What if your bedside lamp can send you a lullaby? Or if your bookshelf was playing a relaxing tune while you leafed through a tattered copy of your favorite book?
Enter the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk speaker fixture and speaker shelf, which is simple to do by combining practical home furnishings with the Sonos audio experience.
Many were skeptical when Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced that it would team up with acclaimed audio brand Sonos – but both speakers scored an impressive four out of five stars in our recent review.
So, which of these non-traditional wireless speakers will suit your home better? We'll take a look at the pros and cons of a lamp speaker and a bookshelf speaker to help make your decision easier.
Light fixture Symfonisk speaker speaker vs shelf, price and availability
In true IKEA fashion, none of these speakers are particularly expensive; The cheapest of these is the Bookshelf Speaker, which costs $99 / £99 / AU$149, while the Lamp Speaker will set you back $179 / £150 / AU$269.
This means that the lamp speaker is closer in price to the Sonos one, which you can pick up for around $200 / £200 / AU$280 – and sometimes less if you bag yourself a good deal.
So, if sticking to a budget is your biggest concern, you can order a shelf ac, but you won't be rinsing your bank account either.
Lamp Symfonisk speaker speaker vs bookshelves: design
Let's start with the lamp Symfonisk speaker, which, unsurprisingly, looks like a lamp - although instead of a traditional base, the base is essentially a speaker, encased in a white circular grille.
If you've had a traumatic experience with IKEA flat-panel TV furniture in the past, fear not: you just need to screw in the light bulb, put the shade back in place and plug in the figure-of-eight power and you're good to go.
While the Symfonisk lamp speaker isn't the sport of a slim build, it does fit in nicely with the home. In terms of connectivity, you can only find an Ethernet port - both speakers can be connected to your home network via Wi-Fi, but you can find a wired connection to be stronger and more reliable. Otherwise, the device sports on/off and play/pause and volume control.
The Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker blends equally well into your decor. It can be wall mounted, bookshelves that can hold up to 3kg of books or decorations, or you can mount it vertically or horizontally on any suitable surface.
Comes in white or black, the brick-shaped bookshelf speaker has a fabric grille on the front, with play/pause and volume controls. As with the Symfonisk lamp speaker, the only connection options you'll find are the power and wired Ethernet ports.
Lamp Speaker vs Symfonisk Bookshelf: Specs
Symfonisk Lamp Speaker Bookshelf speaker and share many of the same features, and these wireless speakers are more than just a basic commodity with multiple audio partner-supplied drivers.
Instead, they are full members of the Sonos ecosystem, and as such can be linked to any other Sonos component you have on your home network, you can connect two Symfonisk speakers for stereo sound, or even pair one with Sonos' existing home theater devices such as Sonos Beam, Sonos Playback, Sonos Playbase, or Sonos Amp.
This means you can even use the speakers as rear channels in a 5.0 or 5.1 surround sound system - pretty cool for lamps and bookshelves.
Like Sonos products both Symfonisk speakers forgo Bluetooth connectivity in favor of home internet, via AirPlay on Apple 2 or Spotify connectivity.
The obvious difference between the two speakers is that the lamp also functions as lighting for your home; what's cool about this is that you can choose to match it with smart bulbs like philips tint.
So if you want to embrace the smart home, the Symfonisk lamp speaker allows you to do so more carefully than a bookshelf speaker.
Lamp Speaker Symfonisk Speaker Bookshelf vs: Sounding
Whether you're using a lamp speaker or a bookshelf speaker, it only takes a few minutes to connect them via the Sonos app, where you'll also find Symfonisk's various tuning tools for optimal sound.
One example is TruePlay, which uses the microphone built into your smartphone or tablet to scan the room's appearance and make adjustments to the equalizer settings accordingly.
The app also features a simple two-band equalizer that allows you to adjust the bass and treble range. We found that both speakers benefited with a slight reduction in bass with the volume all left on to add punch and punch.
Both Symfonisk lamps and bookshelf speakers offer a rich soundstage and lively, pleasing presentation; however, the lamp speaker fares slightly better in terms of accuracy and width.
This is partly due to the circular circular grille used by the speaker tubes – this design allows its sound palette to open up more than that of a rectangular bookshelf speaker system, for a more immersive listening experience.
This isn't to say that a bookshelf speaker system sounds bad; in fact, it sounds better than you might expect. Bold, focused and full-bodied, the Symfonisk shelf ace certainly isn't shy about throwing music into the room.
Neither speaker offers Sonos' detail and accuracy, but it's important to remember that they both offer dual features as well as the fact that they're cheaper than Sonos' flagship wireless speaker.
What Symfonisk speaker you should buy is not a particularly unpretentious decision: if you want a lamp, go for a lamp speaker, and if you could use bookshelves or just a speaker that can be placed on a bookshelf or similar, go for a bookshelf speaker.
If both are equally attractive, it's worth noting that the bookshelf speaker is significantly less expensive and offers many of the same lamp speaker features; both are full members of the Sonos ecosystem, and thus could be paired with each other, or with other speakers, to great effect.
The lamp speaker, the better-sounding two, by a slight margin, with its wraparound grille providing a wider sound stage than a bookshelf speaker.
Whichever speaker you go for, you won't be buying into just an interior design trick: how to make attractive focal points in your living room, Symfonisk speakers are very capable audio devices in their own right.
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