Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Wireless Speaker Comment: What's a £99 speaker like?

Sonos and IKEA announced a collaboration to return in 2018. We've had to wait a bit, but the results of this partnership are finally here in the form of the Symfonisk range, which includes a speaker that doubles as a mini shelf and a table lamp with a speaker as the base.

  • Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Wireless Speaker vs Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker: Which Should You Buy?

The Symfonisk Bookshelf Wireless Speaker doesn't have any catchy names, but it's a speaker worth considering. At £99, it's the cheapest way to get your hands on Sonos, offering a stepping stone to the company's excellent multi-room experience and all the features it offers.

But what is this bookshelf speaker really like and is it worth buying more for Sonos Play:1 or Sonos One SL?

Thoughtful design

  • Vertical or horizontal arrangement
  • Black and white color options
  • The shelf can hold up to 3kg.
  • Physical control buttons
  • Networks only power

The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker has a simple, elegant design that reflects both companies. This is a modest speaker that will fit in with most home decors. The outer shell is plastic, just like the Sonos Play:5, and there are similar tongue designs, with soft edges and rounded corners.

The Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker is a little wider than the Sonos Play:3 in terms of size, but not as tall, offering a slim body that can be positioned vertically or horizontally, just like the Sonos Play:3 can.

In an upright position, the Symfonisk speaker will sit on a bookshelf or piece of furniture that blends in harmoniously with its surroundings. For IKEA lovers, it fits perfectly into the squares of the popular IKEA Kallax storage series.

Horizontally, the speaker can be mounted on the wall as a shelf that can support up to 3kg of weight. There are even brackets (sold separately) that come with a silicone band that goes on top of the speaker to reduce vibration. There are also hooks available (again, sold separately) allowing users to hang a wireless speaker bookshelf on Ikea hanging tracks. In a nutshell, there is some serious placement flexibility for this device.

The front of the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker has a lovely, soft-touch speaker grille cover material, offering a Scandinavian look, while subtle Sonos and IKEA branding are present on the small tag. The white model (as in our review unit) has a light gray material, while the black model has a dark gray material.

Three circular physical controls sit aside the bookshelf speaker on the front - play/pause and volume up/down buttons - and there's an LED status light too, like all Sonos speakers offer. The indicator shows when the speaker is on and it is also being used during the installation process.

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The same features you would like to get on a typical Sonos speaker are also present, such as press and hold the play/pause button to bring that speaker into the Sonos speakers already playing music.

The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker requires power, with a power jack on the back. The design is reviewed here, with clearance for the lead in both orientations, allowing the device to sit flush against a wall or flush against the furniture it's placed. The only concern we have is that the power lead is quite short, so the device itself offers a lot of placement options, the lead makes that a little more restrictive.

Similar Sonos experience

  • Controlled by Sonos app
  • Trueplay for optimal sound
  • AirPlay on Apple 2 compatible
  • Multichannel number capable
  • Stereo pairing

Controlled using the Sonos app, the Ikea Symfonisk Sonos Bookshelf Wireless Speaker offers almost all the features available on standard Sonos speakers, i.e. the ability to group Symfonisk speakers with any Sonos speaker for a seamless multi-room audio experience. You can even play different music to different speakers at the same time, which is useful when listening in different rooms.

We have both a Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker and a Symfonisk light setup along with the rest of our Sonos systems — and both work with other Sonos speakers. You never know the difference and they don't distinguish between IKEA devices in the app.

Sonos offers access to over 100 music streaming services (you'll need the account you want to use), as well as the ability to play music from a local device, including your phone or PC/laptop - so there's no shortage of ways to access your music.

The Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker is also AirPlay compatible on the Apple 2, like later Sonos speakers (Sonos Including One, Sonos Move, Sonos One SL and Play:5), allowing Apple iOS users to send music directly to speaker, or by asking Siri to play music on the speaker without having to open the Sonos app.

Like all other Sonos speakers, the Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker supports Trueplay, so you can customize it to your surroundings using the Sonos software app and your iOS device. This is arguably one of the best features given the many placement options, how can you make sure you get the best sound quality no matter where you place it.

You can also book stereo pairs in Symfonisk acoustic shelf too. This feature is excellent, which means that if you have all beam and sub in your living room, for example, you can add two Symfonisk bookshelf speakers to create a 5.1 surround sound system.

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Before launching Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker, the cheapest way to get a Sonos 3.1 system is by buying two games:1 paired with Sonos Beam or Sonos Playback – but the price of Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker means you can buy two for the price of one game:1.

The Symfonisk Bookshelf Wireless Speaker has no microphones inside, so no voice control is available on either the Sonos One, Sonos Move or Sonos Beam. That said, you can still control your Bookshelf speaker through Alexa or Google Assistant with Sonos One, Sonos Move or Sonos Beam, or an Amazon Alexa compatible device or Google Assistant compatible device such as Google Home. We're at Google home and have had no problems getting Google Assistant to play Ed Sheeran on our Bookshelf wireless speaker (no judgment please).

In terms of other features, the Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker will work with the IKEA Tradfri Smart Home system eventually too, allowing you to create scenes, i.e. control automated programs that run at certain times of the day, such as fading lights slowly and casting blinds up.

Sound and performance

  • Class D digital amplifier
  • MF-LF
  • Твитер

The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf wireless speaker may be small compared to other Sonos speakers, but that doesn't mean they don't deliver performance.

The bookshelf wireless speaker isn't as powerful as the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk table lamp speaker, nor like the Sonos one or Sonos one sl, but it still packs in some serious punch for its compact size. It offers a great range with plenty of detail and a healthy dose of bass - maybe a little too much for some, but you can change this in the EQ (eq) settings of the Sonos app (Read our tips and tricks on how to do this for Sonos).

There is also a decent amount. We had our wireless speaker bookshelf in our living room which is open plan and one of the largest rooms in our house and we didn't have to go over 30% of it. It's really quite impressive for its price and size.

All in all, the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Wireless Speaker is one nice shelf and a fantastic way to start your Sonos collection.

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