Sonos Ikea Symfonisk speaker partnership a cultural shift for wireless multiroom audio

posted on Monday, 15th April 2019 by Steve May

Wireless  Sonos  Design  Multi-room 

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Sonos has partnered with Ikea, for a range of wireless speakers. Unveiled at Milan Design Week, the two models comprise a slimline bookshelf speaker and a combi speaker/table lamp.

The Swedish furniture maker has dubbed the line Symfonisk. Both speakers can be controlled via the Sonos app, and work within a wider Sonos ecosystem.

Available in white or black finishes,  the book shelf Symfonisk will retail for 100 euros, while the table lamp Wi-Fi speaker is priced at 179 euros.

The bookshelf speaker, which can be mounted vertically or horizontally, was demonstrated working in a variety of ways in Milan, on a conventional book shelf (It comes with a custom bracket), wall-mounted and in a kitchen environment. Ikea clearly expects users to buy multiples of the book shelf model to use around the home. If wall-mounted horizontally, in shelf mode, it can carry up to 3 kg.

Symfonisk Table Lamp

Symfonisk Range

Ikea has gradually moved into the connected living space, first launching a range of wireless LED light bulbs, however this is the first time it has produced a connected range compatible with an established platform.

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence says the partnership represents “ a huge cultural shift” for the brand. “We have never done anything like this before.”

It’s a canny move for both the connected speaker leader and the flatpack lifestyle leader.The two Symfonisk speakers will introduce Sonos to a wider, lifestyle market who may never have considered a higher-end Sonos solution. While neither model has an integrated microphone, and cannot be used directly with voice control, they can be used in conjunction with an Amazon Alexa product. Google Assistant support is also incoming.

Inside CI enjoyed a listening session with the two new models in Milan, and was impressed by just how listenable they are. The table lamp has a particularly pronounced mid-bass, which delivers a surprising amount of heft. It certainly sounds far more entertaining than a table lamp has any right to.

The bookshelf model appears to perform somewhere between an Amazon Echo Plus and a Sonos Play:1.

The Ikea Symfonisk speakers will launch worldwide in August.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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