What is Sonos? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Wireless Sound System

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Modern technology allows us to enjoy a wide variety of audio devices. From wired earphones and large speakers to wireless and compact ones, audio devices are continuously evolving in terms of quality and convenience. And one of the audio devices that are quite popular in the market these days is the Sonos speakers. So what are Sonos speakers, and how do they work? What is special about them, and why are they popular? We will be answering these questions and explaining everything you need to know about the Sonos speakers in detail in this post.

When it comes to setting up a sound system for your home, Sonos offers the best and most versatile experience. If you’re interested in buying Sonos speakers, make sure to read till the end, so you get a good idea of what you’re getting into.

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See more: How To Change Google Assistant’s Name, Accent, Gender, And Language On Google Home? -Everything You Need To Know

What is Sonos?

Sonos is essentially a system of speakers interconnected with your home Wi-Fi. They have different models of speakers, and each speaker connects to your Wi-Fi and is controlled by the Sonos app.

The brilliance of Sonos is that you can use these speakers in different rooms of your home and turn your entire house into a high-quality sound system. Once you have placed these speakers in different areas of your home, you can:

  • Play the same audio from every speaker,
  • Play different audios from each speaker in different rooms,
  • Or play audio from just a single speaker in the room you are currently in, while the rest of the speakers remain in standby.
  • Play audio from any device such as phones, tabs, TV, and computers as long they are connected to your home Wi-Fi too.

And the best part is that the Sonos app syncs with all major music streaming apps as well as podcasts and audiobooks. You can play music from your own device as well as from streaming services like Spotify, Soundcloud, etc., all within the Sonos app itself.

So it’s truly amazing how Sonos gives you the freedom to play music or any other audio however you want and wherever you want in your home.

What Is Sonos Trueplay? How Does It Work?

In closed surroundings like the rooms in your home, a lot of external factors will affect the quality of sound that you hear. These factors include,

  • Where you place the speaker
  • The furniture in your room
  • The layout and design of your room
  • The size of your room

Trueplay is a feature of Sonos speakers that calibrates them to produce the best quality of sound considering all these factors. So the idea behind Trueplay is that you get clear and high-quality sound no matter where you place your speakers and what your room looks like. Currently, the Trueplay feature is only available on iOS devices. But they are working on making it compatible with Android and Windows as well, so we can expect this feature to work on those devices soon.

Now here’s how the Trueplay feature works:

  • Step 1: Activate the Trueplay tuning option on the Sonos app in your iOS devices.
  • Step 2: Select the speaker that is in the room which you want to tune.
  • Step 3: The speaker will start to emit some sample sounds, and you will be instructed in the app through a tutorial video.
  • Step 4: The instructions will ask you to move around the room while moving your iOS device in a continuous up and down motion.

And that is all you need to do from your end. This process will take a few minutes at most. As you walk around, Trueplay will analyze the frequency of the sound speakers in different areas of the room through your device’s microphone.

Based on its analysis, it will calibrate the speaker to produce sound in the best possible way so that the frequency is distributed evenly throughout the room.

How Does Sonos Work?

As we have already mentioned, Sonos works through your Wi-Fi network. The first thing you need to do is plug in your Sonos speaker and set it up using the Sonos app (the setup process is explained in the section below).

After you have set up your speakers, you can play audio through the speakers by adding streaming services of your choice to the Sonos app. You can also use the ‘Cast’ option, which can be found in streaming apps, YouTube, as well as smart TVs and other devices.

The Sonos app also allows you to play individual audio from each speaker or the same audio from al speakers. You can listen to your favorite songs on the speaker in your room while your children watch TV from the speakers in their room, all at the same time. Or you can play the same audio on all speakers to jam with your music through the whole house.

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How Do You Set Up Sonos?

