December 05, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
No, Sonos hasn’t added AirPlay or Bluetooth. It’s better. This is an update that can be added (via a free download) to any Sonos speaker or player and it works with the updated iOS app.
Sonos says that 60 percent of music purchased is bought directly on users’ iOS devices (iPhones/Pads/Pods), and that music often stays on those devices because we infrequently sync with PCs. This update makes it easier to play downloaded music over a Sonos.
First, you need to update the software on your Sonos speakers or players. You can do this via the Sonos desktop software. After that make sure that your iOS device is running iOS 6, the latest version. Then update the Sonos app.
While this sounds like AirPlay for Sonos, it’s not, but it’s actually a little better. With AirPlay you can only play one stream from your phone to your playback device. With this Sonos update you can play up to five separate tracks on separate Sonos zones in your home (the update actually allows for up to 12 unique streams and up to 32 players). It’s also able to sync the music among multiple zones via its own network.
I tried the update this morning. The whole process, including updating the app, took about five minutes. Afterward I saw my iPhone appear as an option (called This iPhone) in the Sonos music menu. I went directly to Ben Folds Five Whatever and Ever Amen and played “One Angry Dwarf.” It played without issue, sounded great, and I was able to play it Bonnie “Prince” Billy in a separate zone, streamed from the same phone. If you’re a Sonos user, try it.
Electronic House is running a Sonos sweepstakes now. Enter to win a Sonos PLAY:3 system here.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.