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How to Play or Stream Music on Sonos Speakers

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Introduction

This guide will show you how to play music and audio through your Sonos speakers. Use your speaker to play any music you on your streaming service and local network using the Sonos Controller app to control it. In this guide, you'll learn how to use the Sonos Controller app to play music from your networked playlists and music streaming services.
While some Sonos speakers offer additional playback options such as an AUX cable connection, or Sonos soundbars that connect to your TV, this guide will focus on music playback options available to all Sonos speakers using the Sonos app.
Before You Begin:
You must have the Sonos Controller app installed.
Add your music services or library to the Sonos App.
Sonos One Speaker

The Sonos Controller App

Choose what to play, where to play it, and how loud. In one room or all over your home. Track down songs across all your music services (including iHeartRadio and Spotify) with a single search. Create playlists in an instant. The Sonos Controller app does it all.
Sonos controller app
  • You can control your Sonos speakers using the lock screen on your smart device. It will appear automatically while the connected speaker is being used.
  • The Sonos app lets you search for songs across every music service linked to your account, as well as your personal digital collection on your local network.

1 Play and Control Music Using the Sonos Controller App

Playing music on your Sonos system is similar across all speakers. The following is a demonstration of how to play and control your music using the Sonos Controller app no matter which Sonos speakers you have in your home.

  1. If you have multiple Sonos speakers in your home, begin by selecting the speaker you wish to play music on. Tap on the room (speaker) name at the top of the screen then select the speaker you wish to play music from using the drop down menu.
    Mobile device speaker selection
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, just click on the speaker you wish to control from the ROOMS column.
      Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for computers
  2. To find what you want to play, you can select an available source to browse through them, or use the search feature.
    Source selections on an ipad
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, simply select a source from the source browser on the right side of the screen, or use the search feature.
      Source selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for computers
  3. The search feature on the Sonos app will return search results from all available sources at the same time. Search filtering can be applied by selecting from the available categories that will appear beneath the search field.
    Search results
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, the search function only searches one at a time. Click on the source icon in the search field to select from available sources.
      Search results in Sonos Controller for computers
  4. Once you've found what you want to listen to, tap on its name and select Play Now from the drop down menu. If you like what you're listening to, you can also select Add to Sonos Favorites from the drop down menu for future listening.
    Options for how to play a track in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, multiple songs can be selected by placing a check in the box next to their name. Click the downward-facing arrow to open the menu for all the songs you've selected.
      Track selection and dropdown symbol placement in Sonos Controller for computers

To Group or Ungroup Multiple Speakers

If you have multiple Sonos speakers in your home, you have the option of playing different songs on each one, or you can choose to group speakers together to play the same songs at the same time throughout your home.

  1. Tap on the room (speaker) name. To sync the speakers, tap on the Group button next to a speakers name.
    Room list with grouping option
  2. On the Group Rooms popup you can select speakers one by one or all at once. If you uncheck them all and tap on Done the music will stop playing in the room that you tapped Group on.
    Room grouping
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you would see something similar when grouping speakers.
      Speaker grouping on Sonos Controller for computers
  3. Put a checkmark next to each speaker that you want to add to the group then tap Done.
    Adding speakers to a group
  4. The speakers will show up grouped like below.
    Grouped speakers
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you would see something like this when speakers are grouped together.
      Sonos Controller for computers showing speakers grouped together
  5. Or you can tap on Select All to add all speakers to the same group.
    Selecting all speakers
  6. And they will show up like this. To ungroup the speakers tap on the Group button again and uncheck the ones you want to remove or tap on Unselect All then tap on Done.
    Speakers grouped up

To Control the Volume of Speakers

Controlling the volume of speakers can be done remotely using the Sonos Controller app as well. Speaker volumes can be adjusted individually or collectively if you have speakers grouped together while listening to music. 