When you read about Sonos speakers before buying, you may feel like it’s quite complicated to set them up and operate them. But the truth is that it sounds difficult at first but is very easy to set up when you actually start using it. Here is a step by step guide on how Sonos works and what you need to do:

Setting Up Your First Sonos Speaker

When you are setting up your first ever Sonos product, you need to follow these steps:

  • Place the speaker where you want and plug into a power source.
  • Download the Sonos app and create your account.
  • Click on ‘Set up a new Sonos system’ in the app.
  • Click on ‘Set up Speakers.’
  • Select the model of your speaker in the app and follow a few simple steps as instructed by the app.

Adding More Speakers To Your Sonos System

Once you have set up your first Sonos speaker, you may want to add more speakers later on in other areas of your home. To add more speakers to your Sonos system, follow these steps:

  • Open the Sonos app and go to Settings.
  • Click on ‘System’ and then on ‘Add Product’
  • Select the model of your speaker and follow the instructions in the app.
  • Repeat this process every time you add a new speaker to your Sonos system.

What Music/Streaming Services Can I Play On Sonos?

You can play audio from the following music services on Sonos speakers:

  • Google Play Music
  • Audible
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Pandora
  • TIDAL
  • IDAGIO
  • iHeartRadio

You can also use the AirPlay feature to play audio from Apple Music or Google Play Music on iOS devices.

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Image source: Peter R.

How To Play Songs On the Sonos System?

In this section, we will explain how you can play music from different streaming services or the songs on your device storage with Sonos.

Playing Music From Streaming Services On Sonos

  • Open the Sonos app and go to Settings.
  • Click on ‘Services’ and then on the ‘Music and Content’ section.
  • Next, click on ‘Add a Service.’ Now you will find the list of all streaming services compatible with Sonos.
  • Choose the service you want and then click on ‘Add to Sonos.’
  • Once a particular streaming service is added to Sonos, go to the ‘Browse’ section. There, you can see all songs and playlists available on the streaming service, and you can search your favorite songs and play them through Sonos speakers.

Playing Music From Your Device Storage On Sonos

  • Open the Sonos app on your device.
  • Go to the ‘Browse’ section.
  • Find and click on the ‘On this Mobile Device’ option.
  • Now you can see all the songs, albums, and playlists stored on your device and start playing them through Sonos.

Playing Music From Ios Devices On Sonos Using AirPlay

iPhones and other iOS devices have a feature called AirPlay, which enables playing audio from wireless devices. So to play music stored on your iOS device, you must have a Sonos speaker that is compatible with AirPlay. If your speaker is compatible with Airplay, then follow these steps:

  • Open the Control Center on your iOS device. For iPhone 8 and older models, you need to swipe the screen from bottom to upwards to open the Control Center. For newer devices, you need to swipe downwards from the top right corner.
  • In the top right corner of the control center, you will find the Audio Card. Press and hold it, and then click on the
  • You can now see the list of your Sonos speakers, which support AirPlay. Select the speaker of your choice, and it will start playing the music from your device.
  • Alternatively, you can also find the icon directly on the Apple Music app.

Playing Music From Your iPhone Storage

To play music directly from your iPhone storage, you will have to use the AirPlay feature by following the same steps, as shown above. But if you have a Sonos speaker that doesn’t support AirPlay, then another option is to upload the songs on your phone to one of the following streaming services:

  • Apple Music
  • Google Play Music for iOS
  • Deezer

Then you can play those songs through these streaming services without using the AirPlay feature.

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Key Features Of All Sonos Speakers

The main highlight of all Sonos speakers is its five key features:

Wireless Music Through Wi-Fi

Sonos speakers play music wirelessly by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network. As such, it offers a lot of flexibility that you can’t find in a Bluetooth speaker. Wi-Fi has a better range than Bluetooth so that it will cover all the speakers in your home. And unlike Bluetooth speakers, all Sonos speakers are interconnected to each other through the same Wi-Fi, so you have the freedom to play music individually in each speaker or play the same audio from all speakers.

And the best part is the Sonos speakers will only play the music, and other audio such as ringtones and notifications will not be played through the speakers. If you use Bluetooth speakers, even the ringtones, message, and notifications tones would be played, but you need not worry about that with Sonos. You can listen to your music without any interruptions.

