The Ikea Symfonisk is perhaps the most special smart speaker of the year. It is a Sonos speaker, packaged in a picture frame with a choice of twelve canvases. In this Ikea Symfonisk 2021 review you can read whether the art speaker is recommended.
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Read our Ikea Symfonisk 2021 review
The collaboration between Ikea and Sonos started in 2019 with the launch of a bookshelf speaker (99 euros) and a table lamp with speaker (179 euros). The devices were well received, also by us in the Ikea Symfonisk review. The latest speaker is confusingly called Symfonisk again and that’s why we call it the Symfonisk 2021 for convenience.
It is a 179 euro painting canvas with a built-in Sonos speaker, intended to hang or put down. Ikea sells twelve different cloths, so that you can personalize the artwork. An innovative idea in the world of smart WiFi speakers, but is it also a good idea? iPhoned tested the speaker for two weeks and will update you in this Ikea Symfonisk 2021 review.
The Symfonisk we tested for this review was provided by Ikea.
Beautiful and versatile design
The Symfonisk is a picture frame with a WiFi speaker developed by Sonos behind the canvas. That’s why you don’t see the speaker; the sound passes through the soft cloth. You can hang or place the speaker, more about that later. The Symfonisk measures 57 by 41 centimeters, is 6 centimeters deep and in terms of weight it is suitable for almost any sideboard and desk.
Ikea sells the Symfonisk with a black or white frame and matching, modern canvas. The painting canvas can be removed within ten seconds by pressing forward with your fingers from the back of the frame. Placing a (different) list is just as easy. Ikea currently offers twelve cloths with prices of 15 or 30 euros. Personally, we think 30 euros is relatively much money for a canvas. In an interview with media, including iPhoned, Ikea and Sonos confirm that there are plans to offer more cloth designs in the future.
The Symfonisk appears solid and well finished, with three pleasant buttons on the left side of the frame. With the buttons you can pause and resume the music, adjust the volume and start the previous or next song.
The power port of the speaker is placed on the back and the cable can be concealed in recesses. Striking and smart is the presence of a second power port, to which you can connect another symphony. You only need one socket to hang or place two paintings next to each other.
We find it striking that a white-grey power cable is included with the black model. The power cable is hardly noticeable on a white wall, but on a dark wall that is a different story and the white cable does not fit well with the black artwork. Ikea does not yet offer a different color power cable.
There is also an Ethernet port on the back of the speaker. This way you can connect the Symfonisk wired to your home network. This is especially useful if you use the speaker in a room where the WiFi signal is not optimal.
A point of attention is that the Symfonisk is an indoor speaker. So don’t hang or place it outside. Not even in the bathroom, because the moist, warm air can damage the speaker. The equally expensive Sonos One SL or Sonos Roam are suitable for the bathroom and therefore a better choice for that space.
This is how you install the Ikea Symfonisk 2021
Installing the Symfonisk is a piece of cake. After unpacking the painting, you decide whether you want to hang it or put it down. Mounting material for screwing the Symfonisk to the wall via a separate, invisible plate can be found in the box. Also included are two rubber caps, if you want to place the speaker on a sideboard or the floor. You can press the caps into the two ‘feet’ of the speaker in the blink of an eye, so that it does not slip and scratch.
Plug the power plug into the power port on the back of the speaker and plug the adapter into the wall outlet. If necessary, install the Sonos S2 app on your device, open it and the Symfonisk immediately appears as a device to be added. Follow the instructions in the app and you’ll be done in a few minutes.
Ikea Symfonisk review: sound quality
When the speaker is hanging or standing, you can enjoy your favorite music, podcast or other audio. After two weeks with the Symfonisk, we are satisfied with the sound quality. Voices sound clear, instruments are clear and not exaggerated and there is sufficient bass present. Especially if the speaker is on the floor or on a sideboard.
Compared to the comparably priced Sonos One SL, which we normally listen to, we do notice that the Symfonisk sounds a bit less powerful and produces less bass. A point of attention, but in our opinion not a minus. Given its competitive price and special design, the Symfonisk sounds good enough for the bedroom or study or a smaller living room.
It is nice that the Symfonisk has a stereo mode. If you place or hang two copies next to each other and if you indicate in the Sonos app that you want to use them as a stereo pair, the music will adapt. For example, a guitar solo sounds more from the left speaker, followed by a powerful drum that comes mainly from the right speaker.
The sound thus sounds more spacious, especially if the speakers are or hang between two and three meters apart. A stereo pair is more suitable for a larger living room.
The Ikea Symfonisk has several smart features, but also lacks a few. Conveniently, the speaker works as a full-fledged Sonos speaker and is therefore suitable for multi-room audio, where your favorite music can be heard from different (Sonos) speakers.
Do you use a Sonos soundbar in combination with your television? Then you can use two Symfonisk speakers as rear speakers to create sound with a cinema feel. Other Sonos speakers, including the One (SL), are also suitable as rear speakers.
The Symfonisk supports AirPlay 2 to play music quickly. The device does not have a microphone and is therefore not suitable for voice control via Siri. Apple’s HomePod and HomePod Mini are.
Conclusion Ikea Symfonisk 2021 review
The Ikea Symfonisk is a striking speaker, precisely because it does not stand out. We appreciate this innovative approach. The artwork is cleverly put together and can be personalized with one of the twelve canvases. We do, however, find the price of some cloths at 30 euros on the high side. Sonos has put a great speaker in the Symfonisk, although the equally expensive Sonos One SL sounds fuller and with more bass.
In terms of features, the Symfonisk is not inferior to other Sonos speakers. Some other speakers are even more complete, for example with voice control. If you prefer a beautiful design over the best sound and most features, you will get a good and competitively priced WiFi speaker with the Symfonisk.
Buy Ikea Symphony 2021
The Ikea Symfonisk is for sale from 15 July for 179 euros in Ikea stores and via Ikea.nl. Loose cloths are only for sale from 1 September via the Ikea website and cost 15 or 30 euros.