Ikea and Sonos SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame Speaker
Yesterday Ikea announced that they and Sonos have collaborated to create a “picture frame” speaker for the SYMFONISK line. This newest addition to the SYMFONISK line (which includes a lamp and bookshelf speaker) is slated for a June 15th release with a $199 price point. At launch, it will come with either a white or black picture cover though two additional covers by artist Jennifer Idrizi are scheduled to be released in August. So how does the Ikea and Sonos SYMFONISK on-wall picture frame speaker work?
On-Wall Mounting the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame Speaker
The back of the speaker has two slots for hanging so that you can hang it either vertically or horizontally. Below each of these hanging slots (we aren’t exactly sure if you use your own hardware or if there is a proprietary solution included), there are multiple ways to route the cable. There is also a large cavity to secure any additional wire for a cleaner installation.
Currently, connectivity is limited to WiFi and AirPlay2. No word on Bluetooth. This allows you to connect the Ikea and Sonos SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speaker to a Sonos system. If you want to use the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speakers in a stereo pair, you’ll need a second one. They will not be able to be paired with one of the other SYMFONISK speakers. If you use these with Sonos, you’ll reportedly be able to set them up as either front speakers or as surrounds.
Design of the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame Speaker
We don’t know a lot about the sound of the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speakers. They have a single tweeter and midrange (in a two-way design). With the ability to orient the speaker both horizontally and vertically, the tweeter must have good off-axis response in all directions. There is a front port with controls on the back of the frame.
Cabling is a bit of an issue. Wireless connectivity or no, the speaker needs power. As power needs to be run outside of walls, a power cord will always be visible. The storage cavity of the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speaker and multiple routing options should help keep things as clean as possible, but there is no getting around the power cable. One nice feature is that two SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speakers can be wired together so that you are only running one wire down to an outlet. Of course, now you have a second wire running across the wall, but maybe that is easier to hide? The included power cables are 3.5m long.
We mentioned that the SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speaker will come in either white or black at launch with other options to be released later. The real question is whether you can add your own art. While we’re not sure what Ikea and Sonos will say, we say that adding art to an SYMFONISK On-Wall Picture Frame speaker is absolutely possible. All you need to do is get some art in the right size and printed on acoustically transparent fabric and find a way to secure it to the frame. While this might not be easy, there is no way it is impossible. Look for DIY hacks to be released as soon as these start to ship on June 15th for $199 each.
For more information, visit Ikea.com.
These are brilliant. And a great way to add audio to a room in places that might otherwise be unacceptable to the rest of the household. And I agree: some other art, printed on acoustically transparent fabric, is a great idea. And since Sonos includes room correction EQ, it can probably adjust to most any reasonable location and most any reasonably acoustically transparent fabric.