Compatible With Streaming Services

Sonos speakers are compatible with multiple streaming services, as we have mentioned earlier. So you can play all your favorite songs, albums, and playlists from Sonos speakers with just a few clicks.

Assigning A Speaker To Every Room

Sonos speakers are designed to work best in unison with each other. When you place a speaker in any room of your house, you can save it in the Sonos app with the room’s name. For example, you can place Sonos One in your bedroom and then save it in the app with the name ‘Bedroom.’ So whenever you want to play the music in your bedroom, you just open the app and tap on the ‘Bedroom’ option.

By doing this for different rooms, you can assign and control every speaker individually according to the room they are placed in. And you do it all from the app itself, which hardly takes a minute.

Best Multi-Room Audio System

There are quite a few brands that offer similar multi-room audio experience like Sonos. But Sonos still stands out from its competitors in terms of ease-of-use, convenience, multiple functionalities, and high-quality sound. That is why it is one of the best multi-room audio systems for your home.

Integration With Alexa And Google Assistant

Sonos offers not just wireless but also a hands-free experience. It has in-built integration with Alexa and Google Assistant so that you can operate the speakers with voice commands as well. If your hands are full with chores or household works, you can easily use these voice assistants to perform different functions such as play, pause, or search songs.

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List Of Different Sonos Speakers – Know Which One Is Best For You

Sonos One Gen 2 – Compact size with powerful sound

If you want a small and compact speaker that you can conveniently place in any room, then Sonos One is the best choice. Place it on tabletops, shelves, and counters or mount it on a wall – the Sonos One will fit almost anywhere in your room without taking much space. It also has in-built integration with Amazon Alexa so it can be voice-controlled, and it supports AirPlay 2 as well.

Another impressive feature is that it is resistant to humidity, which allows you to place it in the kitchen or even your bathroom. The sound quality is clear, loud, and rich, and you get an even better experience if you pair it with another Sonos One in the same room. Small in size but powerful in sound, Sonos One offers the best of both worlds.

Sonos Play:5 –  Perfect for Music Lovers at Home

Want to enjoy your favorite songs with rich stereo sound? If so, then Sonos Play:5 is just what you’re looking for. It is equipped with not just one or two but three custom-designed woofers for high quality, deep bass. And its overall structure is designed to eliminate the echo and reverberations so that you hear nothing but clean and high-quality audio.

If you pair two Play:5s in the vertical position, they will automatically adjust themselves for stereo separation. When using a single Play:5, place it in the horizontal position to They are not as compact as the Sonos One, but they do have extra features such as:

  • Port to connect your phone directly with a 3.5mm jack.
  • Can be connected to your router’s Ethernet port in case the Wi-Fi signal is not good.
  • Compatible with AirPlay 2 and can be mounted on a wall.

It does not have in-built integration with Alexa, but you can connect it with an Alexa device on your own. All in all, Sonos Play:5 is perfect for powerful bass and stereo sound.

 

Sonos Move: Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Sonos speakers offer many benefits over Bluetooth speakers, but they do lack the portability that you can get from a Bluetooth device. That is why Sonos also has its own Bluetooth speaker as well – the Sonos Move. It can be connected to both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it offers dual functionality. And it allows you to carry along the Sonos audio experience with you everywhere you go.

Since it’s meant to be a portable speaker, it is very durable, tough, and resistant to humidity, heat, cold, and other weather conditions. It supports the TruePlay feature so you can fine-tune the audio output no matter where you are using these speakers. It also has inbuilt integration with Amazon Alexa so you can perform most functions with voice control.

For those who want the high-quality sound of Sonos speakers along with the ability to carry it portably, Sonos Move is the best and only option.

Sonos Beam – Best Speakers for TV Audio

When you want a speaker to play your TV audio, Sonos Beam can get the job done like no other. You can use it to play music and audio from any device, but it is the most suitable choice if you mainly want a Sonos speaker for your TV. One of the main reasons for it is that it emits a sound that evenly spreads through the room, even larger ones. In terms of design, it has an elongated length but a very short height. This makes it convenient and stable to place on flat surfaces. And of course, it can be mounted on walls too.

