Question

Is it possible to connect a sonos loudspeaker directly to a laptop (through wires)? Thanks.

  • 18 November 2013
  • 28 replies
  • 47348 views

I would like to play my sonos loudspeakers in my basement where I don't have any Ethernet. Can I connect one of my loudspeakers to my laptop and listen the music stored on my laptop?

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28 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hello Antoine,

You can connect a Sonos player to a laptop with Ethernet and they can communicate together in an offline (autoip) setup. You'd be able to play the music library stored on your computer through that connection. Our system however is designed to run wirelessly, with an internet connection. You can setup a BRIDGE wired into your router, and it will broadcast the wireless signal down to the units you have in the basement. You could then play all of our services including your computer's music library.

Cheers.
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  other offline solutions with direct line in appear only to work with Play5 since only that has the line in port
Hello Antoine,

You can connect a Sonos player to a laptop with Ethernet and they can communicate together in an offline (autoip) setup. You'd be able to play the music library stored on your computer through that connection. Our system however is designed to run wirelessly, with an internet connection. You can setup a BRIDGE wired into your router, and it will broadcast the wireless signal down to the units you have in the basement. You could then play all of our services including your computer's music library.

Cheers.


Thank-you very much for your answer.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  
Hi,

The PLAY:5, CONNECT, and CONNECT:AMP units have a Line-In port which you can use to play audio directly from a third party device, such as your computer. If you're looking to play the music stored on your computer, radio, or any of our music services you don't need the Line-In as any of our players have access to these options. You can find more information on our Line-In here.

Cheers.
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  
Hi Ryan.  Thanks, I knew about the line in thing-- had seen that linked page before.  But I was asking more specifically about your post up above about the ethernet option.   Reason is, I only have Play3s and Play1s.  But I want to play music at a venue at which I don't have internet connection.  So I need to rig a truly portable solution.  Line in would do that; it seemed to me that your initial post about going direct to a 1 or 3 via ethernet might do the trick too.  Did I misunderstand you?
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  
Hi,

You didn't, but let me explain a bit more. When you have a computer hooked up to the back of a Sonos player without an internet connection involved the two devices will go into a mode called Auto-IP.

In this configuration they get an IP address of 169.254.x.x and will be able to communicate together only. This will allow you to control that player through the Sonos software. Also, if you have a music share setup to that computer already, you'll be able to play it out of the Music Library section on the Sonos player. If that player has a Line-In you could play what's hooked up there too.

Keep in mind though, the player still isn't online. So all it can do is play that local library (network share) or the Line-In. 

You could hook up a NAS drive to the back of the player as well or instead of the computer, for a music library. But you wouldn't be able to control the player without a SONOS CONTROL or a computer wired into the other port of the Sonos player.

Cheers.
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  
Hi, I have just bought a first play1 to test the system for various activities and in the various rooms in my house.

I would like to have a wired connection from my midi keyboard to my laptop and then to the SONOS play1. I have tried the above. I am able to play music over the play1 when its connected to my macbook through an ethernet connection as you mentioned.

Then I connect my midi keyboard to my macbook via USB. When i open garageband i can play the external keyboard over the internal speaker of my macbook. I can't get the keyboard output to play over play1. I thought it might have shown up as a line-in that i could select in the SONOS menu, but it doesn't. Is there a way to solve this ?

thanks for your reply, Patrick
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
so this can work with a play3 or play1?  
Hello Patrick,

The Ethernet connection on the PLAY:1 works to connect to the unit into the network, or to allow another device to connect to your network through our SonosNet wireless. However you aren't able to use that connection to stream music directly into the PLAY:1. The CONNECT:AMP, CONNECT, and PLAY:5 units have an analog RCA audio input which you can play audio into, and stream across your Sonos network to any combination of players.

With the Ethernet connection as it is, you can play the music stored on the computer to your PLAY:1 through a network share. But it doesn't function as a computer speaker.

Cheers.
Userlevel 1
This is RUBBISH!!  I want my Sonos 1 to be able to work with YouTube, Games, Movies and the much better music discovery apps like Deezer directly rather than the cut down Sonos version.

Please bring out a Sonos 1 with an aux - I would pay double the price because it would be twice as useful!
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hello Jonathan,

The PLAY:5 is a larger player than the PLAY:1, but it has a Line-In port which can be streamed across your Sonos network in any combination of players. 

Cheers.
Userlevel 2
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Userlevel 2
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Short answer, yes. You can actually have a full Sonos system setup in Auto-IP, all playing music off of a network source, like the computer. The only devices able to control your system would be ones wired to it, such as that computer. You can do this with a stereo pair, or solo players. Just keep in mind that Auto-IP isn't really intended for large setups, so there could be issues the bigger you go.
Userlevel 2
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Thanks for the prompt and very helpful reply, Ryan.  This almost seems better than a line-in approach through a single Player, such as the Play:5, which seems limited to one player.  Not as easy to set up and I accept your "not intended for large setups" comment, but possibly a better outcome, as you can have more than one player in sync off the share on your computer.  And without a Sonos bridge, without a router and without internet, similar to a line in approach.  Hmm... Exciting possibility.

