S2: The Sonos OS and Controller App
Take listening to the next level with Sonos S2. This new generation of the app features support for higher resolution audio, an improved design, increased security, and smarter software to keep your system up to date.
Brilliant sound, now even more brilliant
With upgraded audio processing, Sonos S2 supports higher resolution audio technologies for music and home theater, including Dolby Atmos.
Enhanced protocols, including support for elliptic curve cipher suites in SSL/TLS, keep your system safer and your data more secure.
All your services in a single app
Sonos S2 is more than just an app. It’s a platform that brings together all your streaming, voice, and control services so you can easily browse music, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks and listen your way.
Total control in the palm of your hand
Easily manage your system from any room. Adjust the volume, group speakers to play in sync, save favorites, set alarms, customize settings, and more.
Beam (Gen 2)*
One (Gen 2)*
One (Gen 1)*
Play:5 (Gen 2)
Beam (Gen 1)
Sub (Gen 3)*
Sub (Gen 2)
Sub (Gen 1)
Connect (Gen 2)
Connect:Amp (Gen 2)
If you don’t see your product or are unsure which generation you own, please sign in to your account to see if it requires Sonos S1.
Do I have to update to S2?
No. If you have products that are incompatible with S2 and would like to keep your system as is, you can. The app you are now using will be renamed the Sonos S1 Controller, and it will continue working with your existing products, music services, and voice services. When prompted to update in the app, simply confirm that you would like to continue with your current experience. If all of your products are compatible with S2, however, we recommend you update so you can enjoy the new software features.
If I continue using the S1 Controller app, what does that mean for my future experience?
You can continue listening with your system as you do today. Your system will receive bug fixes and security patches, but it will not receive any of the new software features found in S2. We will work with our partners to keep your music and voice services working with our oldest products for as long as we can given their memory and processing power limitations. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we will let you know.
Is Sonos ending support for older products?
No. You can still use older products with the S1 Controller.
Are any products incompatible with the S1 Controller app?
Products released after May 2020 will not be compatible with the S1 Controller app. This includes the new Arc, Five, and Sub (Gen 3). Product compatibility will be noted on sonos.com.
What if some products in my system are S2 compatible and some are not?
Visit Sonos Support to learn more about your options.
What are my options for upgrading to S2 compatible products?
If you have products that are eligible for the Sonos Upgrade Program, you can choose to participate and save up to 30% on any new product. Learn more.
How do I get the new app?
Download the new app to your phone or tablet from your app store. All of your settings and preferences will update automatically. You can delete the S1 Controller app from your device if you don’t plan to use it.
Where can I learn more?
For more information about the new app and what it means for your system, please refer to this article.
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How to choose between two HomePods or a Sonos home theater system
HomePods for home theater
Upgrading your home theater speakers for a great movie experience is easy, but it can be hard to decide which way to go. Let’s look at the choice between a pair of HomePods and a dedicated Sonos system.
With Apple updating the HomePod line to support eARC (HDMI ARC), connecting wireless speakers to your TV just got even more attractive—you just need an Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) or later.
This means that for about $600 you get a pair of new HomePods for your TV with surround sound (Dolby Atmos) support without having to fiddle with a receiver or connecting cables.
However, once you’re willing to spend $600, the question becomes whether you should consider other wireless audio options.
Sonos is one of the most popular choices and offers a range of speakers with wireless connectivity, AirPlay 2 support and a host of other compelling features to pair with your TV setup.
HomePods and Sonos System – Setup
Using the Sonos Wireless Home Theater System will require a physical connection to the TV. Arc and Beam soundbars can use HDMI or optical cable, while Ray can only use optical.
Sonos Beam, Sub Mini and two rear speakers
Once you connect the Sonos soundbar, the rear speakers and subwoofer will be connected wirelessly wherever you place them in the room.
Second generation Arc and Beam support Dolby Atmos. The Arc has two dedicated upward-firing speakers to enhance surround sound technology.