One of the main features of the Sonos Beam is speech enhancement. This feature focuses on, and human speech sounds and delivers such sounds more clearly, which is why it is best for TV viewing. It can be voice-controlled with inbuilt Alexa integration and also supports remote control. It’s compatible with AirPlay 2 and connects seamlessly with other speakers, mainly the Sonos SL or the Sonos Sub.

Sonos Playbar or Sonos Playbase – A Complete Home Theatre Experience

Both the Playbar the Playbase is perfect if you want to enjoy theatre-like sound quality in your room. Both these speakers are similar in the following aspects:

  • They offer excellent quality sound, focusing on low background beats, deep bass, and dialogues, and human speech.
  • They are both small and sleek in design, making them very convenient to place anywhere in the room.
  • They can be controlled not just from the Sonos app but also from your remote.
  • Both speakers don’t have inbuilt Alexa integration but they can easily be paired with an Alexa device for voice control.

There are slight differences between the two models. Playbase has a smoother design, and it fits perfectly beneath the TV. It supports AirPlay 2 but cannot be wall-mounted. On the other hand, the PlayBar has doesn’t support AirPlay 2 but can be mounted on a wall.

In terms of the audio quality, both speakers have a speech enhancement feature and will give you the best home theatre experience.

Good Alternatives for Sonos Speakers

There is no doubt that Sonos speakers are one of the best products for wireless sound systems. But if for any reason, you’d want some alternative options, then the speakers listed below should also catch your attention:

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Image source: Automotive Rhythms

Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless

Bose is also a well-known manufacturer of audio devices. Their SoundTouch 10 speaker is similar to the Sonos One as it is compact, lightweight, and play music over a Wi-Fi network. It also supports popular streaming services and can be connected with Amazon Alexa for voice control. It can fill your entire room with amazing sound quality, and you can connect it with other speakers for a multi-room system.

It also supports a Bluetooth connection so you can use it as a portable speaker. Pairing two of these speakers, you can enjoy stereo sound as well. You can configure and control it with the SoundTouch app on your phone. So many of its features are similar to Sonos speakers.

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot is Amazon’s very own wireless and compact speaker with excellent sound quality. It’s obvious that it comes with an Alexa voice assistant, allowing you to perform different functions with your voice. You can use it to stream music from different streaming services and can even make hands free calls from this device.

Its small size makes it a perfect accessory for any room, and it has the sound quality to fill even larger rooms with loud and rich audio. You will have to connect this speaker with the Alexa app to set it up and control different functions.

Denon Home 150 Wireless Speaker

Denon Home 150 is another amazing wireless speaker that works on both the Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth. It is controlled by the HEOS app and is compatible with AirPlay 2 as well, so you can use it for iOS devices. It’s super light, compact, and can be used as a room speaker as well as a portable speaker.

Much like the Sonos system, you can pair it up with multiple Denon Home 150 speakers or even add other supported models from the manufacturer to create a multi-room sound system. It supports all major streaming services and can be connected with Alexa for voice control.

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Image source: Kalle Brunö

Audio Pro Speaker

Audio Pro speaker is another great alternative for assembling a multi-room system. It has a small and stable design to be easily placed in any area of your room. The Audio Pro speaker also forms an interconnection with other Audio Pro models to create a complete home sound system. The sound quality is impressive, with a bass boost and clear audio. Supporting multiple streaming services and compatible with Amazon Alexa, these speakers are a good choice for a single room or your entire home.

Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i

The Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i has a simple and plain design, but it’s impressive in terms of the audio quality. Controlled by the BluOS app, it is incredibly easy to set up and get started with it. Connect it to your home Wi-Fi to and add multiple speakers across different rooms, or use it as a single portable speaker with Bluetooth connection. You can use these speakers; however, you feel convenient. No matter how and where you use it, the powerful speakers will ensure that you always enjoy high-quality music.

