A springtime announcement has come to change into a late summer time actuality: the Symfonisk desk lamp speaker ($179) or Symfonisk wi-fi bookshelf speaker ($99) are each now accessible as intriguing additions to the Swedish furnishings big IKEA’s catalog of residing equipment and as extensions of the wi-fi audio ecosystem of Sonos.
The Symfonisk wi-fi audio units have already garnered design kudos as 2019 Crimson Dot Award Winners earlier than their launch. Now that they’re each out, we’ve had the chance to take heed to each fashions in individual to find out how they evaluate to comparable Sonos wi-fi audio system, just like the particularly the Sonos One and Play:1.
In individual the Symfonisk desk lamp speaker is as odd-quirky because it appeared in pre-release photographs. We’d guess the 360-degree speaker+lamp design is probably going break up opinion into love or hate camps, with few falling wherever between. However in individual it’s charms are extra evident, each as a lamp and as a speaker, particularly when you’re some already invested within the Sonos ecosystem and would possibly profit from a secondary supply of sunshine.
The Symfonisk lamp’s diminutive stature and solely reasonably brilliant 7W E12 bulb makes the lamp finest suited as a secondary or tertiary lighting choice. As a lamp. we wished the shade was a bit bigger, the max output brighter. In white, ideas of Eve from WALL·E come up, whereas when draped in black, there’s (nearly) a Tom Dixon-ish vibe of shade, texture, and silhouette. However when positioned in pairs bedside, the lamp’s unconventional proportions ease up and enhance total sound.
The bookshelf model of the Symfonisk is significantly much less partaking as a design – purposely unassuming – a cloth-covered rectangle meant to be wall mounted and used as a shelf. However in individual, the svelte and unassuming design appears finest suited wedged between hardbound volumes. When used as a bookshelf speaker, the design pleasantly disappears from view, an not noticeable and extra inexpensive choice delivering stable sound (particularly at nearer distances). And at this value, selecting up two audio system for simply $200 turns into an inexpensive temptation to succumb to in comparison with $400 for a pair of (superior) Sonos One audio system.
If you happen to’re questioning how they sound, we’re happy to report each fashions usually produce superb sound (particularly for his or her costs), whether or not related as a Sonos system or used through Airplay 2. They don’t fairly ship the efficiency of the Sonos One or Play:1 (or Apple HomePod, for that matter), however each the lamp and bookshelf speaker produce output similar to Bluetooth audio system comparable in dimension, with readability dropping off solely when volumes eke previous into the realm of loud.
As a complement to an current system, the IKEA x Sonos collaboration presents an attractive invitation to broaden any Sonos multi-room at a modest funding, whereas additionally opening the gateway for anybody seeking to begin one.