How to Use a Sonos PLAY:3 Wireless Speaker

Introduction

Sonos Play:3 speaker

Sonos is a home sound system of Wi-Fi connected speakers, that lets you listen to anything you want, wherever you want.

PLAY:3 is the mid-size speaker with stereo sound from Sonos, and their most versatile player.

1 How It Works

To control what you want to listen to on the Sonos sound system you need to use the Sonos Controller app for computers or mobile devices. The Sonos Controller app comes with the preconfigured TuneIn Radio service. Besides that, you can:

  • Add other Music Services that let you listen to radio stations, podcasts and on-demand music.
  • Play music that you have on a mobile device or create a music library with songs that you have on your computers or networked storage.
  • Use an existing sound system with the wireless Sonos speakers or connect existing wired speakers to the Sonos sound system.
  • Choose to listen to different songs in separate rooms, listen to a song in one room, multiple rooms or every room.

All the apps use the same concept but look slightly different depending on which device you're using. Looking at the interface of the Sonos Controller app for computers will help you understand much easier the concept behind how it all works as it shows an overall view of the entire system whereas the one for mobile devices shows less due to screen size limitations.

The Sonos Controller app for computers is split up into the following areas:

  1. Controls
  2. Speaker (room) selection
  3. Source browser and search
  4. Now playing
  5. Song queue

Areas of the the Sonos Controller main screen on computers

? What would you like to learn about?

  1. Play Music
  2. Add Music to Library
  3. Add Music Service
  4. Manage Queue
  5. Set Alarms
  6. Set Sleep Timer

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Sonos Play:3 speaker

Sonos is a home sound system of Wi-Fi connected speakers, that lets you listen to anything you want, wherever you want.

PLAY:3 is the mid-size speaker with stereo sound from Sonos, and their most versatile player.

To control what you want to listen to on the Sonos sound system you need to use the Sonos Controller app for computers or mobile devices. The Sonos Controller app comes with the preconfigured TuneIn Radio service. Besides that, you can:

  • Add other Music Services that let you listen to radio stations, podcasts and on-demand music.
  • Play music that you have on a mobile device or create a music library with songs that you have on your computers or networked storage.
  • Use an existing sound system with the wireless Sonos speakers or connect existing wired speakers to the Sonos sound system.
  • Choose to listen to different songs in separate rooms, listen to a song in one room, multiple rooms or every room.

All the apps use the same concept but look slightly different depending on which device you're using. Looking at the interface of the Sonos Controller app for computers will help you understand much easier the concept behind how it all works as it shows an overall view of the entire system whereas the one for mobile devices shows less due to screen size limitations.

The Sonos Controller app for computers is split up into the following areas:

