Back in October Sonos announced that AirPlay 2 would be supported on some of their speakers this year, but didn’t detail which ones. We made some guesses back then, and recently did some digging. Sonos now knows which speakers will natively support AirPlay 2: the Playbase, the current-generation Play:5, and the Sonos One.
But this doesn’t mean households with older Sonos gear are totally left out in the cold. Sonos will allow AirPlay 2 to work on any speakers that are actively grouped with an AirPlay 2-compatible speaker. If you’ve got a Sonos One in the kitchen grouped with a pair of Play:1s in the dining room, you can AirPlay to that group, no problem.
Since we all like things to be simple, here’s the easy test to remember: if your Sonos has touch controls, it natively supports AirPlay 2. If your Sonos has is old enough to have buttons, it only supports AirPlay 2 in a group. Easy. Just don’t necessarily apply that test to future hardware, since we have no idea whether Sonos will have buttons or touch controls on anything as-yet-unreleased, and it’s safe to assume that future hardware would all support AirPlay 2.
The harder question is: when will Apple roll out AirPlay 2? It looked like it was planned for iOS 11.3, but then was removed before release only to return in the iOS 11.4 betas. Time will tell!
[Update, April 26: Sonos has since published their own blog post detailing their upcoming AirPlay 2 support.]