SONOS OPENS THE DOOR TO APPLE’S AIRPLAY2 LATER THIS YEAR
Until recently, Sonos’s Mesh Wireless has been a totally closed system, but now Sonos has announced that later this year it will add support for Apple’s new AirPlay 2, which is fantastic news for Mac and iPhone users.
In addition to making it easier to play music from iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, AirPlay 2 means that video sound from YouTube videos and Netflix movies can be played on Sonos speakers. And now as well as Alexa, users will be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control Apple Music and more on Sonos. Music can also be sourced, selected and controlled from the screens on all Apple mobile devices, Mac computers and even the AppleTV.
AirPlay 2 also enables multi-room support for all modern AirPlay speakers, meaning that users will be able to integrate Sonos devices with other AirPlay 2 speakers including Apple’s HomePod, AppleTV, new B&Ws and more. This is good news all round as households no longer need to be locked into any one manufacturer’s system.
Unlike the original AirPlay, AirPlay 2 doesn't require special hardware, but is entirely software-based, allowing for companies like Sonos to add support to their devices after the fact.
Works on the latest Sonos speakers. Newer Sonos speakers like Play:5, Playbase and Sonos One will support AirPlay 2, as will future Sonos products. It can’t be long before we see a new Play:3 and a new PlayBase:HDMI model is rumoured. When one of these Airplay-enabled speakers are grouped with older Sonos devices, users can bring AirPlay capabilities to an entire Sonos system.
New software needs higher horsepower. The computing platforms and software architecture in the older Sonos speakers like Play:3 and Play:1 simply don’t have the horsepower to support AirPlay 2. The original Play:1, has about 1/16th the processing power of its modern equivalent, the Sonos One. But by taking advantage of the newer Sonos hardware, Sonos are able to make AirPlay 2 content available throughout the house on speakers old and new, as long as one new speaker is part of the system.
This is what Airplay 2 will bring to the Sonos Ecosystem
AirPlay to the latest Sonos speakers. AirPlay the sound from your iPhone, iPad or Mac straight to Sonos One, Play:5 and PlayBase
AirPlay to any Sonos system that includes a new model. Group any Sonos speaker with a compatible player to unlock AirPlay for your entire system.
Video on your iPhone. Sound on Sonos. This is big! Watch a video on any Apple device and listen to the sound on Sonos in perfect sync. Binge Netflix on your iPad and enjoy the sound from Play:5. Watch a YouTube video on your iPhone and listen out loud with Sonos One. We see this as being a ‘Killer Application”
“Hey Siri, play Beats 1 radio in the kitchen.” Apple Music listeners can use Siri to play and control music on AirPlay-compatible Sonos speakers. Ask Siri to play Apple Music using your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch.
SONOS SAY “Sonos owners, will have grown accustomed to their devices improving over time through software. As the hardware in newer products has advanced, we’re extremely proud to have introduced brand new services – like Audible and Spotify direct-control – to our entire line-up of speakers. Many of you have Sonos gear that’s over a decade old and is still getting better every day.
Airplay 2 Coming Soon
Apple has not yet released AirPlay 2, but it is anticipated for mid-June 2018 in system updates for Mac, iOS and Apple TV.
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.
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