The Google Home and Sonos Play:5 smart speakers

How to use Google Home with Sonos

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to control Sonos speakers and components with just your voice and a Google Home, it is! This article points out all of the Sonos products that are compatible, shows you exactly what you need to get it working, and clearly explains how to do everything.

Let’s get this out of the way at the start…

If you only have Sonos PLAY:1 or Sonos PLAY:3 speakers, and you don’t have any other Sonos components — there is no way to integrate them with Google Home. Neither speaker has “line inputs,” which are required. You are going to need to get an additional Sonos component that has a line input.

One option is to buy a used Sonos Zone Player 90 from eBay. They sell for around $275 to $300. It’s a bummer to have to buy something, but it this is the cheapest option at this time.

Another way to go is to buy a used Sonos PLAY:5 speaker. The older version of the PLAY:5 works great for this (the new one is compatible, too) and they can be bought on eBay for $200 to $340. The huge advantage with getting a PLAY:5 is that both the first generation and the current model are amazing sounding speakers.

The Sonos PLAY:5 2nd generation smart speaker

You can integrate Google Home with these Sonos products:

  • PLAY:5 wireless speaker
  • Sonos Connect
  • Sonos Connect:Amp

You can also integrate Google Home with the older ZonePlayer 120 and ZonePlayer 90.

When you have your Google Home connected to a Sonos, you can wirelessly stream the audio to any other Sonos products in your home.

This is how to do it…

In order to integrate Google Home with a Sonos, you are going to need a Chromecast Audio. What the heck is that, you ask?

The Google Chromecast Audio

The Chromecast Audio is a flat device that’s the same size as a miniature English Muffin (if such a thing existed). It has a 3.5mm stereo audio output (and it comes with that cool looking yellow cable pictured above).

Power is supplied to the Chromecast Audio from an included 6-foot (1.8 meter) cable, which plugs into a micro-USB port on the device. So, you’re going to need to plug it into an AC outlet near your Sonos.

Here’s how this works: you get a Chromecast Audio, you plug its audio output into the audio input on your Sonos, in the Google Home app on your iPhone or Android device you will “add” the Chromecast Audio to your system. You also “add” your music streaming service in the Google Home app. After that’s done, you will be able to command Google Home to play music to your Sonos with your voice.

Here’s a terrible drawing of the set up:

A diagram that shows how to control Sonos with Google Home

Required cables:

The short, yellow 3.5mm audio cable that comes with the Chromecast Audio is all that’s needed to plug into the line-input on the Sonos PLAY:5. No additional audio cables need to be purchased.

If you’re using the Sonos Connect, Sonos Connect:Amp, ZonePlayer 120, or ZonePlayer 90, you are going to need a 3.5mm to dual RCA male cable. If you don’t already have one of these laying around somewhere, you can purchase one at this link.

Required software:

You are going to need the Google Home app. If you have a Google Home running in your house, you likely already have this app on your mobile device.

You are going to need a music streaming service. With the Chromecast Audio and the Google Home you can use Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, tunein, or Deezer. Personally, I recommend using Spotify.

Obsessively detailed set up instructions:

  1. Plug the Chromecast Audio into an AC outlet with the included power cable, and connect the power cable to the micro-USB port on the Chromecast Audio
  2. Connect an audio cable to the 3.5mm audio output on the Chromecast Audio. If you’re using a PLAY:5, use the included yellow 3.5mm cable. If you have any of the other compatible Sonos products use one of these.
  3. Open the Sonos app on your device, tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner, and select Line-In from the menu in the app.
  4. Open the Google Home app.  Tap the tiny devices icon in the top right corner of the screen (it kind of looks like an illustration of a speaker in front of a TV) .
  5. Next, select “Chromecast Audio” from the list that appears. — If you have trouble with this step, try going into the Wi-Fi settings on your mobile device, and see if you can connect with the Chromecast Audio there.
  6. You may need to “set up” your Chromecast Audio in the Google Home app, so tap the words “SET UP.” NOTE… You can easily set up a new Google Home on this screen, too.
  7. Next you should be asked to connect your Chromecast Audio to your home Wi-Fi. You may need to enter the password for your Wi-Fi network. Make sure the mobile device you’re using connected to your Wi-Fi network, too.
  8. Next, you are going to have to select your default music streaming service. Do so.
  9. It should work now. Say something like, “Ok Google, play the song 1901 by Phoenix on Spotify.”

