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16 tips for Sonos users

Learn how to get the most out of your wireless speakers

New 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

Sonos Trueplay app on phone

1. Get better sound with Trueplay

Sonos' Trueplay feature measures how sound reflects off walls, furnishings, and other surfaces in a room, and then it fine-tunes your Sonos speaker to make sure it sounds great no matter where you've placed it.

If you have an iOS® device, such as an iPhone® or an iPad®, you can use Trueplay with all Sonos speakers. The system uses the mic on your device to listen to test signals sent from the speaker. You simply walk around the room to give Trueplay an accurate reading of the space. It then adjusts and optimizes the speaker for the room.

The system works a little differently with Android® smartphones and tablets. You can activate Trueplay through the Sonos app on your Android device. But the system uses the microphones built into the Sonos speaker, so you can only use it with Sonos speakers with built-in mics like the Era 100 and Era 300.

Portable Sonos speakers can tune themselves automatically using their own microphones with automatic Trueplay. In these speakers, Auto Trueplay starts tuning as soon as you begin playing music. It automatically readjusts as you play new content and bring your Sonos speaker to different locations.

Controlling Sonos with Brilliant

2. Get into voice control

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

Select Sonos speakers come with both Sonos Voice and Amazon Alexa control built in. You can control all of your Sonos speakers from a single voice-controlled speaker like the Sonos Era 300.

Once you have it all set up, you can say, “Alexa, play Tom Petty,” or "Hey, Sonos, play Tom Petty." How cool is that?

Sonos alarm settings on iPhone

3. Wake up and go to sleep with Sonos

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 Sonos Era 100 speaker 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.

Sonos buttons

4. Learn the Play/Pause button tricks

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.

Sonos playlist on iPhone

5. Make playlists from multiple music services

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 and then add another from an album stored on your computer, and another that you bought from Apple Music®.

Sonos works with Spotify.

6. Stream all your favorites to Sonos with Apple AirPlay® 2

Use AirPlay 2 on your iOS device to stream your favorite music, movies, podcasts, and other audio directly to your Sonos speakers. That includes soundtracks from YouTube® videos and Netflix movies.

When an AirPlay-compatible Sonos product is playing AirPlay audio, you can group it with any other Sonos product in your system for multi-room playback.

Sonos Amp on shelf with turntable and records

7. Stream your vinyl

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

You can use stereo RCA cables to connect your turntable to a Sonos Port or Sonos Amp. The AUX input on the Sonos Five is a stereo mini jack. You'll need an RCA-to-mini adapter to connect it to your turntable.

If you don't already have a turntable, getting a Victrola Stream Carbon or Victrola Stream Onyx is an even easier solution. These belt-driven turntables come with Wi-Fi and Sonos streaming technology built-in, so you can stream directly from the turntable to other speakers in your Sonos system.

Plus the Victrola Stream turntables have built-in phono preamps and stereo RCA outputs, so you can connect them to your home audio receiver.

Sonos Ray sound bar and Era 300 speaker in different rooms

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?

Sonos sound bars solve that problem by letting you stream TV sound to other Sonos gear. Keep up with every play on your Sonos Era 100 speaker in the kitchen, or bring the game to another room with your Sonos Move 2 or Roam.

Sonos Boost

9. Discover new favorites with Sonos Radio

Feed your love of music with original shows and programming created to help you uncover up-and-coming artists and deep cuts from the archives. Find the genres and decades you love most with original stations for mellow mornings, dinner parties, and more.

Try Sonos Radio for free, or upgrade to Sonos Radio HD to enjoy ad-free listening, lossless audio, and access to exclusive stations.

System-building tips

Pair of Sonos Five wireless speakers

10. Pair two speakers for stereo sound

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

Pair two Sonos Era 300, Sonos Era 100, or Sonos Five speakers. The speakers will automatically separate the right and left channels, so you hear true stereo sound.

