It’s been an interesting week for Sonos. Earlier this week the company unveiled Beam, a new kind of TV soundbar offering Alexa smarts and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility.
Now we’re getting our first look at the audio firm’s alliance with Ikea. The Swedish furniture giant has shown off some prototype speaker designs at its Democratic Design event.
The non-functioning speakers will join Ikea’s smart home range and will be marketed under the SYMFONISK brand. None of them look particularly like Sonos speakers, but that multi-room audio nous will be crucial to the uptake of the range.
Related: Best multi-room speaker
Just because they’re made for Ikea, doesn’t mean they will come in a flatpack, with an Allen key and assembly instructions. However they will come with brackets that enable people to use them as shelves or attach them to existing structures.
In a join press release, the firm adds: “In this true collaboration, the speakers will be fully integrated with the Sonos Home Sound System as well as with IKEA’s other Home Smart devices. Both companies have a strong belief in making people’s everyday lives better, and that everyone should be allowed great design at a decent price. The shared values make the collaboration easier, which isn’t to say that it’s without its challenges.”
The speakers will be more affordable than many of Sonos’ own-branded products, with Ikea planning to offer built-in music systems for those who previously couldn’t afford it.
“Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it,” says Björn Block, business leader for Ikea Home Smart. “Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way.”
Beam us up, Sonos
Naturally, the speakers will be a far cry from the newly-announced Sonos Beam, which reimagines the soundbar for the smart speaker era. Users will be able to use the $399 product to voice command their television sets. And our early impressions are very good.
In his hands-on preview, home tech editor Ced Yuen wrote: “All in all, I came away astonished. This thing exceed all expectations.”
Read the full Sonos Beam preview, ahead of the on-sale date of July 17.
Will you be buying the Ikea speakers to augment your in-home audio system? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.