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9 ways to get the most from your Sonos speaker

Key Takeaways

  • You can add apps & services to Sonos for more music options and discovery.
  • Connect your vinyl player to Sonos speakers for a seamless audio experience.
  • Tune your speakers with TruePlay for optimal sound quality and customization.

Multiroom audio setups existed before Sonos, but it’s fair to say the company’s speakers and sound bars have made the process of playing music around your home or workplace dramatically simpler, and a better fit for the age of music streaming we all live in. Alternative speakers exist, but you’ll get the smoothest experience with Sonos.

What’s great is, even if Sonos has made decking out your space with speakers practically wire-free, there’s still a lot of tweaking and experimentation a new owner or devoted audio enthusiast can do to customize their specific setup to their liking. With that in mind, we created this guide with nine of the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Sonos speakers, from installation all the way through playback.

1 Add apps and other music services

You’re not limited to Sonos Radio

Sonos runs its own ad-supported music streaming service called Sonos Radio that’s exclusive to Sonos devices and has multiple different stations built around genres and other themes. It’s better than you might expect and a great way to be introduced to new music, but youy likely have speaker to listen to music you already curated for yourself and love.

To connect a streaming service or audio app to your Sonos system:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Go to the
    Settings
    tab on the far right of the bottom menu bar.
  3. Tap
    Services & Voice
    .
  4. Then tap
    Add a Service
    under
    Music & Content
    .
  5. Select the service or app you want to connect and then tap
    Add to Sonos
    .
  6. You might be prompted to log in or create an account, but once that’s done you should be ready to listen.

2 Connect to your Vinyl

Sonos-ify your whole A/V set up

A record player attached to a Sonos Era 100 speaker.

Sonos

Your Sonos isn’t exclusively limited to music you stream, of course. Several Sonos speakers feature a line-in port for playing audio from connected audio equipment like a record player. You can hook up your record player to the Sonos Play:5, Five, Era 100, Era 300, or Move 2, or use the audio-in jacks on a Sonos Port or a Sonos Amp.

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Once your record player is connected (you might need an adapter):

  1. Go to the
    Browse
    tab, second to the left on the bottom menu bar.
  2. Tap on
    Line-in
    and then
    select the source
    .

You can also access line-in audio in Settings:

  1. Go to the
    Settings
    tab.
  2. Tap on
    System
    .
  3. Choose a
    Room
    that has one of the speakers with line-in.
  4. Scroll down to
    Line-in options
    .

3 Tune your audio with TruePlay

Take advantage of a Sonos staple

How To Tune Your Existing Sonos Speaker Playbar Playbase Or Beam With Trueplay To Make It Sound Better image 1

Sonos’ secret sauce is TruePlay, which uses onboard mics or your smartphone to adapt your speaker’s audio playback to the acoustics of the surrounding room. It can fix your audio, but it doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to make everything sound better, especially when you’re dealing with multiple speakers.

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Go to the
    Settings
    tab.
  3. Tap on
    System
    .
  4. Select the
    Room
    (and speakers) you want to tune.
  5. Then select
    Trueplay
    , then
    Trueplay tuning
    .
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions and you should be good to go.

Related

How to tune your Sonos speakers and soundbars with Trueplay for better sound quality

Sonos Trueplay is a software feature that allows you to tune your Sonos speakers and soundbars to the room they are in. Here’s how to do it.

4 Control playback

Intuitive buttons

Pressing the Play/Pause button on a Sonos Roam speaker.

Once you’ve actually set up what audio you want to play, Sonos supports several ways to control playback, group speakers, and modify what you hear. The Sonos app offers easy access to a Now Playing screen where you can play, pause, skip tracks, and rearrange songs in your queue. Individual speakers include physical or capacitive buttons for doing the same thing (sometimes buttons serve more than one purpose).

5 Control with voice assistants

Hands-free control

Sonos Alexa on Sonos

You can both interact directly with voice assistants through Sonos speakers with built-in microphones and control Sonos speakers through voice assistants on your other devices. Sonos even has its own voice assistant called Sonos Voice Control. The level of integration with voice assistants varies depending on your preferred choice.

The voice assistant settings in the Sonos app.

Amazon Alexa is accessible on all Sonos speakers with microphones. We have a guide going into the best practices for setting the voice assistant up, but here’s the simple version:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Tap the
    Settings
    tab on the far right corner of the bottom menu bar.
  3. Tap on
    Services & Voice
    .
  4. Select
    Add a Voice Assistant
    under the
    Voice
    section.
  5. Find and tap on
    Amazon Alexa
    .
  6. Select
    Add to Sonos
    .
  7. Pick out the
    room (and speaker)
    you want to add Alexa to and tap
    Add Amazon Alexa
    .
  8. Sign in to Amazon and follow the onscreen instructions.

