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

Jeff Dunn

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

As in the past famous, AirPlay 2 is simplest totally supported at the corporate’s Sonos One and Play:five speakers and its Beam and Playbase soundbars. Sonos customers will want a kind of speakers to without delay turn on AirPlay 2 keep an eye on, but when they’ve a kind of units inside a bigger whole-home speaker setup, they’ll be ready to keep an eye on another Sonos software they could have.

Apple rolled out AirPlay 2 as a part of its iOS 11.four replace in overdue May, enabling its HomePod speaker to play the similar audio throughout speakers in separate rooms, in addition to the facility to play a couple of HomePods in stereo. (Sonos speakers already had the latter capability.) Several third-party audio producers have promised to come with AirPlay 2 capability of their speakers, together with Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Marshall, Pioneer, and Bowers & Wilkins. With the replace on Wednesday, Sonos is the primary non-Apple speaker maker to strengthen 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, in most cases talking, it really works as anticipated. You can get started up any audio taking part in from an iOS software (or Mac), pass to the standard AirPlay menu, and ship it over to the proper Sonos speaker with little prolong, and it pops up within the record of suitable units routinely. You can use Siri from the supply software to get started track and keep an eye on quantity after including the speakers in Apple’s Home app.

Sonos notes that you’ll be able to use the Alexa assistant constructed into the One and Beam to keep an eye on track began via Siri instructions, too, even supposing, to be transparent, Siri is much less concerned right here than it’s at the HomePod the place it’s built-in from the bottom up. There’s no less than one quirk with the replace, too: if in case you have AirPlay activated on non-Sonos speakers in the similar house, you’ll be able to’t keep an eye on playback or quantity on Sonos speakers from an iOS software’s lock display screen. Instead, you might have to use the Sonos app.

Nevertheless, the replace is a big one for Sonos customers. While Sonos has in most cases carried out smartly to combine maximum primary streaming services and products with its app, the corporate has made it tricky to play the rest from assets that aren’t formally supported on its speakers. The corporate nonetheless doesn’t permit for Bluetooth streaming on its units, and it hadn’t supported AirPlay in any respect sooner than this newest replace. For customers of Apple Music, lately some of the two most well liked music-streaming services and products in the United States, it additionally permits for a modicum of voice controls, since Amazon’s Alexa assistant does now not strengthen voice controls for Apple Music on its personal.

While a extra entire integration with Siri is not going for any speaker that isn’t made by way of Apple, Sonos continues to promise that it is going to upload strengthen for the Google Assistant, despite the fact that it has simplest stated that it hopes to release that strengthen by way of the tip of 2018. Sonos as an organization filed for an IPO previous this month, pronouncing that it has offered 19 million merchandise as of March 31 as a part of its submitting with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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