Sonos Not Really Compatible with Android.

  • 15 February 2021
  • 31 replies
  • 467 views

So, I heard a demo of the Sonos One SL (These things are awesome speakers, no microphones - some of us old folks love the fact that there aren’t microphones!) and the sound was excellent. I fell in love. We are looking for a good sound solution in multiple rooms streamed from my Android device. I saw the Android on the side of the box, and bought two units home from the store that day.

 

After a neve-racking 3 hours, I couldn't do anything besides play Pandora / Spotify / YouTube Music from INSIDE the Sonos app. Each Sonos sub-app was a castrated version of the real thing you might get from Google Play.

 

Watching a You Tube video in the You Tube App? No sound thru these speakers. Using Disney Plus? Nope, can’t do it. Using ANY Android app not in available Sonos’ library. Sorry, no sound for you.

 

Apparently, you can send local audio directly from an Apple Device to these speakers using AirPlay. Good for you guys. Congratulations. I bet that feels great. But please, Sonos, take the Android sticker off the box - it is a lie. Or, find a way to stream an Android device’s local audio stream thru your app to speakers selected - what a great feature that might be. Or, support Chrome Cast audio streaming.

 

Until then, these truly wonderful speakers with most excellent hardware are nearly useless to the 50% market share of Android users. Those android users that stay will be using the Sonos app, and crummy versions of their audio apps, with much pain and irritation.

 

I am taking mine back to the store as soon as I can.


31 replies

@NotGonnaBeAS0N0SCustomerSoon .I am an Android user and it does EVERYTHING I want and quite a lot that I don't. 

Tracks stored on the phone can be played from 'on this mobile device'. Spotify can be played from the Spotify app using Spotify Connect. Pandora can also be cast from the native app 

It's true that the speakers aren't designed for audio-video uses. Sonos have other products for that.

Take the speakers back by all means. Your loss 

How you could spend so much time and miss so much is hard to comprehend

John B: I appreciate your passion. Do you work for Sonos? That is a lot of replies for a regular user. Let us know if you are paid by Sonos or an affiliate. This might effect how folks view your response.

 

Either way, this post isn’t for you - you are happy with the Sonos ecosystem, please move on and be happy, I wish you the best.

 

This post is for folks like me. Users who brought home the perfect piece of hardware, only to be massively let down by the Sonos ecosystem.

 

For others who are Android and are wondering:

-Do Sonos One SL speakers play audio from Pandora App? Nope. You have to use the Sonos App and use that crummy interface.

-Do Sonos One SL speakers play audio from Spotify App? Nope. You have to use the Sonos App and use that crummy interface.

-Do Sonos One SL speakers play audio from Tidal App? Nope. You have to use the Sonos App and use that crummy interface.

-Does it play audio from any other app that isn’t Sonos supported while you are on your phone/tablet/computer? Nope. Sorry.

 

So, if you don’t mind to live in the Sonos app / ecosystem and use their terrible embedded apps, you are good, and the apps you use are compatible, congratulations - you will love these speakers. The hardware is truly great.

 

Are you an apple user? AirPlay is here. And the app, but why would you, you have AirPlay!

 

Are you an android user of an app that isn’t compatible with the Sonos app? You are out of luck.

Do I work for Sonos? A standard troll provocation. As is reference to the number of posts.  We know your true nature now.

Can you play direct from the Spotify, Tidal and Pandora apps? Yes you can. Your ignorance of the facts doesn't make them go away.

As I said, I am an Android user. 

 

You still haven’t answered the question: Do you work for Sonos or an affiliate? Please, let us know.

Also, please, tell me how to play directly from Pandora without using the Sonos app from my Android device. If it is possible, this forum is for teaching and sharing information.

Not name calling.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/63?language=en_US

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3096?language=en_US

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1153?language=en_US

And thank you for the original post for an excellent example of the forum as an opportunity for education and information sharing.

If I worked for Sonos I would have to be polite to ill-informed ranters.

