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Official Sonos app for Windows Phone reportedly 'in testing' while unofficial Phonos gets a boost

When it comes to streaming music wirelessly from your house, Sonos http://(Sonos.com (opens in new tab) is the go-to brand for speakers and hubs. While other wireless systems are just Bluetooth streamers from your phone, Sonos can play music from Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Songza, and a dozen more services to multiple speakers all at your control.

No official Sonos app for Windows Phone is available today, but reports have been circulating for some time that the company was considering making one. Indeed, back in March the company was measuring interest – and feature requests – for such an app were they ever to make one. (Additionally, ex-Microsoftie Marc Whitten also works for the company now).

Interestingly, Sonos does appear to have an app in the works, although for now they are recommending users try out a third-party app to hold them over. In an email from Sonos to reader David J., Sonos is quite clear about their plans (even if they call it Windows Mobile):

"We are currently in development of fully compatible Windows Mobile (sic) app which is now in testing. I have not been provided with any release date unfortunately although in the mean time I can advise you that there is a third party app for Windows Mobile (sic) phones called Phonos".

Certainly, that is good news for users, although we will be more excited when we see something more tangible.

Phonos for Windows and Windows Phone

Speaking of, the third party app they are referring to – Phonos – has been the app of choice for many Windows Phone users who are invested in Sonos. That app, along with its Windows 8.1 counterpart, just received some significant updates in the last two days, addressing some compatibility issues along the way:

Phonos 5.0 for Windows Phone

  • Updated to Windows Phone 8.0 app, to be fully compatible with Sonos version 5.2

Phonos Lite for Windows 8.1

  • Much-improved UI and allows music selection from any Sonos source, including most music services.

Unfortunately, these are not 'buy once, buy everywhere', so you need to fork out a few dollars if you want to keep the apps. Luckily, the developer lets you try them out to ensure they work first.

At least for now, these apps are considered the best solution for Windows and Windows Phone users, but, hopefully, in 2015, something more official and fully supported is coming down the pike.

Anyone here using the newly updated Phonos apps? Shout out in comments what you think of them.

Thanks, David J. and Andy P., for the tips!

