Sonos and Ikea’s Symfonisk collaboration took lots of people abruptly when it was introduced earlier this 12 months, however the match up is much less unlikely than it’d seem at first look. Ikea’s whole mission has been delivering sensible, high quality design ideas at value factors which are extra broadly accessible – and that’s precisely what it’s achieved with its collaboration with Sonos, albeit with sound as a substitute of furnishings. The new $99 Symfonisk WiFi bookshelf speaker, and the brand new $179 Symfonisk desk lamp with WiFi speaker each ship the superb efficiency and sound high quality that’s anticipated from the Sonos model, in beguilingly sensible on a regular basis designs created by Ikea.
Symfonisk bookshelf speaker
The descriptor “bookshelf speaker” on this case means greater than it often does – Ikea has designed these to both mix seamlessly in with hour precise e-book assortment on present shelf items, or to truly act as cabinets themselves, utilizing a easy add-on accent package that features a flush wall mount and a rubber matt to guard its high floor whereas holding your gear (as much as 6.6 lbs). They can even rail-mount on Ikea’s kitchen rail merchandise for handy kitchen set up, or they’ve rubberized pads on each the underside and facet surfaces for both horizontal or vertical floor mounting. Each speaker has two channels for cables to exit each vertically and horizontally for flush mounting, and there’s an Ethernet port on every and a cable within the field for hardwired connections to your own home community.
At $99, they’re the brand new most reasonably priced option to get into the Sonos system, undercutting the Play:1 by $50. Leaving apart their utility as free-floating cabinets (with a good 12″ x 6″ floor space, seemingly appropriate for bedside tables for a lot of), they’re an ideal introduction to the Sonos ecosystem for anybody who’s felt that Sonos {hardware} is simply too costly. And they’re virtually tailored to behave as rear audio system in a Sonos encompass sound dwelling theater configuration. I paired mine with my present Sonos Beam sounder and Sonos Sub, they usually delivered to the purpose the place you’d be hard-pressed to inform the distinction between the Symfonisk bookshelves and the Play:1 working in that capability.
That stated, you do discover a distinction between the Symfonisk bookshelf and the Play:1, or the Sonos One, relating to sound high quality once they’re used on their very own as particular person or stereo-paired audio system. The bookshelf audio system comprise completely new inner speaker designs, for the reason that kind issue is nothing like every present Sonos {hardware} in the marketplace, and which means you find yourself with a distinct sound profile vs. the extra squat, rotund Sonos One and Play:1.
To my ears, the Symfonisk bookshelf speaker sounds barely worse when in comparison with the Sonos One and Play:1. This is just not that stunning – these Sonos audio system are dearer, for one, they usually actually out punch their weight class relating to general sound high quality. And even when the Symfonisk cabinets usually are not fairly as much as par, they’re nonetheless wonderful sounding wi-fi audio system for his or her value – for sure I might decide to select these up rather than Play:1s for elements of my home the place I don’t want the built-in Alexa or Google Assistant of the Sonos One, however need high-fidelity sound. In stereo pair configuration, the distinction is even much less noticeable.
The Symonisk shelf speaker design appears largely targeted on practicality, however it’s a superb trying speaker (out there in each black, as examined, and white). The rectangular field look is a bit more durable to combine as flexibly together with your decor when in comparison with the Sonos One, for my part, however alternatively there are some settings the place the Symfonisk shelf matches much more seamlessly, like when wall mounted behind a sofa to behave as rears, or when performing as bookend on an present bookshelf. The material speaker grill is detachable, and you’ll anticipate Sonos to have a look at aesthetic updates to probably change the look in future, too.
Because these are wi-fi audio system, there’s one other side of efficiency that’s necessary: connectivity. Symfonisk’s audio system (each these and the desk lamp, which I’ll speak extra about in a while) labored flawlessly throughout my a number of days of testing on this regard, with zero drop-outs that I observed when it got here to music playback, and flawless integration with my present Sonos community of audio system. I’m additionally seemingly one in all Sonos’ outlier prospects when it comes to the variety of audio system I’m utilizing – I’ve 14 lively at the moment, together with the Symfonisk audio system, all working totally wi-fi and with out the included Ethernet connection, and wi-fi playback has been rock strong throughout exams of this new Ikea line.
Set up can be a breeze, whether or not you’re new to Sonos or an present consumer, and is dealt with by way of the Sonos app (Ikea may also ultimately add it to its personal good dwelling management software program, the corporate tells me, and also you’ll have the ability to management it from each). Once added to your app, you may also use them by way of Alexa or Google Assistant when you’ve got these linked to your Sonos system, they usually present up as AirPlay 2 speaker for iOS and macOS customers, too.
