Sonos and Ikea have finally unveiled their new wireless speakers as the two companies have collaborated on for years. The Symfonisk table lamp ($179) and bookshelf speaker ($99) will start shipping in August, you would be able to control them with Sonos app which allows each speaker to be integrated as part of the multiroom audio setup.
The Symfonisk series includes a book-shelf styled speaker which doubles as an actual bookshelf and a lamp with a speaker in its base. It has a dial on the lamp body to control volume and there are track control buttons on the base plate portion. The lamp does not consist of a smart bulb out of the box so you all have to buy a bulb separately.
“The products will deliver something that both companies are super proud of,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence along with Ikea’s global business leader Björn Block said in a recent interview. “We’ve given it our utter most and utter best from the IKEA side and Sonos has done exactly the same from their end,” said Block.
Furthermore, Ikea’s smart home apps will consist of music controls for the speakers, allowing customers to build scenes that factor in the lamp, Ikea’s smart blinds, and other bulbs. On the contrary, Bookshelf speaker is the smallest speaker that Sonos have ever made, Spence said that bookshelf speaker won’t pack the same bass punch as the company’s regular lineup.
“Tabletops are always competitive,” Tad Toulis, vice president of design at Sonos, said in an interview. “We’re really trying to get into homes as they are, meet people where they are.”
Sonos TruePlay feature that able to tune a speaker’s audio output based on its position in a room, It will improve the sound quality for both the lamp and bookshelf products. Spence claims that both speakers will sound better than any of the other speakers at this price rate. As for the tech side, Lamp consists of, Two class-D digital amplifiers, One tweeter, One mid-woofer, and a Sealed Enclosure.
While the Bookshelf speaker consists of, Two class-D digital amplifiers, One tweeter, One mid-woofer, and a Ported Enclosure. Although the size of the components will differ in each product event if the internal layout is the same. The lamp and bookshelf member would be a full-fledged member of the Sonos system. If you buy both of them you could stereo pair them or even use them as the rears in a 5.1 audio setup, assuming you already own a Playbase, Playbar, or Sonos Beam.
Too, both the speakers support Apple AirPlay 2 for playing music from a slew of apps or with voice commands via Siri. The two Symfonisk speakers will share some chips with the Sonos One but there is no microphone been’s incorporated into the device. Plus both the devices have traditional physical buttons, both of the company said that this is only the first phase of their collaboration, so future speakers might offer Alexa support.
“There are certain aspects which we build on the board and then give to Ikea, and they assemble as well,” said Spence.
Moreover, the table lamp does not come equipped with a microphone so you won’t be able to talk with Alexa or Google Assistant, and also you don’t have to worry about the artificial intelligence system to be spying on you. The table lamp is also cheaper than a $200 Sonos One. The Ikea speaker lamp costs $180. Ikea’s business leader block said that home retailer research shows that 59 percent of customers have surveyed cite music as the number one factor of great music.
But on the other hand, Block said that Ikea lacked the expertise to build a great sounding speaker. As per Spence, Ikea’s design is just a simple lamp design with a fitting speaker and forced Sonos to get creative in this.
“If that’s the direction that customers ultimately want to go, and we really find a spark around furniture and sound integrated, then we’ll pour gas on that fire,” said spence.
All of the above features of the lamp and Bookshelf speaker seems great, but we don’t know if Ikea can pull off budget Sonos speakers. The Ikea Symfonisk range will go on sale in North America and Europe starting in August. You will only be able to buy them at Ikea stores or through Ikea’s website.