Sonos and Ikea have collaborated to create the Symfonisk range, which includes a speaker that doubles up as a shelf, and a table lamp that has a speaker as its base.
The Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker doesn't have the catchiest of names but it is a speaker well worth keeping in mind when it launches later this summer. At £99, it's the cheapest way to get your hands on Sonos, offering a stepping stone to the company's experience and its excellent features but what's it like?
- Vertical or horizontal
- Shelf can hold up to 3kg
- Black and white colour options
The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker has a simple, sophisticated design that reflects both companies and the result is fabulous.
It's an unassuming speaker that will blend into most home décors and it looks great. The outer casing is plastic, much like the Sonos Play:5 and there is a similar design language too, with soft edges and curved corners for an elegant finish.
The Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker is a little wider than the Sonos Play:3 in terms of size, but not as tall, offering a slim body that can be positioned vertically or horizontally, as the Sonos Play:3 can.
In the vertical position, the Symfonisk speaker will sit on a bookshelf or a piece of furniture, blending seamlessly into its surroundings. For the Ikea fans out there, it fits perfectly into the squares of the popular Ikea Kallax storage range. Horizontally, the speaker can be wall mounted to double up as a shelf that can withstand up to 3kg of weight.
The front of the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi speaker has a lovely, soft-to-touch material covering the speaker grill, offering a Scandinavian touch, while very subtle Sonos and Ikea branding is present on a small tag. The white model has a light grey material, while the black model has a dark grey material. Both look excellent in the flesh, but the white model is our favourite of the two.
Three circular physical controls sit to the side of the bookshelf speaker on the material front and there is an LED status light too, as all Sonos speakers offer. The light indicates when the speaker is on and it's also used in the setup process.
The control buttons consist of a Play/Pause button and volume buttons, just like the Play:1 and Play:3 and the same features you'd get on a typical Sonos speaker are present too, such as pressing and holding the Play/Pause button to bring that speaker into a group of Sonos speakers already playing music for example.
The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker requires mains power, with the power socket on the rear. The design has been considered here too though with a gap for the lead in both orientations, allowing for the device to sit flush to the wall or flush to the furniture it is placed on.
Same Sonos experience
- Controlled via the Sonos app
- Apple AirPlay 2 compatible
- Trueplay tuning
- Stereo pairing
Controlled via the Sonos app, the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker offers almost all of the features available on standard Sonos speakers and it is set up and controlled in the same way a standard Sonos speaker would be.
This not only means the ability to group the Symfonisk speakers with any Sonos speaker for a seamless multi-room audio experience, but it means you can play different music to different speakers simultaneously too.
Sonos offers access to over 80 music streaming services, along with the ability to play music from a local device, including your phone or computer so there's no shortage of ways to access music, though you will need an account for each streaming service.
The Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker is also Apple AirPlay 2 compatible, like the more recent Sonos speakers, and it supports Trueplay too, meaning you can tune it to its surroundings using the software feature in the Sonos app and an iOS device.
It's also possible to stereo pair the Symfonisk Book Shelf speaker too. This latter feature is excellent as it means if you had a Sonos Beam and Sub in your living room for example, you could add two Symfonisk Book Shelf speakers to create a 5.1 system.
Currently, the cheapest way to get a Sonos 3.1 system involves buying two Play:1s to pair up to the Sonos Beam or Sonos Playbar but the price of the Symfonisk Book Shelf speaker means you could almost buy two for the same cost as one Play:1.
The Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker doesn't have microphones inside so there is no voice control available like the Sonos One or Sonos Beam. That said, you can still control the Book Shelf speaker through Alexa with a Sonos One, Sonos Beam or an Amazon Alexa compatible device. You should also be able to use Google Home devices for control when Sonos brings Google Assistant compatibility.
In terms of other features, the Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker will work with the Ikea Trådfri smart home system eventually too, allowing you to create Scenes. The Sonos element of the scene creation may not be available in time for launch, though it is expected soon after.
With the scene feature, those with Trådfri smart lights and/or the blind, will be able to schedule a morning scene for example, which will automatically start brightening your Trådfri smart lights, raise your Tradfri smart blind and turn your music on.
Sound and performance
- Class D digital amplifier
The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker might be small in comparison to other Sonos speaker but that's not to say it won't deliver in performance.
It's not as powerful as the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker, nor as the Sonos One, but the Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker still packs in some punch for its compact size. There was good range in our demo, with a healthy dose of bass coupled with plenty of detail too.
We listened to the Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker in a controlled demo area so we'll reserve final judgement on performance until we review it, but based on what we've heard so far, this is one great sounding shelf and a great way to start a Sonos collection.
The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker features a brilliant design. It's simple, subtle and versatile and we love that it doubles up as a shelf.
The material over the speaker grill offers a softer approach than some of the other Sonos speakers, while the ability to place it vertically or horizontally allows for flexibility.
There are some great features on board, including AirPlay 2, Trueplay and stereo pairing, not to mention the basic features the Sonos experience provides, and the sound certainly appears to exceed the exceptions of the compact size.
We're looking forward to testing the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Book Shelf Wi-Fi Speaker out in full but from what we have seen and heard so far, it will be an excellent way to get a taste of the Sonos experience and it will no doubt leave you wanting more.