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Sonos Tips and Tricks: Master your multi-room speaker system

Written by  Jan 14, 2018

Sonos has one of the strongest multi-room speakers available today. Its speaker line-up is not only plentiful, with several combinations possible, but the platform that controls everything is probably the best there is.

If you've opted for Sonos over its competitors, of which there are several, then you've come to the right place. This feature is all about making sure you get the most out of your Sonos system.

Some of these tips and tricks you might already know, but there are hopefully there will be a few to help to enhance your Sonos speaker experience.

Add another speaker or SUB to your Sonos system

Bought a new speaker or the Sonos SUB and want to add it to your existing system? This is easy. Tap the three dots in the bottom right corner of the app > Settings > Add a Player or SUB and follow the instructions.

Add a BOOST to your Sonos System

If your Wi-Fi network isn't the strongest and has a couple of weak spots, you may have bought yourself a BOOST to help get a signal in a particular room. To add a BOOST, head to the three dots in the bottom right corner > Settings > Add a BOOST.

Get the best out of your Sonos speakers

Sonos offers a feature called Trueplay that will tune your speakers according to their surroundings, even if that's in a cupboard. To make sure you get the best sound out of each speaker in your Sonos system, head to the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Room Settings > Select Room > Trueplay. Make sure you tune all the speakers in your system and retune them if you move them.

Adjust the EQ to your personal preference

All about that bass, that bass, no treble? No problem, you can adjust the EQ settings for each Sonos speaker you have set up. To do this, head to the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Room Settings.

From here, you'll need to select the room that has the speaker or speakers in that you want to adjust, then tap on EQ and slide the bars to suit your preferences.

Change a room name

Changed your office to a bedroom, or moved your Play:1 into the bathroom? That's fine as changing room names in Sonos is simple. Click on the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Room Settings > Select Room > Room Name.

sonos one b
Sonos One Speaker - Read full review

Create a stereo pair

You can combine two of the same Sonos speaker together in the same room, in order to create left and right speakers of a stereo pair. Whether that's two Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3 or Play:5, the stereo pair setting is accessed through Room Settings.

Click on the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Room Settings > Select Room > Create Stereo Pair > Follow the instructions.

Make use of your existing Hi-Fi system

Investing in Sonos doesn't mean your existing Hi-Fi system has to become redundant. The Sonos Connect has analogue, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, as well as a line-in, allowing you to connect any device you want, from a turntable to a DAC.

There is also the Connect:Amp available in the Sonos range that features an RCA line-in and a subwoofer line-out, providing a streaming upgrade for your favourite stand-alone speakers.

Play vinyl on your Sonos system

Got a favourite record you want to play on your Sonos system? No problem.

Connect your turntable's audio output to the Play:5's line-in port, or the audio-in jacks on a Sonos Connect or Connect:Amp > Go to Browse > Line-In > Select your source.

Sonos setup tips and tricks

Find your Sonos Account information

You'll need your Sonos Account information if you want to control your Sonos system with your voice (more on that further down). It's also useful to know where to find it in case you ever need it.

Tap the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > My Sonos Account.

Make sure your Sonos system is always running the latest software

Sonos delivers regular software updates, some of which are small, others of which are more significant, like Spotify Connect compatibility and the ability to control your Sonos speakers with your voice using Amazon's Alexa. Running the latest software means you'll get the best experience from your Sonos speakers so it's a good idea to set your system up to automatically check for updates.

Click on the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Advanced Settings > Toggle on Auto Check for Updates.

Sonos Play1
Sonos Play:1 Speaker

Override audio compression settings

Sonos presets the best audio compression for player Line-In and Sonos DOCK but it can be overridden to be uncompressed or compressed. To do this, head to the three dots in the bottom right > Settings > Advanced Settings > Audio Compression > Select desired setting.

