The Button Formerly Known as “Mute”

Posted on October 14th, 2013 by Sonos Staff in Products, Tips & Tricks, Worldwide

Play/Pause ButtonSoftware Update 4.2 – Faster Access to Your Music with New Button Functionality

From the second you step foot in the door, playing your favorite music should be as mindlessly easy as taking off your shoes and setting down your keys. That means having the flexibility to control it from your phone, tablet or computer…but let’s say your Sonos speaker is closer to you. Why shouldn’t you be able to just walk up and play your music with the push of a button?

Giving you faster access to all your favorite music does not stop with continuing to improve the Sonos Controller apps on your phone and tablet.  Sonos is committed to a promise of making your experience better over time. You asked. We listened.

The mute button on all Sonos players* now serves multiple functions. Here’s how it works:

  • Play and pause with one touch: Your music is on, but you have to head to work. Push the button once to pause it. Press it again to resume it right when you get home.
  • Ready for the next track? Press it twice quickly to skip to the next song in the queue or on your Pandora station.
  • Just want to mute? Press and hold the volume down button to mute a single speaker.

Download the newest Sonos update by going to System Settings-> Check for Updates.

Also with today’s update, Sonos owners can take advantage of the following:

  • Support for the all-new, compact and powerful PLAY:1. Learn more:
  • Support for more than one household – easily switch between different locations with Sonos (e.g. your home and the office or a friend’s home). Your Sonos Controller apps will remember once you connect, so you won’t be required to reconnect in the future.
  • Star your favorite tracks on Spotify within the Sonos Controller app to easily retrieve it for playback later.
  • Share straight from within the Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPad to Facebook, Twitter or any other natively supported app.

For more information about Software Update 4.2, visit:

Posted on October 14th, 2013 by Sonos Staff in Products, Tips & Tricks, Worldwide

  • Apptech

    Brilliant. Added functionality overnight.

  • j p

    Brilliant not , mute button does not work and if i reset my playlist is gone. As sonos does not allow playlist created on the unit to be exported.

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hello J P,

      Is the Mute button not functioning as Play/Pause? You’ll want to make sure you’re on Version 4.2 of our software for access to this feature. You shouldn’t need to perform a factory reset on your system, so no need to worry about clearing out your saved Sonos playlists.

      If you’re having trouble I’d recommend giving us a call or emailing us here: We’re here to help.


      • j p

        The button does not mute and does not pause. But if i press both simultaneously it goes into pairing mode.

        • Sonos Support Team

          Hello J P,

          The Mute button alone will tell the unit to Play a track or station currently showing in now playing screen of the controller. If it’s currently playing it will stop the unit. It’ll be best to reach out to our Customer Care team over the Support Line if you’re having trouble with this:


          • j p

            They gave me some tips to enable and disable , didnt do nothing. Mute button does still not work. Also not being able to save a plalist done on the sonos feels a bit 1990. How can one reinstall 4.2 as the problem came after updating it. ???

          • j p

            I tried to unplug holding minus down and plug the power, it resets. I tried holding power up and plug the power it also resets the sonos. If i hold mute button and replug power it also resets. Great work sonos.

          • Sonos Support Team

            Hi J P, would you mind letting me know the reference number for your support ticket? I’d be happy to look into this for you.


  • tomad

    I think the new function of the “mute”-button is a real pain because it turns of the entire system. If you use the volume down to mute it means you have to turn the volume back up again if you mute a single player instead of having it come back on at the same level as before. If that has been a wish from users, at least it should be an option in Settings. Sonos – give me my “Mute” – button back!

    • mute please!

      I Agree, maybe having the mute button “long-press” should do the trick, so everybody could be happy, and no functionality lost on the way…

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hello Tomad,

      Thanks for the feedback. If you use a long press on the Minus to drop the volume to 0 you can return the player to the volume it was at previously by pressing the new Play/Pause button.

      We have an open Idea thread for suggested changes to this new feature here too, so please add your voice to the discussion:


      • Jo

        >>If you use a long press on the Minus to drop the volume to 0 you can return the player to the volume it was at previously by pressing the new Play/Pause button.<<
        This sounded a great idea (and additional functionality) but I've just tried it on a Play:3 and it does not seem to work. I turn the vol up to loud (by pressing +) wait a few secs then press and hold – to get volume down to 0 (when Mute button lights). However, when I press Mute and green light goes off, vol only goes up to sort of medium – not the loud state it was at when I first held down the – button.
        So, something not quite there yet with the software I think.

