It’s finally here. Sonos announced today — after customers had been asking for this for a while now — that it’s using a software update to bring AirPlay 2 support to its latest speakers. And that if you group an older Sonos speaker with one of the compatible models, AirPlay 2 will work with it as well.
“With AirPlay 2 you can play any sound from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer — including YouTube videos and Netflix movies — on Sonos speakers throughout the house,” Sonos announced here. “You will also be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control Apple Music on Sonos speakers … Today, we’re confirming that newer Sonos speakers like Play:5, Playbase and Sonos One will support AirPlay 2, as will future Sonos products. When you group one of these Airplay-enabled speakers with older Sonos devices, you can bring AirPlay capabilities to your entire Sonos system.”
To set things up, you open the Home app, choose the plus symbol and then tap “Add Accessory.” From there, choose “Don’t Have a Code” or “Can’t Scan,” select your Sonos speaker, give it the same name it has in the Sonos app and then hit done.
The thing to know is that if you’re enjoying sound and see an AirPlay icon, you can stream it on a Sonos speaker. Another interesting byproduct of setting up AirPlay 2 support on a Sonos speaker is the ability to use Siri to control Apple Music on Sonos. With your iPhone or iPad, you can tell Siri to, say, play Beats 1 radio in the living room or ask her to turn up the sound.
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.
“Using AirPlay 2, you can instantly send sound from any AirPlay-compatible iOS app to Sonos,” the company explains in today’s announcement. “That means you’ll have yet another easy way to use Sonos to listen to services like Apple Music, Spotify, Audible, Pandora, and dozens of others.”
The announcement comes in advance of Sonos’ planned release next week of a $399 compact sound bar called the Beam it’s releasing on July 17. It’s meant to sit below your TV and function as a combination TV speaker, audio system and smart assistant.
AirPlay 2 support should also help juice what’s already a deeply engaged customer base. How deep? In a regulatory filing, Sonos said that based on customer data, the company estimates on average that its customers listen to about 70 hours of content per month — and about 80 percent more music after they buy their first Sonos product.