How to Play or Stream Music on Sonos Speakers

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 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.
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.
  • 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.

Sonos lock screen

1 Add and Listen to Streaming Music Services

Adding music services on the Sonos system is similar across all devices. This guide will show you how to do it on smartphones and cover briefly the differences on how to do it on computers as well.
  1. Open the Sonos Controller app.
    Sonos
  2. Open up the menu from the top left corner of the screen.
    Placement of menu symbol in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  3. Select Add Music Services.
    Menu in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you can find the same option in the source browser on the right side of the screen.
      Music source selection  in Sonos Controller for computers
  4. Search for the music service you want to add and tap on it.
    List of music services that can be added to the Sonos Controller
  5. Tap on Add Account.
    Adding music service in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  6. Create a new account for the music service or login with an existing one.
    Adding account for music service
  7. Login with your music service credentials.
    Logging into music service account
  8. Once your account is verified you'll get to the setup completion screen. Then set a nickname for this account.
    Setting account name
  9. Once set up you can add another account for the same music service or tap on Done.
    Finishing up or adding another account for music service
  10. The music service will now show up in your Sonos Controller across all devices.
    Music service showing up in source selection list in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  11. If you added another account you can select which one to use by tapping on the nickname you set earlier. Another way to add another account is by following the same steps from the beginning to add the same music service but with the other account.
    Placement of account switching option for music service
  12. Select the account you want to use from the Change Account menu at the bottom.
    Account switching screen for music service

2 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.
    Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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 selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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 in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing speakers playing different sources
  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.
    Speaker grouping on Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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.
    Checking off speakers to be grouped together in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  4. The speakers will show up grouped like below.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing speakers grouped together
    • 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 to be grouped together in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  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.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing all speakers grouped together

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 control in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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 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.
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.
  • 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.

Sonos lock screen
Adding music services on the Sonos system is similar across all devices. This guide will show you how to do it on smartphones and cover briefly the differences on how to do it on computers as well.
  1. Open the Sonos Controller app.
    Sonos
  2. Open up the menu from the top left corner of the screen.
    Placement of menu symbol in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  3. Select Add Music Services.
    Menu in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • Using the Sonos Controller app on a computer, you can find the same option in the source browser on the right side of the screen.
      Music source selection  in Sonos Controller for computers
  4. Search for the music service you want to add and tap on it.
    List of music services that can be added to the Sonos Controller
  5. Tap on Add Account.
    Adding music service in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  6. Create a new account for the music service or login with an existing one.
    Adding account for music service
  7. Login with your music service credentials.
    Logging into music service account
  8. Once your account is verified you'll get to the setup completion screen. Then set a nickname for this account.
    Setting account name
  9. Once set up you can add another account for the same music service or tap on Done.
    Finishing up or adding another account for music service
  10. The music service will now show up in your Sonos Controller across all devices.
    Music service showing up in source selection list in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  11. If you added another account you can select which one to use by tapping on the nickname you set earlier. Another way to add another account is by following the same steps from the beginning to add the same music service but with the other account.
    Placement of account switching option for music service
  12. Select the account you want to use from the Change Account menu at the bottom.
    Account switching screen for music service

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.
    Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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 selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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 in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing speakers playing different sources
  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.
    Speaker grouping on Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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.
    Checking off speakers to be grouped together in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  4. The speakers will show up grouped like below.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing speakers grouped together
    • 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 to be grouped together in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  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.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing all speakers grouped together

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 control in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    • 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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