You still haven’t answered the question: Do you work for Sonos or an affiliate? Please, let us know.

 

I have tried the article listed, thanks for trying to help.

 

First, for other readers, please note this solution requires the Sonos app to be installed and logged in to your account. It also requires that you have linked your Pandora to your Sonos account. I have done both those the steps described in the article linked here.

 

My original complaint is that if an app isn’t in the Sonos Ecosystem, you can’t use it. I have secondary complains that supported apps don’t work well in Sonos’s embedded environment, and if Pandora can cast to Sonos speakers in an Android environment directly I am happy to be wrong, but this doesn’t work for me:

 

Unfortunately, there is no “Cast” icon on my now playing screen. That is with Pandora V 2101.1 and Sonos as an active app in the background. It could be the fault is my own, but even if it did work, I still can’t get audio to these speakers easily from apps that aren’t already in the Sonos ecosystem. Again, if you have any thoughts on why I don’t have this icon, I am sure I am not the only one interested in in how to fix it. My guess is that this would work fine for an iPhone user.

 

Still, it will not fix the issue of getting audio to these speakers on an Android device using apps unsupported by Sonos.

 

More absolute rubbish from @NotGonnaBeAS0N0SCustomerSoon 

Pandora V2101.1 on Android with no cast button available.

I can’t tell you more than there is no Cast button available. Even it it was available, it does not solve my main issue.

 

 

My original complaint is that if an app isn’t in the Sonos Ecosystem, you can’t use it.

 

Still, it will not fix the issue of getting audio to these speakers on an Android device using apps unsupported by Sonos.

 

You are correct in both cases, though I don’t see how that can be a cause for a complaint, that is how Sonos works. Sonos needs the app to be in the Sonos ecosystem or supported by it in terms of being able to communicate with Sonos. In some cases like Spotify, this can be done via both the native apps, and from within the Sonos app. In the case of both android and iPhones.

Airplay is a iPhone feature that Sonos can now accommodate; androids do not have such a feature that needs the transmitting device to be on and consuming battery power to transmit all the time that the music is being played. 

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Hi @S1211652, welcome to the community.

I appreciate your feedback on your Sonos experience so far, and I’d like to address a couple of things you’ve mentioned here. 

Sonos does support a wide range of music services and casting options through a number of third party applications. 
Spotify, Pandora and TIDAL all have the capability of casting directly from their own applications as well as browsing the content directly inside the Sonos app.

You are also completely able to stream your own local music files from your Android device’s internal storage or SD card without the need to establish a Bluetooth or casting connection. 

I’m also an Android user, so I understand where you’re coming from in that not every app is supported to the fullest extent possible, but with most services it’s up to the service creator to work with us to build that integration into the Sonos ecosystem.

 

Also, John B is not a Sonos employee, he’s another user like yourself, trying to assist with your concerns.

 

I hope that’s cleared some things up, but if you have any other questions please let us know; we’re all here to help.

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Generally I am happy to control Sonos via their app but the post prompted me to download the Spotify app (I only have the free version) and it will quite happily play to Sonos, it also provides the capability to group rooms by popping up the relevant Sonos page and returning to Spotify when done.

There is a little icon in the bottom left of the screen that you can use to select output device.

I also use bubble upnp occasionally and that will also cast to Sonos so apps that are dlna aware will also work

 

Hooray John B rides again, I was convinced he had expired!!

does he work for Sonos nah he’s just a geek and a fan boy. 

 

He isn't a Sonos employee and does not get paid for his time here. You may not get the advice you want to hear from him, but seeing the low level of responses in general here from Sonos staff, he renders valuable service to users by filling in that fairly large hole they leave.

So, what’s your specific complaint?

