Sonos IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker Review
A funky bit of artwork that doubles as a Sonos speaker
The Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker looks more wall art than a speaker, making it perfect for anyone looking for a device that blends in. Offering the same price and sound quality as the Sonos One SL, this is a good alternative – but the speaker is quite large and the choice of art panels available is quite limited.
- Balanced and detailed sound
- AirPlay 2 support
- Multiple hanging options
- Fully Sonos compatible
- Quite large
- Limited range of art covers
- UKRRP: £179
- USARRP: $179
- EuropeRRP: €179
- Sonos speaker:It looks like a simple piece of art, but this is in fact a full Sonos speaker. You can hang it on the wall or lean it against a bit of furniture
- Multiple music services:This speaker supports all the streaming services that Sonos does including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and more.
IKEA’s collaboration with Sonos has delivered some interesting multi-room speakers, designed to blend into the environment. With the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker, the twosome has delivered something different once again: a speaker built into a work of art that you can hang or lean up against a wall.
A good price and quality sound, combined with full Sonos compatibility, make this a great speaker to add to your system if you want something that will blend in a bit more.
- Can stand up or be wall-mounted
- Clever cable tidy
- You can daisy-chain speakers together
The previous generation of Symfonisk speakers has come in the form of a table lamp speaker and a bookshelf speaker – and here you get something even more conspicuous: a speak disguised as a work of art.
In truth, the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker is more of a pattern than a great work of art, currently available in black or white. I quite like the black version on review, but I know that it won’t be to everyone’s taste.
IKEA has said that it will be bringing out replaceable fronts for the speaker, which you fit by popping out the old front and clipping the new one into place. This should help mix things up a bit – and, if you re-decorate your home, then you should be able to change the front of the speaker to make it fit in with your new decor.
Measuring 570 x 410 x 60mm, the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker is quite a beast of a unit: it takes up roughly the same amount of space as an A3 picture frame.
Fortunately, IKEA offers a few options for installation. Easiest is the lean-it-against-a-wall option. In the box, IKEA provides two rubber feet that attach to the long or short edges (landscape or portrait), allowing you to simply just lean the speaker against a surface. In the box, you get a tether to stop the speaker from being pulled over, although it’s up to you if you want to fit this.
The alternative is to hang the speaker on the wall – again, in either portrait or landscape orientation, using the mounting points at the back and provided bracket. Wall-hanging offers a neater solution, although it does mean you’re more likely to see the white cable hanging down. Personally, this doesn’t bother me that much.
IKEA has given cable management some thought. Supplying 3.5 metres, the majority will likely have an excess remaining once they’ve positioned the speaker as desired. Thankfully, the design means you can wind up what you don’t need and tuck it into the cavity inside the speaker. There are multiple cable guides, too, so you can get the power cable out of the speaker in the neatest way possible.
In this cavity, you’ll also find a daisy-chain power output. Buy the cable from IKEA and you can power a second Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker without having to double up on plug sockets.
There’s also space to clip in the rubber feet, so you can keep them safe and out of the way when you wall-hang the speaker.
Although you’re likely to use the speaker over Wi-Fi, there’s an Ethernet port at the back so that you can connect this speaker to your wired network.
As with all Sonos speakers, there are basic physical controls on the back, with volume buttons plus a play/pause button that also lets you skip tracks. You can reach for this with feel alone, but make sure that you don’t hang the speaker too high; otherwise, these controls will be hard to reach.
- No voice assistant support
- Works with the S2 app
Setup is easy via the Sonos S2 app. Using NFC, the speaker is detected automatically and then connected to your existing Sonos network. From here, the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker looks and acts just like any other Sonos speaker.
You can play music directly to this speaker, or group it with other Sonos speakers around your home. If you have two of these Picture frame speakers, then you can create a stereo pair or use them as the rear channels for your Sonos Arc.
The beauty of the Sonos system is the range of music systems it supports, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, plus lots more. And, the clever thing about Sonos is that one account lets you play different music in different rooms; with other multi-room systems, if you play a service – Spotify, say –in one room, then you can’t use the same service in another room.
Sonos has a slick app that feeds all of your music services into one place, making choosing music a lot easier.
Not that you’re limited to using the official app; this speaker also supports AirPlay 2, so you can send audio from your phone or iPad.
There are no microphones on this speaker, so no support for built-in voice assistants. This isn’t necessarily a problem, though, as you can control playback via a regular Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker.
- Similar sound to the Sonos One and One SL
- Clean audio
- A surprising amount of bass
Priced at the same amount as the Sonos One SL, it isn’t surprising that the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker sounds very similar to the entry-level speaker. IKEA hasn’t revealed the full specs of the speaker, but what I do know is that Sonos has had a hand in the design, building the tweeter to deliver more expansive sound.
To test, I first ran the speaker through Trueplay, Sonos’ automatic calibration system that uses your phone’s microphone to adjust the speaker to your room’s acoustics.
I can safely say that this speaker is excellent. It’s clean, audio is well balanced and presented, and there’s no part of the soundstage that overpowers others. This is a loud speaker, easily capable of filling practically any room, and there’s a surprising amount of bass present, too. Cleverly, the audio doesn’t cause vibrations to sink into the wall, resulting in sound issues.
Firing up Bombtrack by Rage Against the Machine, you get the full attack and power as that bass track kicks in. This Too Shall Pass by OK Go is super bass-heavy, pushing this speaker to its limits – but it just holds on.
The speaker displays subtlety, too. Play Hurt by Johnny Cash and you can hear his fingers sliding up the strings and the pain in his voice. There really isn’ much to choose between this and the One SL at all.
Should you buy it?
If you’re not particularly fussed about having a smart speaker, and you want a multi-room option that can more easily blend into your home, this is a good choice.
If you don’t have much room, this large speaker may prove difficult to find space for. It’s also quite limited in terms of design – so if you’re not a fan of the current artwork, this speaker isn’t for you.
Offering a similar performance and price to the Sonos One SL, it will be form that likely dictates whether you buy the Sonos and IKEA Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker.
The One SL is far smaller, making it easier to place, particularly if you want speakers for the rear of your home cinema system. The Sonos and Ikea Symfonisk Picture frame with Wi-Fi Speaker is for people with wall space that don’t necessarily want a speaker on display. Provided you like the art options available today (or the replacement panels when launched), this is a fun speaker that will easily blend into your home.
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No, it isn’t. It’s designed for indoor use only.
Yes, you use the Sonos app to control it, although you can send audio directly using AirPlay 2.
Yes, it works with the Sonos system.