Last year, Sonos announced plans to add support for Apple's AirPlay 2 to its speakers. AirPlay 2 is an important feature as it will allow iPhone and iPad users to send audio from virtually any application to the Sonos speakers. And you can tell Siri to play Apple Music tracks on Sonos systems; the Sonos One smart speaker currently does not allow you to start music from the Apple service with voice commands, but AirPlay 2 is an indirect way to introduce that convenience. The difference is that you will talk with your phone instead of Sonos.
Sonos does not say exactly when the AirPlay 2 integration will be ready for launch. Apple has not yet officially released AirPlay 2 for iOS; It is still in beta testing. Then, obviously, that part must happen first. But Sonos has progressed enough to have finalized a list of the speakers who will get it. Sonos One, Play: 5 and Playbase will be updated with AirPlay 2 compatibility. The oldest Sonos products – Play: 1, Play: 3 and Playbar – will not be. To help alleviate the pain and frustration of that cutoff, Sonos says that whenever you have a speaker that AirPlay 2 can do in your Sonos configuration, you can group it with previous models to make that audio play everywhere. Mac Observer reported the list of compatible devices for the first time.
Personally, I'm more excited about this for YouTube, since there has never been an excellent and perfect way to get Sonos to play audio from the leading video platform. Now you just have to touch the AirPlay icon. It is likely that there is a bit of latency between the sound and the image with AirPlay 2, so it might not be ideal in all cases. But at least it will be a relatively easy option. The same goes for Netflix, HBO Now and other applications that Sonos has not previously admitted.
Sonos also made another big promise last October: Google Assistant. The company has positioned Sonos One as a smart speaker who will be an agnostic assistant and will admit multiple consumer favorites. Sent with Alexa, AirPlay 2 will cover Siri (although from your iOS device and not the speaker itself), but Sonos has not provided a great status update on where the Google project is located.