cannot see my Play:1s in order to group via airplay. They simply do not show in the list to group to. They are set up as different rooms of course but I was under the impression that you simply group the room with the ONE to the room with the Play:1s?

Unless the terminology is confusing people. I am trying to 'group' room A (ONE) with room B (play:1). If this is not even possible I go back to my first comment that ALL speakers are a single room and the ONE needs to be in the same 'room' to work?
You will not see the Play:1 in airplay at all. You need to group the Sonos One with the Play:1 in the Sonos App first and then when you airplay to the Sonos One it will automatically also play on the Play:1 which was grouped. When using Airplay you will not see the Play:1 at all. As far as Airplay is concerned, it is simply playing the audio to the Sonos One.

If you cannot group the Sonos One and Play:1's in the Sonos app then there is a problem you need to work on with Sonos Support.
And the limitation is...?
Older products do not have the processing power to support Airplay2.
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ok this was my worst fear. As I initially thought and mentioned, you have to have a ONE 'roomed/fixed' with an un compatible speaker. So this means you literally cannot have a PLAY:1 in a room on its own. All the talk of grouping (grouping rooms together) an old and new speaker does not work. For instance a single PLAY:1 in the bedroom is now un usable on airplay.

This is what I mean by the terminology. A group is not the same as a room. Groups are collectives of rooms. This means you need a compatible speaker in EVERY 'room'
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I do have the ex-surround set up as an individual ONE and can access this via airplay2.

Unlike you I cannot see my Play:1s in order to group via airplay. They simply do not show in the list to group to. They are set up as different rooms of course but I was under the impression that you simply group the room with the ONE to the room with the Play:1s?

Unless the terminology is confusing people. I am trying to 'group' room A (ONE) with room B (play:1). If this is not even possible I go back to my first comment that ALL speakers are a single room and the ONE needs to be in the same 'room' to work?


You are correct that you would not see room B as an airplay speaker in your scenario. Sonos never said that you would. How can Sonos be misleading about something they never said?

As far as the reason for airplay being to bring in Apple music, you can play apple music directly through Sonos. I'd say the benefit is other audio that you can get on your iphone that you can't get through Sonos directly. Podcasts, and such. Siri has some functions, but again, Sonos never said you could do EVERYTHING through Siri and never have to touch the Sonos app every again.


Of course, thats the entire point of this conversation. There is a massive compromise if you wish to do so. it also means toggling between airplay 2 use and regular SONOS app use will be a nightmare as you may have set up 4 groups around the house for regular mutiroom use and when the moment arises you'd like to use airplay 2 instead you will have reconfigure those 4 groups into one and control individual rooms via the mute button.


Massive compromise? I don't see it as such. Switch groups around in Sonos is very easy to do. Again, your idea of setting up your home is one large group all the time, is a rather lousy one, not something Sonos would recommend, or pretty much anyone. Sending audio to whatever compatible speakers you have, then grouping that speaker with the rooom you want to listen to isn't some monumental task. Yes, it means you can't do the whole thing through Siri or Apple's screen.

Personally, I think trying to use airplay 2 full time is a bad idea anyway. When you do that, you stream to your phone, then your speakers...double the streaming. It have some advantageous features clearly, but it was never advertised a full replacement for the Sonos app and all of Sonos other features.
And the limitation is...?
Older products do not have the processing power to support Airplay2.


I'm sorry. I'm a big fan of Sonos products but that sounds like marketing ******. How much CPU power does the Play:5 has that the Play:3 doesn't? and how much processing power does AirPlay2 requires at the first place?
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And the limitation is...?
Older products do not have the processing power to support Airplay2.


I'm sorry. I'm a big fan of Sonos products but that sounds like marketing ******. How much CPU power does the Play:5 has that the Play:3 doesn't? and how much processing power does AirPlay2 requires at the first place?


What marketing goal would that accomplish? If you're think it's to sell more products, why not make it available on the playbar, one of their most expensive products? Doesn't add up.

However, what does add up is that news articles have reported that airplay 2 is hardware heavy, and few speakers out there can match that. From what I've heard it's primarily memory requirements, as it requires a lot of buffering to make it work. It makes sense that the older Sonos products, like the play:3 have less memory in it, since the cost of memory as gone down over the years, then the newer products, like the play:5 gen 2.
I'm sorry. I'm a big fan of Sonos products but that sounds like marketing ******. How much CPU power does the Play:5 has that the Play:3 doesn't? and how much processing power does AirPlay2 requires at the first place?
Why isn't Airplay2 supported on Apple TV 3? What does an Apple TV 4 have inside that an Apple TV 3 doesn't have?