IKEA may have on its hands Sonos’ bestselling speakers yet. The proposition: a £99 Bookshelf speaker that’s the new de facto budget Sonos device and a £150 Table Lamp speaker that’s looking to wrap the Sonos sound in an IKEA aesthetic. You’ll soon see them nestled into storage units in IKEA stores, the ultimate impulse buy with tech credentials. But how do they compare to ‘real’ Sonos speakers and what are they good for?
IKEA is billing the range as ‘furnished with sound’ and reps told us that with Symfonisk it ia intentionally trying to get away from a ‘high-tech’ aesthetic. Next to classic Sonos kit, and indeed most home tech that isn’t £1,000+, the pair of speakers are certainly softer, warmer and well Scandi-er with two finishes – white/light grey (which we tested) and black/gold – fabric covers and curved edges. It’s a small point but there’s also no shouty logos, just a fabric tag on the Bookshelf. They seem to have come straight from the Google Home school of design.
One thing you’ll notice straightaway is that both the Bookshelf and the Table Lamp are rather large. The Bookshelf requires the space of say, a Sonos Play:3, though it’s much shorter, and the speaker half of the Table Lamp is both taller and wider than a regular Sonos Play:1, not to mention the addition of the round plinth for the controls.