The new Sonos speaker app has arrived – here's how to update your Hi-Fi system

sonos one
(Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos speakers have been given a hefty upgrade, as the company launches a new operating system and accompanying app that brings support for Hi-Res Audio to its newer wireless speakers.

The new Sonos S2 app also brings a feature called 'room groups' – this means your wireless speaker system will be able to remember frequently grouped players (like your bedroom speakers and your living room speakers). This should allow you to get entire areas of your home – downstairs, for example – playing music much more quickly than before. 

Sonos says that user interface updates will also "make it even simpler for customers to search for content, control sound, and personalize the experience" of using your Sonos system.

The app and OS is compatible with most of the company's newer speakers, including the Sonos ArcSonos OneSonos Beam, and Sonos Move

To upgrade your Sonos speaker (or speakers if you have a nifty home cinema system), simply download the Sonos S2 app, delete the old one (which should now appear as the Sonos S1 Controller on your smartphone), and your system will automatically update to the new operating system. 

We're yet to test it out for ourselves, but we can't wait to hear higher-res audio codecs, including the Sonos Arc's Dolby Atmos, in action.

What about older Sonos speakers?

Controversially, older Sonos speaker are being left behind, including the Sonos Connect, Connect:Amp, ZP80, ZP90, ZP100, ZP120, and Sonos Play:5 (1st Gen).

Sonos says that these speakers will still receive bug fixes, music service support, and security patches, and will remain on the Sonos S1 Controller app. 

Even so, as these older speakers won’t support the new app and operating system like the rest of Sonos’ product line, there will be some compatibility issues those who have both new and legacy products.

In short, you won't be able to put S1 and S2 speakers into the same group, and they won't be able to communicate with each other – say goodbye to your beloved multi-room system. 

If you find yourself in this situation, you'll need to split your group into two different 'households'; one that will remain on S1, and one that will upgrade to S2.

You could also use Sonos' Trade Up program to get a 30% discount on S2-compatible speakers – and following customer complaints, you now get to keep your old speaker too.

The third option is to simply run your existing system on the S1 app. Sadly, this does mean that you won't be able to take advantage of the new features that the S2 operating system will bring.

Looking for a new Sonos speaker? Check out the best deals we've found today:

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.