SONOS question - iMac and Sonos portable Roam speaker - Play Spotify simultaneously?

Quick question that seems dumb to be asking - but I can’t seem to figure this out definitively one way or the other. I just bought my first Sonos product… started small with the portable Roam but already loving this thing and the “ecosystem” around Sonos. I downloaded the Sonos app for my iMac and I also already had the Spotify app. I have my iMac upstairs and my Roam in my kitchen downstairs. I was trying to set playback of Spotify music to both the iMac as well as the Sonos Roam, simultaneously, the create a pseudo-whole home audio system until I get more Sonos devices for upstairs and throughout the rest of the house. But until then - is this not possible with the iMac and Sonos Roam? When I use the Spotify Mac app and go to the Spotify Connect tab for the Roam, it transfer the music 100% to that speaker. When I then click Spotify Connect to this computer, it goes back to my iMac and nothing from the Roam. I’m trying to get them simultaneously. And when I use the Sonos app on my iMac, this is exclusively through the Sonos Roam, as expected.

This doesn’t seem that complicated to me, but I can’t figure it out and need an answer! Thanks in advance. FYI - everything is “up-to-date” in terms of software versions. iMac is 2017 27"

From my experience with various AirPlay speakers scattered around the house, a multiple speaker setup must involve all-airplay devices. I’m assuming the iMac would be playing through its own speakers, not via Airplay. Typically, Airplay speakers lag directly-connected speakers by a second or two. Maybe that’s why you’re not allowed to play both sources at the same time?

When you Airplay from your iMac to the Sonos Roam you are in practice changing the sound output from the Mac to the Sonos, so it’s not possible to play simultaneously on both.

Like karlnyhus mentioned, it must involve all-airplay devices or all Sonos devices.

Check out the Airfoil app by Rogue Amoeba.

It runs on the iMac and can then simultaneously direct audio from an app (e.g. Spotify) to a number of targets such as the iMac’s speakers as well as the Roam. For this use, the Spotify app is set up to connect to the iMac’s speakers then Airfoil just needs to be configured to play through both targets.

I just tested this using my 2019 MBP and a Sonos1. I was not able to make this work using the Sonos app but believe this is because the Sonos speakers are handling the streaming directly and the app is just a controller.

There are Airfoil Satellite apps which can turn other devices (such as a second Mac or iOS device) into Airfoil targets plus let those devices be used as remote controls for the main Airfoil app.

Use of the Sonos app for multi room playback is unlikely to work on anything but a 100% Sonos environment.

FYI, a feature of macOS Monterey is to allow a Mac to become an AirPlay 2 speaker so this is another option if you can wait until that becomes available in - possibly - a week or so (might not know the release date until the Apple event on September 14. This, however, may still not work unless streaming from a third device such as an iPhone since I don’t think the iMac could be an AirPlay 2 source and target at the same time.

Edit: note that many of Rogue Amoeba’s are not yet compatible with macOS 12 Monterey so bear that in mind if considering Airfoil and being a macOS upgrade early adopter. Track app compatibility here.

Thank you to all for the prompt responses - very helpful and kind of what I was thinking when I take a step back and view the Sonos as a “whole ecosystem.” Bummer on the one hand that I can’t utilize my iMac as a speaker in this setup, because it’s a great sound system for a small space upstairs. @JoePreiser - really great advice with the AirFoil app, I’ll check that out… but even BETTER idea with the Airplay2 to the iMac with the upcoming Mac/iOS updates. I really didn’t understand the concept of this when they announced it, but if it could work, that would be a perfect utilization of something like that. Anyways, I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but until then - thanks as always for the help to everybody!

I haven’t done it in a while. But I believe the Mac Sonos app will allow you to play music from the Mac and still send it to other speakers.