Arc and Beam support voice control using the included microphones. Of course, all soundbar options also support listening to music via the Sonos app or AirPlay 2 when the TV is not in use.
While you can connect one HomePod or HomePod mini to an Apple TV 4K for home theater audio, we’ll focus on a HomePod stereo pair with Apple TV 4K models that support other devices connected via an eARC-enabled TV.
Similarly, two mini HomePods might be enough for a small bedroom, but only larger HomePods support 5.1 surround sound, 7.1 surround sound, and Dolby Atmos.
A stereo pair of HomePods doesn’t require a wired connection to your TV, so there’s a little more flexibility to accommodate two speakers.
HomePods support Dolby Atmos, but there are no built-in speakers in their cylindrical shape.
A stereo pair of two HomePod speakers is also the maximum that can be associated with a home theater system. The setup does not yet support rear speakers or a subwoofer.
This means that while powerful for a dual speaker configuration, it remains limited compared to Sonos options that can be added piecemeal later.
For example, you can install a Sonos soundbar and rear speakers first, and then add a subwoofer if you want.
HomePods vs. Sonos System – Sound
From the entry-level Ray soundbar to the Arc, each option delivers superior sound quality for rooms of all sizes. We’ve tried every Sonos soundbar, and they all show a much bigger and more complete presence than their design suggests.
Sonos Ray vs. Sonos Beam
Similarly, a pair of HomePods doesn’t take up much space, but can fill large rooms with loud sounds.
Sonos supports conversation mode for clearer speech and night mode to reduce peaks during quiet hours. We have found these audio features useful over time.
HomePods can reduce loud sounds to avoid disturbing other people through the Apple TV, but there is no dedicated speech mode for more audible or amplified dialogue.
Sonos Ray and a single HomePod are close to equivalent in size and fullness. In our estimation, the Beam didn’t quite match the two paired HomePods. The Arc was able to outperform two HomePods for this type of comparison.
HomePods vs. Sonos System Considerations
Some Points to Consider When Using HomePods vs. Sonos System
Sonos has apps for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows. AirPlay does not have the same compatibility. If you don’t have the right Apple TV, you’ll also need to consider this cost. Sonos has its own voice assistant for audio features. HomePod connects to the Apple Home app for smart home functionality. HomePod (second generation) has temperature and humidity sensors inside.
HomePods and Sonos Systems – Pricing
Sonos soundbars range from $279 to $899 with the mid-range option being $449. The Sub Mini is $429 and the larger Sub is $749.
The cheapest wireless rear speakers are the Ikea and Sonos Symfonisk lines, each starting at $119.
Sonos entry-level home theater system with Ray soundbar and two Symfonisk bookshelf speakers starts at $517.
This will save you some money compared to two $598 HomePods. It can also provide more immersive sound in the room, but does not support Dolby Atmos.
A more complete home theater option, practical for a mid-sized living room, will cost around $1200 with a Beam, Sub Mini and two One SLs. This configuration will outperform a stereo pair of HomePods in every way, but will cost twice as much.
The truth is that there really isn’t a good direct comparison between two HomePods used for a home theater setup and a Sonos system designed for the same purpose.
We hope that in the future Apple will add additional speakers to the HomePod line with home theater in mind.
Here’s what you should buy
People looking for a home theater speaker system should consider Sonos speakers first. There is better compatibility for a wider range of TVs and home theaters.
The ability to add wireless rear speakers and even up to two subwoofers is a huge benefit for a growing system going forward.
It would be optimistic to believe that Apple would better support the use of home theater through its speakers and the potential for future updates and releases, but there is no guarantee that this will materialize.
On the other hand, someone who plans to set up a new HomePod next to their TV and doesn’t have a speaker system should consider pairing a second HomePod for pairing.
Going from one full size HomePod to a stereo pair sounds more significant than just going from one to two. The bass boost and fidelity is impressive and would be a good inexpensive way to step up to a better home theater setup.
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