The manufacturer’s preferred way of getting music from a smartphone to a Sonos speaker is via WLAN (Sonos app or Apple Airplay 2), because direct Bluetooth streaming is only supported by some newer models so far. You can still use Bluetooth with Sonos via a detour, for example with the Five model, which has a jack input.
Sonos speakers with Bluetooth
All Sonos speakers used to be pure WiFi speakers and could only receive music over the home network. Since the launch of the portable Sonos Move (2019) that has changed – now these are 5 models Bluetooth enabled:
- SonosMove (look at MediaMarkt), a portable large speaker with voice control. Presented in 2019.
- Sonos Roam (watch at MediaMarkt), a portable compact speaker with voice control. Presented in 2021.
- Sonos Roam SL (look at MediaMarkt), a portable compact loudspeaker (without voice control). Presented in 2022.
- Sonos Era 100 (check out Sonos), a compact stereo speaker with voice control for the home. Introduced 2023, available March 28th.
- Sonos Era 300 (check out Sonos), a mid-size Dolby Atmos speaker with voice control for the home. Introduced 2023, available March 28th.
Connecting Sonos to Bluetooth: Instructions
So that the mobile phone (or laptop, tablet, PC) can be paired with one of the Bluetooth-enabled Sonos speakers mentioned above, the pairing mode to be triggered. It works like this:
- SonosMove: Press the Bluetooth button (long button in the middle) on the back until the LED on the top lights up blue.
- Sonos Roam (SL): Press and hold the power button on the back (oblong button) for 2 seconds and release. The LED on the front panel then flashes blue.
- Sonos Era 100: Press and hold the Bluetooth button (long button) on the upper part of the back until the LED on the top glows blue. Note: When the Era 100 is used as a surround speaker, Bluetooth is disabled.
- Sonos Era 300: Press and hold the Bluetooth button (long button) on the upper part of the back until the LED on the top glows blue. Note: When the Era 300 is used as a surround speaker, Bluetooth is disabled.
As soon as the pairing mode is activated, the Sonos speaker can be selected and connected in the Bluetooth settings of the player (e.g. mobile phone). The Bluetooth connection can be separate, by ending the connection in the Bluetooth settings of the player. This can also be done on the speakers, either by pressing and holding the power button (on the Sonos Roam) or by clicking on the Bluetooth button (Sonos Move, Era 100 and Era 300).
Sonos speakers won’t connect via Bluetooth: why is that?
- Whether Sonos One, Five, Arc or Beam: Many (older) speakers from the Californian brand can be used not supply music via Bluetooth. Incidentally, this also applies to the Sonos-compatible IKEA speakers from the Symfonisk series. Even if a Bluetooth module is installed (e.g. Bluetooth LE on the Sonos One, 2nd generation) – it is only used to set up the box, but streaming from Spotify, Apple Music and other services is not possible. The manufacturer still puts mainly on WiFi and thus to his own Sonos app and Apple’s Airplay 2.
- The reasons for this situation can be found in the corporate philosophy, which up until a few years ago avoided Bluetooth. Admittedly, Bluetooth has its weaknesses, for example when someone calls their cell phone in the middle of a song and the ringtone then sounds through the loudspeakers turned up to the max. Sonos even launched one a few years ago advertising campaign, which processed it teasingly and thus promoted the superiority of multi-room/WLAN. For some time now, however, Sonos has no longer targeted Bluetooth.
- There are now several exceptions in the product range: Move, Roam (SL), Era 100 and Era 300 can play music from a mobile phone via Bluetooth.
Trick: retrofitting Bluetooth on certain Sonos products
While Bluetooth streaming of music isn’t really a feature on most Sonos products, with a bit of effort you can work around this limitation. This is because certain Sonos speakers and amps/streamers have one analog audio input in the form of a 3.5 mm jack socket (“Line-In”) or cinch inputs:
Here’s an easier one Bluetooth dongle (also known as a receiver, transmitter or adapter) using a jack plug. Such receivers can be found on Amazon for around 35 euros.
You can play music on your smartphone, which is then sent via Bluetooth to the BT receiver, which in turn feeds the sound into the Sonos system via the jack socket (or cinch input). With Sonos Connect, Connect:Amp, or Amp, a jack to cinch adapter cable may be necessary to connect the receiver. In the Sonos Controller app for iOS or Android, in the “Browse” menu, first select “Inbox”, then the source and then select “Play Now”.