How to update Sonos speakers for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

How to update Sonos speakers for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

The older speakers don't have the hardware to support AirPlay 2 directly, although you will be able to stream to older Sonos speakers via your enabled speaker - you just need one compatible speaker.

AirPlay 2 support also means that Apple Music users can now control their tunes with their voice, thanks to Siri. If you have an iOS device, like an iPhone or an iPad, you can integrate Siri on that with your Sonos speakers for voice control, building on top of the AirPlay 2 support. And that if you group an older Sonos speaker with one of the compatible models, AirPlay 2 will work with it as well. You can start up any audio playing from an iOS device (or Mac), go to the usual AirPlay menu, and send it over to the appropriate Sonos speaker with little delay, and it pops up in the list of compatible devices automatically. The protocol is also supported on Apple TV4 / 4K, which allows you to wirelessly output TV audio to multiple speakers at home.

Nevertheless, the update is a major one for Sonos users. Over the coming months, Airplay 2 will be enabled on speakers from Bang & Olufsen, Libratone, Denon, and others. While Sonos has generally done well to integrate most major streaming services with its app, the company has made it hard to play anything from sources that aren't officially supported on its speakers.

"As such, it is possible that Amazon, which sells products that compete with ours, may on limited notice disable the integration, which would cause our Sonos One or Sonos Beam products to lose their voice-enabled functionality". AirPlay also lets you unlock sound from a whole selection of content apps and services.

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You can find Sonos' support document on using AirPlay 2 here.

For instance, you can ask "Siri, play Radiohead on the Sonos Beam" and the music will automatically start streaming.

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. If you have any other Sonos speaker, and have linked it to a standalone Echo smart speaker using the Sonos skill, you can use Alexa on that in the same way. That means, if your iPhone or iPad subsequently leaves the WiFi network, the playback will stop. 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.

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