Sonos announces support for Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless standard coming in 2018

in iPhone
Speaker maker Sonos on Wednesday announced that it will create an open platform, not only giving any music services access to its hardware, but also integrating with Apple's forthcoming AirPlay 2 wireless standard.

Announced by Sono's Allen Mask at a media event in New York, AirPlay 2 support means users will be able to control Sonos speakers via HomeKit and Siri, directing music to the hardware via their voice.

AirPlay 2 support for Sonos devices is scheduled to arrive next year, Mask said.

"There had to be a seamless connection between Sonos and Apple, and so we waited until we could get it right, together," he said.

The addition of AirPlay 2 will let users control their entire Sonos system by just speaking. In an onstage demonstration, Mask showed how a user could interact with a Sonos speaker to skip ahead to a next track playing on a wirelessly connected iPad.

Support for AirPlay 2 is systemwide, meaning users can have sound come through Sonos speakers when not only listening to music, but also playing videos, games or apps.

AirPlay 2 is set to officially launch with an update to iOS 11 later this fall. To support the new streaming standard, Apple will debut its own HomePod speaker, itself a Sonos competitor, in December.

Apple has said that some existing AirPlay devices can be updated to support AirPlay 2, but details thus far have been sparse. Sonos did not indicate how its own speakers will integrate with AirPlay 2, including whether legacy devices will gain support.

Beyond AirPlay 2, Sonos announced on Wednesday that its devices will integrate with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. A new public beta has already launched, allowing device owners to test the capabilities.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    So does this mean if you already have a Sonos speaker it would not be compatible due to lack of microphone? Or is lack of microphone in the actual speaker irrelevant bc it goes through airplay 2?

    disregard, still not known, as per article 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 2 of 7
    So.....The big question..Is it coming to existing Sonos speakers? 🤷🏽‍♂️
  • Reply 3 of 7
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 767editor
    NY1822 said:
    So does this mean if you already have a Sonos speaker it would not be compatible due to lack of microphone? Or is lack of microphone in the actual speaker irrelevant bc it goes through airplay 2?

    disregard, still not known, as per article 
    Microphone is not necessary for AirPlay 2. Siri operates through the iPhone (or watch, or iPad), not the speaker (unless you're getting a HomePod). Still, Sonos was pretty light on details.

    AirPlay 2 support is currently a big mystery — every manufacturer we have talked to has been confused about it, and have indicated to us that they have not yet received the necessary firmware, documentation, etc., for implementing the protocol. Also, it's not yet a part of iOS 11. May not see it launch until the HomePod hits the market.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    What a poorly-worded headline.  I think this is what was meant to be conveyed:

    Sonos announces 2018 support for Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless standard
    edited October 2017 gutengel
  • Reply 5 of 7
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,054member

    I love my sonos gear, though it’s always made me nervous that it didn’t do AirPlay. Seemed like it could all be left behind someday. 

    Im hopeful that even though old Sonos devices may not be directly supported, Sonos might make an updated bridge that acts as the go-between. 
  • Reply 6 of 7
    The press release is quite ambiguous. 

    The line is:

    Additionally at launch, free software updates unlock Alexa voice control for current Sonos owners; Apple AirPlay 2 coming in 2018”

    Due to the semi-colon (instead of a full stop/period) it reads as though Apple AirPlay 2 is also coming to current Sonos owners via a free software update, it’s just that particular update is later than the one for Alexa. 

    Later in the press release there’s this:

    Sonos also announced that it will begin supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2018, making it possible to play any sound from an iOS device – including YouTube videos and Netflix movies – on Sonos speakers throughout the house.  Owners will also be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control music on Sonos speakers.”

    This doesn’t explicitly reference existing Sonos speakers, and if this was the only mention of AirPlay 2 in the press release I’d assume that new speakers would be required. 

    I wonder if this is all just poor wording or purposeful obfuscation. A clarification from Sonos would be helpful, but I suspect queries will be met with their usual bot-like ‘nothing further to announce at this time’. 
  • Reply 7 of 7
    AudioBridge is a Mac app that will add AirPlay capability to all local Sonos speakers:
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