Tuesday, October 26, 2021

New Sonos IKEA Symfonisk speaker with lamp shows the future of home audio

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The next Sonos IKEA Symfonisk lamp speaker seems to have leaked online, after Reddit user u/shoicey (spotted by Protocol’s Janko Roettgers) claimed to have seen a new Symfonisk lampshade at their local IKEA store.

IKEA is yet to confirm the existence of the second-gen lamp speaker, but we’d say a launch date will be on the way soon if accessories are popping up in physical stores.

After searching the product ID on the IKEA website, they discovered a document that appears to say that the second-gen wireless speaker will come with a choice of fabric or glass lampshades – unlike its predecessor, which didn’t allow you to change its look.

The Symfonisk range of speakers were made in collaboration with Sonos, which is well known for its minimalist design language and for sticking to a palette of white, gray, and black.

We’re pleased to see that IKEA is adding a modular element to its popular lamp speaker, allowing users to choose the perfect finish for their home. Hopefully, more options will become available over time, too – though we’d be surprised to see any bright colors or wacky patterns.

Customizable speakers are the way forward

The option to customize the look of wireless speakers in this vein – those that double up as home accessories or pieces of furniture – could be a great way of encouraging people to take a chance on the unusual Symfonisk range.

Most recently, IKEA announced the Symfonisk Picture Frame with Speaker, which is designed to seamlessly blend into your home, with interchangeable fronts that give you a choice of artwork and double up as the speaker’s grille.

The canvas-like speaker currently comes with two design options (black or white) – but we’d love to see more in the future, as the artwork won’t appeal to everyone. IKEA could even go one step further by allowing users to display their own art and photos, which would really make the Picture Frame feel personalized. Building wireless speakers into pieces of furniture or decorations for the home opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to design. Some companies, like JLA have created speakers that really blend into the background, with high-fidelity downwards-firing speakers that double up as stylish coffee tables. Others, like Sonos and IKEA have opted to make their speakers double up as works of art. Transparent’s Acoustic Sculpture is a particularly striking example of this, and shows how far speaker manufacturers can push our perception of what a speaker should look like. In any case, the days of boring, monolithic blocks of wood and fabric are numbered – the speakers of the future will be customizable, fit perfectly into our homes, and will make our music sound great at the same time.

Olivia is TechRadar’s Audio & Music Editor, covering everything from headphones to music streaming services. Based in TechRadar’s London offices, she’s a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She’s previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, Top Ten Reviews Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.

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  • New Sonos IKEA Symfonisk speaker with lamp shows the future of home audio
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