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.

UPDATE: This article was updated in November 2017 to add up-to-date information and a recently produced tutorial video.

The information in this post applies to the original Google Home, the Google Home Mini, and the Google Home Max, too.

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.

The Sonos Playbar, Playbase, and Sonos Sub also lack analog audio inputs, so they can’t connect to a Google Home either.

If you own one of these, one solution 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 around $250. The huge advantage with getting a PLAY:5 is that both the first generation and the current model are amazing sounding speakers.

Sonos recently released a new model called the Sonos One. It has a microphone array and the Amazon Alexa digital assistant built in. Sonos plans to add the Google Assistant to this model in the near future. This will make it equal in capability to a Google Home, and fully able to control all of the other Sonos units in your home. However, you can’t connect a Google Home directly to a Sonos One.

The Sonos PLAY:5 2nd generation smart speaker

You can integrate Google Home with these Sonos products:

When your Google Home is connected to a Sonos, you can wirelessly stream the audio to any other Sonos products in your home. So, you could connect your Google Home to a PLAY:5, and the PLAY:5 can share the same audio with other Sonos products in your home, such as the PLAY:1.

I recently made a video that explains how to get this running:

If you prefer written instructions, 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:

Google Home - B&H, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de
Chromecast Audio - B&H
Google Home Mini - B&H
Google Home Max - B&H
Sonos One - B&H
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

37 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. hi, I got my Google Home playing through my Sonos with Google audio chrome cast. Thanks!! One issue I had is that you need to create a home group to link Chromecast audio with Google Home. You do this through the App. Here’s a link.

  8. 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.”

  9. 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

  10. Hi Sam, I went through the above steps, and can control the music to my Play 5 through regular casting, but not to voice commands through Google Home. Can you help?

    NOTE TO READERS: I replied to this comment here.

  11. Is there any info on how to get Google Home to work with the Sonos Playbar? Just invested in both along with some extensive Lutron Caseta dimmers. Would really like to stay with Google but I really want that integration with the Playbar. Any help/feedback is greatly appreciated.

  12. I think an option missing here is simply using Google Chromecast into your TV (no direct audio to sonos). Google home speaks it’s language and Chromecast inegrates with all your streaming services.

  13. This is pretty much the only article like this that I could find: how does someone already invested in the Sonos ecosystem integrate with Google Home? Lots of info about Alexa but this is very useful for Google Home. I imagine other early adopters of Sonos are anxious for this concept too as they early-adopt voice assistants!

    I followed this setup and it works excellently. I named my Chromecast Audio device “Sonos” so I could tell GH to “play favorite song playlist from Spotify on Sonos”.

  14. I followed these instructions but have a massive delay, greater than the 200ms the the Google delay correction slider. Have you come access this? I have 5x Play 5 and 2x Play 3, but I was only testing on one Play 5 unit.

  15. I have tested this on a Play 5, but had a massive delay. The delay was greater than the 200ms delay correction slider that Google have built in. Is there any advice on how I can improve this? I have 5x Play 5 and 2x Play 3 and would love to have these running all in harmony.

  16. Hey Sam, can you clarify this for me . . .? Is Google Home allowing you to find and play music that is from any part of your Sonos library – your music files, Pandora acct, Spotify acct, etc.? Does it also allow you to play music it finds on the web like from youtube or elsewhere? And do you have the voice control to tell it what source you want to access (spotify vs your music library, etc.)?

  17. The Google Home can only send music to the Chomecast Audio that is linked to the Google Home app on your mobile device. You can link the app to your Pandora account and send music to your Sonos using only your voice. Same with Spotify. You can only send music from YouTube if you have a YouTube Red subscription. When you have multiple services connected, you tell the Google Home which service you want it to play music from when you speak to it.

  18. Hi John,

    This isn’t currently possible. The Chromecast Audio only outputs sound, that’s why it needs to plug into an analog audio input on a Sonos. The Chromecast Audio does not control the Sonos in any way.

    Perhaps in the future Google will be more integrated with Sonos, and things like this will be possible.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Sam

  19. I went through the above steps, and can control the music to my Play 5 through regular casting, but not to voice commands through Google Home. Can you help?

    Hi Kate… I apologize for my super-late reply. When you speak to your Google Home, do you tell it to play the music on the name that you assigned to your Chromecast Audio in the Google Home app? For example, I named my Chromecast Audio “Play 5 Chromecast.” When I speak a command to my Google Home, I specifically tell it to “Play [insert name of music] on Play 5 Chromecast.”

  20. Does Google Home also play music from my NAS (donwloaded music) or does it only work with streamed music like spotify?

  21. There doesn’t appear to be a way to speak to your Google Home and have it play locally stored music files. There is a way to do it by using a computer running the Chrome browser:

    https://mashtips.com/play-local-music-google-home/

    But, using that solution, you need to click around on a computer to make it happen, as opposed to just speaking to the Google Home. This is a glaring limitation of the device. It’s called the “Google Home” but it can’t playback files that you store in your home. Sorry!

  22. Can I connect Chromecast Audio with Sonos zp 80 .
    I tried connecting and following your instructions but no sound

  23. Have you been using this Zoneplayer 80 previously? The Chromecast Audio is only outputting sound, so your ZP80 should be able to handle it like any other sound source.

  24. Hi Sam,

    I am using SONOS connect Amp. I connected the chrome cast audio to the Sonos using the RCA male audio cable. I can’t hear the test sound when i tried to connect. Not sure what the problem is.

  25. Great clear article. A quick ‘tune up’ tip. I have a Home Mini and don’t ever want to use it for music playback.

    In the Google Home device settings, find “Default media playback”
    Set this to the Chromecast or Chromecast group of your choice.
    This makes the voice comments simpler, you can drop the “on Chromecast”.
    “Hey Google, play some funky music” now triggers my group (called Home) and plays over all my linked Chromecast and Sonos devices in one go.

    Music now comes out of my Sonos (and associated group).
    Google assistant stuff (weather, news, searches, timers etc) still comes out of the Mini.

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