Do you have a long answer, in terms of accomplishing this via step by step set-up, or documentation you can point to?  

In my case, if I am connecting a the first Play:1 via ethernet cable to Windoze 7 (because Sonos does not play well with with my Manjaro/Arch Linux system 🙂 ) and then pairing that in stereo to another Play:1 which does not connect via an ethernet cable in a different location of the cottage... Are there steps you can suggest?  I will attempt this weekend before going away on vacation.  

Thanks so much for your initial reply.  
Rory
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Hi Rory,

For the setup your best way to go is first to get everything connected somewhere with an internet connection. Get your units all updated to the same version and configured with an internet connection. Then all you need to do is plug them back in where you won't have the network and you can use Auto-IP.

Sonos components need to be running the same version in order to operate together. So you'll need to get them all updated first. That way your controllers will match as well.

After everything has been configured once, you can just power the units back in and they'll reconnect to the same household. You'll need to create any groups again, but stereo pairs will remain through the reboot.
Userlevel 2
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Great!  Thanks, Ryan!!!
Userlevel 1
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Please can you confirm if this will now enable me to use the Sonos 1 for youtube and netflix? Can you also please do a simple step 1,2,3 for non techies using a mac to bridge to the sonos - thanks very much!
Userlevel 1
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Please can you confirm if this will now enable me to use the Sonos 1 for youtube and netflix? Can you also please do a simple step 1,2,3 for non techies using a mac to bridge to the sonos - thanks very much!
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Hi Jonathan,

The Auto-IP setup Rory is talking about is just for music specifically stored on the computer you're wired with Ethernet to. It's for your personal music collection which you can share through the network to Sonos normally. It won't allow you to stream any other audio sources. 

If you'd like to play the audio coming from your computer from Netflix or YouTube, you would need to use a PLAY:5, CONNECT, or CONNECT:AMP which have Line-In ports. That 3.5 mm Line-In would plug from the computer's headphone jack into the back of your Sonos player and you can tell the player or any combination of your players to play that audio connection. 
Userlevel 1
Using auto IP, an Ethernet cable plugged in to a Play:1 and to a computer where music resides, I see in this thread that I can play music through the PC Sonos controller. Great! Question: is there a way to play music through two Play:1s in stereo using this method? This is for cottage use where there is no internet whatsoever.
Is there really no way round this? Seems insane that sonos 1 unable to work for videos on my laptop (let alone iPad!). A major design flaw.
Hello,

I try to connect my Play 1 to my macbook pro (via tunderbolt - ethernet) but i don't see my play 1 in my sonos app. I have no wifi where my office is and only a secured internet connection. Please advise
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hello,

I try to connect my Play 1 to my macbook pro (via tunderbolt - ethernet) but i don't see my play 1 in my sonos app. I have no wifi where my office is and only a secured internet connection. Please advise


Hi Jan,

Have you previously set up this PLAY:1? If you have, you might need to turn off your computer's wireless, then restart it and your PLAY:1. They should automatically reconnect in "auto-ip".

Keep in mind, in this setup you'll only have access to your computer's music library, not any online sources like radio or your music services.

If you're still having trouble let us know.

Thanks
Hello I'm trying to connect my play 1 to my MacBook directly too. With wifi everything works properly, but only with the Ethernet cable something strange happens. The play1 connects to the laptop, but after around 15 seconds, it disconnects, the white light starts flashing, and everything starts again (15' to connect and 15' connected...). I tried with different network configurations and with an iMac, and it's the same. I will appreciate an answer, because I would like to use the speaker in trips. Thanks in advance.
Userlevel 2
Hello Antoine,

You can connect a Sonos player to a laptop with Ethernet and they can communicate together in an offline (autoip) setup. You'd be able to play the music library stored on your computer through that connection. Our system however is designed to run wirelessly, with an internet connection. You can setup a BRIDGE wired into your router, and it will broadcast the wireless signal down to the units you have in the basement. You could then play all of our services including your computer's music library.

Cheers.

Antoine,
In addition to the answer above,

If you use a Mac, then you also may have a free, open source alternative that uses your wireless network to send your Mac's sound output to Sonos.

This solution has many benefits.  
Once you set it up, any and all sound from your mac will go to your Sonos.
So you can play your itunes music, amazon prime music, sound from youtube music playlists (and more!) all through your Sonos speakers.  

The solution is free, open-source software that is not supported by Sonos, but it works very well for me, and the install wasn't overly complex (although, it wasn't just click-and-go either).  The solution adds a delay to the audio, so it would not be a good solution if you needed audio in sync with a video.

Here's a link to a thread I created about it.

http://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/howto-use-sonos-as-wireless-computer-speakers-for-a-mac

Good luck!

      -Philip
Why can't you just plug a headphone male to male from laptop to the back of the sonos?  I would expect it to just plug in and play.