If you like Ikea furniture and you like Sonos multi-room speakers, you will LOVE Sonos x Ikea Symfonisk.
Potentially the start of a long-running collaboration between the two iconic brands, Symfonisk so far comprises a bookshelf wireless speaker – fairly standard, although it can be wall mounted – and, more interestingly, a musical table lamp.
Available in off-white or off-black the Sonos x Ikea Symfonisk table lamp is also, clearly, a Sonos speaker that costs only £150 – and is also a table lamp, which is not something you can say about the Sonos One, for instance.
It takes E14 bulbs (small screw-in; in true Ikea style, none is provided with the lamp) and is a rather attractive modern design, to my eyes. In ABS plastic with a aluminium on/off knob and mouth-blown glass shade, it would fit well with any modern or contemporary décor and in some more traditional settings too.
However the big sell here is clearly the Sonos element. This is not just a speaker made by Sonos; it's a full-fledged Sonos multi-room-ready speaker, with 2 class-D digital amplifiers firing a tweeter and mid woofer.
Does the Sonos x Ikea Symfonisk speaker sound good?
Well, put it this way. Compared to any other Sonos speaker it sounds a little inferior. It's a bit tinny, although after some running in, and placed on a concrete sideboard, I did get a fairly rounded and pleasing sound out of it.
However, by the standards of any table lamp I have listened to, it sounds f**king great. There is truly no other table lamp out there to touch it for audio chops.
It's entirely understandable that some sonic corners have had to be cut to fit a Sonos into a lamp, at a lower price than any previous Sonos speaker – even the small and elderly Play: 1 is pricier – but it certainly does not sound bad.
I was genuinely surprised that it uses the exact same setup and app as every other Sonos speaker. I don't know why I was surprised as that is the obvious approach to take, but due to the lower than usual price point, I assumed Sonos would make it more like a Bluetooth speaker. But no, you get access to all the streaming services, AirPlay 2 and even the bizarre Trueplay room tuning feature. With this you walk around the room the speaker is in, gently wafting your phone about to 'tune' it to the room's acoustic qualities – whilst feeling, it must be said, an absolute nana.
There's no built-in voice AI control but you can use it via Sonos' Google and Alexa apps if you have an Echo or Google Home device.
Now okay, I have no idea if anyone out there wants an Ikea lamp and a Sonos speaker, and would like to buy a combination of the two rather than taking the usual route of buying one of each. However in certain rooms, a pair of these could be very handy as rear surrounds in conjunction with a Sonos soundbar such as Sonos Beam. And some people I guess just hate the look of normal speakers, or have very minimal space, or a very minimalist aesthetic.
The Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is also quite a strong product – again a bit thin sounding compared to a 'proper' Sonos speaker but by no means bad – and at £99 is by far the cheapest Sonos you can get.
That, however, is only a speaker, albeit a chic and compact one.
This whole idea of 'sonic furniture' which the Symfonisk table lamp ushers in, is altogether more interesting. I suspect it will sell like hot cakes on the looks, novelty value and dual brand loyalty alone. The obvious thing to pair with it? A Philips Hue E14 smart bulb, of course…