A few months ago, Ikea teased on its Instagram that it was teaming up with Sonos for another Symfonisk speaker. At the time there was speculation that it’d be some kind of wall art-speaker combo. And yup, that’s exactly what the two companies unveiled today.
According to Ikea, a major problem with home speakers is that people don’t know exactly where to put them without sticking out like a sore thumb. The benefit of the picture frame form factor is that it makes use of vertical wall space, and is meant to be showcased as opposed to hidden. This tracks with the first two Symfonisk speakers, which launched in 2019. One doubled as a table lamp, while the other could work as a bookshelf.
“We’re making it possible to furnish with sound, rather than speakers,” said Stjepan Begic, product developer at Ikea, during the launch event.
There will be two versions that come in white or black and can be mounted or placed on the floor against a wall. It comes with a 3.5-meter cable, and the extraneous cord can be spooled in a cavity in the back. If you buy two, you can also create a daisy chain to power them with a single cable. The buttons are on the backside, and the frame itself only extends 6 cm from the wall. For connectivity, the speakers support AirPlay 2 and wifi, but not Bluetooth.
As for the art itself, the front panel can be swapped out. Besides the default art, there will be two additional art options from artist Jennifer Idrizi starting in August. It’s unclear whether you’ll be able to create your own art for the frame, but Ikea says it expects to release more in the future.
Sonos says the speaker is capable of room-filling sound, partially because the tweeter features a snowflake-esque cover to act as a “wave guide” that helps spread high frequency sounds out to the whole room. Other than that, the company kept details a bit vague. We do, however, know the speakers can be grouped with other Sonos speakers. There’s just one caveat: Stereo can only be done with another Symfonisk Wall Art speaker—the table lamp or bookshelf aren’t compatible in this instance.
The Symfonisk picture frame wifi speaker will cost $199 and is available starting July 15.