qr: phonos

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

93 Comments
  • Who? Lol never heard of these guys
  • Seriously? They make high-end speakers, hubs, sound bars and more that are all wirelessly controlled. I suggest reading more up on music hardware as they are very well known for iOS and Android users.
  • Merry Christmas & Happy New Years Daniel and all you guys here. :-)
  • When I buy a house I am definitely going to look into this and home automation. Keep it up Dan!
  • Well, yes, they indeed make wireless speakers and soundbars. But calling it High-End is not exactly accurate. The sound of Sonos stuff is meh compared to various speaker systems which you buy for the same money.
  • +1520!!
  • however the sonos connect to plug into a regular hi-fi is fantastic!!!
  • Lobbie is 100% correct. These are high priced, not high end. Its hard to find a comparable solution (control 4 maybe) without getting too far into the rabbit hole of home automation - but the sound is certainly not on par with the price- even if factored in a premium for the BT aspect. That said, I like sonos and have considered buying some components. Hopefully they bring XBOX Music streaming when they launch the official WP app.
  • Grab a Sonos CONNECT and add it to your existing home theater system. Problem solved, while letting you add other wireless speakers to your system if you want.
  • Exactly. My legacy home theatre is now Sonos ready thanks to the connect, and my bedroom has 5.1 thanks to the play bar, sub, and play 3. As well as having several play 5 throughout the house. The audio is good for of a single speaker but if you really want impressive link them as a stereo pair with a sub. You may think it's not a good value until you realize just how much technology and flexibility is built into the platform. Pricey for certain. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'm using Soundtouch from Bose right now...any news of they're planning to release something for WP? I hate having to use my iPhone only for that app
  • LOL. Not exactly high-end. But popular, and better than most such wireless amplified speakers.
  • Yea , i am going to have to check them out now.
  • The hardware is expensive, but there's really nothing else out there like it. The speakers sound great and the music service integration can't be beat. We have them all over our house, they get used all the time. Well worth the investment.
  • I bought a pair of Samson speakers with Bluetooth support. There's a Bluetooth pairing button on the back. Only paid $89. Far less expensive than the Sonos solution and great sound too! Gives me the flexibility to expand upon any one of my existing stereo systems into another room.
  • There is another option to Sonos but it requires a bit more work. It's called Audio Acacia Plethra. It has full zone control like Sonos. Only downside is it does not have all of the streaming support look Sonos. But you can put a line in from any source so you could play Pandora, Spotify, etc. You just pay for the software and bring your own hardware/speakers.
  • Y is wifi better than Bluetooth? More distance?
  • The Sonos speakers can play music indipendently from your phone's vicinity. They stream music directly from the respective music services (i.e. Spotify and others). You just control the playback from your mobile device. With bluetooth it's your phone that's doing the playback, so if you receive a phone call or leave the room, it's stops playing.
  • great i was waiting for that  hi daniel i have a question i'm going to buysurface rt tablet will RT tablets move to windows 10 ? i appreciate if you answer to my question thanks  
  • They will
  • I'm pretty sure nothing has been announced about RT getting Windows 10, and that is completely off-topic.
  • They will
  • Since RT is bascially dead, you probably don't want to buy into it. I highly doubt it will be upgraded to 10.
  • RT is not dead stop making things up.
  • Windows 10 is bringing rt and phone together, rt is not dead! Idiots are saying this!
  • Did Sonos just confirm the name for Windows 10 for phones/tablets ---> Windows Mobile??!
  • @b4rtw:
    No, I'm afraid they're in fact developing a Windows Mobile (6.5) app...
  • You know they are calling next version of WP( windows mobile )
  • It's Microsoft mobile
  • Great news!!
  • Yes, Awesome News!!!! Been waiting for this!!!
  • Wohooooo its christmas !!! I'm loving it
  • Still worthless for me. Until they support Xbox Music as well I would never buy a Sonos.
  • Sonos does not play DRMd music. Xbox Music is still streaming protected music. Until MSFT changes that I don't think we will see XBM on Sonos services.
  • Is Spotify music DRM-free?
  • I don't think so. I am sure Sonos can stream proteced music through whatever API's are available for any given service. They just haven't chosed to develop for Xbox Music yet.
  • You are refering to why they stopped supporting Zune subscription music some time back. That was specifically locally downloaded drm'd music, not the streaming service though that wasn't anything like it is now. They can support it like they do all the other services, it is just something that they and MSFT haven't been willing to make the investment to do for some reason.
  • Finally. This has been far and away number one on Sonos' support requests for a long time. Phonos gets the job done, but the UI is weird and takes a bit to get adjusted. The iOS and Android apps just got a big refresh recently too.
  • Wow that's a first. They actually recommend a third party app. I downloaded phonos in the beginning of the year in anticipation that I would have a few sonos speakers by now. But alas, all my.moneys went to uber rides, bars and drinking instead of saving for speakers
  • Money well spent..
  • Unfortunately it's not. YNAB keeps recommending we buy Divvy for YNAB on Windows phone. Keeps me from jumping over permanently. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Merry Christmas... Daniel..
  • That's actually great that they acknowledge and even encourage users to use a third-party solution while they develop their official app. That's awesome! Snapchat, Tinder, Secret, etc., take notes.
  • My thoughts exactly. If those companies can't release an official app, why not let third party devs do what they refuse to? Big up to Sonos.
  • Brilliant this is
  • That'll be good. I returned my speaker because it didn't work that well from my phone and I wanted a speaker that would play anything over the speaker and not just music. This was probably before the 3rd party app arrived though.
  • I believe you could play almost anything over Sonos. I have heard there is a SmartThings integration recipe that uses the Sonos speakers as the voice of home automation.
  • Good bought the little one for my dad
  • How about Xbox Music integration? Still frustrated that Sonos won't support it.
  • Agreed - would really like that.  Wouldn't it be great if we got both Xbox Music integration AND the app.  Wow - talk about Merry Christmas and/or Happy 2015!
  • Merry Christmas, Daniel
