Flatpack furniture maestros IKEA and smart audio brand Sonos might seem like an unlikely friendship, but the two companies have teamed up to create a number of successful products under the SYMFONISK moniker. After the launch of a bookshelf speaker and table lamp with a Sonos speaker built into the base back in 2019, the next addition is here – the SYMFONISK picture frame.
The frame is designed to bring Sonos’ smart speaker technology to parts of your home where you might not want a speaker taking up room. For example, you can have two SYMFONISK picture frames on the wall behind a sofa that pair with a Sonos Arc or Sonos Beam soundbar to bring surround sound to your home cinema set-up. There are a number of different artworks to choose from, with IKEA promising to refresh the picture frame with new pieces of art in the coming months and years.
During the launch event, IKEA said that it “expects customers to personalise the picture frame” but wouldn’t confirm whether there would be a way for customers to add a single photograph from their own collection to the speaker-cum-frame.
IKEA’s new picture frame is designed to be secured to the wall, freestanding on a shelf, or lean against a wall. It ships with small rubber feet to help it stand on its end, with a small cavity around the back to store these feet if you decide to attach it to the wall – helping you to keep your options open. Of course, you’ll need to plug in the SYMFONISK picture frame to power it up.
Ingeniously, if you decide to have two frames beside one another, you can power the second from the first – saving on the number of cables trailing down from the wall.
Like all previous SYMFONISK products, the picture frame can be added and managed within the Sonos app. If you already have Sonos speakers or a soundbar at home, the IKEA products will sit right alongside them. You can add group together Sonos-branded speakers, like the Sonos One, with SYMFONISK-branded ones, like the bookshelf speaker and picture frame.
The Sonos app has a dizzying number of music services available – more than 100 if you’re including radio stations. So, whether you’ve got a subscription with Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, or anything else, you’ll be able to bring in your favourite albums, playlists and podcasts to beam wirelessly to all of the speakers around your home.
The SYMFONISK picture frame also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2, which lets you stream with a single tap from a number of apps, including Apple Music and Podcasts. Friends and family on the same Wi-Fi network can add and re-arrange the tracks to collaborate on a playlist in real-time. Since Sonos uses Wi-Fi to stream your music, it has more range than Bluetooth speakers and you won’t have to put up with any interruptions from incoming calls or notifications on the smartphone.
Product Developer at IKEA Stjepan Begic said: “The space-saving picture frame speaker can hang on its own as an eye-catching piece of art, be coordinated with other wall art, placed on a shelf, or even on the floor leaning against a wall. The interchangeable fronts make it easy to choose a style that suits your individual home. As part of the growing IKEA Home smart range, this new speaker contributes to our ambition to enable the many to enjoy a smarter everyday life.”
The Sonos + IKEA SYMFONISK picture frame will be available next month, starting from £179 in the UK. You’ll be able to order online from July 15, 2021. The picture frame speaker ships in both black and white, with extra interchangeable sets setting you back £17 apiece.
It’s clear that the SYMFONISK picture frame looks the part. If you’re unsure about having speakers littered on shelves throughout your home, but still want room-filling sound in every part of your house – the IKEA collaborations provide an interesting solution.
While the SYMFONISK lamp and bookshelf speakers were praising for their surprisingly complete sound when they launched back in 2019, we’ll have to wait to get our hands on the picture frame to let you know whether it sounds as good as the Sonos One SL, which costs around the same. So stay tuned.