        • Sonos Support Team

          Hi Jo, you’re correct. Currently the volume is restored to an average level when the Play/Pause is pressed after muted. Once playback is going again you can always use + to ramp the volume back up. If you have suggestions on changing the settings we’d love to hear them on our community page: Cheers.

  • Jeremy Black

    This seriously sucks. This is not the way I wanted to use my Sonos, and my use case is apparently not at all your use case. I want mute to always be mute, and I don’t want to always have to have a conversation about why the buttons are mislabeled or why every time someone one tries to mute they turn off all the music in the house. I see your canned “just long press volume down” response above, but that is a crappy workaround to a problem I didn’t want in the first place. The Sonos was working great the way it was, music was just playing and the device itself just kind of existed in the background without having to think about it too much. Now I’m annoyed every time I want to just mute the music quickly and easily because someone else decided their idea about how things should be had to be inflicted on me. Give me a way to choose this for myself in the software, and don’t default to an option where the hardware button label is wrong.

  • ola bergvall

    Question: I’m considering buying the Play:1 (already have a Play:3, Connect, and Bridge). I’m not impressed by the new functionality of the Pause button, so my question is: Will I be forced to accept an upgrade when installing a Play:1? Or can I get a Play:1 but continue to run on the older software?

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hello Ola,

      The new Play/Pause was first designed around the PLAY:1, which has a Play/Pause button instead of Mute, they all ship with version 4.2 installed. If you haven’t used it yet, we’ve had very positive feedback about the new functionality of the button. It’s much easier to get music playing in your home and stop it when you leave. You can skip songs with just a double press on the Mute now. And if you need to take a unit to 0 volume, just press and hold minus for a second and a half and the unit will be muted.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • Mike

    I agree. For me, the new dual function mute button is a nuisance. This is going to sound daft but my wife’s cat keeps stepping on the pause/mute button it in the middle of the night and turning the music in the kitchen on at full volume!! Clearly this was not a problem when the “mute” button was a “mute” button. Perhaps the functionality of the button could be selected from the settings menu on the next update as I can see how the dual function could be useful for some people. Any chance Sonos? Or does the cat have to go?

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hello Mike,

      Thank you very much for the feedback. If you’d like to see the functionality of the Play/Pause button changed (or have options added, as you describe), please add your +1 and any additional comments to this Idea thread:


    • Ben

      I commiserate with you Mike. I have the same problem. Do your DJ cats also hit the volume + button too (resulting in max volume at 3am). Did you find a solution to this? I am thinking of ditching the play:5 speakers (I have two of them).

  • Frustrated

    How about fixing some of the basic functionality first? For example there’s no way to sort your Sonos Playlist nor remove duplicates, plus there’s no warning that you’re adding a duplicate track. Pretty basic software stuff guys…

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hi there,

      Thank you for the feedback on this. Right now we don’t have plans for modifying the functionality of the Sonos playlists, but it is something we have marked as Under Consideration here: I’d recommend adding a +1 and your comments to this thread if you’d like to see changes in this area in the future.


  • Ben

    Great idea – but my cats like to sit on top of one of my play:5 systems. As a result, they have hit the mute button and turned on my music in the middle of the night several times by accident. Not so bad until you hear that they also hit the volume + button often. Results in the system coming on at max volume during the small hours of the morning, much to the horror of me and everyone else in the building. How can I deactivate this new (innovative, but life/sleep-destroying) feature?

    • Matthew Thompson

      Place something on top of the button to cat proof it.

      • hdfreak

        Or place something on top of the cat. 😉

    • Elijah Lynn

      As a software engineer this is an edgecase I would not write code for, lol.

  • William

    Just want to mute? You’re out of luck.

    Pressing and holding the volume down button does not mute the Sonos, it reduces the volume to zero, which is not the same thing. If you look in the controller app after doing this, you’ll see that the “mute” indicator for that Sonos is not on. If the “muted” Sonos is in a group, and you use the group volume slider to raise the group volume, the Sonos will again play. So if I mute the Sonos in the den to take a call, I have to hope someone else doesn’t turn up the volume for the group that includes the den.

    In other words, the mute functionality from the controller app is no longer available through the hardware buttons.

    Sonos has yet to acknowledge, much less act to restore, the diminished functionality that some of us, with multiple costly units providing music throughout the house, relied on. This is unarguably a bug, yet Sonos continues to treat correcting it as a “change in functionality” to be voted on in the community pages.

