All Apple and Sonos fans out there will be glad to hear that with its latest software upgrade, Sonos Systemsoftware 3.4, Sonos have added Apple AirPlay support. It does however require you to buy an Airport Express from Apple.
Sonos have delivered wireless multi-room sound systems for several years now, and adding Apple Airplay support is just the natural next step in the evolution of their products and the focus on delivering systems that are compatible with the latest popular devices in the market. With the amount of iOS devices in the market today that can take advantage of Apple Airplay functionality, and the price of many of the optimized Apple Airplay speakers and sound systems, all current Sonos owners will be glad to hear that the software is free to upgrade. But you still need to buy a Airport Express adapter to unlock the functionality.
With the new Sonos software upgrade you can bypass the Sonos software altogether and use the built in Apple Airplay support of your iOS device, and the Airplay party mode function will also allow you to send the same song to different rooms simultaneously.
What do i need to do to set up Sonos for Apple Airplay?
Here is a little step by step guide to setting up your Sonos for Apple Airplay.
1. Connect your Airport Express to your Sonos S5
Connecting the Sonos S5 with the Airport Express is as simple as using the 3.5mm audio cable and the ethernet cable to connect the two devices together. You only have to do this for one device, so if you own several Sonos devices you can add them together as normal. You will only need one Airport Express.
If you don’t own either you can get the Airport Express from amongst other Amazon UK at £72 and you can find more information on the Sonos S5 here.
2. Plug the AirPort Express into a power socket
The AirPort Express plugs easily into a power socket (make sure you get one that is for your country and socket type). Once it is plugged in you can configure it using the included AirPort Utility.
3. Configuring the Airport Express on your home network
Once you have done the above steps you are ready to configure the AirPort Express on your home network. To do that you need to have AirPort Utility installed on a computer or Mac.
- Once you have the application opened select your AirPort Express base station from the menu on the right and click continue.
- In the space provided for the name you could for example call it ‘Sonos’ and then click continue again.
- Then select that you want it to join your current network. On the network page select that you want to ‘disable the wireless network on this AirPort Express and connect it using ethernet cable’ and then click continue.
- Complete the setup and your AirPort Express will be configured to act as AirPlay for your Sonos S5.
Here is a video that might be helpful as well.
4. Configure Sonos Smart Line-in for AirPlay
Once all the above steps are completed you need to configure the Sonos Smart Line-in for AirPlay as well, doing the following:
- Use a Sonos Controller go to the ZonePlayer Settings under the settings menu (iOS devices and CR200) or Zones Menu on computer/mac.
- Select the name of the ZonePlayer that is connected to the AirPort Express
- Change ‘line-in source name’ to Airplay device
- Autoplay zone: Select a zone from the list to play audio from. You can select to include grouped zones if you want to stream to multiple devices.
- Autplay volume: Use the slider to set a default volume to use when streaming over AirPlay. Check the Use Aut0Play Volume checkbox if you want to use the AirPlay device to control volume.
5. AirPlay is now ready
Just launch the music application on your iOS device and tap the AirPlay icon, choose Sonos, and music should start streaming to your Sonos S5.
If you are experiencing any problems you can also check out the Sonos troubleshooting section.
Enjoy your Sonos AirPlay experience!