Symfonisk desk lamp speaker
Like the bookshelf speaker, the Symfonisk desk lamp is extremely simple to setup and handle utilizing the Sonos app, and works with Alexa/Google Assistant and AirPlay 2. It was additionally excellent when it comes to efficiency with wi-fi connection and dealing with different audio system, and you should use Sonos’ TruePlay sound tuning function to make sure that it supplies the suitable sound profile to your area with a fast adjustment course of utilizing your cellphone’s microphone (this additionally works with the shelf audio system, by the best way, and I like to recommend it for any Sonos gear).
The desk lamp actually impresses in two methods, together with sound high quality and – this might sound apparent – by advantage of it additionally being an awesome lamp in addition to a speaker. The base of the lamp is the place the speaker resides, and it’s wrapped in a detachable material cowl that appears nice from afar and up shut. The shade is a single piece of handcrafted opaque glass, which supplies a really nice glow when lit from inside, and which makes use of a bayonet mount to lock into place.
This mount and shade alternative usually are not nearly appears – Sonos and Ikea evaluated completely different choices and located that this was simply the perfect when it got here to minimizing reverb and rattle for a lamp that’s additionally able to outputting loads of high-volume sound. The alternative seems to have been the nice one – in testing, I by no means observed something that steered there was something rattling or shaking round on account of even loud music being performed by means of the Symfonisk lamp speaker.
As talked about, the appears profit from this design choice, too. This desk lamp at first struck me as possibly a bit too trendy in pictures, however in situ it appears nice and is definitely now a favourite merchandise amongst my general dwelling decor. I do have just a few small complaints, like that the big dial on the facet is definitely a easy on/off change, reasonably than a dimmer or a quantity knob like I assumed it might be. The controls are on the entrance of the saucer-like base as a substitute, which is a intelligent option to make the lamp look much less like a gadget and extra like furnishings.
The gentle itself helps bulbs with E12-style threaded connectors and a max of 7 watts of vitality consumption, that are extra generally seen in chandeliers. Ikea despatched over one in all its Tradfri good bulbs, with wi-fi connectivity and adjustable white spectrum temperature management. It’s the proper complement to the lamp, and I used to be even capable of rapidly join it to my present Philips Hue hub for management with out an Ikea good bridge. With a wise bulb, the Symfonisk speaker lamp presents voice-control for each the lightning and the speaker part.
Where the Symfonisk shelf speaker differs from its Sonos brethren a bit in sound profile, the Symfonisk lamp speaker is surprisingly much like the Play:1 ($149) and Sonos One ($199) and sits proper in between each at $179. The internals are largely leveraged from these gadgets, in keeping with Sonos, which is sensible given its industrial design can be mainly a considerably squat cylinder. Regardless of how, the result’s terrific – it’s a lamp that’s truly a implausible speaker, and you’ll positively pull a trick at events of asking visitors to attempt to determine the supply of your high-quality, room filling sound in case you choose a number of of those up. As rears, they mix away seamlessly with the decor, fixing the age-old drawback of getting to decide on between high quality encompass sound and having a lounge that doesn’t appear like a Hi-Fi audio store.
The Symfonisk lamp is massive, nonetheless – it’s about two inches taller than a Sonos One with out the shade, and wider each when it comes to the bottom and the saucer-like backside. The look, whereas interesting to me, additionally isn’t essentially for everybody (although there are black and white variations relying in your choice) in order that is likely to be one more reason to go for different choices within the Sonos line vs. this one. But this explicit gentle/Sonos speaker combo is exclusive available in the market, and positively a powerful worth proposition.
Bottom line
With the Symfonisk line, Ikea and Sonos have actually pulled off one thing pretty wonderful – creating sensible, good decor that’s additionally nice audio gear. It’s a mixing of two worlds that ends in only a few compromises, and stands as a real instance of what’s attainable when two firms with a concentrate on human-centric design get collectively and actually concentrate on establishing a partnership that’s a lot deeper than two names on a label.
Sonos and Ikea’s team-up isn’t only a restricted assortment, both – it’s a long-term partnership, so you may anticipate extra from each down the highway. For now, nonetheless, the Symfonisk bookshelf and Symfonisk desk lamp audio system go on sale beginning August 1 at Ikea.com and Ikea’s shops, and are superb choices in case you’re available in the market for a wise speaker.

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