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(Pocket-lint) - Sonos speakers have some great features - many of which you can read about in our Sonos tips and tricks - but Sound Swap is a new one that launched on the company's second portable speaker, the Sonos Roam.

This feature explains what Sonos Sound Swap is, how it works, and what speakers it is available on.

What is Sonos Sound Swap?

Sound Swap is an extension of one of the other features offered on all Sonos speakers that allows users to bring a Sonos speaker into an existing group by pressing and holding the play/pause button on top of the speaker you want to add to the group.

With the Sound Swap feature, continuing to hold the play/pause button following the grouping option allows users to send the music playing on the Sonos Roam to the closest Sonos speaker rather than group it, transferring the music from Roam to another speaker, such as your Sonos Five in your living room or Sonos One in your kitchen.

How does Sonos Sound Swap work?

Sonos Sound Swap works when the Sonos Roam is on Wi-Fi. When on Wi-Fi and the play/pause button on Roam has been pressed and held (for about five seconds), the speaker will prompt other Sonos speakers on your network to emit an ultrasonic frequency sound. You need to continue to hold the play/pause button beyond the first sound which the Roam will emit when you press the button initially after about three seconds. This takes it past the adding to a group and onto the Sound Swap function.

Whilst you won't hear the ultrasonic frequency with your own ears, Roam's onboard microphone will be able to detect the frequency and determine which Sonos speaker is the closest and therefore which to send the sound to based on signal strength. 

The music will move from Sonos Roam to the nearest speaker in around five seconds. It's worth noting that it is not possible to swap home theatre content.

What speakers is Sonos Sound Swap available on?

At the moment, the Sonos Sound Swap feature is only available on Sonos Roam, but you can swap the music from Roam to most of the other speakers within the Sonos portfolio - see below for the ones that don't work.

Sonos hasn't said whether Sound Swap will come to other Sonos speakers - specifically Move as the feature makes more sense for a portable speaker than the traditional Sonos speakers.

We would imagine it is possible for Sound Swap to come to other speakers through a software update - and Sonos is typically very good at improving its speakers with regular updates - but for now, Sound Swap is only on Sonos Roam. We hope it does come to other speakers though, as it's great in use.

What speakers aren't compatible with Sonos Sound Swap?

If you have a Sonos Roam and you want to use the Sound Swap feature to send music to another one of your Sonos speakers, there are a couple that the feature won't work with.

The following Sonos devices are not compatible with Sonos Sound Swap:

  • Sonos Play:3
  • Sonos Play:1
  • Sonos Port
  • Sonos Connect
  • Sonos Connect:Amp
  • Sonos Boost

Sonos said it is unable to control the frequency levels for passive speakers that are hooked up to the Sonos Port and as it requires the ultrasonic frequency sound to detect the nearest player, the Port isn't compatible.

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The company also said the Play:3, Play:1. Connect and Connect:Amp do not have the processing power required for Sound Swap. It is possible to swap to Amp if it is connected to Sonos by Sonance speakers though.  

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 9 March 2021.