Google Assistant is available on all Sonos speakers with microphones, except the Era 100, Era 300, and Move 2. Given the difficult relationship between Sonos and Google, it feels highly possible this will be a trend that continues with future speakers. Again, we have a guide on how to do this, but here are the basics:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Tap on the
    Settings
    tab.
  3. Tap on
    Services & Voice
    .
  4. Select
    Add a Voice Assistant
    .
  5. Tap on
    Google Assistant
    .
  6. Select
    Add to Sonos
    .
  7. Select the
    room and speaker
    you want to add Google Assistant to and then tap
    Add Google Assistant
    .
  8. If Amazon Alexa is already enabled,
    confirm that you’ll switch
    .
  9. Follow the prompts to
    Go to the Google Assistant
    app, sign in to your Sonos account, and set up your Google Assistant preferences.

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Apple’s Siri can’t be interacted with directly on Sonos speakers, but you can use Siri to control Sonos devices. To enable it, you need a speaker that is AirPlay 2-compatible (the Sonos Ray, Beam, Arc, Playbase, Play:5, Five, One, One SL, Move, Move 2, Roam, Roam SL, Era 100, and Era 300 all work) and your Apple Home app:

  1. Open the
    Home
    app.
  2. Tap the
    plus (+)
    symbol,
  3. Select
    Add Accessory
    .
  4. Select
    More Options
    .
  5. Then tap on
    the speaker
    you want to add and tap
    Done
    .

6 Group Sonos speakers together

Amplify your listening

Sonos side by side speakers

Sonos’ speakers are nice alone, but are best together, and creating speaker groups is one of the best ways to get music playing in multiple rooms. Grouping and un-grouping speakers can be done in the app or physically using the buttons on your speaker.

To get started on the app:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Tap the
    Systems
    tab at the center of the bottom menu bar.
  3. Find the speakers you want to group and tap the
    square symbol with an arrow
    coming out of it.
  4. Select or deselect the various other speakers you want to group or un-group, then tap
    Done
    .

If music is already playing in one of your other speaker groups you can add a new speaker just by pressing and holding the play button. You can even keep holding the power button to cycle through multiple groups if different groups of speakers are playing different songs.

7 Adjust your speaker for dialogue or nighttime viewing

Enhance Speech Enhancement

People sitting in a living room looking at a TV with a Sonos Ray.

Sonos

If you’re looking for another way to improve the quality of the audio from your Sonos speaker beyond Trueplay, Sonos has built in a couple of software features that can help. On home theater speakers (Sonos sound bars in particular), you can use Speech Enhancement to boost human voices in whatever you’re watching on your TV.

Assuming you have a Sonos speaker connected to your TV, to enable Speech Enhancement:

  1. Turn on your TV and make sure audio is playing through your Sonos home theater speaker.
  2. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  3. Tap on the
    Systems
    tab in the center of the bottom menu bar.
  4. Select
    your home theater speaker
    and open the
    Now Playing screen
    .
  5. Tap on the
    Speech Enhancement
    button (the dialogue box) to toggle Speech Enhancement on and off.

If you’re watching TV at night at a low volume, you can turn on Night Sound to rebalance the audio to make whatever you’re watching understandable without waking anyone up at a higher volume.

Turning Night Sound is nearly identical to Speech Enhancement:

  1. Make sure your TV is on, your speaker is connected, and audio is playing through it.
  2. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  3. Tap on the
    Systems
    tab.
  4. Select
    your home theater speaker
    and open the
    Now Playing screen
    .
  5. Tap on the
    Night Sound
    button (the crescent moon) to toggle Night Sound on and off.

8 Use the Sonos as an alarm clock

A smart alarm and speaker all in one

A Sonos Roam speaker on a nightstand, next to a lamp.

We covered the benefits of a Sonos alarm clock in detail previously, and trying it for yourself isn’t difficult:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Select the
    Rooms
    tab, then tap on the
    Alarm
    (clock symbol) icon.
  3. Tap on
    New Alarm
    .
  4. Set the time, the room you want it to play in, how often you want it to repeat, the volume you want it to play at, and how long you want it to play for.
The Alarm menus in the Sonos app.

All current Sonos speakers feature an LED light that can indicate if it’s on, if it’s connected to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or if you’re adjusting the volume, among other things. It’s pretty bright and in a dark living room or home theater, it might be the kind of thing you want to turn off. Luckily, you can.

To toggle the LED status light off:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Select the
    Settings
    tab, and then press
    System
    .
  3. Tap on
    your speaker’s name
    and then scroll down to
    Hardware
    .
  4. Toggle the
    Status Light
    on or off.

9 Make a Sonos playlist

Limit app-switching

Sonos-Playlist

Music streaming has fractured people’s listening habits across multiple monthly subscriptions. While exclusives are less common than they used to be, if you have a niche interest there’s a good chance you’ve got multiple different music libraries or playlists you’re managing. The beauty of the Sonos app is you can create playlists that collect tracks across streaming services, so one playlist can play everything without you having to switch apps.

To make a Sonos playlist:

  1. Open the
    Sonos
    app.
  2. Tap on the
    Browse
    tab in the second from the left spot on the bottom menu bar.
  3. Select
    the streaming service
    of your choice and then tap on an
    album, song, or artist
    .
  4. Tap on the
    three-dot menu
    and then tap on
    Add to Sonos Playlist
    .
  5. If you have an existing playlist, you can select it from the list, or you can select
    New Playlist
    and make a new one.

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