Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker Review


Sonos and Ikea would possibly no longer appear to be herbal bedfellows in the beginning – one is dedicated to high-end audio, the opposite to reasonably priced furnishings – however the Symfonisk partnership turns out to have introduced out the most productive in each corporations.

We’ve one by one reviewed the rather abnormal – if sensible – Symfonisk desk lamp speaker and the more moderen image body speaker, however the bookshelf speaker is one thing a lot more conventional, however quietly radical for Sonos: a easy speaker designed to mix in and are compatible any place that undercuts the whole thing else within the Sonos vary on worth.

Value and availability

The Symfonisk bookshelf is to be had now – however handiest from Ikea. You’ll need to both consult with an Ikea retailer or order on-line from the Scandinavian massive if you wish to get one – even Sonos itself isn’t promoting the speaker somewhere else.

You’ll purchase one speaker – to be had in both black or white – for £89/$99, although as you’ll see there’s a lovely excellent argument for grabbing two of them for a stereo pair. You’ll additionally wall mount them – although you’ll desire a separate £10/$20 mounting bracket – or hook it onto kitchen rails – this time with a £5/$10 attachment.

That’s so much inexpensive than the Symfonisk lamp speaker, which is £150/$179, or even undercuts the most cost effective speaker in the principle Sonos vary: the £179/$199 One SL.

Slimline sound

With that diminished worth it might be truthful to be expecting the Symfonisk bookshelf to incorporate a couple of compromises – and let’s be up-front: it does.

Whilst the desk lamp speaker sounds necessarily precisely just like the Play:1, the bookshelf’s sound is particularly thinner. Putting in place the 2 audio system for multi-room audio and darting between them you’ll instantly inform that there’s much less bass pumped out through the bookshelf, leading to sound that doesn’t fill a room fairly as conveniently.

Like maximum Sonos audio system the sound profile is lovely impartial, however the easy physics of the object signifies that the low finish is lighter, so this gained’t ship when you’re in search of floor-filling base, however trebles and mids are crisp and vibrant. Mainly, this will likely excel at vocal-led or poppier fare, however digital or hip hop would possibly sound just a little weedy.

That stated, for £89/$99 the sound high quality isn’t to be sniffed at. You’ll most likely to find bassier audio system in the market at this worth level, however there will be compromises somewhere else. So if thinner bass doesn’t sound like an issue to you, this will likely be an excellent purchase at that worth.

The usage of a unmarried bookshelf by itself could also be arguably no longer how one can see the speaker at its highest. As with every Sonos speaker the Symfonisk bookshelf is designed to combine simply with different audio system from the variety throughout the Sonos app for multi-room, stereo, or encompass sound.

I didn’t get to check the stereo or encompass set-ups past a short lived demo from Sonos, but it surely’s simple to look how they’d be compelling. First rate stereo sound for £200/$200 is a great deal, and for someone with a Sonos soundbar underneath their TV the way to throw two of those in the back of the settee for encompass sound has were given to be severely tempting – particularly since that’s when the loss of bass reaction turns into much less of a subject matter.

When you’re no longer already within the Sonos ecosystem, it’s price noting one of the crucial boundaries although. The audio system attach handiest thru Wi-Fi or ethernet, with out a Bluetooth or audio ports, so that you’ll wish to app put in to make use of them. The app helps an enormous vary of tune products and services – together with Spotify, Google Play, and Apple Song – however then you wish to browse and play throughout the Sonos app, no longer your tune carrier’s.

The bookshelf doesn’t function built-in good assistant reinforce – such as you’d to find within the Sonos One or Beam – but when you have already got a kind of audio system, or any Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled software for that topic, you then’ll be capable of use it to factor voice instructions to the Symfonisk anyway.

After all, there’s reinforce for Trueplay, which makes use of an iPhone or iPad’s microphone to calibrate and optimise sound to fit the room it’s in. Sadly there’s no Android reinforce but – due to the broader selection in microphone {hardware} it sounds as if – so that you’ll want an Apple-owning pal when you’re no longer an iOS consumer your self.

Shelf lifestyles

If the opposite Symfonisk speaker turns out like a wild novelty with its integrated gentle bulb socket, the bookshelf model in the beginning turns out more uncomplicated.

The narrow, tall speaker has an totally minimalist aesthetic, and has been designed to suit well within lots of the same old Ikea shelving gadgets, mixing away into the background. There’s just a unmarried small energy LED at the entrance, along side play/pause and quantity buttons.

However that’s the place the non-compulsory extras are available. The kitchen hooks will help you grasp it from any present Ikea kitchen rails – a at hand technique to get multi-room audio to increase into the kitchen whilst putting the speaker excessive sufficient to optimistically stay it secure from spills and splashes.

Extra tempting in all probability are the wall-mounting kits. Wall-mounting audio system is not anything new after all, however set those up horizontally they usually’re no longer simply speakers- they’ll double as small cabinets, retaining as much as 3kg of weight.

The mounting equipment even features a silicone mat so that you could position books, crops, or anything on best with out being concerned in regards to the vibrations shaking them off – or about them impacting the sound an excessive amount of. It’s price noting that I haven’t been ready to check this myself although.

It’s this kind of versatility that’s prone to in point of fact tempt someone into grabbing a Symfonisk bookshelf or two. All at once your speaker isn’t simply taking on house at house, it’s if truth be told growing new space for storing. I’m already plotting to pick out up a couple to provide myself encompass sound bookshelves in the back of the settee, which is as sensible an concept as it’s mad.

Verdict

I will be able to’t faux that Sonos has controlled to completely recreate its vintage sound within the £89/$99 Symfonisk, but it surely’s carried out a good task when you don’t thoughts the compromise at the bass.

That in point of fact makes the bookshelf interesting for 2 units of folks. First up, when you’re an Ikea common in search of a extra reasonably priced access level into the arena of Sonos, those are a budget-friendly technique to get into the app – although be warned, earlier than lengthy you’ll be eyeing up the pricier fashions so as to add on.

The bookshelf will likely be simply as interesting to Sonos regulars taking a look both for a pleasant technique to deliver that Sonos sound into the kitchen, or for a inexpensive technique to improve to enclose sound. That is as shut as you’ll get to an inexpensive Sonos tweeter to strengthen a house cinema setup, and £200/$200 plus some further for wall mounting gets you an enormous audio improve – and a few further cabinets as well.

Specifications

Ikea Sonos Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker: Specifications

  • 1x tweeter
  • 1x mid-woofer
  • 10x15x31cm
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