Reset Controller

If you want to disassociate a smartphone or tablet from one Sonos setup and reconnect it to a separate Sonos system, you can use the reset controller option. Tap on the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > Advanced Settings > Reset Controller > Reset.

Turn off your usage data

Sonos collects information on how you use your Sonos system. It doesn't give it to third parties but if you'd still rather keep your usage data private, you can turn it off. Click on the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > Advanced Settings > Usage Data > Toggle off.

Turn the LED light off

If you have a Sonos speaker on your bedside table or in your bedroom and you've chosen to play music to send you to sleep, you might not want the LED light on.

To turn it off, click on the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > Room Settings > Select the room you want your speaker light off > Toggle off Speaker Status Light.

Turn off touch controls

If you have a Sonos speaker with touch controls, such as the Playbase, second-generation Play:5 or the Sonos One, you can turn off its touch controls. Click on the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > Room Settings > Select the room with the speaker you want to turn the touch controls off for > Toggle off Speaker Touch Controls.

Double tap to skip

The play/pause button on your Sonos speaker doesn't just play and pause songs. Double tap it and you'll be able to skip to the next track, without opening the app.

If you have the second-generation Sonos Play:5, Playbase or Sonos One, a swipe left will play the previous track, while a swipe right will skip forward to the next one.

Mute a single speaker

A long press of the play/pause button will mute the speaker you are pressing it on so you can take a phone call in your office, but still have the music playing in your living room, for example.

Disable the swipe functionality on the Play:5, Playbase or Sonos One

For those of you with the second-generation Play:5, Playbase or Sonos One and kids or cats who like to touch it or climb on the controls, you can disable the swipe functionality.

To do this, hold down the pair button for 10 seconds when the speaker is fully booted to disable the swipe interface. You'll then press it once to leave it in that state.

Skip tracks on your smartwatch or lock screen

An update to the Sonos software in 2016 meant you can skip tracks, as well as pause and play directly from your lock screen, and wrist if you have a smartwatch connected to your smartphone.

It is available on both Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatches, using your phone's lock screen controls to present you with the functionality on your wrist.

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Sonos Wireless Music Player

Use 3D Touch to play last song or radio station

For those with an iPhone 6S or newer, the Sonos app works with 3D Touch, Apple's version of a touch sensitive display that presents different features to you based on the force with which you press.

A long hard press on the Sonos app icon will allow you to pause or play the most recent track you were listening to without opening the app first. You'll also be able to launch Favourites or Search.

Sonos features tips and tricks

Control Sonos through Spotify

In the past, Sonos speakers had to be controlled via the Sonos app and that was that, but a software update introduced the ability to control your speakers directly through Spotify, if you have a Premium subscription.

Follow the instructions in our separate feature to get this all set up. Once sorted, you'll see your Sonos speakers listed in the Devices Available tab of Spotify.

Control Sonos with your voice

Another more recent software update introduced the ability to control your Sonos system using your voice, if you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or another Alexa-enabled device.

Again, follow the more in-depth instructions in our separate feature and you'll be able to ask Alexa to start playing music on your Sonos speakers or follow the quick instructions below.

Set up your Amazon Alexa device > Enter your Sonos account information > Open the Alexa app > Tap Skills > Select Sonos skill > Enable.

If you don't have an Alexa device, you could also look into the new Sonos One speaker, which has Alexa built-in for instant voice control, as well as voice control of existing Sonos speakers.

Set parental controls

Sonos now allows you to set parental controls in order to restrict explicit content. It's currently only available for Apple Music but no doubt this will expand to other services eventually.

Tap the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Settings > Parental Controls > Explicit Content Filtering > Type in you Sonos Account password to turn on or off.

Add a playlist to My Sonos

My Sonos is great for those playlists you love listening to all the time. Adding your favourites to My Sonos makes them much more accessible, requiring just a quick tap in the bottom right of the app. Once added, there is no need to search for them or open your chosen music streaming service to find them. It works for playlists, songs, radio stations, bands and artists.

