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Next Sonos IKEA Symfonisk wireless speaker revealed – and it's a work of art

sonos symfonisk
(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA appears to have revealed the next wireless speaker in its collaboration with Sonos, after briefly listing the 'Symfonisk picture frame with Wi-Fi speaker' on its website, according to The Verge

The listing, which has now been taken down, confirms rumors that the next Sonos IKEA Symfonisk speaker will double up as a piece of wall art.

The speaker, which is yet to be announced by either company, will retail for $199, which works out at around £140 / AU$260. 

According to the listing, the Symfonisk picture frame speaker will measure 22 x 16 x 2 inches (H x W x D), and the frame will come in either black or white. 

Customers will be able to choose between "various interchangeable fronts", which suggests a range of different art styles will adorn the front of the devices, which appears to double up as a speaker grille. 

That means that you won't be able to mount your own images, which may limit the speaker's appeal – unless IKEA offers a very diverse selection of images to choose from. 

sonos ikea

The picture frame will apparently be joined by an updated version of the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk lamp speaker (right), shown here with the Symfonisk bookshelf speaker. (Image credit: IKEA)

Before the listing was removed, IKEA offered some ways the picture frame speaker could be placed in your home:

“You can choose to hang it on its own on the wall as an eye-catcher, match it with your other pictures on a wall, place it on the floor, or lean it against a wall,” said the company.

The listing also revealed some of the wireless speaker's specs, which include support for AirPlay 2 connectivity, stereo pairing (including as rear surrounds for a Sonos Arc or Beam soundbar), and control via the Sonos app.

While The Verge didn't spot much in the way of audio specs, the listing did include a quote from Sonos product manager Sara Morris, who says: "By working together with the designers we were able to keep the thin edge of the picture frame while hiding a deeper acoustic volume behind it. Together with a waveguide, this let us make big room filling sound from what looks like a thin speaker.”

As with any Sonos product, we have high hopes for a great audio performance, in spite of the limitations imposed by the speaker's flat shape.

Hidden hi-fi

Sonos and IKEA have teamed up in the past to create wireless speakers that look like pieces of furniture; in 2019, the companies launched a bookshelf speaker and a lamp speaker.

According to The Verge and an an FCC filing , the picture frame speaker will be joined by an updated lamp speaker, which will retail for around the same price as its predecessor ($179 / £150 / AU$269).

Both models expected to launch on June 14, after a leaked internal IKEA marketing calendar was shared on Reddit, revealing that a "SYMFONISK Virtual Press Event" will take place on that date. This most recent leak just adds more weight to those rumors. 

The expansion of the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk range is indicative of a wider trend for speakers with innovative designs that allow them to double up as home furnishings, and even pieces of actual furniture. 

As Sara Morris told us in a recent interview, “there are areas in the home where a speaker doesn’t fit”, whether that’s because of a lack of space, power, or because “technology isn’t the focus, like in bedrooms”. 

“By building speakers into home furnishings we can overcome both of these challenges and let people decorate their home with both the objects and the sound," she explained.

Sonos isn't the only company challenging our perception of what a wireless speaker should look like. Bang & Olufsen recently released a wireless speaker that looks like a book, allowing you to place it unobtrusively on a shelf, as well as a modular speaker that can be wall-mounted to save precious space. Meanwhile, JLA has created high-fidelity downwards-firing speakers that double up as stylish coffee tables, while Transparent’s Acoustic Sculpture blends art and audio in a way we’ve never seen before.

Whether this is a short-lived fad or an indication that the world of home audio is moving into a new era remains to be seen – and the success (or failure) of any new Symfonisk speakers will hopefully give us more insight into the this latest home entertainment trend.