Important tips:

After this is set up, you will need to launch the Sonos app on your mobile device, tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner, and select Line-In in order to hear sound from your Chromecast Audio.

A better way to do this is to enable the Autoplay feature on your Sonos. This will automatically change your Sonos to Line-In when an audio signal is detected. This way, when you speak to your Google Home, your Sonos will automatically switch to the line input when Google speaks, even if you’re streaming music that you started from the Sonos or Spotify apps.

How to enable Autoplay:

  1. Launch the Sonos app on your mobile device, tap the hamburger menu in the top left corner, then tap Settings
  2. On the next screen, tap on Room Settings
  3. On the next screen, tap on the name of the Sonos component that your Echo Dot is plugged into (for example, it may be named Kitchen)
  4. On the next screen, tap Line-In
  5. On the next screen, tap Autoplay Room and select the name of the Sonos device

Now you should be rocking. Thanks for reading this post! If it was helpful, you can help me out by using the links below before you buy anything at Amazon or B&H Photo. I appreciate it!

Purchase links:

Sonos PLAY:5 - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Used Sonos Play:5 - eBay USA
Sonos Connect - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Sonos Connect:Amp - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Cable for connecting Chromecast Audio to Sonos Connect, Connect:Amp, and ZonePlayers - Amazon USA


Published by

Sam

Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

15 thoughts on “How to use Google Home with Sonos”

  1. Very useful post, thank you. I have a Sonos system with 4 Sonos:Connect units, each one powering a set of speakers in a different room (kitchen, dining room, etc). If I want to use my Google Home to send music to one or more Sonos:Connects, would I need a separate Chromecast for each Sonos:Connect? If so, how would I tell Google Chrome which one to send the music to?

  2. Hi David,

    Yes, you are going to need Chromecast Audio devices for each of your Sonos Connect units.

    Instructions for how to set up and use Google Home voice commands to send audio to the various Chromecast Audio groups you create can be found at this link.

    There is a chance that in the future you may be able to send audio to Sonos using voice commands and Google Home, without needing Chromecast Audio devices. However, plans to develop this integration have not been shared publicly by either Google or Sonos at this time.

    I’m glad this post was helpful! Thank you for commenting!

    Sam

  3. Sam, great article. Exactly what I needed.

    Can you check the link you provided in the reply above to David? All of your other links work, but that one does not. Thanks!

  4. Hi Sam, followed your instructions and nothing is coming out of my Sonos. Any thoughts on why this would be happening?

  5. Shouldn’t any Sonos connect device have access to the line-in of any OTHER Sonos device on the same wifi network? If so, the only reason David would need multiple Chromecast audio devices would be to play different music in different rooms… Correct?

  6. If you only have a single Chromecast Audio plugged into one Sonos unit, that Sonos unit can indeed share the audio it receives from the Chromecast Audio with Sonos units in other rooms.

    However, it gets complicated if you don’t want to listen to the Chromecast Audio in the room that it and the Sonos unit is in, but you do want to hear it in another room on another Sonos unit.

    Thinking about this is starting to give me a headache. ;)

  7. This is not really integrating Sonos with Google Home – it is using a line-in device to stream music to a Chromecast and play it through a Sonos device…

    Any idea when you will be able to use Google Home to actually integrate Sonos? Such as “OK Google, play Pandora on Shuffle in the Living Room.”

  8. Hi Patrick,

    Neither Sonos nor Google has publicly announced plans to integrate. I agree with you. It would be much nicer to just speak to a Google Home and ask it to play stuff on Sonos without any extra equipment or hassle. That’s the way it should be. We’re just not there yet.

    Sonos is going to integrate with the Amazon Echo soon. This could arrive any day. It could also be delayed until December or later. No firm dates have been given. But, it is coming. It would make sense for Sonos to also integrate with Google, but both companies have limited numbers of talented engineers that can do this stuff, and both have endless to-do lists that need to be prioritized in importance of business needs. It could be a while before this happens, if it happens at all. You may want to consider selling the talking speaker you own and start talking to Alexa.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Sam

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