IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker Review

Cupertino, August 2, 2019

In the last few years, IKEA has slowly become a Smarthome powerhouse. Although they stumbled at the start, their smart home offerings were consistently improved slowly but steadily.

The Tradfri line (now rebranded as IKEA Home Smart) concentrated on the design elements, including the counter and kitchen lighting that IKEA is often known for, but their solution lacked the audio components. That's where Sonos ' cooperation comes in.

The bookshelf of IKEA Symfonisk is the first of two IKEA offers that look and feel like IKEA outdoor products. Love or hate the design, when you walk in the blue and yellow buildings, they are clearly something you expect to see. But it's all Sonos inside.

Sonos is a leader in multi-room audio / digital speaker room and has been in the smart home room for years as the most suggested speakers. They have complete access to almost every music service you can dream of and give a complete line of speakers for just about every home use-case. The only problem with Sonos is that for many customers, the entry price point is a little big.

I got into the Amazon Echos multi-room audio game myself. Buying my first Sonos speakers (Sonos One) took me a little, but once I did it was a slippery slope. Since then, I have added stereo capacities (second Sonos One), a couple of Sonos Ones for my home gym region, and a Sonos Beam for my entertainment region. What Sonos counts on here is the fact that clients who purchase their first Sonos quickly fall in love with the experience.

The bookshelf from IKEA Symfonisk doesn't sound as nice as a complete one from Sonos. But the price doesn't have to be about half that. The bookshelf of Symfonisk is a tool that I think Sonos counts as the gateway into the ecosystem of Sonos. With roughly the same price point as an Echo / Google home device, the Symfonisk Bookshelf is the most affordable device that can provide you with the full Sonos experience. With the capacity to add a second Bookshelf as a stereo couple as well as the capacity to directly plug it into an ethernet interface and maintain the music off the wifi, it is, in my mind, the greatest value for cash in this speaker class.

In a forthcoming evaluation, we will look at the Symfonisk IKEA Lamp model.

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