  1. Controls
  2. Speaker (room) selection
  3. Source browser and search
  4. Now playing
  5. Song queue

Areas of the the Sonos Controller main screen on computers

Playing music on the Sonos system is similar across all devices. This guide will show you how to do it on mobile devices and cover the differences on how to do it on computers as well.
  1. If you have multiple speakers you have to choose which one you want to use. Tap on the room (speaker) name at the top of the screen then select the one you want to use from the drop down menu.
    Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    On a computer just click on the speaker on the left side of the screen.
    Speaker selection in Sonos Controller for computers
  2. To find what you want to play, you can either select your sources and browse through them or search through them.
    Source selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    On a computer the source browser is located on the right side of the screen and looks like this.
    Source selection, browsing or searching in Sonos Controller for computers
  3. On mobile devices the search feature will look into and show results from all the sources at the same time. Below the search field you can select the category to look into.
    Search results in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    On a computer you can only search through one source at a time. Click on the source icon showing in the search field and select the source from the drop down menu.
    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
    On a computer you can select multiple songs by putting a checkmark in the box next to their name. Whether you selected only a song or multiple songs, click on the triangle pointing downward to bring up the drop down menu.
    Track selection and dropdown symbol placement in Sonos Controller for computers
  5. If you have multiple speakers, you can play different songs on each one of them or you can group them together to play the same song in sync. To do that, go to the top side of the screen and 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
  6. 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
    On a computer you would see something similar when grouping speakers.
    Speaker grouping on Sonos Controller for computers
  7. 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
  8. The speakers will show up grouped like below.
    Sonos Controller for mobile devices showing speakers grouped together
    On a computer you would see something like this when speakers are grouped together.
    Sonos Controller for computers showing speakers grouped together
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. You can control the music volume at the bottom of the screen for each speaker you select from the speaker selector at the top. When you have grouped speakers, you can raise or lower the sound volume to all of them at once by moving the volume control slider at the bottom of the screen. All volume controls will pop up for the speakers in the same group which lets you control them separately as well. Tap on the speaker symbol to mute and unmute.
    Volume control in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    On a computer you would see something like this when controlling the sound volume for grouped speakers.
    Volume control in Sonos Controller for computers
Please select an option to proceed.
A queue is a list of songs that you want to listen to, which you can arrange the way you like. Managing the queue on the Sonos system is similar across all devices. This guide will show you how to do it on tablets and cover briefly the differences on how to do it on smartphones as well.
  1. Select the music source, whether it's your Music Library or a music service that allows you to pick the songs you want to listen to. Browse for what you want to listen to.
    Source browsing in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  2. Select an individual song or the complete album then choose an option from the popup menu:
    • Play Now - Adds your selection to the queue after the current song and starts playing it.
    • Play Next - Adds your selection to the queue after the current song.
    • Add to Queue - Adds your selection to the end of the queue.
    • Replace Queue - Clears the queue and adds your selection to it.
    Track playing options in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  3. You'll get a confirmation once your selection has been added to the queue. You can wait for it disappear or tap on it to go away.
    Confirmation screen when adding tracks to queue
  4. To bring up the queue you need to tap on an empty space on the Now Playing area at the bottom of the screen.
    Bottom bar in Sonos Controller for mobile devices brings up the current queue
  5. This will bring up the Now Playing and Queue screen.
    Queue listing in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  6. Similarly, on a smartphone you would have to tap the Now Playing area at the bottom of the screen.
    Same bottom bar in Sonos Controller for mobile devices but on a smartphone
  7. On the Now Playing screen tap on the Queue button at the bottom right corner of the screen.
    Playback screen shows less on smartphones due to screen size limitations. Queue button placement is highlighted.
  8. This will bring up your Queue screen.
    Queue listing in Sonos Controller for mobile devices on smartphone
  9. If you'd like your songs to play in a random order then tap on the Shuffle button. To re-shuffle, tap it again to deactivate it then tap it once again to reactivate it.
  10. If you'd like your music to play continuously tap on the Repeat button which will start the queue over when it reaches its ends. If you tap it again it will show a number 1 in the middle of the button and loop the selected song.
  11. If you'd like to reorganize the queue tap the on the Edit option.
    • To remove a song tap on the minus symbol to the left of the songs name then tap Delete.
      Removing a track from the queue
      Confirming the track removal
    • To change a songs position in the queue, tap and hold the three horizontal lines to the right of the songs name and move it up or down.
      Repositioning track in queue
    • When you're finished editing the queue tap on Done.
  12. If you'd like to listen to this queue in the future you can tap on the Save option, type in a name for the playlists name then tap on Done on the on screen keyboard and Save at the top.
    Saving queue to playlist
  13. To remove everything from the queue tap on the Clear option then confirm your choice.
    Clearing the queue
  14. To return to the Sonos Controller main screen tap on the downward pointing arrow on the top left corner of the screen.
    Placement of dropdown symbol to return to main screen
