Tip: Play your S5 beyond the network

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Sonos Support in Products, Tips & Tricks

At Sonos, we understand that sometimes it’s not about all the great music services you can access from the internet. Sometimes, it’s just about getting straight to your music.  With the summer months starting to heat up, it’s time to grab that Sonos S5 and bring it with you to the pool, the yard, the cabin – heck, anywhere with a power source.

Which of course begs the question: How do I get my Sonos units to play music in a place where there’s no network? The answer is AutoPlay, and a few simple steps is all it takes.

Step 1: Open your Sonos Desktop Controller and select Zones, then ZonePlayer Settings.

Step 2: From the list of available ZonePlayers, choose the Zone of the S5 you want to designate for AutoPlay.

Step 3: Click Line-In. Then, under source Type, select the type of device you’ll be plugging in (Portable Player, for example).

Step 4: Under Automatically play music (Autoplay) to, make sure that the listed Zone matches the name of the Zone of the S5 you want to take to go.

Step 5: Click OK.

Credit: Jacques Taberlet, via Wikimedia Commons

And you’re done! Now, even if you plug your S5 into a generator in the middle of the Sahara, you’ll be able to play music via line-in.

Where will you use AutoPlay?

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Sonos Support in Products, Tips & Tricks

  • Olga

    Nice! When will you get outdoor Wireless speakers? I understand I need a power source, but would like to leave the speakers outside.
    Sonos lover for 3.6 years

    • Anonymous

      We have no plans to announce at this time, but we hear you loud and clear and are constantly looking for ways to improve the Sonos experience. Thanks so much for being a fan! :)

      • Gibson1664

        I hope you head all of us that want outdoor speakers. I be the first in line to be a few pair.

        • snowfish

          I would love a a Sonos 5 (Outdorr version) that runs on batteries. I am in an area where I get to my network, but don’t have power source. Sonos, please make a S5 that can run on batteries and can be put outside

          • Fishiwish

            Snowfish, there is a huge market for that product …. or at least you and me!

          • Don

             I, too, want a battery S5 (or 3).  An easy approach is a sealed lead acid rechargeable battery and a small 120v inverter.  But, if the internals actually work on 12 volts, the battery could be used directly.  How do you open an S5 or S3?

        • jc3beach

          My pool is a distance from my house but still in range for my Sonos players, but I don’t want to run speaker wire and I don’t want to leave my Sonos speakers out to get wet. Sonos out door speakers would fix that issue and a couple of other issues I am facing.

          • Friebaton

            my pool is just a long way from house, how can network be extended that far? 

      • Gressa

        Has your position changed on this? I love my sonos and want to expand by my pool

    • Madcapjv

      i agree olga, i’d be all over that too. im considering outdoors and a zp for outside, but a single package from sonos would be much preferred.

    • Pminor

      A ZP120 and a pair of Bose outdoor speakers, a wire and you are up running. Works great for me.

  • http://twitter.com/picco1o picco1o

    is there a way to get rid of the delay?

  • Mike Mercer

    NICE! playing my DJ rig (two turntables and a mixer) thru the line-in!!!! spreads the set around the house!! 

  • Jlc345

    I too am waiting for an outdoor Sonos speaker!

  • Paul Donohue

    How can I open my deskt controller from my iPad? It just hangs looking for the network ?
    If you are phasing out controllers then how will iPad and iPhone users be able to do this?

  • pilgrim09

    i cant understand why yourve made all these settings ???  wy not just be able to plug into the line-in straight from the box and play music???

  • Bethdemers

    I would love to see sonos continue to expand. Definitely outdoor speakers are needed. Also, they should do a wireless outdoor option to compete with the russound Argo.

  • Sean

    This is an analog line-in? Why no USB or Ethernet?

  • Thanks

    Thanks for posting this useful solution. I was going to return my S5 which I just bought today until I found this.

  • Jay

    This is a very nice feature, in my set up I just have a Basic Bridge & a single S5 unit. I don’t think this option is available for this set up. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Ben

    Sonos, this looks nothing like my settings in in my Sonos Desktop app. Can you please update based on current version as I am unable to locate any Line In settings?

    • http://www.facebook.com/carlos.bonetto.5 Carlos Bonetto

      I agree!!!! Plesase update based in new desktop software. $500usd and I can not play without wi-fi!!

    • http://twitter.com/vousa Sami Voutilainen

      Ping sonos! Any news about new desktop software & Zoneplayer settings? Where’s the Line In Setting?

  • Ben D

    Hi there, this setting doesn’t seem to be available in my Desktop Controller. Have you removed it? I am going away camping over the holidays and want to be able to play music to my Play:5 directly from my Android device. What is required to facilitate this?


    • http://www.sonos.com/support Sonos Support Team

      Hi Ben, you’re correct: the images and instructions in the blog post aren’t up to date, but you can still do this with your PLAY:5. For updated instructions, please check out our FAQ here: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1271.


  • n8trck

    What if i’m already “on-the-go”. Have taken the S5 with us on a trip out of town. And now, when i turn on the controller (via phone, iPad, computer) it just goes straight to trying to find a “Sonos Network”. Then dead-ends, and leaves me with no options to try to connect. Is it too late to make the adjustments required to play through the Line-In?

    If so, is there a solve if i were to take the S5 to the local Apple store, or some other network enabled environment?

    • http://www.sonos.com/support Sonos Support Team

      I’m afraid the configuration needs to be made before taking the PLAY:5 away from your home network. Once you’ve configured the PLAY:5 for autoplay, it can be taken away from the network and it will maintain its setting to automatically play audio from the Line-In port when it’s detected.

      If you can get your PLAY:5 wired to a router and connect your controller to its corresponding WiFi network, you’ll be able to access the PLAY:5 via the Sonos app to make the change.

      If you have any questions on this, please contact us via phone or email and we’d be more than happy to help further. Our contact information can be found at http://www.sonos.com/contact.


  • Pat

    It’s like these instructions are written for a system that I don’t have.

    • http://www.sonos.com/support Sonos Support Team

      Hi Pat, the controller has changed a bit in the three years since this post was written, but here are the updated directions for setting up and using the PLAY:5 (previously the S5) on the go: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1271

  • Pat Mac

    I now can use one of my play 5s beyond the network. My question now is can you pair two 5s when not using the network?

    • http://www.sonos.com/support Sonos Support Team

      If you’re looking to make a Stereo Pair out of the two PLAY:5s with each side playing one channel, Right and Left, than it’s best to make that pairing while at home. A stereo pair of units will remain paired even if taken outside of the house. You can setup auto-play just as normal once your pair is made. A group on the other hand will separate when one of the units is rebooted.