At the beginning of the year IKEA and Sonos surprised us with the announcement of two devices that combined the functionality of a cabinet and the sound of a renowned manufacturer of audio systems. The Symfonisk range was released with a lamp with a speaker and a speaker that can act as a shelf . They were not the first speakers launched by the Swedish manufacturer, but they were the first in collaboration with Sonos. So we really wanted to try the new IKEA Symfonisks and see if they sound up to the task.
I have spent almost three weeks using these new speakers . I placed the lamp in my work area, since it is where I spend the most time. I put the shelf speaker in the living room, where I have been able to place it without too many problems due to its versatility. And I must say that, especially the lamp, I was surprised. When the IKEA Symfonisks were presented my first question was whether they would really have “a Sonos sound” or IKEA had very limited the well-known audio manufacturer. But after spending a few days with them, I can assure you that they sound really good.
Designed to blend into the decor
Both the lamp and the speaker shelf have a very particular design. I personally like both, but I understand that everyone has their own tastes.
As you can see in the images, the speaker of the lamp is quite large . It is covered with an acoustic fabric that can be gray or black, depending on the model we choose. It has a cylindrical shape, very similar to that of many current speakers (Sonos One, Apple's Homepod, Amazon's Echo, etc). On one of the sides we have a small wheel to turn the lighting on and off.
Under the loudspeaker there is a small base, made of plastic , colored white in the test unit. Here we will have three buttons placed to control the volume and the start or pause of music playback.
This small base contacts the furniture by means of a silicone rubber foot . This material provides stability, prevents it from slipping and also protects the surface of the furniture.
At the back we have an Ethernet connector and the power cable outlet. The latter is covered in a white fabric, giving a quality touch to the final finish.
The lighting area is placed in the upper part, with a glass screen with rounded shapes . It is attached to the speaker by a plastic piece with four protrusions. These are the ones that we must put in place and then turn the whole set until we hear a “clack”.
The IKEA Symfonisk lamp comes without a bulb. We will need a bulb with an E14 connector and with a maximum power of 7W . Unfortunately, the lighting part does not have any added functionality. In other words, it is not compatible with assistants, nor with the IKEA TRÅDFRI system. If we want to make the lamp "smart" we will have to buy a light bulb that is (IKEA's TRÅDFRI system, TP-Link bulbs, Philips HUE, Xiaomi, etc).
The other model in the IKEA Symfonisk range is the shelf speaker . It is a speaker designed to be placed both horizontally and vertically. It is also possible to fix it to the wall using special supports that are not included. These allow the speaker to be used as a shelf, since it supports up to 3 kilos of weight on it .
It is available in white with gray fabric and in black . The front part is covered by an acoustic fabric very similar to that of the lamp. In the lower area we find the three manual controls, for volume and playback.
As for the housing of the device, it is made of plastic . It looks good quality plastic, but it falls short of the premium finish of other brands. The back has a pair of guides for the cables, some in case we place the speaker horizontally and others in case we put it vertically.
We have the same connectors that we have seen on the lamp. That is, in the back we will have the Ethernet connection and the power cable.
The speaker has small rubber mounts that allow us to put the speaker on a piece of furniture without fear of being marked (neither the speaker nor the piece of furniture). It has caught my attention that these small rubber bands are both horizontally and vertically , which shows the care that IKEA has put in the design.
The shape of the speaker will not only allow us to hang it as a shelf. Its depth makes it perfect on the most popular IKEA shelves, such as the BILLY or the KALLAX.
Use experience: as if it were any other Sonos speaker
You might think that, being a collaboration with IKEA, Symfonisk speakers would have a different use than the usual Sonos models. But it's not like that. For the purposes of configuration and use, we are facing a speaker from the well-known audio manufacturer.
So, once the speaker is connected to the electrical network, the first thing we will have to do is download and run the Sonos application . Once opened, the software will quickly detect the presence of a new speaker and configure it. It is important to tell him where we have placed the loudspeaker so that later we can identify it, since we must not forget that we are dealing with a multi-room system.
When we have the speakers configured, we can use the Sonos application with all its options. It is a fairly complete application, although it is also very easy to use.
From the Sonos app we can, for example, control compatible music services . And they are not exactly few, since we have access to Deezer, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, TuneIn, Qobuz, TIDAL, Last.fm, YouTube Music and Napster, among others.
One of the most interesting features is to pair devices. Thus, we can "join" two speakers that are in the same room to obtain stereo sound . Of course, they must be the same, we cannot link the lamp with the shelf speaker. It is also possible to pair them with a Sonos home theater system , thus using these speakers as surround channels.
Another very interesting option is " Group ". We can make the same song play through all the speakers we have at home , whether they are from Sonos or from IKEA. I have verified that the synchronization is perfect, so we can move around the house without losing detail of the song we are listening to.
From the Sonos application we can also configure voice assistants. IKEA Symfonisk speakers do not integrate Alexa and the Google Assistant, but they are compatible with them . That is, if we have an Echo or Google Home speaker, we can tell it to put the music on the IKEA speaker. We can also control the volume with voice instructions.
One last note: Symfonisk speakers are AirPlay 2 compatible . It is logical, since Sonos has always been a brand closely related to Apple. Of course, I have not been able to test it because I do not have an Apple device.
Sound quality: the lamp outperforms the shelf
I have to tell you that the audio quality of the IKEA Symfonisk speakers has pleasantly surprised me . Especially the one that gets the lamp, which sounds really good. It has enough power to fill a medium room and reproduces both bass and midtones correctly.
The speaker is capable of reproducing voices with great detail and naturalness . The same goes for the highs, which at no time distort or sound bad. In fact, I'd say that the lamp speaker sounds very similar (or even slightly superior) to a Sonos One, the smallest speaker from the audio manufacturer. Something very interesting, because this Sonos speaker is much more expensive.
Less surprising is the shelf speaker, which doesn't mean it sounds bad. It is considerably smaller, and its rectangular design limits bass reproduction . Even so, we must bear in mind that we are facing a speaker that costs half that of the lamp.
Even with its limitations, the shelf-shaped IKEA Symfonisk is a quality speaker for a small room . Also, as I have mentioned before, we can join two and form a stereo system. It can also be interesting to put it as a surround speaker in a 5.1 system, since we can place it on the shelves of the furniture manufacturer in a very discreet way.
Conclusions and prices
When they contacted me to send me these speakers, I consulted the data that had been published about them. And the truth is that when I saw the price it seemed high, especially that of the lamp. However, after testing I can say that its sound quality-price ratio is very good .
As I mentioned before, the IKEA Symfonisk lamp speaker has a sound almost identical to that of a Sonos One, even better . As for the design, it is something very particular, so it is difficult to assess it. I personally would buy it, since the design of the lamp seems successful to me.
It is perfect? Not much less. I think that, in the case of the lamp, and even if the price is tight, they could have included a TRÅDFRI bulb. The material used in the base, which is plastic, could also have been improved. But of course, this would have triggered the cost. The IKEA Symfonisk lamp is already on sale in IKEA stores with a price of 180 euros .
I also find the shelf speaker interesting. Although it does not sound as good as the lamp, it is not the same either. Its size and design allows it to be placed in multiple places in the house without attracting too much attention, so we can have music in any corner in a very discreet way. The IKEA Symfonisk shelf speaker is already on sale in IKEA stores with a price of 100 euros .