21 tips and tricks to awesomise your Sonos setup

This lot will be music to your ears (sorry)

People talk about multi-room audio systems as if they’ve only been around for a year or so, but Sonos - which has been in the game for years - laughs in their faces.

All of those billions of hours spent in making the Sonos ecosystem work have resulted in more little easter eggs than you’ll find in Tesco in April - little known settings, neat hacks and functional improvements that'll make your Sonos experience that little bit better.

If you want to squeeze a bit more multi-room juice out of your Sonos setup, check out these tips and tricks, and thank us while relaxing to the sweet, sweet sound of improvisational banjo jazz.

Additional words by Verity Burns

1) Control it without unlocking your iPhone

A recent Sonos update frees up its controls to make the system feel more like a normal media app, rather than the streamer equivalent of a moody starlet. Even with an iPhone, you can control your Sonos speakers right from your lock screen, at long last.

When a speaker is being used, these playback controls will just appear on your lock screen automatically. You get the same control with an Android device too, as well as widget controls if that’s what you prefer.

2) Use 3D Touch to play last the track/radio station

3D Touch for iPhones is a funny old thing. It got us excited at first, then we ended up forgetting that it exists. Sonos has embraced it, though.

A hard press on the Sonos app on a 3D Touch-enabled iPhone brings up a little pop-up menu that lets you instantly play the last track or radio station you were listening to. It’s the quickest way to get back in the groove.

This Force Touch menu also lets you skip straight to the Favourites and Search parts of the app too, making 3D Touch properly useful at last.

3) Skip tracks on your smartwatch

Sonos is a tight, picky system - you can’t just plug in whatever you like. However, it can be controlled from outside of the Sonos app.

Until recently you needed a third-party app for this along with a bit of hacking magic, but now there’s native support for control with an Android Wear watch or Apple Watch.

It’s part of the Sonos app itself, piggy-backing off your phone’s lock screen controls, letting you skip tracks directly from your wrist.

4) Use the sleep timer for bedtime listening

As speakers with no displays and almost no buttons, you might not think to put a Sonos on your bedside table. But they are ready for the job.

Head into the Sonos app’s settings menu and you can set an alarm, using your favourite music to wake you up from your sweet slumber. Fancy being rick rolled every morning? No problem.

There are also options for those who like to fall asleep to music. A ‘sleep’ mode, found in the Settings menu, lets you set the Sonos to automatically turn off after a certain period of time. Pro tip: an hour of Enya before bed. Can’t beat it.

5) Complete your surround sound setup

At first Sonos seemed like a totally non-friendly choice for home cinema fans. However, the Sonos Playbar and Playbase have changed all that.

Both can be upgraded to a full surround system with the help of a couple of friends too: a pair of Play:1s work brilliantly as rear surround speakers, but you can also use Play:3s or Play:5s for more welly.

Group them together in the app and they’ll provide a decent mini cinema experience. Add a wall-shaking Sonos SUB and you’ll have a flat-out great one. 

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