Sonos speakers use smart, wireless technology, allowing you to not only stream music but customize your existing sound system as well. Given this information, I was curious if Sonos speakers have the option of aux-in for additional customizability.

The Sonos Five is the only speaker from the brand with an aux-in option. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, Sonos offers some creative alternatives to help get users set up.

Having the ability to stream music wirelessly is becoming the standard, with devices ranging in functionality and features. However, there are still many scenarios where having an aux-in connection would be beneficial. This article will take an in-depth look at the Sonos speakers with aux-in, the Sonos Five, and discuss some options for using “audio-out” with Sonos devices.

Sonos Five: Aux-In and Other Features

The Sonos Five (previously Play:5)  is a highly customizable, studio-quality smart speaker able to stream music wirelessly and more. One of its notable features is its 3.5 mm aux-in connection.

Sonos Five 3.5 mm Aux-In Connection

The Sonos Five has a 3.5 mm aux-in jack so that you can connect a phone, computer, or even a turntable. The Five is also compatible with other Sonos speakers, so you can send audio plugged in via the aux-in to any other Sonos speaker in your system.

The line-in connection allows the Five to automatically detect when audio begins playing, meaning you can start listening to music right when you connect.

Other Sonos Five Features

Here is a quick look at some of the other features available with the Sonos Five:

  • Humidity Resistant – The Sonos Five is humidity resistant, so you can use it worry-free in your bathroom while you take a shower. It is important to note that, though resistant to moisture, the speaker is not weather rated and should not be left outdoors.
  • Smart Home Compatibility – The Five is compatible with your existing smart home technology, like Alexa and Google Home. It will also connect with AirPlay 2, allowing users to watch media on mobile devices, with quality, stereo sound.
  • Customizable Sound Settings – With the adjustable sound settings, you can make your Sonos Five speakers sound just how you want them. You can adjust Bass, Treble, Balance (exclusive to the Five), and Loudness all from the associated Sonos app.
  • Smart Stereo Sound – The Five can also function differently based on its physical orientation, allowing for tons of customizability with your setup. When placed horizontally, the speaker will automatically separate the left and right channels for stereo sound. Additionally, when placed vertically and paired with another speaker, the Five will adjust to mono for more precise stereo separation.

Using Aux-in with Sonos Five

The aux-in feature allows you to use the speakers with almost any device connected via a 3.5mm audio cable. Though the setup is designed to be user-friendly; the guide below can help you get started:

  • To Connect Portable Music Player – Use a 3.5mm audio cable to connect from the audio output on the device (the music player) to the Five’s audio input (aux-in).
  • To Connect an Audio Component – If you’re using an audio component like a CD player, use a 3.5mm mini-stereo to RCA audio cable. Connect the mini-stereo end to the audio input on the Five, then plug the RCA end into the audio outputs on the CD player (or whichever audio component you are using).

(Source: Sonos Support and Anixter)

Enable Auto-Play

The Five can automatically play the aux-in source as soon as the speaker detects a signal from the device. For example, if you’re using a record player, the speakers will automatically initiate the moment the needle touches the record. Not only that, but the auto-play feature allows you to play locally stored music from your devices without the internet.

Other Options for Audio Out with Sonos Speakers

If you already use other Sonos speakers or want a more cost-effective solution to using aux-in, there are some alternatives as well.

The Sonos Connect is an audio receiver designed for streaming music. Though not itself a speaker, it can pair with any Sonos speakers, like the Sonos One (which is a fraction of the price compared to the Sonos Five).

Additionally, the Sonos Connect allows access to “audio out” options for any device that is compatible with Alexa, so you can use it in various ways to suit your setup.

In Summary

The ability to wirelessly stream music is often the easiest method to play your favorite songs. Though wireless functionality usually replaces the hardwired aux-in, there is still undeniably a need for the technology.

Sonos offers a variety of quality products and competitive speakers. Though their Sonos Five is the only speaker with an aux-in, there are still some alternatives should you want a more cost-effective system.