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homebridge-zp

Homebridge plugin for Sonos ZonePlayer

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Homebridge ZP

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Homebridge plugin for Sonos Zone Players

Copyright © 2016-2021 Erik Baauw. All rights reserved.

This Homebridge plugin exposes Sonos zone players to Apple's HomeKit. It provides the following features:

  • Automatic discovery of Sonos zones, taking into account stereo pairs and home theatre setup;
  • Support for Sonos groups, created through the Sonos app;
  • Control from HomeKit of play/pause, sleep timer, next/previous track, volume, and mute per Sonos group;
  • Control from HomeKit of input selection per group, from Sonos favourites and local sources, like LineIn, Airplay;
  • Optional control from HomeKit of volume, mute, balance, bass, treble, loudness, night sound, and speech enhancement per Sonos zone;
  • Optional control from HomeKit for Sonos zones leaving Sonos groups, and for Sonos zones creating/joining one Sonos group;
  • Optional control from HomeKit to enable/disable Sonos alarms;
  • Real-time monitoring from HomeKit of state per Sonos group and, optionally, per Sonos zone. Like the Sonos app, Homebridge ZP subscribes to zone player events to receive notifications;
  • Optional control from HomeKit for the status LED and child lock per zone player. Note that Sonos doesn't support events for these, so Homebridge ZP cannot provide real-time monitoring for this;
  • Includes command-line tools, for controlling Sonos zone players and for troubleshooting.

Prerequisites

You need a server to run Homebridge. This can be anything running Node.js: from a Raspberry Pi, a NAS system, or an always-on PC running Linux, macOS, or Windows. See the Homebridge Wiki for details. I run Homebridge ZP on a Raspberry Pi 3B+.

To interact with HomeKit, you need Siri or a HomeKit app on an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple TV (4th generation or later). I recommend to use the latest released versions of iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
Please note that Siri and even Apple's Home app still provide only limited HomeKit support. To use the full features of Homebridge Zp, you might want to check out some other HomeKit apps, like the Eve app (free) or Matthias Hochgatterer's Home+ app (paid).

As Sonos uses UPnP to discover the zone players, the server running Homebridge must be on the same subnet as your Sonos zone players. As HomeKit uses Bonjour to discover Homebridge, the server running Homebridge must be on the same subnet as your iDevices running HomeKit. For remote access and for HomeKit automations, you need to setup an Apple TV (4th generation or later), HomePod, or iPad as home hub.

Zones

Homebridge ZP creates an accessory per Sonos zone, named after the zone, e.g. Living Room Sonos for the Living Room zone. By default, this accessory contains a single Switch service, with the same name as the accessory. The standard On characteristic is used for play/pause control. Additional characteristics control volume, select input, change track, etc. However, neither Apple's Home app nor Siri support these.

To control the volume from Apple's Home app and/or Siri, the type of the service, as well as the type of characteristic used for volume can be changed from config.json, see Configuration and issue #10. Note that speaker support in Apple's Home app is based on the AirPlay2 protocol. Despite the "HomeKit" branding, technically, this has nothing to do with HomeKit. No Homebridge plugin can expose speakers that look like AirPlay2 speakers in the Home app. Also note that these Airplay2 speakers cannot be accessed by other HomeKit apps.

When "tv": true is set in config.json, Homebridge ZP creates an additional Television accessory per zone, allowing input selection from Apple's Home app and control from the Remote widget. Note that Apple has imposed some technical restrictions on Television accessories:

  • They cannot be bridged; they need to be paired to HomeKit individually;
  • They cannot be accessed by HomeKit apps; only from Apple's Home app.

Groups

When multiple Sonos zones, e.g. Living Room and Kitchen, are grouped into one Sonos group, the Sonos app shows them as a single room, e.g. Living Room + 1, with shared control for play/pause, music source, and (group) volume and mute. When this group is broken, each zone forms a separate standalone group, containing only that zone. The Sonos app shows each standalone group as a separate room, with separate control per room for play/pause, music source, and (zone) volume and mute.

If Homebridge ZP would mimic this behaviour, dynamically creating and deleting accessories for groups, HomeKit would lose the assignment to HomeKit rooms, groups, scenes, and automations, every time an accessory is deleted. Consequently, you would have to reconfigure HomeKit each time you group or ungroup Sonos zones.

To overcome this, Homebridge ZP creates an accessory and corresponding service for each Sonos zone. This service actually controls the Sonos group the zone is in rather than the zone. When separated, the Living Room Sonos service controls the standalone Living Room group, consisting of only the Living Room zone; and the Kitchen Sonos service controls the standalone Kitchen group, consisting of only the Kitchen zone. When grouped, both the Living Room Sonos service and the Kitchen Sonos service control the multi-zone Living Room + 1 group, containing both the Living Room and Kitchen zones. The Sonos Group characteristic shows which group the zone belongs to, or rather: the name of the group coordinator zone, in this example: Living Room.

