IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker – First Look

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IKEA has been slowly turning into a Smarthome powerhouse in the last few years. Although they stumbled in the beginning, they have been slowly, but steadily improving their smart home offerings on a consistent basis.

The Tradfri line ( now rebranded as IKEA Home Smart) was focused on the lighting aspects, including under counter and kitchen lighting that IKEA is often known for, but they were missing the audio components to their solution. This is where the collaboration with Sonos comes in.

The IKEA Symfonisk bookshelf is the first of two IKEA offerings that look and feel like IKEA products on the outside. Love or hate the design, they are clearly something you expect to see when you walk in the blue and yellow buildings. But the insides are all Sonos.

Sonos is a leader in the multi-room audio/digital speaker space and has been the most recommended speakers in the smart home space for years. They have full access to just about every music service you can dream of and offer a full line of speakers for just about every use-case for the home. The only issue with Sonos is the entry price point is a little high for many users.

I myself got into the multi-room audio game looking using the Amazon Echos. It took me a bit to buy my first Sonos speakers ( Sonos One ) but once I did, it was a slippery slope. I have since added stereo capabilities ( second Sonos One ), another pair of Sonos Ones for my home gym area as well as a Sonos Beam for my entertainment area. The fact that customers who buy their first Sonos swiftly fall in love with the experience is what Sonos is counting on here.

The IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf doesn’t sound as good as a full Sonos One. But it doesn’t have to roughly half the price. The Symfonisk bookshelf is a device which I believe Sonos is counting on as the gateway into the Sonos ecosystem. With the price point roughly the same as that of an Echo/Google home device, the Symfonisk Bookshelf is the most affordable device which can give you the full Sonos experience. With the ability to add a second Bookshelf as a stereo pair as well as the ability to plug it directly into an ethernet interface and keep the music off the wifi it’s, in my mind, the best value for money in this class of speakers.

We’ll be looking at the Symfonisk IKEA Lamp model in an upcoming review.

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