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IKEA Symfonisk review: The shelf and table lamp speakers with Sonos core

IKEA Symfonisk test
Image: © 2019 TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2019 © 2019 TechnikNews)

In the summer of this year, the IKEA Symfonisk two pretty loudspeakers presented. We were also able to get hold of a test device and take a closer look at the three-pack of speakersprobeer What can bookshelf speakers and table lamps really do? Our test.

First of all, we would like to thank IKEA for the test devices, which we were allowed to examine closely for about a month. I set up the sound system at home and will tell you about my experiences with the two bookshelf speakers and a table lamp in the following test report. I won't go into much detail about the software we already know them from Sonos - that is unchanged here.

Bookshelf speakers and table lamp unpacked

The three loudspeakers arrived in three environmentally friendly cardboard packaging. While the packaging of the bookshelf loudspeakers is a bit more compact, the packaging of the lamp is larger - but the lampshade has to find its place somewhere. In addition, I would say that the IKEA Symfonisk was packaged fairly securely for transport and that it should survive even the wildest package journeys.

In addition to the loudspeaker itself, there is also a power cable in the packaging, along with an Ethernet cable. The former is also covered with fabric, which also makes it look higher quality, but is still too short. All speakers do not support battery operation or charging via USB-C. So: unpacked, plugged in and off you go.

Chic, chic, IKEA!

I really like the Symfonisk speakers, and not just at first glance. They probably fit in every room and blend in with every interior design - thanks to the two different colors black and white. Otherwise, both speakers look very well made and remain true to IKEA's somewhat "typical" Swedish design.

IKEA Symfonisk test

The speakers can be attached in many ways, stacked ... or well, whatever. (Image: © 2019 TechnikNews)

The bookshelf speakers can also be hung on a hook or otherwise mounted on the wall. Of course, you can also put them down or put them down somewhere as usual.

However, the concept of the table lamp is not very clear to me: On the one hand, you need an E14 LED bulb with a maximum of 7 watts, which, however, cannot be smartly controlled. Instead there is a rotary control, which cannot dim, but only switch it on and off. Alternatively, you could of course plug in a smart lightbulb, which then has to be controlled by another app. There is still room for improvement with a possible successor.

Functions: As known from Sonos

Basically, the IKEA speakers can do exactly what the speakers from Sonos can do: AirPlay (2), Internet radio, Spotify and other streaming apps. Playing music via Bluetooth does not work, which I think is a shame. Unfortunately, there is also no aux connection at all, which would certainly have had plenty of space. Overall, we only find three buttons on the case: Two are used to regulate the volume and one is used as a play and pause button.

Unlike some Sonos devices, there are no smart assistants such as Google Assistant or Alexa here. Depending on whether you need one or not, this can be a positive as well as a negative point. But if you own an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can use it to control Sonos devices anyway.

In terms of the app, the existing Sonos infrastructure is also used here. You therefore need a Sonos account as well as the Sonos app to use the speakers. Without the app, the table lamp can only be used as a lamp and the bookshelf speakers are unusable - the app is necessary for setting up and integrating it into your own network. But that's already the case with many speakers.

IKEA Symfonisk test

The setup works as usual via the Sonos app. (Image: © 2019 TechnikNews)

Klang

Although both speakers come from IKEA, they are more different in sound than you might think at first. To be fair, I split this point review report into bookshelf speakers and table lamps separately.

Bookshelf speakers

The bookshelf speakers disappointed me a bit in terms of sound. The bass doesn't work properly and doesn't fill the room on its own. However, if you select both speakers as a stereo pack in the app, the sound sounds much better. A good position of the speakers is of course a prerequisite, otherwise that doesn't help either. So I would say that two bookshelf speakers are absolutely necessary for smaller rooms if you expect a room-filling sound.

IKEA Symfonisk test

The bookshelf speaker only sounds really good in a double pack. (Image: © 2019 TechnikNews)

For even better sound, you can readjust the highs, lows and mids in the equalizer in the Sonos app.

Table lamp

If you listen to the table lamp all by yourself, it delivers a much better sound than the bookshelf speaker. This one has an almost equivalent sound quality as that Sonos Onewhich I have already been able to test myself. Only the bass could be a bit better - but I don't really expect that at this price in the table lamp format. In general, I could imagine a good place on the bedside table for the table lamp. If there: then the loudspeaker fits perfectly in the bedroom.

IKEA Symfonisk test

The table lamp sounds much better than the bookshelf speaker. (Image: © 2019 TechnikNews)

However, for rooms like the living room, I would consider beforehand whether I shouldn't go directly to other speakers or the slightly more expensive Sonos devices.

Conclusion: dichotomies

In the course of my test, I had tested two loudspeakers that were very different in sound than I had thought in advance. After all, there is “only” a difference of just under 80 euros between the two loudspeakers, one might imagine - but this price difference is the key point.

The table lamp is a good one for the price of around 179 euros Product. It offers a balanced sound, doesn't look like a "typical" speaker and fits in well with your own four walls. If you are looking for a speaker to put on a bedside table or next to the sofa, I can recommend the IKEA Symfonisk table lamp for this price prorecommend without hesitation. For all other purposes, such as setting it up in a small living room, it's just about enough, but the sound is simply too weak in larger rooms - I'd rather use the slightly more expensive Sonos devices or other speakers right away.

IKEA Symfonisk test

Image: © 2019 TechnikNews

The bookshelf speaker for 99 euros literally ran out of breath. The loudspeaker can only really convince in a double pack - in this size it is probably not really possible on its own. For Sonos beginners, however, they are absolutely the cheapest offer and can be connected to other Sonos devices via the app. I could imagine a bookshelf loudspeaker and the table lamp together better - I would not be happy with a bookshelf loudspeaker alone.

Despite all the criticism, I think the option to upgrade the system at any time is really good. Here they have cooperated perfectly with Sonos and use the existing software for their own speakers. So it would not be Problem to operate IKEA Symfonisk speakers and share them with other Sonos devices.

Many thanks to IKEA for providing the test equipment (2x bookshelf speakers + 1x table lamp).

Buy IKEA Symfonisk speakers

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David Wurm

Do that TechnikNews-Ding together with a great team since 2015. Works in the background on the server infrastructure and is also responsible for everything editorial. Is fascinated by current technology and enjoys blogging about everything digital. In his free time he can often be found developing webs, taking photographs or making radio.

David has already written 965 articles and left 382 comments.

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