  • el_grifferino

    I get it. And I like it. with zones and players on two stories, reaching for a computer or handheld to skip or pause or even play is a pain. I gladly trade the mute to the volume – button for this functionality. Thank you. BUT, return the volume to the pre-mute level, please. CHEERS!

    • William

      You need to understand that Sonos no longer can “mute” the speaker from the hardware buttons, it can only set the speaker volume to zero. Mute from the hardware and then look at the controller, then mute using the speaker’s mute icon next to the volume slider in the controller. In the latter case the volume slider is left in its original position, ready to resume at the previous level when the mute icon is clicked. If the implementation of hardware muting hadn’t been broken, you wouldn’t have to ask that volume be returned to the previous level.

      I expect you’d be unhappy if Sonos changed functionality that you depend on. I don’t ask that they destroy your favored pause/play functionality, just that they (preferably) make this a configurable option so that on my setup the Button Currently Labelled “Mute” on my PLAY:3’s, PLAY:5, and Soundbar can function as it is labelled.

      To date, Sonos has not yet acknowledged that they no longer provide muting at the hardware, that setting the volume to zero is not the same, and has real problems when the “muted” speaker is in a group.

      • el_grifferino

        I need to? I get it. But it is not a crusade in my life. Could it be better? Sure, holding Volume – could be an actual mute function, sure. Guess what, I got over it. Post on the product improvement site or whatever. It is just a firmware tweak. They aren’t even watching this anymore. You are yelling at clouds.

        • William

          Thanks for your empathy and advice. From what I can tell, Sonos is not watching any of the discussions where the adversely affected users are complaining about this. We’re all yelling at the clouds.

          Good luck on getting Sonos to make the improvement you requested. CHEERS!

      • Sonos Support Team

        William, thank you for the feedback. We’re listening to all comments on the Play / Pause button’s functionality.

        • William

          Support Team – Your response only confirms what el_grifferino and I stated, that posting on Sonos blogs, support forums, product improvement sites, and the like is “yelling at clouds.” Sonos doesn’t care, the only thing the “Support Team” has done is try to make us believe otherwise.

  • JimmyNootron

    Love this change!! Being able to pause directly on a speaker is a fantastic improvement. Stop crying whiny people, your precious mute is still there. Having a large sonos system spread out over a literal acre, I would sometimes forget to stop a certain zone playing when I left the area. Now I can pause/ resume on the spot!!! THANKS SONOS!!!!!

  • RShah

    This is a bad change for parents with kids who can reach the buttons.
    Kids can now start music at will. This becomes extremely troublesome
    when you’re trying to get your kids upstairs to go to bed. ;(

    In your next update, make a Parent Option so we can control the functionality of the Mute button.

  • mark

    While I appreciate the new functions of the mute button, I miss being able to easily mute my music. For example, when I take a call, I want to be able to press a mute button. Using the volume button is slow and does not make an effective mute button. PLEASE, give the mute button a way to mute an individual component. How about one press for mute, two for pause, three for skip track?

  • Steve

    I think this is great. I prefer pause to mute 99% of the time. If my cell phone rings, I walk over to Sonos and pause it. Then when I’m done I continue where I left off, instead of missing songs. And if it’s on a radio station it mutes it. Perfect, thanks!>

  • HeinrichP

    What’s the function of a mute button anyway? Spotify on Mac pauses when muting the computer – why should the computer waste energy on streaming music, which is not listened to anyway? Therefore, why not pause the music instead of muting? If a single speaker needs muting, though, and regrouping music zones in the app is too tedious (which it is), then I agree, a long-press should NOT MUTE but DE-GROUP that speaker from the zone, and a long-press should RE-GROUP that same speaker into the group again afterwards.

  • Arv

    Dear Sonos, I have been waiting for years on an outdoor speaker. Any progress? Thanks!!!

    • Sonos Support Team

      Hey Arv,

      No updates to report. Add your vote to the ‘Idea’ thread here, if you haven’t already:

      It will keep you up to date with any changes that happen with this feature request.

  • Mark

    I use this feature daily. I listen to a lot of podcasts and pausing/restarting at the push of a button is the greatest thing ever! Thank you!! Now if you could prevent the connection to Stitcher from dropping every other day….

  • CKelsey

    I’m so excited to get a Sonos ‘Connect’
    to play music in my patio which had built-in ceiling speakers coming from my
    old Kenwood stereo located in living room. I love having my controls on my Samsung
    cell phone. I have a question how do I turn my Sonos off on my cell? Do I use
    the mute button?