(Pocket-lint) - Sonos has released a new, second generation version of its system software which brings a few new features to the table.
We've been using a beta version of it for a while, to test the Sonos Arc soundbar, so have experienced some of the changes.
Here's our guide on what's new in Sonos S2 and whether you'll benefit from the additions.
What is Sonos S2?
Sonos S2 (which just goes by the name Sonos) is the latest version of the system software that ties all Sonos devices together. It is a major generational update in that it adds support for Dolby Atmos (for the Sonos Arc) and a few other new features.
It has been built from the ground up with future updates and features in mind, such as support for high resolution Atmos music streaming and the like.
How to get Sonos S2
If your Sonos system is made up of speakers and devices not on the legacy list (which you can check here), you can upgrade to the new Sonos app (for Sonos S2).
You will have to do so manually, however, as the current Sonos Controller app will automatically update to Sonos S1, not S2.
Delete the previous Sonos app from your phone or tablet, then open the new one. Your system should automatically update and all your settings and services should transfer across.
To get Sonos S2 for desktop, open your current desktop app on Mac or Windows and hit the update button that appears. The new version will download and install.
If you do have some legacy kit, you may need to separate them from your newer Sonos gear to upgrade the latter to Sonos S2. The legacy kit will continue to work on the original Sonos S1 system software.
You can also choose to keep all of your Sonos equipment on Sonos S1 (as it has been renamed), although that means your later Sonos speakers will not benefit from any new features and any product released after May 2020 will not be compatible.
What's new in Sonos S2?
We've been playing with the new software and these are the new aspects that have arrived with it.
The biggest change is support for Dolby Atmos. This is primarily for the Sonos Arc soundbar, which features two upfiring speaker drivers that allow for extra height channels.
At present, no other Sonos speaker has Dolby Atmos compatibility, but it also indicates that the new software is capable of supporting other high resolution/high bandwidth audio technologies that could be added in future.
While the latest version of the app looks similar to the last, its design has been refined for a slightly cleaner look and better navigation.
Certainly, we found it easier to swipe around the app and find the music we wanted.
The playback screen also looks nicer, with a cleaner, chunkier aesthetic and larger on-screen buttons. The streaming service logo - your source - is better displayed too.
Saved room groups
While we didn't get to test this ourselves (we only had the one speaker linked to the beta version), you can now save room groups so you don't have to manually select which rooms to add to a zone or group each time. You can simply set it up the first time and hit one button to stream to all devices in that selection.
In all honesty, there's not many more significant changes to be found in the app for now - save for "better security" that's hard to quantify exactly. However, the latest platform is better designed for future updates. And, the fact that you should be able to use it intuitively because it is similar to the last version is a good thing. Who wants to learn their way around a new app just to use an existing sound system?
It's also worth noting that, once switched over all favourites, services and settings will be transferred to the new app. So, unless you have designated legacy kit, there's no reason not to start to enjoy Sonos S2.