Sonos as Airplay 2 Speakers and iOS + HomeKit Control

  • 13 July 2018
  • 3 replies

Overall I am pleased with the implementation of Airplay 2 on Sonos. Yet, it could (potentially?) become better. Therefore I have two questions regarding Sonos as Airplay 2 Speakers on the Home app / iOS:

1. The speakers, when added to the Home app, serve to indicate to Siri their physical location (i.e. room), however, nothing else is possible, not even knowing the status of the device (if playing or not), let alone controlling it (e.g. simple Play/Pause). Here's how a HomePod speaker looks:

and this is how a Sonos speaker looks like:

Question: will this ever change? Will one gain more functionality? I know the HomePod is an Apple product, so this may be a limitation by Apple, which they overcome for their own products. Anyone knows about it?

2. Airplay 2 "Players" such as the HomePod or Apple TV show up as independently controlled sources of content. Here's how it looks on an iPhone seeing multiple sources and targets:

For example the Apple TV "VC APT" can be and independent content source, but also a target.

Question: does anyone know if this is a specificity of Apple equipment, or any Airplay 2 player can act as a content source like this? If so, is there the possibility Sonos speakers ever become sources?

PS: Why did the Sonos controller app had to loose the Lock screen integration? When playing from the Sonos app, this was definitely a good thing to have.

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3 replies

Thank you for this excellent writeup about the missing functionalities of Sonos Airplay 2.
I would like to add an observation, for some reason my two Airplay 2 capable Sonos devices (a Sonos One and a Play:5) do appear in the list of selectable independent sources. And they are grouped there, for an added quirk (they are not grouped anywhere else, including the Sonos app).
However, when I tap them, I get a "connection not possible" error.

(In the screenshot, "Hobby + Küche" are the Sonos One and the Play:5, while "Hobbyraum" and "Wohnzimmer" are the Apple TVs).

This entire observation might be related to the fact that I am running iOS 12 Public Beta 2 on my iPhone. However, the issue also appears on my wife's iPhone with 11.4 installed.
Thank you for your observations. I double-checked (using iOS 11.4) and saw a similar thing for just one of my Sonos speakers (Kitchen):

and when I tapped on it, it failed:

Then it disappeared.

I've seen these controller bubbles flash before, but this was the only time it was permanently displayed (and only for that specific speaker). Likely just a bug, but still unsure does this means, regarding the questions I previously posted.
Did anybody ever get anymore info on this.

I have this question too.

My sonos one is selectable if hit the airplay icon(benjamin’s room), but doesn’t show as an individual source in control centre

Any thoughts???