Sonos’ multi-room audio system is known for its ease of use. Basic functions are practically self-explanatory. With a little know-how, however, you can get much more out of the popular WLAN players. Here are ten Sonos tips that every user of the system should know.
1. Group speakers with one keystroke
The play/pause button on the device [>II] usually starts or pauses playback. But it can do even more. If you hold the button longer, the music of the last active room is brought to the player. When released, the remote speaker and the current model are then grouped together.
If there are several listening zones with different music programs, each keystroke jumps one room forward. Here’s how to select a running program without an app and bring it to the player you’re currently using. Of course, the reverse also works: long press on a connected player takes it out of the current group and instantly mutes it.
2. Controlling the Sonos system with your smartwatch
When it comes to wrist control, Apple users have a clear advantage: the app Lyd for Apple’s smartwatch can remotely control music playback in all important functions. Even the selection of Sonos favorites and the grouping of players is possible with it. A detailed description of the Watch app can be found here.
With other watches the situation is more confusing, because there are different operating systems. Samsung uses Tizen, smartwatches from LG, Motorola or Sony run Google Wear (formerly called Android Wear). The possibilities vary from model to model. Partially it is possible to control at least the basic functions like track jump, play and pause.
3. Track skip by swiping on the device
With the Play:5 Sonos has introduced the touch control panel. Since then, all new models rely on touch-sensitive sensor surfaces for playback. The fields to the right and left of the play/pause button [>II] are of special importance here. Direct touch raises the volume (right area) or lowers it (left). Who swipes sideways over both fields, on the other hand, jumps from title to title. Left to right moves forward in the playlist, the opposite motion returns to the beginning of the current track or the last track.
A Play:5 or Five placed on edge automatically adjusts the function: The upper sensor is then responsible for "louder", the lower for "quieter". Accordingly, a swipe up jumps forward, the downward movement leads back. If you like, you can also turn off the "touch controls" in the app.
4. Switching the connection from WLAN to Sonos-Net
In an apartment with stable WLAN, the Sonos devices can be registered directly to the router. If there are dropouts or connection interruptions, we recommend switching to Sonos’ own wireless network. For this at least one of the players must be connected to the router via LAN cable. Speakers then connect with each other to the closest player, increasing stability and range. If the playback still stutters, a speaker Sonos Boost plug the wireless holes. The additional box on the router ensures optimal radio coverage with three integrated antennas and a special interference suppressor.
5. Going online via the Sonos network
The manufacturer doesn’t make a big fuss about it, but a Sonos-Net (see tip no. 5) can do more than just distribute music. All players are connected to the Internet via the mesh network – and they also make this access available to other devices via LAN connection. Those who connect their notebook via network cable to the LAN socket of a player can use it to surf the Internet.
However, it is recommended to keep the amount of data low so as not to interfere with music playback. After all, Sonos wants to solve WLAN problems with its wireless network. Streaming HD videos, on the other hand, would create new. The wireless connection to the Sonos-Net is not provided for. The only exception: Android devices can log in to control Sonos playback. An option in the "Advanced settings" of the Sonos app for Android activates this function.
6. Thumbs up or down: Rate music tracks
If you use a streaming service like Amazon Music, you may have already discovered the thumb icons in the app’s playback window. They appear only with so-called radio stations, i.e. dynamic playlists to certain moods or genres. With their help, the user can influence the composition of the playlist. Thumbs up means "like", the streaming service then tries to deliver more tracks in the same style. Thumbs down expresses personal displeasure. The song then serves as a negative example for the further music mix. How well it works depends on the algorithm of the provider. Sonos is not involved in this. The evaluation takes place on the streaming server.
7. Calibrate speakers with Trueplay
An unfavorable placement close to the wall or in room corners has a negative effect on the sound of speakers. With Trueplay, on the other hand, Sonos works. The clever function records various test tones via the microphone in the smartphone and adjusts the frequency response of the box so that it sounds as balanced as possible.
In almost all cases, this brings an audible sound improvement. Unfortunately, the setting is only available in the iOS app from Sonos. Microphones in Android devices are not standardized enough to ensure reliable operation. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can borrow one for the calibration. It is not necessary after the configuration. All Trueplay settings are stored on the devices.
8. Use context menu on screen
Smartphones and tablets recognize how long it takes to touch their touchscreen, and in some cases how much pressure is being applied. The Sonos app uses this knowledge to show a menu on homescreen. In Android, it lets you start and pause playback, page My Sonos Open or place a shortcut for track search on the screen. Comparable functions are also available on iPhone and iPad under the iOS operating system (picture).
9. Use the Sonos system for announcements
Out of the box, Sonos does not offer the ability to make announcements. If Alexa is activated on compatible devices, however, Amazon’s digital assistant can be used for so-called announcements. It then reads out messages typed into the Alexa app with the corresponding function. For real voice announcements, there are Android and iOS apps that turn your smartphone into a megaphone. More here.
10. Play sources on the input automatically
Via the line input on the Five, Amp Or Port music signals from other devices can be fed into the Sonos system. What hardly anyone knows: The Sonos players can automatically start playback as soon as there is a signal at the input. The so-called Autoplay-Function is deactivated ex works. It can be turned on in the room settings. Then the player switches to the input by itself when the playback of the external player starts.
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3 thoughts on "10 Sonos tips that every user should know"
Sonos introduced wireless access to SonosNet on Android quite a while ago (> one year) turned off.
Personally, I find this very unfortunate, because this way I could do without additional repeaters.
Reason given by Sonos at the time was that there were too few users.
Hello, I was horrified to discover today that I can no longer use the sonos app with my 3 year old phone. Why do they always put something new in there, I’m almost determined to get rid of sonos, it annoys me so much. Why do you always have to get the latest android system, d.h. buy a new device because of SONOS?
Only on the PC it still works.
I am pissed. I.Hoffmann
Why do people who are just venting a frustration about a device have to find the next best website and vent their steam there? This sucks.
PS. Thanks for the good tips many I did not know yet.