So when grouped, changing the Living Room Sonos Volume changes the volume of both the Living Room zone and the Kitchen zone. So does changing the Kitchen Sonos Volume. When ungrouped, changing the Living Room Sonos Volume only changes the volume of the Living Room zone; and changing the Kitchen Sonos Volume only changes the volume of the Kitchen zone.

Speakers

To change the volume of an individual zone in a multi-zone group, an additional Volume characteristic is needed for the zone, next to the Volume characteristic for the group. As HomeKit doesn't support multiple characteristics of the same type per service, it actually requires an additional service. By specifying "speakers": true in config.json, Homebridge ZP creates an additional Speakers service for each zone accessory, to control the individual zone. This service is named after the zone as well, in our example: Living Room Speakers.

The Speakers service On characteristic is used to join, or leave a Sonos group. On is set, when the zone is a member of other zone's group. It is clear, when the zone is the coordinator of it's own group (either standalone or with other zones as member). By setting On, the zone will join groups with the target coordinator. The target coordinator is set using the Sonos Coordinator characteristic in the Sonos service. By clearing On, the zone will leave the group and become coordinator of a standalone group.

Additional characteristics for Volume, Mute, Bass, Treble, and Loudness control the corresponding zone attributes. Note that Bass, Treble, and Loudness are custom characteristics. They might not be supported by all HomeKit apps, see Caveats below.

Like the Sonos service, the type of the Speakers service can be changed in config.json from the default Switch.

Command-Line Tool

Homebridge ZP includes a command-line tool, zp, to interact with your Sonos Zone Players from the command line. It takes a -h or --help argument to provide a brief overview of its functionality and command-line arguments.

Installation

To install Homebridge ZP:

  • Follow the instructions on the Homebridge Wiki to install Node.js and Homebridge;
  • Install the Homebridge ZP plugin through Homebridge Config UI X or manually by:
    $ sudo npm -g i homebridge-zp
    
  • Edit config.json and add the ZP platform provided by Homebridge ZP, see Configuration.

Configuration

In Homebridge's config.json you need to specify Homebridge ZP as a platform plugin:

  "platforms": [
    {
      "platform": "ZP"
    }
  ]

The following optional parameters can be added to modify Homebridge ZP's behaviour:

KeyDefaultDescription
address(discovered)The IP address for the web server Homebridge ZP creates to receive notifications from Sonos zone players. This must be an IP address of the server running Homebridge ZP, reachable by the zone players. You might need to set this on a multi-homed server, if Homebridge ZP binds to the wrong network interface.
alarmsfalseFlag whether to expose an additional service per Sonos alarm.
brightnessfalseFlag whether to expose volume as Brightness when service is "switch" or "speaker". Setting this flag enables volume control from Siri, but not from Apple's Home app.
excludeAirPlayfalseFlag whether not to expose zone players that support Airplay, since they natively show up in Apple's Home app.
forceS2falseFlag whether to expose only S2 zone players. See Split Sonos System below.
heartrate(disabled)Interval (in seconds) to poll zone players when leds is set.
ledsfalseFlag whether to expose an additional Lightbulb service per zone for the status LED. This also supports locking the physical controls.
nameScheme"% Sonos"The name scheme for the HomeKit accessories. % is replaced with the zone name. E.g. with the default name scheme, the accessory for the Kitchen zone is set to Kitchen Sonos. Note that this does not change the names of the HomeKit services, used by Siri.
port0 (random)The port for the web server Homebridge ZP creates to receive notifications from Sonos zone players.
resetTimeout500Timeout (in milliseconds) to reset input (e.g. Change Volume).
service"switch"Defines what type of service and volume characteristic Homebridge ZP uses. Possible values are: "switch" for Switch and Volume; "speaker" for Speaker and Volume; "light" for LightBulb and Brightness; and "fan" for Fan and Rotation Speed. Selecting "light" or "fan" enables changing the Sonos volume from Siri and from Apple's Home app. Selecting "speaker" results in a not supported accessory in Apple's Home app.
speakersfalseFlag whether to expose a second Speakers service per zone, in addition to the standard Sonos service, see Speakers. You might want to set this if you're using Sonos groups in a configuration of multiple Sonos zones.
subscriptionTimeout30The duration (in minutes) of the subscriptions Homebridge ZP creates with each zone player.
timeout15The timeout (in seconds) to wait for a response from a Sonos zone player.
tvfalseCreate an additional, non-bridged TV accessory for each zone.
Note that each TV accessory needs to be paired with HomeKit separately, using the same pin as for Homebridge, as specified in config.json.
tvIdPrefixTVPrefix for serial number of TV accessories, to enable multiple instances of Homebridge ZP on the same network.

