How to Control Sonos with Homeboy

by | Jul 4, 2017 | Tips

Insteon added support for Sonos speakers over a year ago, allowing you to trigger favorites and basic playback controls (play/pause, skip, etc.). Unfortunately, Insteon only made this feature available in its iOS app, leaving Android and Windows users without similar capabilities. Third party apps and services also can’t take advantage of this Sonos control, because it’s not exposed through Insteon’s API.

But there is a way to control your Sonos speakers with Homeboy on any platform…as long as you have the Insteon for Hub app on just one iOS device. The trick is to set up your Sonos devices and create scenes for the functions you want to access in Homeboy.

Setting It Up

Setting this up is pretty easy, and Insteon’s in-app instructions will guide you through the process. Just follow these steps in the Insteon for Hub app on your iPhone or iPad to set up a Sonos player:

  1. Add a Sonos player the same way you’d add any device.
  2. Select one of the Sonos devices the Insteon app finds on your network.
  3. Assign the Sonos player a name and room(s). You may want to consider adding a new “Sonos” room to group all of your Sonos devices and scenes.
  4. Add some player presets, following the in-app instructions, for your favorite stations, playlists, or sources. Note that not all Sonos sources can be added as Insteon presets.

Now you need to create some scenes:

  1. Create a scene including the Sonos player you just added, and select the Play/Pause function. Name it something simple, like “Speakers.”
  2. Add this scene to the room that contains the device (and to your Sonos room, if applicable).
  3. Create a scene for each of the presets you want to control from Homeboy and add them all to the appropriate room(s). Again, name them simply, so they make sense in the app (e.g., “Radio 1,” “Chill Time,” or “WTOP”).

Test the device and scene controls you just created before you close Insteon’s app. Each of your presets should play when you turn on the scenes you created for them. If you have speakers grouped through Sonos, they should play, too. Turning a scene off pauses playback.   Turning the Speakers scene on and off should resume and pause whatever you were last playing, respectively.

Ready for Homeboy

Now go to the Homeboy app on your device—any device: iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. To ensure Homeboy reloads all your device information, you may want to unload the app first, then open it up again.   Your Sonos room—or the room where you assigned your Sonos player and scenes—has all the controls you just set up, allowing you to start any preset or play/pause your Sonos speaker(s) by triggering those scenes.

Added Bonus

Now you may be thinking, “hey, if I can create Sonos scenes, could I add Sonos music to other scenes I already use around the house?” Why yes…yes you can. For example, you could turn off all Sonos speakers in your home as part of your Good Night scene or turn on a specific station as part of your Wake Up scene. The possibilities are proverbially endless.   And if you’re a friend of Alexa, the scenes you just created will let you control Sonos from the Echo devices in your home as long as you’ve configured Insteon’s Alexa Skill. So in addition to using Homeboy, you can also ask Alexa to “Turn on Radio 1” or “Turn off the Speakers.” Enjoy!