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Sonos Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Certain Speaker Models

13 July 2018

Sonos has today released the promised software update to make its latest speakers compatible with Apples Airplay 2 multiroom protocol. That way, anything which streams to a Sonos One, Playbase, Play:5, or Beam can also be heard on any other Sonos speaker it's grouped with.

Apple HomePod was the first speaker to support Airplay 2 but Sonos is the first partner to roll out the required update. 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.

It's not often that a simple software upgrade can improve the prospects of an imminent tech IPO, but that could happen with Sonos, which announced support for Apple's Airplay 2 technology Wednesday.

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The document states Amazon can withdraw from the partnership with "limited notice", taking away was marketed as the key selling point at the time of the launch of the Sonos One past year, and leave the audio company scrambling to find a replacement provider.

It goes on to say that Amazon could introduce a charge for the voice service that would affect Sonos' profits from the One and Beam products, meaning the ball is very much in Amazon's court... something Sonos very bravely admits publicly; "Amazon could begin charging us for this integration which would harm our operating results". 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. AirPlay also lets you unlock sound from a whole selection of content apps and services. Here you'll find a list of your Sonos devices, complete with info such as the IP and MAC addresses of each. Supported speakers will also be able to use Siri to control Apple Music by voice.

Once you've started with Siri, you can then switch to Amazon's Alexa, if you want, and give her a command - to, say, skip to the next song. 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.

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To set things up, you open the Home app, choose the plus symbol and then tap "Add Accessory".

Watch on your iPhone or iPad. There's at least one quirk with the update, too: if you have AirPlay activated on non-Sonos speakers in the same area, you can't control playback or volume on Sonos speakers from an iOS device's lock screen.

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Sonos Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Certain Speaker Models