You have thousands of songs saved on your computer, you subscribe to Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play Music, and you’re always listening to trendy podcasts.
What’s missing from your world of audio entertainment? Why, a little bit of live radio, of course.
If you own a Sonos system, you can use the official app to access several live radio services. But did you know you can also tune in using a URL?
Keep reading, and we’ll show you how to add radio apps to your Sonos, tell you which three apps are the best right now, and explain how to use the URL feature to boot.
How to Add a Radio Service to the Sonos App
You can add a radio service to Sonos from within the desktop and mobile apps. To save boring you all to death we’re only going to explain how to do this on the desktop.
To begin, fire up the Sonos app and install any pending updates.
Once you’re looking at the app’s home screen, locate the Select a Music Source panel on the right-hand side of the window. Here, you will see all your existing services. At the bottom of the list, click on Add Music Services.
Scroll down through the long list of services until you find the radio app you want to add. Thn click on the app’s name.
Depending on the service, you might have to enter your login credentials and give Sonos permission to access your account. Click on either Set Up [Service] or Authorize.
When you have completed the setup process, you will find the radio app listed in your list of music services. Click on the app’s name to start using it.
The Top 3 Radio Apps on Sonos
So, now that you know how to add radio services to your Sonos app, let’s look at which ones are worth adding.
1. TuneIn Radio
It’s impossible not to start a list of best radio apps with TuneIn Radio. It comes pre-installed on your system and gives you access to all of the live radio you could ever want.
With 100,000 radio stations available, the scope of the content is near-endless. The company has partnerships in place with many famous North American broadcasters, including CBC, ESPN, C-SPAN, and NPR.
It also offers world programming. You can hear everything from the local news in Mumbai to the latest hits in Bolivia.
Lastly, the service is a great way to listen to live sports. The English Premier League, the NFL, and MLB all have play-by-play broadcast deals in place with TuneIn.
Away from live radio, TuneIn also offers more than four million on-demand programs and podcasts.
As enjoyable as live radio can be, there’s also a lot of dross you should try to avoid. If you only enjoy a particular show or presenter, the dross quickly becomes frustrating.
DAR.fm offers a solution by allowing you to record your favorite shows. You can pre-program the recordings in advance and listen to them at your leisure. You can also download shows and take them with you on portable devices.
There’s lots of popular content on the app. Including well-known shows such as Pardon the Interruption (ESPN), Hardball with Chris Matthews (MSNBC), and BBC Global News.
Unfortunately, although DAR.fm is free to use in a web browser, you need to pay an annual subscription fee of $49.95 to use the app on third-party devices such as Sonos. Which sucks.
3. Calm Radio
Radio doesn’t have to be all about listening to the latest rubbish to come out of Justin Bieber’s piehole. It can also be a source of relaxation and tranquility.
Calm Radio is the best “peaceful radio” app on the Sonos system. It offers more than 250 channels across genres such as Acoustic, Classical, Jazz, Ambient, Country, World Music, and Classical Composers.
Additionally, it offers atmospheric channels. They are specifically designed for activities such as working, sleeping, and meditating. There’s even one for those unfortunate people who suffer from tinnitus.
All the music is broadcast in 192kHz, which is the equivalent quality to CDs.
Using URLs to Listen to Live Radio
Sonos offers a second way to listen to live radio in real-time. By using its URL feature you can listen to stations that aren’t available using the radio apps discussed above.
In order for this to work, you need to ensure the stream you want to add is available in either MP3, AAC, or WMA format.
Secondly, you will need the URL of the radio stations you want to add. Some stations make their URLs available on their websites.
If the URL is not on the website, try launching the station then right-clicking on the Play button. If you see Properties, click on it and you will see the URL. You can also try using a third-party app like URL Snooper.
If you still cannot find it, you’ll need to contact the station directly.
Once you have the radio’s URL, fire up the Sonos app and navigate to Manage > Add Radio Station. Enter the URL into the Streaming URL box and give the station a name. When you’re ready, click OK.
To listen to your freshly-added station, open TuneIn Radio from your list of music sources, then select My Radio Stations. Right-click on the station and select Add to Sonos Favorites to put a shortcut to your station on the Sonos app’s homepage.
Note: You cannot add a URL radio station to Sonos using the mobile apps, but you can listen to them on mobile apps once you’ve added them to the desktop app.
Now You Can Listen to Live Radio With Sonos
Hopefully, you’re now comfortable with adding radio apps to your Sonos system, and you know how to use the URL radio feature to listen to live radio on your Sonos speaker. Make use of them both, and you’ll unquestionably take your Sonos experience to the next level.