To add a playlist to My Sonos, tap on the respective playlist > Click the top three dots in the top right > Add to My Sonos.

Add a song to My Sonos

Just like adding a playlist, adding a song to My Sonos makes it easier to find. Find the song you're looking for > Click on the three dots in the top right > Click on the three dots to the right of the song title > Add Song to My Sonos.

sonos sub2
Sonos Sub Speaker - Read full review

Edit My Sonos

If you want to edit the order of what appears in the My Sonos tab, this is nice and simple.

Head to My Sonos > Click Edit in the top right. From here you can long press to rearrange the order in which things appear such as moving Sonos Playlists to the top, and tapping on each category will also allow you to delete things from the respective categories. Be sure to press Done in the top right when you're finished.

Add a playlist to Sonos Playlists

Sonos Playlist works in a similar way to My Sonos but it is all about playlists, making them nice and accessible. To add a playlist to Sonos Playlists, find the playlist you want to add > Tap on the three dots in the top right corner > Add to Sonos Playlist.

Create a new Sonos Playlist

The Sonos Playlist section will not only allow you to add curated playlists, but also make your own. Click on My Sonos in the bottom left of the app > Scroll down to Sonos Playlists > Click on See All > Click on the three dots in the top right > New Playlist > Name Playlist.

It will then appear in the Sonos Playlist section of the My Sonos tab ready for you to add songs to it.

Add a song to Sonos Playlists

Adding a song to a Sonos Playlist you've created or a playlist that has been created by somebody else but added to the Sonos Playlist section is easy. Find the song > Tap the three dots > Add to Sonos Playlist > Select the playlist you want to add it to.

Edit Sonos Playlists

You might have really liked a playlist a few months ago, but now every song within it drives you nuts. No problem. Tap on the My Sonos tab in the bottom left of the app > Scroll down to Sonos Playlists > Tap on the Playlist you want to edit > Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner > Edit Playlist. From here you can delete songs or reorder them.

Add songs to Queue

The Queue is for those days you want a selection of random songs rather than selecting a specific album or playlist you or someone else has already built.

Tap on the Search tab at the bottom of the app > Select Songs in the bar at the top > Type in any song title into the search bar > Tap the three dots to the right of the song title once you've found it > Add to End of Queue.

Edit the Queue

If you want to edit the Queue, or see what songs you've added to the Queue, you'll need to head to the Rooms tab at the bottom of the app. From here, expand the now playing section and tap on the two lines next to the volume slider control. You can then Clear, Edit or Save the Queue by tapping on the respective option at the bottom of the screen.

Edit will allow you drag and drop the songs into the order you want, while Save will enable you to save the Queue as a Playlist and give it a name. It will appear under Sonos Playlists so you can find it easily next time you fancy that random mix.

Create a group or ungroup speakers

The idea of a multi-room system is to allow you to play music in multiple rooms. To group speakers together or ungroup them, tap on the Rooms tab at the bottom of the app > Your Sonos speakers will then appear in a list > Click on Group under whichever speaker you want to group > Select or deselect various speakers. Those ticked will play the same music.

Sonos-Play5-Speakers
Sonos Play:5 - Read full review

Play different music in different rooms

To play different music on different Sonos speakers, you just need to select what you want each speaker to play and group the speakers you want to play the same music together. Once grouped, you can select what you want each group of speakers, or singular speaker to play.

As mentioned above, speakers are accessed by tapping the Rooms tab at the bottom of the app. From here you can group them, or ungroup them.

Add a music service

Sonos supports over 80 music services, from the usual suspects like Spotify to the lesser known services. It's worth adding all the services you are subscribed to if you want the best possible experience.

To add a music service, head to the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Click on Add Music Services > Tap on the respective music service from the list or search using the search icon in the top right > Add to Sonos > Sign in.

