+ Saturday November 16th, 2019

We’re big fans of Sonos at Ausdroid, and so we’ve been anxiously awaiting the launch of their collaboration with IKEA, known by the typically-IKEA name of Symfonisk. IKEA Australia is officially ready to take the wraps off the range, announcing the speakers will be in Australian IKEA stores on September 27.

Symfonisk speakers are Sonos speakers with a uniquely IKEA utility – they all serve dual purposes and blend into your living room. They’ve been designed with IKEA’s sensibilities in mind (yes, one even ships with an allen key in the box) but they have the beating technological heart of a Sonos – and audio tuned to match.

Besides streaming all your music, they also perform a useful function in your home – either as a lamp on a side table or desk or as a platform or shelf. They blend into your house and provide sound without drawing attention to themselves.

There’s two products in the Symfonisk range at the moment – a table lamp, and a shelf speaker. The table lamp is the more expensive of the two at $269 while the shelf speaker confess in at a very attractive $149.

Consider for a moment that the cheapest way to get into Sonos is the Sonos One at $299 – you could get two Symfonisk speakers for that price.

Symfonisk lacks the voice assistant integration of its Sonos brethren, which does provide a clear feature delineation below that $300 price point. If you have a Sonos product with Alexa or Google Assistant though, you’re able to use that system to control a Symfonisk.

Both speakers are full-fledged members of a Sonos sound system, though. If you buy two, you can set them up as a stereo pair just like any other Sonos products, and you could add them to your Beam, Play Base or Play Bar to get some surround sound in your apartment. They can also be tuned to their surroundings, although that feature’s only available in the iOS app (hey, Sonos …)

Symfonisk Lamp – $279

The Lamp is designed to sit inconspicuously on a console or side table. It has a pleasant frosted glass top, while its fabric base calls to mind the more organic textures of devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo.

There’s a dial control on the right side to turn the light on and off and playback controls in the base. It’s got a small edison screw (E14) light socket that perfectly fits one of IKEA’s own light bulbs, so you may never need to touch that dial.

IKEA says that the Lamp has a similar sound profile to the Sonos Play One. It doesn’t have 360-degree sound though, so you’ll need to be careful to orient it properly. Also, the light doesn’t need to be on for the speaker to work.

Shelf Speaker – $149

The Shelf speaker can either sit on a shelf (it fits into an IKEA bookcase in what we’re reasonably sure is not a coincidence), or it can be wall mounted so that it can literally become a shelf (and there’s a sticky mat in the box to stop items slipping off due to booming bass).

It works equally as well in horizontal and vertical orientation, so you can put it where you see fit – out in the open, or hidden away. You can even mount it on one of IKEA’s metal kitchen bars.

The Shelf speaker ships with a wall-mount bracket in the box (and thats why there’s an allen key). There’s a suggestion you could use it to form a floating bedside table, but with a maximum load of 3kg I would probably advise against this if you’ve ever leaned on your bedside table.

Demo Area and Australian Launch

There’s a Symfonisk demo area set up at IKEA’s Tempe store until August 4 that they say has the only Symfonisk speakers in the country at the moment. We’ve been in the demo booth, and came away impressed. Head down if you’d like to experience the speakers for yourself.

Symfonisk is launching first in Europe in August, and will come to Australia on September 27. You’ll be able to order the speakers online or walk into a store to buy them.

These prices represent the absolute cheapest way to get into Sonos. We expect Symfonisk speakers to fly off the shelves… and so does IKEA, actually. They’re well aware of the interest in the product, and promise they’ll be well-stocked.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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Andrew
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Andrew

Is the SYMFONISK Lamp $269 (body) or $279 (subheading)

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