- Sonos high quality audio
- 360-degree sound
- Takes normal E26/27 bulbs
- No microphones
- Uncommon design
- Lamp doesn’t protect energy state
The Symfonisk speaker lamp stays a little bit of an oddity, however for small areas it is a helpful hybrid, and each the aesthetic and the audio have been improved on the primary era.
Up to date 14 December 2022 – Ikea is including the choice to purchase this as a standing flooring lamp, together with a brand new bamboo lampshade.
The partnership between flatpack furnishings big Ikea and Wi-Fi speaker masters Sonos has been fruitful, if a bit of unusual, and nothing typifies that greater than the Symfonisk lamp speaker: a hybrid product that’s concurrently a no brainer and a complete oddity.
I used to be an enormous fan of the unique lamp speaker, nevertheless it clearly had some flaws. That’s why I’m happy to see that the 2 firms have gone again to present it one other go, and whereas this second-gen isn’t excellent, it’s by far the Symfonisk speaker that can go well with the most individuals.
Design and construct
The primary Symfonisk lamp seemed…distinctive, to say the least. This second model is clearly a detailed relation, however Ikea has pared issues again a bit of with a design that ought to go well with just a few extra residing rooms than earlier than.
Obtainable in both white or black, it additionally comes with a selection of lampshades. I’ve been reviewing it with a frosted glass shade that’s harking back to the unique, however you may as well go for a double-layered cloth model for those who favor. You can too mix-and-match a white lamp with a black shade, or vice versa.
Since launch Ikea has additionally introduced a brand new flooring lamp model, which takes the identical speaker however locations it on a tall stand for a extra vertical gentle supply – together with a brand new, softer bamboo lampshade. As earlier than, all of the elements are cross-compatible.
The physique of the speaker itself remains to be wrapped in a material mesh, however the flared plastic base from the primary era has been eliminated for a smoother, cylindrical silhouette.
Controls are easier too. The earlier knob – which at all times steered dimmer controls that have been by no means there – has been swapped for a easy push-switch to show the lamp on. Spherical the other facet you’ll discover play/pause and quantity buttons for the speaker.
Conserving these aside was presumably to make it simpler to show the lamp on with out by chance pausing your music, however it’s a little odd having to achieve behind the speaker to hit a quantity button. Then once more, this can be a wise transfer – with individuals prone to management their audio from a cellphone as a rule, there’s one thing to be mentioned for tucking away buttons that you could be not use usually – however do have to have each on occasion.
Ikea has additionally made the sensible transfer to change to the widespread E26/27 gentle bulb becoming, so that is extra prone to take bulbs that you have already got round – and it will likely be simpler to discover a substitute for those who want one.
You need to use a daily gentle bulb, or you’ll be able to in fact match the lamp with a suitable
sensible bulb – both from
Ikea’s Trådfri vary or from every other producer.
It’s value elevating one small annoyance although – if the lamp loses energy (both by means of an influence reduce or by being unplugged) it received’t keep in mind its energy state, so any sensible bulb should be manually reactivated. This shouldn’t come up too usually, so it’s hardly a dealbreaker, however do bear it in thoughts.
As soon as once more, audio comes courtesy of American audio firm Sonos, which makes its personal
spectacular vary of Wi-Fi audio system alongside these Ikea collaborations.
Given the scale and worth, you is likely to be hoping that that is secretly a method to purchase the $219/£199
Sonos One for a bit much less – and get a free lamp thrown in as well.
Sadly that’s not fairly the case – although don’t get too upset. The lamp speaker has its personal customized audio structure – distinct from both the One or the first-gen lamp – and so doesn’t sound fairly the identical as both.
Sonos says it’s prioritised bettering the audio dispersion this time round, so that you simply get correct 360-degree sound wherever the lamp is, and don’t need to stress an excessive amount of about placement. That’s a wise precedence for this product – you is likely to be prepared to place a speaker wherever it’s going to sound greatest, however there are in all probability just one or two spots in a room the place you wish to stick a lamp.
There are trade-offs to that call. Whereas sound does carry properly, there’s a bit much less readability right here than I’m used to from Sonos audio system. On busy pop and rock tracks it’s all too simple for particular person devices to get misplaced within the combine. And whereas there’s loads of bass for day-to-day listening, this isn’t sufficient to drive even a Covid-friendly social gathering.
To be clear, this isn’t a foul speaker by any means – it’s shiny and well-balanced, and may flip itself fairly capably to most genres. This may go well with all however the fussiest listeners, however audiophiles hoping for peak Sonos should spend a bit extra to get it.
You do at the very least get the standard vary of Sonos smarts. You may get the speaker on-line through both Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and setup takes solely a minute or two with the official Sonos app, together with a closing step of pairing the speaker with the app over NFC by touching your cellphone to it.
The app additionally nets you an EQ to tweak the speaker’s sound profile, and naturally choices to connect with music providers and pair it with different Sonos audio system for multi-room audio (or to pair two of those collectively for stereo sound, for those who don’t thoughts having two lamps too).
This isn’t a correct sensible speaker although. There are not any microphones, so you’ll be able to’t use this along with the Google Assistant or Alexa straight, not like another Sonos merchandise which have the digital assistants in-built.
When you’re an Apple consumer you may as well use AirPlay 2 to simply management the speaker out of your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. There’s additionally assist for Apple’s TruePlay, which you should use to optimise the sound you probably have an iOS gadget handy.
Value and availability
At $169/ £185 for the textile model and $189/ £199 for the glass, the Symfonisk is across the similar worth as its predecessor. For a bit of bit extra you possibly can get the Sonos One, which delivers barely higher audio and built-in voice controls – however then that isn’t a lamp.
On the time of writing, we don’t know the way a lot the ground lamp model of the sunshine might be, and sure received’t till it goes on sale in January 2023.
Essentially, even setting different Sonos audio system apart, you may get a
better-sounding speaker elsewhere for the cash, although I don’t wish to downplay the standard right here an excessive amount of.
The query is: how a lot is a lightweight bulb value to you? Or, to be fairer: how a lot is the space-saving of a mixed speaker and lamp value to you?
It doesn’t really feel unfair to say that the Symfonisk lamp stays a little bit of an oddity. How many individuals actually need, and even need, a lamp that can be a speaker?
However for small areas it is a helpful hybrid, and the aesthetically fussy may additionally relish the possibility to cover their audio gear inside a much less obtrusive little bit of dwelling furnishings.
If all you need is a speaker, then you’ll be able to in all probability do higher than this – actually the modest worth soar to the Sonos One is properly value it. However for those who like the thought of a lamp that’s loud, it is a strong refinement of Ikea’s distinctive imaginative and prescient.