Search for a song/album/artist/station/podcast

Searching for a song, album, artist, radio station, podcast, composer or even genre on Sonos is really easy. Using the search function within the Sonos app will search all the music services you are signed into, enabling you to play whatever you've found with just a couple more clicks.

Head to either the Browse tab at the bottom of the app to search through a specific music service you have signed into or open the Search tab, also at the bottom of the app, and start typing into the search bar at the top, ensuring you have selected which type of music you are searching for, such as song or album.

Turn Crossfade on

Want to make sure your home or office is never silent? You can turn the Crossfade feature on when listening to an album, enabling one Beyonce song to blend directly into the next. To do this, tap on the three dots to the right of song's title > Toggle Crossfade on.

Set an alarm

Want to wake up to your favourite song, get your Playbar or Playbase to fire up when a match starts so you don't miss kick off, or play some songs half way through the day to stimulate your pet? Tap on the three dots in the bottom right of the app > Alarms > New Alarm > Set the time, room, music, frequency and volume > Save.

You can choose how long you want the alarm to play for and send it to other Sonos speakers in other rooms in Advanced Settings within the Alarm section. It's also possible to set different alarms for each Sonos speaker in your home. If you set an alarm through voice command, you'll find this in the Alexa app rather than the Sonos app.

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Sonos Wireless Music Player

Set a sleep timer

If you like falling asleep to music, you can get your Sonos speaker to play you a lullaby, or your version of a lullaby. Choose the album, song or station you want to fall asleep to and open the Now Playing screen, which is the one with the album art and volume control.

Following this, tap on the three dots > Select Sleep Timer > Choose the Duration. You get the option of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours.

Make the most of TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is free on Sonos, but it isn't just useful for listening to your favourite radio station. You could use it to replace the TV commentators with your favourite radio commentary team instead, for example.

Tap the Browse tab at the bottom of the app > Radio by TuneIn > Select category or search for the station you want. Don't be afraid to try new stations, it's free after all.

Catch every comment

If you've got a Playbar or Playbase, there is a feature called Speech Enhancement that will boost the sound of voices, ensuring you'll hear commentators, or actors and actresses in films.

Tap on the three dots in the bottom right > TV > Tap on the square speech icon and turn it orange to turn Speech Enhancement on.

Use Night Sound for more considerate late-night viewing

This is another one for those of you with a PlayBar or Playbase. Turning Night Sound on will enhance quiet sounds and suppress louder sounds to make sure you don't have neighbours knocking on your door asking you to turn the volume down.

Tap on the three dots in the bottom right > TV > Tap on the moon icon and turn it orange to turn Night Sound on.

Hear your favourite TV programme all over your house

Want to hear the football commentary from the bathroom, or have MTV playing throughout your house? If you have a Playbar or Playbase, group it with the other Sonos speakers in your home where you want to hear what's playing on your TV.

Open the Rooms tab at the bottom of the app > Tap on Group on the room where your Playbar or Playbase is > Tick the speakers you want linked up to it.

Also see: Sonos Playbase UK Review: A large soundbase with multiroom options

Bring your own music

Love your friends but hate their taste in music? No problem, just play your own good music through their Sonos speakers. You'll need to get onto their Wi-Fi, but once you're on, open the Sonos app and add the songs you love to their Queue.

Use Sonos for a bedtime story

We say bedtime story, but it could be any recorded message from family, friends or loved ones that you want to fill your home with. Ask the recorder to send you the MP3 file, sync it with your music library and you'll be able to play it using the On this iPhone/Device feature.

Find out what you listen to most on your Sonos system

If you want to know how often you listen to Taylor Swift or Fleetwood Mac, signing up to Last.fm online is the way to find out. Sign in to Last.fm within the Sonos app and it will show you your listening habits.

Please see the Youtube video below from Sonos for more useful help and advice.

1 comment

  • Karen Prowse
    Comment Link Karen Prowse Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:23

    Wow! thats alot of advice, super work and really comprehensive, now I really can master my speaker, thanks for sharing.

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