Sonos is adding support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 wireless audio standard to its speakers, making them far more versatile for anyone who prefers Apple Music (or just likes using Apple’s music app for local music on an iPhone). AirPlay 2 support also means that you’ll be able to use a Sonos speaker in conjunction with Apple’s own HomePod in a multi-room audio setup — an intriguing option for anyone who can’t decide between the two companies. Here’s how to get everything set up:
First off, you’ll want to update the Sonos companion app on your Android or iOS device. AirPlay support needs a firmware update to the speakers, and before you can install that update, you first need to download the update for the app that will let it do that.
After the Sonos app is updated, open it up and you should automatically be prompted to install the firmware update for your speakers. AirPlay is only supported on the Sonos One, the second-generation Play:5, and the recently released Sonos Beam, so you’ll need at least one of those speakers in your Sonos setup to take advantage of it.
Once you’ve installed the update (it’ll take a few minutes), you’re good to go. Your Sonos devices should automatically show up as AirPlay speakers in any audio menu on your iPhone or iPad (as well as in iTunes on your Mac, if you still use it). Stereo pairing works with AirPlay, too. If you’ve got that configured with your setup of two Sonos One or Play:5 speakers, they’ll show up as a single AirPlay target in the menu and output sound in stereo.
If you don’t have all new Sonos speakers, you’re not out of luck either. By grouping your older speakers together with at least one newer, AirPlay-compatible model, you can still output music over AirPlay to the entire group. You can make sure that’s set up correctly by heading to the Settings menu in the Sonos app and going to the AirPlay section. You’ll also be able to toggle whether or not you’d like the app to keep your non-AirPlay speakers grouped together with your AirPlay ones there, too.
You can tell Siri to start playing music on your Sonos system by adding your speakers to the Home app on iOS. To do that, head over to the Home app, hit the plus button in the corner, tap add accessory, and then hit the “Don’t have a Code or Can’t Scan?” option at the bottom of the screen. A new menu will pop up, displaying your speakers, which you’ll then be able to add as a Home device and assign to a room with HomeKit. Once that’s done, you can just ask Siri to play tracks from Apple Music or, if you’re not a subscriber, whatever is in your Music library.