September 22, 2018

Can Sonos Play Different Music in Every Room?

Sonos is built around the premise of giving you full control over the speaker systems in your home. While the ability to hook up your entire home without the need for cords is a great boon, just as useful is the option to compartmentalize your sonic experience. You can have soft New Age music piping in through your bathroom, queue up your party mix for your backdoor party, and get booming bass and a realistic cinematic experience in your home theater system all at the same time.

Ease of use is an important priority with the Sonos ecosystem, and all of it can be handled through the seamless and simple app, available on your tablet, phone, or laptop. If you’re unpacking your Sonos set and looking to get it rolling or you’re simply curious about how much flexibility you can achieve with your hypothetical sound system, we have you covered.

Setting Up Devices

Sonos works via your home’s WiFi system, and while some configuration is necessary, it’s a pretty painless affair. Up to 32 different Sonos products can be set up on the same network, allowing you to put together a pretty robust sound system that’s catered to your specific needs. You’ll want to start by making sure that you’ve downloaded the Sonos app. This is available through the Play Store for Google devices or the App Store if you’re using an Apple product as your main controller. You only need one device with the app installed to get your system configured, but you can always add the app to other devices if you want to make sure that everyone in your home has access to configuration settings.

Each device needs to be configured separately. You’ll want to start by making sure the device that you’re looking to sync is properly plugged in and mounted where you want it. It can take about a minute for the device to boot up, but you’ll know that it’s ready to go when you see a green light flashing. This is true for all of the products in the Sonos catalog, including speakers, amps, and soundbars.

Setup With a Mobile Device

Both Android and Apple mobile devices use the same interface to control Sonos products. Start by booting up the app, then navigate to the More tab. Beneath this, you’ll find a Settings section. Go there to find your configuration options. From here, you can tap either the “Add a Player or SUB” or “Add a BOOST or BRIDGE” options. You’ll then be guided through the process of getting them hooked up to your existing network.

Setup With a Mac or PC

The Sonos software can be found directly on the Sonos site, and the interface is similar but slightly different from the mobile version of the app. You’ll want to start by going to the “Manage” menu and then following the prompts. Users have the option to “Add a Player or SUB” or “Add a BOOST or BRIDGE” just like with the mobile app.

Setting Up Rooms

Once you have a device correctly configured, it’s now a part of your larger Sonos ecosystem. But having control over your speakers on a room to room basis means tethering them to those specific rooms. This is a pretty simple affair. All you have to do is assign specific names to each of the devices within your network. You can use whatever naming conventions you want, but assigning each of the speakers in your network to the room which they’re assigned is generally the best rule of thumb. This can be done by going to the Manage menu and then navigating to “Rooms”.

Changing Room Configurations

Sonos is a highly modular system, and given how maneuverable the components are, chances are that you’re going to want to eventually move them around. Maybe you want to decouple your One speakers from your living room’s soundbar to add some extra juice to your backyard speaker system or carry a smaller speaker into your bedroom. Luckily, components can be relabeled. You can also pair up multiple components together to more easily access individual components. Within the Room tab, you can also create Groups. That allows you to set up makeshift systems on the fly. If you intend to shift up your speakers on a regular basis, consider giving a distinct and easily recognizable name to each speaker. That will make the process of moving them around much easier.

Adding Wired Speakers to Your Setup

If you’re sitting on some speakers from a manufacturer other than Sonos or you’re looking to add traditional speakers to your stereo setup, you can make them a part of your system through the use of the Connect or the Connect:Amp. The former works in cases where these speakers are already powered (or connected to a non-Sonos amp), while the latter serves functionally as a power source for these speakers. Unfortunately, you can’t control these speakers individually. Instead, they’ll all work in tandem with one another through the Connect device. Make sure that you give a clear and easily distinguishable name to your Connect device so that you can identify it with little hassle. When working with a Connect device, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to keep your setup static.

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