What is Sonos S2? Here's what you need to know about the latest app and operating system for Sonos audio devices
  • Sonos S2 is the newest version of the Sonos operating system and family of mobile apps, replacing Sonos S1.  
  • Sonos S2 includes support for higher quality audio, Dolby Atmos, and other features that will appear in future Sonos devices. 
  • Not all older Sonos products are compatible with Sonos S2, but some new Sonos speakers won’t work with Sonos S1. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Sonos S2 is the latest version of the Sonos music platform’s operating system and apps. It’s a major update to the system, one that represents a major shift in the way Sonos treats product compatibility. Instead of all products working together, some new products require Sonos S2, while some old products require Sonos S1. 

What to know about Sonos S2

Sonos S2 is the latest version of the Sonos app and operating system, and it’s generally referred to as simply Sonos.

If you are continuing to use the older version of the software, though, the app is renamed Sonos S1 Controller (for Android and iOS) to more clearly differentiate them. Sonos S2 apps (on Android and iOS) are referred to as “Sonos.” 

Sonos S2 is referred to as simply “Sonos.” Only Sonos S1 is described with a version number.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

The major changes in the Sonos S2 operating system are behind the scenes, designed to facilitate features found in new and future Sonos products. The S2 version fixes bugs and enhances the overall security of the system, while also increasing the bandwidth for music to support higher fidelity and better-quality audio. S2 also includes support for Dolby Atmos surround sound (which is now found in the Sonos Arc sound bar). 

The app is also substantially redesigned with a simplified interface and the ability to save room groupings so it’s easier to play music in multiroom situations with just a tap or two.

You can now set up room groups and save them for future use using the plus sign.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Compatibility with Sonos devices

If you have the Sonos S1 system installed, Sonos will offer to upgrade to S2 when you start an app to control a speaker. You can defer this till later and keep using S1, but if you choose to upgrade to Sonos S2, you cannot go back — the upgrade is permanent. 

Before you upgrade, you should be aware of compatibility issues between Sonos S1 and S2. Most of the contemporary products in the Sonos family will work fine regardless of whether you are using Sonos S1 or S2.

These products are compatible with either version of the operating system:

  • Amp
  • Beam
  • Boost
  • Connect (Gen 2)
  • Connect:Amp (Gen 2)
  • Move
  • One (Gen 1 and Gen 2)
  • One SL
  • Play:1
  • Play:3
  • Play:5 (Gen 2)
  • Playbar
  • Playbase
  • Port
  • Sub (Gen 1 and Gen 2)
  • Symfonisk 

A few Sonos products only work with Sonos S1:

  • Bridge
  • CR200
  • Connect (Gen 1)
  • Connect:Amp (Gen 1)
  • Play:5 (Gen 1)
  • All ZonePlayers

Sonos products that only work with Sonos S2:

Finally, as of right now, there are a few new products that require Sonos S2 to work properly. In the future, Sonos will likely release more products that are only compatible with Sonos S2, so it’s a good idea to transition to S2 when possible:

  • Arc
  • Five 
  • Sub (Gen 3)

In the relatively unlikely case that you own Sonos speakers from both extremes — an old product that requires Sonos S1 and a new one that requires Sonos S2, it’s possible to maintain both Sonos networks in your home at once, but the two networks can’t work together, such as sharing room groups.

Sonos Five
Sonos Arc

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to connect a Sonos speaker to your network or troubleshoot the connection, and stream music from every corner of your house

  • ‘What is Sonos Boost?’: A guide to Sonos’ Wi-Fi add-on, which creates an exclusive wireless network for your speakers

  • How to turn off any Sonos speaker, even if it doesn’t have a power button

  • How to reset your Sonos speaker to restore it to its factory settings and erase all your data

  • How to add Apple Podcasts to your Sonos speaker using AirPlay

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