How to Hook a Sonos to the Internet

by Scott Shpak

Digital music's popularity grew on the platform of personal devices, such as MP3 players and smartphones. Sonos wireless high-fidelity devices now use the router in your home to connect to computers, phones and personal players, creating opportunities to enjoy music unlimited by ear buds or wired stereo connections while adding Internet radio and other streaming audio. Sonos devices have several configuration options, using your own equipment, or one of Sonos' all-in-one product offerings.

Preparing Your Sonos System


Connect the first Sonos component to your broadband router, or modem with built-in router, using an Ethernet cable. This component can be a Play:1, Play:3 or Play:5 if you have a Sonos standalone product, a Sonos Connect:Amp if you are using your own passive speakers, or a Sonos Connect if you are using a stereo or powered speakers. When your router is in a room where you will not listen to music, you will use a Sonos Bridge.


Use a Sonos Bridge when you have no open router port. Disconnect your computer's Ethernet cable and connect that to one of the two Ethernet ports on the Sonos Bridge. Connect another Ethernet cable between the Sonos Bridge and the computer. Once the first Sonos device is connected, other Sonos devices use it as a connection point for audio streaming.


Place other Sonos components in the desired rooms and connect to speakers or other stereos if that applies to your configuration. Depending on your device and additional equipment, there are many potential configuration and adapter possibilities. Check your manuals or the Sonos website for options and alternatives (see Resources). Connect all power cables and turn on all Sonos and other audio devices.


Download, install and register the Sonos software from the Sonos Support website (see Resources) Configure your system following the prompts as the software installs. Add a Sonos controller to your computer, smartphone or iPad, using the appropriate download or application for your device. Your Sonos system is now ready to accept streaming music sources from the Internet.

Connecting Your System to Streaming Audio Sources


Open the Sonos Controller application on your computer or device. Sonos supports audio streaming in MP3, AAC and WMA formats. Any streaming audio source using a different format will not work with Sonos systems.


Select "Add Music Services" on your smartphone or computer, on the Sonos music menu to view a list of music services. Sonos supports services such as Google Play, Songza and Sirius XM, among many others. Choose the service to add, then follow the prompts to add the service.


Add services or streams that are not included in the Music Services list. Click "Manage" from the menu bar at the top of the screen, then click "Add Radio Station." Enter the URL for the streaming source you're adding, then add a name in the "Station Name" field to identify the stream. Click "OK" and the new station appears on the My Radio Stations list under the Radio menu.


  • check Services may require your premium subscription account to connect to Sonos devices. These services, such as Pandora and Spotify, are added using "I already have an account" menu choices from within the Sonos controller app on your computer or device.


  • close Keep volume controls of all devices low while setting up your system and connecting to audio sources to prevent damage to hearing or equipment from loud volumes. Connecting a Sonos device directly to a broadband modem without a built-in router will not permit connection to the Internet or other Sonos devices. (see References 1)

About the Author

As an operations and technical projects manager in the photofinishing industry, Scott Shpak is also an experienced audio engineer and musician, as well as Editor-in-chief, feature writer and photographer for Your Magazines Canada.

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