Yamaha MusicCast 20

The name Yamaha needs no introduction to the industry of audio devices. The Yamaha MusicCast 20 is one of their best models of wireless speakers. It connects to both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and is small enough to be carried around as a portable speaker.

You can enjoy both stereo and surround sound with these powerful speakers. Voice control with Alexa and AirPlay are both supported by this speaker. And it only takes a few minutes to set them up with the MusicCast app on your mobile device.

Denon HEOS 5 Wireless Speaker System

HEOS 5 is another model of wireless speakers from Denon. It’s a bit bigger and bulkier in size compared to most other compact wireless speakers. But it truly impresses in terms of sound quality, mainly with its massive bass boost woofers.

It can be connected to Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth, and even connects with voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google assistant. It takes just a few steps to set it up with the HEOS app. While you can certainly use it in smaller rooms, it will offer better sound in a larger and spacious room.

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Image source: gadget Italia

Google Home

Google Home is a popular voice-controlled speaker that offers excellent sound quality and is very easy to use. It’s more than just a speaker as you can perform many functions such as hands-free calling, news and weather reports, setting alarms, etc. With the Chromecast feature, you can connect multiple Google home speakers to your home Wi-Fi and set up a multi-room system that not just plays music but also allows you to access various functions with just your voice from any room in your home.

Apple HomePod

Apple HomePod is the equivalent of Google Home in terms of functionality. This device, too, is more than just a speaker, but it certainly delivers powerful sound for any room. It has a spatial awareness mechanism that allows it to analyze the sound quality throughout your room and fine-tune itself for a better audio experience.

And much like Google home, it can work together with Siri to allow you to do more than just play music. By connecting multiple HomePods across different rooms with AirPlay 2, you can get enriching audio all across your home.

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Image source: Iftkhar Hussain

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Sonos Sound System

  • Can you connect Sonos with Bluetooth?

Sonos Move is the only model of Sonos speakers that connects via Bluetooth. Other models do not support Bluetooth connectivity.

  • Can you play TV audio through Sonos speakers?

If you have a smart TV that also connects to your home Wi-Fi, then you can definitely play the audio through Sonos speakers. In fact, models like Sonos Beam and Sonos Playbase work exceptionally with TV audio.

  • Do major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music work with Sonos?

Sonos works with all the major streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, and much more.

  • Is Sonos One operated by a battery?

Sonos one does not have a battery, and it must be plugged into a power source to play audio. However, Sonos has another portable speaker – the Sonos Move – which is powered by an inbuilt battery.

  • Will Sonos work with my old speakers?

Every Sonos speaker is designed to work together with other Sonos speakers. So if you already have a Sonos speaker at your home, you can add another Sonos model to the system and connect them together. However, Sonos doesn’t work with similar multi-room speakers from other manufacturers.

  • Are Sonos speakers worth the money?

While Sonos speakers are quite expensive, they are also equipped with multiple features that offer you the best quality audio experience, so they certainly offer excellent value for money.

  • Why are Sonos speakers expensive?

Sonos speakers use the latest technology and high-end equipment to offer you the best audio throughout your home. They are also designed to consume very little power when they are plugged in but on standby.

Their Trueplay feature also configures the speakers to adjust the sound as per your room surrounding automatically. Since it’s packed with a lot of innovative features and is made of high-quality parts and equipment, it’s understandable that it comes with a higher price tag as well.

  • Can I use Sonos in the bathroom?

Certain models such as Sonos One and Sonos Move are resistant to humidity, so these models can definitely be used in the bathroom without any problems.

  • What music formats does Sonos support?

Sonos supports the following music formats:

MP3, AAC, ALAC, WMA, AIFF, WAV, OGG, and FLAC.

Conclusion

We have tried our best to cover every aspect of the Sonos System with as many details as possible in this post. It should give you sufficient information about these speakers, and help you to purchase, set up, and operate these speakers with relative ease. You can also try out our list of alternate speakers, but we would still recommend Sonos as the best option for a multi-room sound system.

Levi Alston
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right smart speaker.

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