SONOS | IKEA SYMFONISK BOOKSHELF SPEAKER
Design & Construction
Ikea may have been known for making wallet-friendly furniture that looks great and lasts well but with technology becoming more and more relevant, Ikea has been developing their own smart home products too. This time, joining forces with Sonos to create the Symfonisk line of speakers. Here we have the Symfonisk bookshelf speaker. The Bookshelf speaker is essentially a Sonos Play:1 rewired into a rectangular form and a lower price tag. Now let's take a deeper look. On the front of the speaker, you will find a fabric-covered grille that blends into the home interior pretty well if you have it around other furnishings or even the KALLAX bookshelf, which by the way, was made to fit inside one of the shelves vertically or horizontally. You can also pick up a wall -mounting kit which would allow you to mount the speaker to the wall itself to acts a actual bedside table or bookshelf. The other option is to buy a speaker hook so that you can mount the speaker onto the KUNGFORS rail. On the top of the grille, there is a Sonos | Ikea label for branding and near the bottom is where you find your playback controls. You can increase and decrease the volume with the volume buttons, play/pause with a single press, skip forward with a double press and skip backwards with a triple press. There is also an LED status indicator. The entire front grille is also fully removable if you wish to show off a more industrial speaker look. Moving towards the back, there are two ports, the power port and the Ethernet port. And in the box, both cables are included as well. You may opt to use the Ethernet for wired internet in case you are placing the speaker in an area with a weaker Wi-Fi signal. Alternatively, if you decide to buy two bookshelf speakers, you can stereo pair them together or even join them into the same system to act as rear surround speakers.
Moving on to sound quality, the bookshelf speaker features a similar speaker set-up as the Play:1 speaker. Out of the box. the bass response is deep, tight and punchy. It never manages to distort or bleed into the mids even if you turn up the volume. The highs were a little lacking in clarity but they sounded not too bad either. The mids, on the other hand, are very crisp and filled with clarity. The instrument separation and soundstage are decent and a pair of these would help in creating a stronger stereo effect. To actually set-up the speaker, you will require the Sonos S2 app, which will guide you through the process and register the speaker for you. The Sonos S2 app is available on both the App and Play Store. In the app, you may hook up your various music subscriptions like Spotify, Soundcloud, Sonos Radio, or content on your device etc. and stream music from there. You can also add your favourites to the My Sonos category for easy access and change your different music streams on various speaker rooms as well as search your music collection. In the settings, you can change the individual speaker settings like the EQ for different genres, control the volume limit as well as hardware options. Overall, I felt that the sound signature was the best and cleanest in its default setting out of the box without the need to even alter it with any equaliser settings. The sound signature can be best described as being neutral with an emphasis to the bass. But you can always alter the sound signature with the bass and treble slider which by the way controls the speaker very well. Even if you try to max out the bass or treble, the sound signature stays relatively clean and was very enjoyable to listen to.
Connectivity & Portability
In terms of connectivity, only Wi-Fi playback is available and you can choose to do Airplay to cast music if you have an IOS device. There is no 3.5mm audio-in port or Bluetooth connectivity built-in.
Bass-Focused Sound Signature
No Bluetooth Support
Not Dust or Water-Resistant
The Bottom Line
All in all, the Sonos x Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker is a great way to bring technology to interior-friendly furnishings and at a low cost. The Bookshelf speaker is the cheapest Sonos speaker till date but it blends into the Sonos ecosystem very well, making it a cost-effective way to try out the Sonos lineup of speakers.
WE RATE IT!
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