Hands on: Sonos Controller for Android review

Convenient Android control over your Sonos system
Convenient Android control over your Sonos system

Sonos Controller for Android is all set for its UK release date of 28 March, and follows very much in the iPhone equivalent's excellent footsteps.

Sonos wireless multi-room speaker systems are the Bentleys of the wireless speaker world; classically styled, gently unassuming and wonderfully easy to set up, they provide a rich, full sound when streaming music from a laptop or PC.

The recent addition of being able to play Spotify Premium through the speakers sky-rocketed Sonos in our estimations. The iPhone controller app was very high quality, meaning you could control the tunes from your phone without needing to keep your laptop near you.

Do the robot

Now Android users are set to get that convenience on their handsets next month; so we took the app for a bit of a spin at Mobile World Congress.

The Android app is very similar to that of the iPhone; it shares the same look and feel (clean, pleasing to the eye) and all the same functions.

Sonos controller for android review

It all works over WiFi, with the Sonos hub connecting directly to your router; each speaker is then connected to the network. When you have your home WiFi connection on your phone, you can control the tunes. The connection dropped out once for us, but it reconnected very quickly and the app was quick to recover.

There's the option to play from your music library, listen to internet radio stations or use services like Spotify, Last.fm and Deezer, although you'll need subscriptions to make the most of these.

Sonos controller for android review

Android users do get one search feature that iPhone owners don't; voice search. When looking through Spotify, for example, you can hit the voice search button and say the artist, song or album name you're looking for.

Sonos controller for android review

It was tricky to get this working well at the noisy Android booth at Mobile World Congress, unfortunately. However, in the quiet of a home, we're sure we'd have more success.

Sadly, we don't think it'll be able to find the song if you sing into it, although that would be fun.

The various zones in your home (e.g. kitchen, bedroom, living room) where you have a speaker can all be controlled separately through the app; or you can choose to play the same thing in each zone.

Sonos controller for android review

The touchscreen interface is very smooth, and there was no noticeable lag when using the app.

The other new addition that the iPhone app doesn't have is the ability to control the volume of the speakers using the volume buttons on the side of the handset if you don't want to unlock the phone screen.

The convenience of the Android app further cements the brilliance of the Sonos multi-room system; all we need now is a budget version, as those speakers do not come cheap.

Sonos Controller for Android is a free app, with a UK release date of 28 March. If you have the Sonos

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.