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Speakers can take up a lot of space. So do lamps. And shelves. Your place? Maybe not so big. So what do you do if you want big sound in a not-so-big space? Easy: You combine your speakers with your accent pieces. No, we don’t mean you should go ahead and store your beer on your favorite gigantic subwoofer. We’re talking about combining one of the world’s best WiFi speaker companies with the biggest name in modern home furnishings.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out the Symfonisk collaboration between Sonos and IKEA. When you pair the famously great Sonos sound with IKEA’s legendary utilitarianism, your living space and your ears benefit mightily.
The Symfonisk speakers come as a table lamp or a floating bookshelf. The bookshelf speaker also makes a great bookend. Either way, it hides in plain sight pretty much anywhere you put it. The lamp doesn’t hide; it’s right out there. The good thing is, it’s as easy on the eyes as it is pleasing to the ears.
First, the sound: These are actual Sonos WiFi speakers. Not “Sonos-like” or speakers that “give you the quality of Sonos.” They’re the real article, with the full Sonos connection functionality which you control via the free Sonos app. The speakers connect to one another over your home network so you can better hear your music and podcasts. They can be grouped together, or they can also work independently. Sonos speakers are also compatible with Airplay 2 so you can stream directly from Apple devices.
If you’re looking for speakers to knock pictures off your walls and have your neighbors calling in a noise complaint, these aren’t them. The Symfonisk speakers give you an understated yet complete sound. With the lamp on your bedside or end table, you can enjoy your favorite true-crime podcast without having to keep reaching for the volume. The shelf speaker will fill your room with great sound without shaking itself off the wall.
Now the function. True to IKEA, both the lamp and the shelf are well-designed additions to any space. The 16-by-9-inch lamp comes in black or white and takes one candelabra-style E12 bulb. Like the sound, the light is warm and complete but not overwhelming. It works equally well in a bedroom or living-room setting.
At 12x6x4 inches, the shelf speaker can be wall-mounted with an inexpensive separate bracket (because, yeah, IKEA), and is then able to hold up to 6.5 pounds. If you’re looking for a different placement or presentation for this speaker, it also can be a sturdy and attractive bookend. It’s worth keeping in mind that while amazingly versatile, these are not wireless speakers, and they do need to be positioned near an electrical outlet.
Think of these as Sonos sounds meeting IKEA affordability. You could probably get a decent WiFi speaker for $179, but not a Sonos speaker and a good lamp or floating bookshelf. If you’re balking at paying $99 for a shelf, remember it’s also a Sonos speaker, too. And best of all, if you’re living in a small urban apartment or condo, they’re both amazing space-savers.