Sonos Sub

11. Add a Sonos subwoofer to pump up the bass

Like your bass extra bold? Add a Sonos Sub. Or for a smaller system, add a Sonos Sub Mini.

Team one of these sleek powered subwoofers with a Sonos speaker, Sonos sound bar or a system that features a Port music player.

Sonos Move 2 portable wireless speaker

12. Listen outside

Sonos offers a few ways to enjoy outdoor music. The portable Sonos Move 2 and Sonos Roam speakers let you bring your music outside whenever you want. As long as you use them within range of your home's Wi-Fi, you can set either one of these models up as another speaker to send music to. When they're out of range, you can still stream music to them from your phone via Bluetooth.

The larger Sonos Move 2 is great for a patio, porch, or sunroom and the Sonos Roam's smaller size makes it great for hiking, camping, or the beach — and within WiFi range it's a great option for your garage, deck, or backyard.

You can also use a Sonos Amp to power a pair of most stereo speakers, including those designed to live outdoors. Sonos by Sonance Architectural outdoor speakers are specifically optimized for the Sonos Amp, but any outdoor speakers will work.

Sonos Amp with in-wall, in-ceiling, and outdoor speakers

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

Here's another great use for the 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 Sonos Amp for each set of speakers. Or you could use one or more Sonos Port players and a multi-channel amplifier. Learn how by reading our article on how to use Sonos with ceiling speakers and outdoor speakers.

Sonos Port with AV receiver

14. Upgrade your old stereo system

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

Sonos Beam sound bar

15. Improve your TV sound

Looking for a speaker that does music and TV sound equally well? Take a look at the Sonos sound bars. These sound bars offer a big boost in sound quality for your TV, plus they can play wireless music just like all the other Sonos speakers. And they come in three different sizes, from the conveniently compact Sonos Ray to the fully loaded Dolby Atmos®-capable Sonos Arc.

Sonos Arc, Era 300, and Sub in a wireless surround sound system

16. Surround sound, the Sonos way

A Sonos sound bar can reproduce the left, right, and center channels of a surround soundtrack.

Add a pair of Sonos wireless speakers for the rear surround channels. (You could also use a Sonos Amp with a set of third-party surround speakers.)

A wireless Sonos subwoofer gives you the final ingredient for a powerful, space-saving wireless surround sound system.

The Sonos Arc and Sonos Beam sound bars both support Dolby Atmos surround sound. Add a pair of Sonos wireless surround speakers and a Sonos wireless sub to either of these options for an immersive 5.1.2 wireless surround sound system.

Want more? The Sonos Era 300 speakers have a three-speaker array. One faces left, the other right, and the middle is angled upwards. Add a pair of Era 300s to a Dolby Atmos-capable Sonos sound bar for a 5.1.4 system.

Need help?

Have questions about choosing the Sonos gear for your system? Contact us today. Free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

  • Francis Gravina from Weehawken NJ

    Posted on 10/5/2020

    Just purchased the new Sonos Arc. Very disappointed. No surround sound effect what so ever from the speaker. I was in a store and sampled lower priced sound bars with out Subs and i got sound that at least sounded good. The Arc is connected to a 2020 Sony Bravia Tv with eARC connection to TV but there is no surrond effect for any stations on my TV. I tested a blue ray DVD that had Dolby Atmos and that sounded decent. Does this Arc not produce any surround sound because I have an Android phone with the Sonos2 app. and not an Iphone to set up Trueplay?

  • NESTOR PEREA from Chicago

    Posted on 3/30/2020

    Can a Playbar be used as rear left/right surround speakers? I have a Playbar collecting dust and am wondering if this would enhance or detract from the existing TV Playbar.

  • Jeremy Ortega from Chantilly

    Posted on 10/19/2019

    Sonos also has an outdoor speaker now so you'll want to get rid of the comment in #12 about not having an outdoor speaker!

  • 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!!

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