At long last, Sonos and IKEA have officially announced the products behind their new SYMFONISK line of speakers. On display at the Salone de Mobile even in Milan, Italy this week, the range includes a table lamp ($179) and bookshelf ($99) speaker. Both products are WiFi-enabled and controllable through the Sonos app, meaning they can both be integrated into new or existing multiroom setups.
For months, Sonos and IKEA have coyly suggested that they’d be shedding new light on the in-home entertainment space, which clearly was a nod to the new table lamp speaker that merges both light and sound. The table lamp is accompanied by a bookshelf speaker that matches its aesthetic and internal sound technology. Both products are available in a black or white finish.
“We knew from the start that we wanted to challenge the traditional high-tech aesthetics. The lamp-speaker partly springs from the idea of the fireplace – one single piece that spreads warm light as well as sound,” Iina Vuorivirta, one of the designers of SYMFONISK lamp-speaker at IKEA of Sweden, said in a statement. “Our design had to be 100 percent true to the quality Sonos stands for, without any compromises. At the same time, we wanted to create something completely new.”
To that end, Sonos and IKEA have. Technology and design have long existed in two completely separate realms. But, as we’ve come to learn, those two spaces are increasingly moving closer and closer together. Today, so much of what matters to the consumer is not only how well a product performs, but how it blends into the space that it’s intended to reside in. TV’s are no longer just about pictures. And, in this regard, speakers are no longer just about sound. Though still incredibly important to the overall quality of the product, sound is just half the story that the SYMFONISK line. It’s also about form, function, and style.
“This partnership has always been about our two companies’ shared passion, values and knowledge. IKEA and Sonos recognize the importance of great sound and its potential to positively affect life at home for the many people,” Tad Toulis, Sonos’ VP of Design, said in the statement. “We set out to create products neither of us would or could develop independently. To this end, since music and light are both instrumental in creating a sense of place, we developed a product that can deliver both.”
Without being in Milan to get hands on and listen to these things, it’s hard to offer a real first take on the new line. But from a pure aesthetic perspective, the SYMFONISK speakers are easy to look at. The gold “lamp shade” over the black speaker offers a unique contrast but the design works. I imagine the speaker portion of the product to be about the size of a Sonos One or Play:1, which would make sense. And the bookshelf speaker is no frills, but seems to be pretty versatile from a placement standpoint.
Performance wise, they have to be pretty solid speakers. It’s hard to imagine that Sonos would allow their name to be attached to something that would otherwise be considered subpar. So, it’s encouraging to see these products come to life, especially with the aggressive price points.
The new SYMFONISK line will start shipping in August.