Folks, thanks for clarification on if John B is a Sonos or an affiliate. I just wanted to hear it from him. I don't think him calling me a troll was helpful, but I appreciate very much that he showed me that it is possible to connect directly to Sonos speakers from Pandora, Spotify, and Tidal. To reiterate, for some reason connecting directly from Pandora, Spotify, & Tidal doesn’t work for me (see my post above) - I don’t have the “cast” button on the lower right on my devices in software. I followed the guides and never saw that button. Maybe I have an old version of Android that doesn’t support this?  Either way, this isn’t the feature I really needed, it does not work on my tablet, even after following the guides. I am glad I know it is possible, but this wasn’t my main issue.

 

For those who responded about my original post’s tone, yes my first post was very negative - please know that my irritation comes from my great love of this hardware with massive irritation of the software. This hardware is great, the engineers who made these should be lauded! The programmers should be whipped! When I realized I can’t send audio from my phone / tablet to a speaker / group of speakers, the let down was so extreme because I love the hardware so much. 

 

The thing that I want the most is that there is no way to send phone/tablet audio to speakers on Android devices. For example, an option in Sonos software that says, “Send phone/tablet audio to speaker X or speaker group Y”, would make all the difference.

 

So, thanks for your patience folks, and for trying to help: If there is a way to send whatever audio is playing on my phone / tablet to a speaker / group of speakers, that is what I am looking for.

 

If it isn’t possible, what would it take to add this feature?  Who can I talk to at Sonos to ask for this? (Again, I called, I emailed, and everyone from Sonos sent me here to ask for new features...)

@S1211652 .  Can we make peace? I apologise for calling you a troll, but many features of your initial posts suggested this. So, no, I am not in any way affiliated to Sonos. I give my time freely on here because I like to help, and that is mostly what I try to do on here.

Let me try to explain why Sonos is as it is. You have to understand that its fundamental design is not for casting audio.  It was originally designed for local libraries and Internet radio. Streaming services were added when they came into existence. The app has always been a remote control for the system. It is not a music player and so is incapable of casting from the device.

Playing tracks actually stored on the phone was added, on iOS and Android, at a later date. This still does not use a casting approach. Changes made by Apple forced Sonos to drop this on iOS devices but it remains on Android. 

So you need to understand that there are lots of us users out here who are entirely happy with the setup for Android. All we expect of the Android app is that it controls the system. We understand that Sonos isn't about casting and we don't want to cast. That is why I object to your assertion that the system is unsuitable for Android users.

So, to casting.  Sonos has, in its relatively recent history, added casting in various forms. The obvious one is Airplay 2. For reasons none of us really knows, Sonos hasn't added Chromecast to give a comprehensive Android casting solution. I agree that in an ideal world this would be in place. 

Instead, Sonos has added the ability to cast from many of the music service apps. In some ways this is better than Airplay because it works with all Sonos devices, not just more recent, Airplay compatible ones. I do not know why you are having problems with these but they do work.

To sum up, you have a 'casting' mentality but Sonos is designed to work in a different way, with the app as a remote control. Casting has been added in many forms but is not totally comprehensive on Android. But it does everything many of us want and need.

Sonos software is as good as the hardware. 

Edit: in light of @Kumar ‘s subsequent post, I have used ‘casting’ to mean sending audio to Sonos speakers from outside the Sonos app; in effect, barely using the Sonos system at all.

 

Playing tracks actually stored on the phone was added, on iOS and Android, at a later date. This still does not use a casting approach. Changes made by Apple forced Sonos to drop this on iOS devices but it remains on Android. 

The obvious one is Airplay 2. For reasons none of us really knows, Sonos hasn't added Chromecast to give a comprehensive Android casting solution.

These two should highlight that Sonos don’t particularly favour Apple over Android - other than the Trueplay thing, a different subject.

The first quoted is a case of Android being able to do something on Sonos that IOS cannot.

As to second, I am not sure that one can say that Airplay is casting. In my book, casting has to take the casting device out of the music stream/chain leaving Sonos directly connected to the cloud based service, which Airplay does not do. It seems to me that Airplay is just a more robust form of bluetooth. 

