Last year, Apple unveiled AirPlay 2 — an updated version of its proprietary wireless protocol that allows for easy sharing of audio, video, photos, and more. Following that reveal, Sonos announced in October that AirPlay 2 support would be coming to its wireless multiroom speakers, coming this July. That is still the case, but there’s a bit of a catch: If you’ve got an older Sonos model like the Play:1, you won’t be getting AirPlay 2 compatibility.
Sonos posted a note on its website saying that AirPlay 2 support is still on the way, specifically for newer models like the Sonos One, as well as the Play: 5 and PlayBase. The company also promised that future products will support AirPlay 2. As for older models, Sonos says they just don’t have the horsepower required. For example, the Play:1 has just one sixteenth the power of the Sonos One.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that older speakers will be entirely unsupported. All you need is one supported model in order to use AirPlay 2, then that speaker will distribute the audio to your other speakers. That means that you could have a house full of Play:1 models, as well as one Play:5, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of the AirPlay 2 functionality. It’s not exactly ideal, but it does mean that you won’t have to replace all of your Sonos speakers just to use one new feature.
This situation isn’t new for Sonos. When the Sonos One launched, it was the first to feature a microphone, but that brought a new level of usefulness to owners’ entire systems. “Many of you have Sonos gear that’s over a decade old and is still getting better every day,” the company wrote in the blog post updating owners on the progress of AirPlay 2 support.
Sonos support for AirPlay 2 is set to officially launch in July, announced during the release of the company’s new Beam soundbar (which we’ve already taken for a test drive if you’re curious). If you want to know more about AirPlay 2, check out our detailed guide where you can learn everything you need to know.
Updated to add Sonos’ AirPlay 2 launch date.