Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Sonos AirPlay 2: How to get started and what to expect

Sonos supports AirPlay2 Sonos speakers connect to over 80 streaming services
Sandy Mccarthy | 13 July, 2018, 00:05

New high-end speakers such as the Sonos Beam rely on cloud service integrations with the tech giants-for example, the Beam uses Amazon Alexa support-while at the same time competing with a ballooning ecosystem of Amazon Echo devices. The Airplay integration is available on most Sonos speakers, including the Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, and the second generation Play:5.

Apple HomePod was the first speaker to support Airplay 2 but Sonos is the first partner to roll out the required update. First, you'll need to set up Sonos speakers in the iOS Home app; once you give them a name identifying what room they're in, you can tell Siri to play a song or album in a specific room. Sonos speakers that don't support AirPlay 2 can also be used to stream from Apple devices when paired with an AirPlay 2-compatible Sonos speaker.

The update, which will be free to Sonos customers, can be applied to compatible Sonos speakers using its iOS app. With strong books on one side approaching $1 billion in revenue and on the other, mounting competition from major players, the company decided that now is the sweet spot to go public. Over the coming months, Airplay 2 will be enabled on speakers from Bang & Olufsen, Libratone, Denon, and others. "That means you'll have yet another easy way to use Sonos to listen to services like Apple Music, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, and dozens of others". The Google Assistant is on the roadmap - the company still maintains it should be arriving as an update sometime in 2018 - but there's no sign of Siri actually residing inside a Sonos speaker.

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You can now play music/media over your Sonos speaker (s) via AirPlay. Show your friend that hilarious YouTube video on your iPhone and make sure he catches the punchline when you send the sound to your new Sonos Beam.

To check everything's working, open the Sonos app on your phone, press the "More" tab at the bottom-right, and scroll down and tap on the "About Your Sonos System" option. However, you can also manually check for the update if it's not showing up yet, by heading into the settings page in the app. But you dont have to stick with one method or the other; you can control Sonos on your terms. Music that started streaming from an iOS device via a Siri command can then be paused, or the volume adjusted, or the track skipped forward and back, using Alexa built into the Beam and Sonos One. If it has an AirPlay icon, you can stream it on Sonos.

Following Sonos version 9.0, if you have an AirPlay capable device in your household with AirPlay enabled, it will no longer be possible to control your Sonos system from the lock screen of your iPhone or iPad when using the Sonos App to initiate playback.

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