How to Set Up a New Sonos Speaker

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Bluetooth speakers are so 2014. While they’re great on an individual portable basis, they only have an effective range of around 30 feet. Worse still, usually you can only control one Bluetooth speaker from one device at a time, and audio quality isn’t great over Bluetooth. That however, is where Sonos shines.

Sonos is a smart speaker streaming system that lets you add speakers as you go, allowing you to fill every room in your house with music while controlling it from any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

The nice things about Sonos is that, you can add as many speakers as you want using your computer, smartphone, or tablet by simply connecting through your existing router. If you want to extend the reach of your desktop PC’s mighty music collection, or bounce around the house while playing music from your iPhone, then all you need is a Sonos player and the app, which will let you stream music throughout your home, provided you are ready to splash out the cash to do so.

In this guide, we’ll show you just how easy it is, whether you’re using a Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android device to set it all up.

How to Set Up Your Sonos System on Windows and Mac

For this, we’re going to combine the Windows and Mac setups because they’re nearly identical, save a few system-specific items. The first thing you obviously want to do is download the Sonos software from their website.

Once it’s downloaded, go ahead and install it as you normally would on your system.

On Windows, you may initially need to allow the Sonos software access through your firewall, if you have it enabled. Go ahead and allow access.

On Mac, you will definitely need to supply your administrator’s password. On Windows, this will depend on whether you have your User Account Controls setting configured to notify you when an app makes changes to your computer.

Once you’re ready, select “Set up New System”.

We’re not using any other Sonos products to set up our speaker, so we’ll select “Standard Setup”.

You have two choices when you set up your Sonos speaker. If you’re using a desktop PC and you don’t have Wi-Fi (that is to say, you’re connected by good old fashioned ethernet cable to your router) then you will need to make sure your Sonos device is also connected to the router via ethernet.

If you do have Wi-Fi, like we do on our Mac, then it will automatically begin the wireless setup routine. You only have to connect to the Sonos player via Ethernet if you don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities on your computer.

Whether you’re setting it up a wired or wireless, you will need to pick the type of device it is. In our case, we’re setting up a Sonos PLAY:1 speaker.

The next all-important step requires that you press and release two buttons simultaneously on the device you’re setting up.

When connecting via wireless, your computer will connect directly to the device, so you will be disconnected from your normal wireless network. Therefore, you want to make sure you’re not doing any connection-dependent work. If you’re connecting via wire, then this won’t apply and you’ll skip to the final configuration.

Once you’re connected to your Sonos device via Wi-Fi, you’ll need to tell it how to connect to your network, enter the password for your network.

Whether connected wired or wirelessly, decide where your speaker will be located. You can always change this later if you move the speaker.

After configuring your player, make sure you register your it so you can continue to update your Sonos software and add streaming services. If you don’t register it now, you can always do so later by clicking Manage > Check for Software Updates.

Now that your Sonos player is configured and registered, you can add your locally stored music collection, or you can set up your library later.

To do this, OS X will require your admin name and password once again.

On Windows UAC will likely appear. Choose “Yes”.

Once you’ve pointed your Sonos software to where your music collection is located, it will add everything and you can start playing your tunes anywhere throughout your home where you have a Sonos player located.

How to Set Up Your Sonos System on an iOS or Android Device

The setup routine for Android or iOS device is practically identical to that on a PC or Mac, and nearly identical to each other, so again, we’ll combine the two systems and point out any differences.

The first step is to download the software from their respective stores. On an iPhone or iPad, that would be from the App Store.

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And on an Android device, you’ll need to get it from the Play Store. You can also download the Sonos software for Amazon Kindle devices, if you have one.

Once you’ve installed the app on your device, the remaining steps are about the same as they were on the desktop version. First, if you’ve already set up your Sonos system elsewhere, then you can just connect to it, otherwise tap “Set Up a New Sonos System”.

Since we’re not using any special Sonos equipment to connect our player, we want to choose “Standard Setup”.

Your new player will then be configured to be set up on your mobile device.

The wireless setup is similar on Android and iOS, except iOS has you perform one extra step.

The first thing you will have to do however, is the all-important button pushing ceremony.

If you’re setting your player up on an iPad or iPhone, your experience will differ from Android users.

You’ll need to exit out of the Sonos setup and open the Settings, then tap on “Wi-Fi”.

Once in the Wi-Fi settings, tap on the “Sonos ” access point.

Then go back to the Sonos software to continue. Now, you’ll be directly connected to the Sonos  player.

Note, if you’re using Android, you’ll just be shown the same screen as seen on our iPad below.

Once, you enter your Wi-Fi password and tap “Continue”, it will be time to tell the player what it will be called. Again, we name it Office”

If you want to add another Sonos player, you can do so, otherwise tap “Not Now”.

At this point, you should register your Sonos device. If you’re thinking of skipping this part, keep in mind you won’t be able to update your Sonos software or add streaming services.

If you want to register later, then you can do so from the Sonos app by tapping “Settings” and then “Online Update”.

From here, your Sonos player is configured so you can start adding it from other devices. So, no matter what device the Sonos software is installed on, you will connect to an existing device instead of setting up a new one. You can now add your music to the Sonos app and any streaming services you may subscribe to.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.