  • Meh to Sonos. Too expensive and not truly high end. I run speaker cables from a proper amplifier. It isn't much work and there are no compromises.
  • Convenience sells :P.
  • Sound quality sells ahead of so-called convenience. :D
  • @lippidp, they do have a solution for that too though. I can link up a Sonos CONNECT to my Onkyo THX system and run the same services while still using my smartphone. I can then add on extra Sonos speakers, of lesser quality, to smaller rooms, etc. where 'high end' is not as valued by listener.
  • Sounds smart. I have high quality everywhere because I might be in any room or the garage or yard or whatever. Even my kids are graced with excellent sound quality, whether they appreciate it or not! Haha...
  • Awesome, nice to see a company actually recommending the use of a third party app. Which is a pretty solid app.
  • Sonos is fantastic - have two Play 5's, one Play 3, one Play 1 and a Sonos Connect.  Nothing beats the simplicity, wife acceptance factor, and ability to quickly and easily tie or separate the zones.   For those that don't want to use Sonos' speakers *cough* lippidp *cough* you can hook up a Sonos Connect to your receiver and tie that zone in.  Truthfully, however, if you aren't going to take advantage of the stand alone speakers (or at least the Connect Amp) then you probably should look elsewhere.   I've been quite pleased w/ Phonos (thank you dev, whomever you are), but would clearly appreciate a mfg. provided app.  It's funny that when I speak w/ people about how much I love Windows Phone my caveat is always "niche" first party apps, and I specifically mention Sonos.  Would be great to take that caveat away from my spiel!
  • I have 5 sonos zones in my house.  I use Phonos daily and it works fine.  It has definitely gotten better over time.  However, there's nothing like an official app!!!
  • Phonos works great. Kudos to the developer for ensuring us WP users can enjoy our Sonos..
  • Had Sonos since they started, well worth it and nothing like it in the market
  • love my Sonos system. Only drawback has been lack of a windows phone app. Hopefully any forth coming app will be universal and not strictly windows phone. Phonos works well in the meantime. But phonos lite is a waste of code. Far to limited in what it can do.
  • Have you actually tried the new Lite version?? Give it a go.
  • Not in a while. Last time I did all it could do was control volume, and no way was I going to pay for an app that only controls volume. I'll give it a try again tomorrow
  • Check out the update to Phonos Lite on Windows. At first glance, it will do everything that the WP app will do. A huge improvement from previous version!
  • Since Windows phone users are getting a bad reputation for bashing on the few developers we have, I wanted to take the few minutes and post an update. After this thread I did give Phonos Lite another try. It is MUCH better than it was previously, definitely no longer a "waste of code". In fact, I really regret saying that now, as Andy has been great about working out a few bugs I had. After I downloaded Phonos Lite, It was better but still had some issues. I emailed Andy with my problem, and he has been great! For a couple weeks we went back and forth in email while he figured out what the problem was and finally got it identified and fixed this weekend. The new update to Phonos lite came out this morning that fixed the problem (had to do with multiple Amazon accounts not working). I just wanted to let everyone know Andy was great and really responded. I f you have a Sonos system, I strongly encourage you to give Phonos and Phonos lite a chance.
  • I bought and use Phonos it's a pretty good third party solution... Hope the developers improve their Windows 8.1 app to bring parity of features...
  • Yesss.. I was holding off buying sonos just for this reason
  • Although this is spectacular news if true, Sonos never confirm or deny news until they are ready, so until we see the app, we are in the same position as always. But I really hope it is true. Genuinely considering replacing my WP because of no good Sonos app.
  • We have Sonos Connect + Sharp amplifier + Canton repro in living room. With Rdio streaming at 320 kbps, the sound is really nice. While the Phonos app is working without problems, the UX is really bad. I am definitely looking forward to official Sonos app! Hope it will be as good as the Android / iOS versions are.
  • Does Sonos work with Xbox music?
  • Sonos doesn't work with the Xbox app/service, but at least you can navigate to purchased/downloaded music (no big surprise there).
  • When is the snapchat coming?? Or even the 3rd party apps again on store will work!! :(
  • Please fix the Phonos Lite picture: thats the old, ugly version, not the nice, shiny new one.
  • Finally some good news. . I got the Sonos sound bar connected to my tv, and it does sounds fantastic!
  • Probably not a huge coincidence that a longtime Microsoftie now runs Sonos
  • Finally a word on the long awaited Sonos app! Phonos works quite good, but not nearly as fluid as the official Sonos iOS app. Crossing fingers for 2015! Maybe being enrolled in Sonos' beta program might come in handy soon..
  • Oh and Phonos Lite works with Windows 8.0 as well as 8.1. My laptop refuses to upgrade to 8.1, so I haven't been able to update Visual Studio (and hence the app) either.
  • Is this screenshot from the current iOS-app?
    Unbelievably ugly...
  • The top screenshot? No, thats the old iOS app. Hasn't looked like that since Sonos 5.1 I think. The PC and OSX apps still have the "blue" UI, but the iOS and Roid apps have a "white" UI, for want of a better description.
  • @andy-pennell:
    Thanks for the answer.
    And for providing me with the term "Roid". ^.^
    Happy Holidays.
  • Just incase it takes Sonos a long time to release this possible official Windows app and you want to show your support for it please sign the following petition. https://www.change.org/p/mr-john-macfarlane-sonos-inc-support-the-windows-phone-8-windows-8-platform-by-releasing-a-universal-windows-controller-app
  • Nice. Ok. When they'll release an official app I will start building up a sonos system!
  • Awesome!
  • I don't think they misspoke when they said Windows Mobile. I bet they've been working in conjunction with MSFT on this app and it will be one of the launch apps for Win10, the former RT version of which has been rumored to be called Windows Mobile. This is what will run on phones and tablets.
  • About time. It's premium stuff, so its not like they don't have the money :)
  • "Windows Mobile (sic)" Actually I would not be surprised if the next version of the OS will be called exactly that....
  • Been waiting for ages for the official app! How hard can it be Sonos? I bought a Play 1 and love it, but had to boot an old android phone to control it :-(
  • Its actually bloody hard.
  • Just downloaded Phonos twice today (two phones) but looking forward to official app.
  • Sonos looks fetching.
  • We are waiting!! Is there more news already?
  • Any updates yet?  I've contacted the company and they won't even acknowledge they are working on a windows phone app.