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16 tips for Sonos users

Learn how to get the most out of your wireless speakers


ew to Sonos? Congrats on a wise purchase. Had it for a while? I'll bet there are a few useful features you haven't tried yet. Here are 16 tips that will help you enjoy your Sonos gear to the fullest. We’ll start with user tips and then wrap things up with some system building ideas.

User tips

1. Get better sound with Trueplay

Use Sonos with an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch®? Great news: you can optimize the sound of your Sonos speakers.

Sonos Trueplay settings

The Sonos app’s Trueplay feature uses the mic built into your iOS® device to measure how the sound reflects off walls and furnishings. It then adjusts speaker's audio settings for the best sound in your room.

Works with the Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Playbase, and Playbar.

2. Get into voice control

The Sonos control app is very user-friendly. But voice control makes Sonos even friendlier.

Amazon Alexa voice control is built into the Sonos One. You can control all of your Sonos speakers from a single Sonos One. Or you can you use an Amazon Echo Dot (or other Alexa-enabled device) to control your Sonos gear.

Once you have it all set up, you can say, “Alexa, play Tom Petty in the kitchen.” How cool is that? Of course, you can also use voice control to change the volume, skip tracks, pause, and so on.

For more information, read the Sonos articles about voice control setup and operation.

3. Wake up and go to sleep with Sonos

Sonos app screen shot alarm settings

Bedside alarm clocks are so last century. Use Sonos to wake up to your music of choice. Set it to gently wake you with a classical piece through the Play:1 on your nightstand. Or wake up the whole house with something a little more energetic playing in every bedroom.

You can also use your bedroom speaker to help you fall asleep. Create a “sleep time” playlist of soothing music or nature sounds that will help you drift off. Program a sleep timer to turn the sound off after you’ve fallen asleep.

One more thing: You’ll want to turn off the status lights on your bedroom speakers. In the Sonos app, go to Room Settings, then select your Bedroom and turn off the White Indicator Light.

4. Learn the Play/Pause button tricks

Sonos buttons

The play/pause button does a lot more than meets the eye.

Playing just one speaker? Press once to pause. Press again to pick up where you left off.

If you're playing music in multiple rooms, press and hold to silence only that speaker. Press and hold to group an inactive speaker with the other active ones.

Press twice or swipe across the button (from left to right between the touch controls) to skip a track. Swipe from right to left to skip back to the previous track. 

5. Make playlists from multiple music services

Sonos app artist search

The Sonos app lets you search for songs across every music service linked to your account, as well as your personal digital collection.

Build playlists from multiple services and sources. Cue up one song from Spotify, then add another from an album stored on your computer, then another that you bought from iTunes®.

6. Play tunes to your Sonos system directly from Spotify

Sonos works with Spotify.

Sonos supports Spotify Connect.

If you're a Spotify Premium subscriber, you can play tunes through Sonos gear directly from the Spotify app. Pull up your playlists, saved albums, and more. Then select which Sonos speakers you want to play your music through — they'll show up under "available devices" right in the Spotify app. 

7. Stream your vinyl

close-up of turntable cartridge

Want to spin some records and hear them all over your house? Connect your turntable (with phono preamp) to the AUX input on a Play:5 speaker, Connect, or Connect:Amp. Any of these devices will digitize the analog signal and send it to any Sonos product.

The AUX input on the PLAY:5 is a stereo mini jack. You'll probably need an RCA-to-mini adapter.

8. Stream TV sound throughout your home

Ever crank up your TV sound so you can hear the game’s play-by-play in the kitchen while you’re getting snacks?

The Sonos Playbar and Playbase sound bars solve that problem by letting you stream TV sound to other Sonos gear. Keep up with every play on your Play:1 in the kitchen, instead of blasting the volume in your TV room.

9. Give your wireless performance a Boost

Woman relaxing on floor using phone app

Does your Wi-Fi network have limited range? Does it get bogged down when multiple wireless devices compete for the available bandwidth? Then you may need the Sonos Boost. It creates a discrete wireless network that improves the wireless range and performance of your Sonos players.

System building tips

10. Pair two speakers for stereo sound

Have a single Sonos speaker? Consider adding a second one in the same room.

Pair two Play:1Play:5, or Sonos One speakers. The speakers will automatically separate the right and left channels, so you hear true stereo sound.

11. Add a Sonos Sub to pump up the bass

Like your bass extra bold? Add the Sonos Sub.

Team this sleek powered subwoofer with a Sonos One, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Playbar, or Playbase or a system that features a Connect:Amp music player.

12. Listen outside

Person at picnic using Sonos on their phone

Does Sonos make an outdoor speaker? No, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn your deck or patio into a Sonos room.

The Connect:Amp is a compact amplifier with a built-in Sonos music player. It can power a pair of most any stereo speakers, including those designed to live outdoors.

13. Play Sonos through your ceiling or in-wall speakers

Here’s another great use for the Connect:Amp. Use it to power in-ceiling or in-wall speakers.

Maybe you bought a home that has ceiling speakers, but no music system to feed them. You’ll need a Connect:Amp for each set of speakers. Or you could use one or more Sonos Connect players and a multi-channel amplifier. Learn how by reading our article on how to use Sonos with a multi-room amp.

14. Upgrade your old stereo system

Happy with your existing stereo, but wish it could join your Sonos system? That’s what the Connect player is for. Plug it into an aux input, and you’ll breathe new life into your old stereo receiver.

15. Improve your TV sound

Looking for a speaker that does music and TV sound equally well? Take a look at the Sonos Playbar or Playbase.

16. Surround sound, the Sonos way

A Playbar or Playbase can reproduce the left, right, and center channels of a surround soundtrack.

Sonos surround sound system in a modern livinf room

Add two Play:1, Sonos One, Play:3, or Play:5 speakers for the rear surround channels. (You could also use a Connect:Amp with a set of third-party surround speakers.)

The wireless Sonos SUB, gives you the final ingredient of a powerful, space-saving 5.1-channel surround sound system.

Need help?

Have questions about choosing the Sonos gear for your system? Call, email, or chat with us today. Free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

  • Mike Dembski from washington

    Posted on 4/11/2019

    Now you can also play Amazon and Apple directly thru Sonos as well as many other options. You can also use AirPlay to play music from your computer to Sonos if you have any of the newer speakers that also have Alexa built in. Spotify is far from the only choice anymore. You also create a playlist of music from different sources. The Sonos Amp also has a preamp output for you own subwoofer.

  • Douglas C Borchard from Cambridge

    Posted on 5/31/2018

    I think the last point about surround sound requiring a wired connection to a router is out of date. I have a sonos surround setup without a wired connection, and it works perfectly.

  • Jim Tomarchio from Hopewell, NJ

    Posted on 7/20/2017

    Great information! I have Sonos speakers in every room of my home to create an easy to set up whole house music system. Several of the tips you gave I had never heard of. I just tried the mute button trick, and it really works! To be able to quickly mute just a single speaker from the entire group is great. Especially when everyone else in the house is listening to music on the system! When I get a phone call and I need to be able to hear and speak to the other person on the line, it is now easy for me to just mute the speaker in the room I am in, versus trying to shut down all the speakers, or finding a quiet place in the house, which is no small task when you have speakers in every room! Thanks for the tips!!