As to the OP issue, it is still a puzzle as to why he cannot cast from Spotify on Android to Sonos - that is mainly how I use my system these days.

PS: and note too that one cannot cast Apple Music from the native app to Sonos from either kind of phone, but one has to use the clunkier Airplay solution for it if one has the kit for that. Another example of Apple not being done favours...or vice versa perhaps.

Hooray John B rides again, I was convinced he had expired!!

does he work for Sonos nah he’s just a geek and a fan boy. 

 

He isn't a Sonos employee and does not get paid for his time here. You may not get the advice you want to hear from him, but seeing the low level of responses in general here from Sonos staff, he renders valuable service to users by filling in that fairly large hole they leave.

So, what’s your specific complaint?

@Kumar . I appreciate your comments which I would like to think are correct.  I feel I should point out that @P1553d off is entirely correct that I am a geek and a fanboy.

@Kumar .  Perhaps I have misused the word ‘casting’.  My key point is (or was intended to be) that Sonos is not fundamentally designed for sending ‘all device audio’ to the speakers, and that the app is a remote control.  And that many of us Android users understand that and it’s what we want and expect.  If for others that is a dealbreaker, then that is their right.

To add to your list of ‘Android favoured over iOS’, the first music service for which native app control was possible was GPM, but only on Android, not iOS.  That would still be the case if Google had not replaced GTM with YTM.  

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What I hear is that Sonos is designed to be a service on the speaker(s) which handle the music streams on their own, and the app is just a remote control and doesn’t participate in the music stream.

Casting from a device hands off the responsibility of the stream from a device to the speaker(s) and then doesn’t participate in the music stream.  Sounds like Casting is a perfect fit for Sonos and the way it was “designed” to work.

I also hear that Sonos is not designed to have a music stream pushed to it.  Odd how Airplay 2 can pull it off?  Does this break the Sonos design, change the assumptions about the design, or maybe the design has changed?

The general user could care less what the technology is that lets them listen on their device and then redirect what they are streaming to another playback device (whether pulled or pushed is irrelevant).

What is relevant is that this can be done from Apple but not from Android.

In the end, this is likely not a technical issue, but a business issue.  But that is just me.  I don’t much care because I use Airplay 2 and it works great (even if others see it as clunky?)

John B: Thanks for helping, and the apology too, we are at peace!

 

Also, sorry to those who I offended in the original post - I know a lot of folks love Sonos, and I didn’t mean to dig in there, let me apologize too. I just want this to work for us, Android users who are listening to native audio on whatever device we are on.

 

I had a friend over today with a Samsung S20, and she was able to cast to the Sonos following the directions from her device, so I suspect I do have an Android version issue. She didn’t have other services, so we couldn’t test others.  Still, I am getting somewhere.

 

And yes, if I had an “AirPlay 2” equivalent on Android (and I think ChromeCast compatibility would be what we wanted, but I am not 100% sure there) think this would be perfect. Perhaps if you support AirPlay you aren’t allowed to support ChromeCast too?

  I don’t much care because I use Airplay 2 and it works great (even if others see it as clunky?)

Clunky because it keeps the phone busy, consuming battery charge for the music to stream. 

A question: what happens to the music stream when the phone rings and is in use for a call? 

That’s an interesting possibility, I’ve never looked at the legal agreement that Apple likely requires, but I wouldn’t expect that to be the case. In the other hand, the on- going lawsuit(s?) between Sonos and Google may also have an affect on Google’s desire to allow Sonos more access to the tech. Especially if Google has violated the patents as Sonos claims in the lawsuit.

It is unlikely that any one without inside knowledge, and more specifically legal knowledge, would know. All our guesses are just speculation. There has certainly been a lot of time since Chromecast was released, and so far, Sonos hasn’t implemented it. 

It is also entirely possible there is merely some technical reason that Sonos has been unable to implement it, and absolutely none of the nefarious intent we seem to frequently attribute to both sides.

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