  1. When speakers have been grouped together, you can raise or lower the group volume by moving the volume control slider at the bottom of the screen. Volume controls for each individual speaker within the group will appear, giving you the ability to adjust individual speaker levels to achieve a better audio mix between rooms. Tapping the speaker icon allows you to quickly mute and unmute speakers or groups altogether.
    Volume levels
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you would see something like this when controlling the sound volume for grouped speakers.
      Volume control in Sonos Controller for computers

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This guide will show you how to play music and audio through your Sonos speakers. Use your speaker to play any music you on your streaming service and local network using the Sonos Controller app to control it. In this guide, you'll learn how to use the Sonos Controller app to play music from your networked playlists and music streaming services.
While some Sonos speakers offer additional playback options such as an AUX cable connection, or Sonos soundbars that connect to your TV, this guide will focus on music playback options available to all Sonos speakers using the Sonos app.
Before You Begin:
You must have the Sonos Controller app installed.
Add your music services or library to the Sonos App.
Sonos One Speaker

The Sonos Controller App

Choose what to play, where to play it, and how loud. In one room or all over your home. Track down songs across all your music services (including iHeartRadio and Spotify) with a single search. Create playlists in an instant. The Sonos Controller app does it all.
Sonos controller app
  • You can control your Sonos speakers using the lock screen on your smart device. It will appear automatically while the connected speaker is being used.
  • The Sonos app lets you search for songs across every music service linked to your account, as well as your personal digital collection on your local network.

Playing music on your Sonos system is similar across all speakers. The following is a demonstration of how to play and control your music using the Sonos Controller app no matter which Sonos speakers you have in your home.

  1. If you have multiple Sonos speakers in your home, begin by selecting the speaker you wish to play music on. Tap on the room (speaker) name at the top of the screen then select the speaker you wish to play music from using the drop down menu.
    Mobile device speaker selection
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, just click on the speaker you wish to control from the ROOMS column.
      Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for computers
  2. To find what you want to play, you can select an available source to browse through them, or use the search feature.
    Source selections on an ipad
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, simply select a source from the source browser on the right side of the screen, or use the search feature.
      Source selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for computers
  3. The search feature on the Sonos app will return search results from all available sources at the same time. Search filtering can be applied by selecting from the available categories that will appear beneath the search field.
    Search results
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, the search function only searches one at a time. Click on the source icon in the search field to select from available sources.
      Search results in Sonos Controller for computers
  4. Once you've found what you want to listen to, tap on its name and select Play Now from the drop down menu. If you like what you're listening to, you can also select Add to Sonos Favorites from the drop down menu for future listening.
    Options for how to play a track in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, multiple songs can be selected by placing a check in the box next to their name. Click the downward-facing arrow to open the menu for all the songs you've selected.
      Track selection and dropdown symbol placement in Sonos Controller for computers

To Group or Ungroup Multiple Speakers

If you have multiple Sonos speakers in your home, you have the option of playing different songs on each one, or you can choose to group speakers together to play the same songs at the same time throughout your home.

  1. Tap on the room (speaker) name. To sync the speakers, tap on the Group button next to a speakers name.
    Room list with grouping option
  2. On the Group Rooms popup you can select speakers one by one or all at once. If you uncheck them all and tap on Done the music will stop playing in the room that you tapped Group on.
    Room grouping
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you would see something similar when grouping speakers.
      Speaker grouping on Sonos Controller for computers
  3. Put a checkmark next to each speaker that you want to add to the group then tap Done.
    Adding speakers to a group
  4. The speakers will show up grouped like below.
    Grouped speakers
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you would see something like this when speakers are grouped together.
      Sonos Controller for computers showing speakers grouped together
  5. Or you can tap on Select All to add all speakers to the same group.
    Selecting all speakers
  6. And they will show up like this. To ungroup the speakers tap on the Group button again and uncheck the ones you want to remove or tap on Unselect All then tap on Done.
    Speakers grouped up

To Control the Volume of Speakers

Controlling the volume of speakers can be done remotely using the Sonos Controller app as well. Speaker volumes can be adjusted individually or collectively if you have speakers grouped together while listening to music. 

  1. When speakers have been grouped together, you can raise or lower the group volume by moving the volume control slider at the bottom of the screen. Volume controls for each individual speaker within the group will appear, giving you the ability to adjust individual speaker levels to achieve a better audio mix between rooms. Tapping the speaker icon allows you to quickly mute and unmute speakers or groups altogether.