Below is an example config.json that exposes the Sonos and Speakers service as a HomeKit Speaker and volume as Brightness, so it can be controlled from Siri:

  "platforms": [
    {
      "platform": "ZP",
      "service": "speaker",
      "brightness": true,
      "speakers": true
    }
  ]

Split Sonos System

If you have a split Sonos system, Homebridge ZP will expose either the S2 or the S1 zone players, depending on which player is quickest to respond during discovery. Usually this will be a restored S2 player, but there's no guarantee, especially after clearing the cached accessories. This could cause HomeKit to drop accessories, treating them as new accessories when re-exposed, losing any association to HomeKit rooms, groups, scenes, and automations. To prevent this, set forceS2 in config.json.

To expose both the S2 and the S1 zone players, create two platform entries:

"platforms": [
  {
    "platform": "ZP",
    "forceS2": true
  },
  {
    "platform": "ZPS1"
  }
]

Troubleshooting

Check Dependencies

If you run into Homebridge startup issues, please double-check what versions of Node.js and of Homebridge have been installed. Homebridge ZP has been developed and tested using the latest LTS version of Node.js and the latest version of Homebridge. Other versions might or might not work - I simply don't have the bandwidth to test these.

Run Homebridge ZP Solo

If you run into Homebridge startup issues, please run a separate instance of Homebridge with only Homebridge ZP (and Homebridge Config UI X) enabled in config.json. This way, you can determine whether the issue is related to Homebridge ZP itself, or to the interaction of multiple Homebridge plugins in your setup. You can start this separate instance of Homebridge on a different system, as a different user, or from a different user directory (specified by the -U flag). Make sure to use a different Homebridge name, username, and (if running on the same system) port in the config.json for each instance.

Debug Log File

Homebridge ZP outputs an info message for each HomeKit characteristic value it sets and for each HomeKit characteristic value change notification it receives. When Homebridge is started with -D, Homebridge ZP outputs a debug message for each request it makes to a Sonos zone player and for each zone player notification event it receives.

To capture these messages into a log file do the following:

  • If you're running Homebridge as a service, stop that service;
  • Run Homebridge manually, capturing the output into a file, by issuing:
    $ homebridge -CD 2>&1 | tee homebridge.log
    
  • Interact with your devices, through their native app and or through HomeKit to trigger the issue;
  • Hit interrupt (ctrl-C) to stop Homebridge;
  • If you're running Homebridge as a service, restart the service;
  • Compress the log file by issuing:
    $ gzip homebridge.log
    

Web Server

Like the Sonos app, Homebridge ZP subscribes to the zone player events to be notified in real-time of changes. It creates a web server to receive these notifications. The IP address and port number for this listener are logged in a debug message, e.g.

[1/1/2020, 11:58:35 AM] [Sonos] listening on http://192.168.x.x:58004/notify

To check whether the listener is reachable from the network, open this URL in your web browser. You should see an overview of the active subscriptions per zone player.

Getting Help

If you have a question, please post a message to the #zp channel of the Homebridge community on Discord.

If you encounter a problem, please open an issue on GitHub. Please attach a copy of homebridge.log.gz to the issue, see Debug Log File. Please do not copy/paste large amounts of log output.

Caveats

Homebridge ZP is a hobby project of mine, provided as-is, with no warranty whatsoever. I've been running it successfully at my home for years, but your mileage might vary.

The HomeKit terminology needs some getting used to. An accessory more or less corresponds to a physical device, accessible from your iOS device over WiFi or Bluetooth. A bridge (like Homebridge) is an accessory that provides access to other, bridged, accessories. An accessory might provide multiple services. Each service corresponds to a virtual device (like a lightbulb, switch, motion sensor, ..., but also: a programmable switch button, accessory information, battery status). Siri interacts with services, not with accessories. A service contains one or more characteristics. A characteristic is like a service attribute, which might be read or written by HomeKit apps. You might want to checkout Apple's HomeKit Accessory Simulator, which is distributed as an additional tool for Xcode.

The Sonos terminology needs some getting used to. A zone corresponds to a physical room. It consists of a single zone player, two zone players configured as a stereo pair, or a home theatre setup (e.g. a PlayBar with separate surround speakers). Typically, zone setup is static; you would only change it when physically re-arranging your zone players between rooms. A zone group is a collection of one or more zones, playing the same music in sync. A zone group is controlled by its coordinator zone. Typically, groups are dynamic, you add and/or remove zones to/from a group when listening to your music. Controls for play/pause and music source act on a zone group. Controls for volume and mute act on a zone group or on a single zone. Controls for bass, treble, and loudness act on a single zone. Note that Sonos uses the term room ambiguously: on the Sonos app main screen it corresponds to a zone group, but in the Room Settings it corresponds to a zone.

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