AirPlay 2 coming to HomePod rival Sonos One in July, feature of new Beam speaker

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Three existing Sonos speakers — the One, Play:5, and Playbase — will all get promised AirPlay 2 compatibility in July, the company announced during a Wednesday event.

AirPlay 2 support will let people push audio to one or more speakers through direct OS controls, as well as Siri voice commands. Notably speakers with Alexa support — such as the One and the newly-announced Beam soundbar that also supports AirPlay 2 — can control ongoing playback regardless of where audio was started, though of course they can't begin playback on an iOS device.

Another novelty is that while only three speakers will initially be compatible, owning one of them will bring AirPlay 2 to older Sonos speakers.

AirPlay 2 is also present on devices like the HomePod and the Apple TV, and offers features such as multi-room audio and limited HomeKit controls. One of the selling points of Sonos speakers has typically been their ability to play in multiple rooms simultaneously, or push audio from one room to another.

Several speaker and receiver makers have pledged their support for AirPlay 2. These include Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Libratone, Marantz, and Naim.

When iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 went live, though, the only speaker with support was Apple's own HomePod.