Enlarge / At $200, the Sonos One is now the most affordable technique to get AirPlay 2 onto a Sonos setup.

Jeff Dunn

Sonos on Wednesday introduced that it has began to roll out help for Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol on its wi-fi audio system.

As beforehand famous, AirPlay 2 is barely absolutely supported on the corporate’s Sonos One and Play:5 audio system and its Beam and Playbase soundbars. Sonos customers will want a kind of audio system to instantly activate AirPlay 2 management, but when they’ve a kind of gadgets inside a bigger whole-home speaker setup, they’ll be capable of management some other Sonos machine they could have.

Apple rolled out AirPlay 2 as a part of its iOS 11.four replace in late Might, enabling its HomePod speaker to play the identical audio throughout audio system in separate rooms, in addition to the flexibility to play a pair of HomePods in stereo. (Sonos audio system already had the latter performance.) A number of third-party audio producers have promised to incorporate AirPlay 2 performance of their audio system, together with Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Marshall, Pioneer, and Bowers & Wilkins. With the replace on Wednesday, Sonos is the primary non-Apple speaker maker to help the protocol.

I’ve examined a beta model of the AirPlay 2 replace on a Sonos One and Sonos Beam for the previous week, and, usually talking, it really works as anticipated. You can begin up any audio enjoying from an iOS machine (or Mac), go to the same old AirPlay menu, and ship it over to the suitable Sonos speaker with little delay, and it pops up within the checklist of appropriate gadgets robotically. You should utilize Siri from the supply machine to begin music and management quantity after including the audio system in Apple’s Dwelling app.

Sonos notes that you should use the Alexa assistant constructed into the One and Beam to regulate music began by means of Siri instructions, too, though, to be clear, Siri is much less concerned right here than it’s on the HomePod the place it’s built-in from the bottom up. There’s at the least one quirk with the replace, too: you probably have AirPlay activated on non-Sonos audio system in the identical space, you possibly can’t management playback or quantity on Sonos audio system from an iOS machine’s lock display screen. As an alternative, it’s a must to use the Sonos app.

However, the replace is a serious one for Sonos customers. Whereas Sonos has usually accomplished nicely to combine most main streaming companies with its app, the corporate has made it tough to play something from sources that aren’t formally supported on its audio system. The corporate nonetheless doesn’t enable for Bluetooth streaming on its gadgets, and it hadn’t supported AirPlay in any respect earlier than this newest replace. For customers of Apple Music, at present one of many two hottest music-streaming companies within the US, it additionally permits for a modicum of voice controls, since Amazon’s Alexa assistant doesn’t help voice controls for Apple Music by itself.

Whereas a extra full integration with Siri is unlikely for any speaker that isn’t made by Apple, Sonos continues to vow that it’s going to add help for the Google Assistant, although it has solely mentioned that it hopes to launch that help by the top of 2018. Sonos as an organization filed for an IPO earlier this month, saying that it has bought 19 million merchandise as of March 31 as a part of its submitting with the US Securities and Alternate Fee.

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