  15. To play music from any of your saved playlists go to Sonos Playlists and add individual or all tracks the same way we showed up before.
    Playlists in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
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 up the menu from the top left corner of the screen.
    Placement of menu symbol in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  2. Select Add Music Services.
    Menu in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    If you're using the Sonos Controller for computers, 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
  3. 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
  4. Tap on Add Account.
    Adding music service in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  5. Create a new account for the music service or login with an existing one.
    Adding account for music service
  6. Login with your music service credentials.
    Logging into music service account
  7. Once your account is verified you'll get to the setup completion screen. Then set a nickname for this account.
    Setting account name
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Select the account you want to use from the Change Account menu at the bottom.
    Account switching screen for music service
To set up a music library you have to use a computer and it needs to be done on every computer that you want to include music from into the library. After that, you can manage the music library from any computer or any mobile device. Here's how to add music to the Music Library using the Sonos Controller app for computers. The Mac and Windows apps look similar with minor differences which will be pointed out along the way.
  1. Click on Manage in the Apple menu and select Music Library Settings...
    Music Library Settings option in Sonos Controller menu on Mac
    On a Windows PC you'd see the menu in the controller app itself.
    Sonos Controller menu placement on PC
  2. On the Preferences screen click on the + sign.
    Music Library Settings on Preferences screen on Mac
    On a Windows PC you'd click on Add instead.
    Music Library Settings on Preferences screen on PC
  3. Select the location from where you'd like to add the music files from. If you're using iTunes or you're not sure, just select In my Music folder then click Next.
    Source location selection in Sonos Setup
  4. To adjust the file sharing settings click on the lock icon. On the new popup type in your administrator username and password then click OK.
    File sharing adjustment in Sonos Setup on Mac
  5. Choose whether you want to adjust energy saver settings so the computer doesn't go to sleep while playing music then press Next.
    Energy Saver Settings adjusment in Sonos Setup on Mac
    On a Windows PC the last two screens would be combined in one screen. If you get another popup asking for permission to make changes to the computer, click Yes.
    File sharing and Energy Saver Settings adjusment in Sonos Setup on PC
  6. The time needed to add the music to the library depends on how much music you're adding. Give it time to complete then click Done on the completion screen.
    Sonos Setup completion screen
  7. The newly added music folder will show up in the Music Library Settings.
    Music sources showing on Music Library Settings screen
  8. You'll be able to access the newly added music by going to the Music Library in the controller app in the source browser area.
    Music Library listed as a source in the Sonos Controller
    Browsable categories in Music Library
  9. If you've added more music to your original music folder and want to listen to it right away in Sonos, you'll have to update the Music Library manually. In the menu click on Manage then select Update Music Library Now. You'll get a popup asking you to confirm whether you want to update. Just click Yes.
    Music Library manual update feature in Sonos Controller menu
  10. To have the library updated daily automatically go to the menu and click on Manage then select Music Library Settings.
    Music Library Settings option in Sonos Controller menu
  11. Go to the Advanced tab, check the box next to Library Updates and set the time when you want the automatic updates to occur.
    Advanced Music Library Settings screen
Setting alarms 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. From the Sonos menu, select Alarms.
    Menu in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
    On a computer you have to click on Alarms at the bottom right corner of the Sonos Controller app.
    Placement of Alarms option in Sonos Controller for computers
  2. Tap on New Alarm. On a computer you would click on the Add button or the button with the plus sign "+".
    Alarms screen in Sonos Controller for mobile devices
  3. Tap on each option to set your alarm preferences. Set the Time, select the speaker to play the alarm from Room, choose the Music to play during the alarm, set the Frequency of the alarm and the sound Volume of the alarm.
    New Alarm settings customization screen in Sonos Controller on mobile devices
    On a computer you would see something similar.
    New Alarm settings customization screen in Sonos Controller on computers
  4. Under Music, you can select the default Sonos Chime, your favorite music or radio station.
    Alarm sound selection screen
  5. If you go into Advanced you can set the Duration of the alarm and you can enable the Include Grouped Rooms option to play the alarm on multiple speakers. When you set the music to other then radio, you get a third option which allows to Shuffle Music.
    Advanced Alarm Settings screen
  6. Once you're done setting your alarm preferences tap on Save and your new alarm will be scheduled. You can add multiple alarms and enable or disable the ones you want to go off at the set time. Tap Done when everything is set the way you want.
    Alarms list in Sonos Controller
Setting the sleep timer 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. Tap on the Now Playing bar at the bottom of the screen, from anywhere within the Sonos app.
    Bottom bar in Sonos Controller highlighted
  2. On the Now Playing screen, tap on the three dots.
    Placement of the More symbol highlighted on the Now Playing screen
  3. Tap on Sleep Timer at the bottom of the menu. To the right it will show whether the timer is off or how much time is left until the Sonos system is put to sleep.
    More options menu
  4. Select after how much time the Sonos system should go to sleep.
    Sleep timer duration selection screen on mobile
    On a computer you just have to click on the Sleep Timer button at the bottom right corner of the Sonos Controller app.
    Sleep timer duration selection screen on computers
  5. You will get a confirmation message in the middle of the screen
    Confirmation screen after setting the sleep timer
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