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  • Cheryl Tan

IKEA SYMFONISK Review: How Good Can An IKEA Speaker Be?

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Credit: IKEA

The answer? Pretty freaking good, actually. IKEA has leveraged on a partnership with Sonos and came out with the IKEA SYMFONISK, a really impressive lamp-speaker combo that not only looks pretty sleek but also sounds surprisingly good, all for the same S$299 pricetag as the Sonos One SL.

The lamp itself looks pretty good, just as a lamp, and it’s an excellent option for people who want speakers in their home but don’t feel that the speaker aesthetics match. For example, your partner might not be too keen on the idea of putting a pair of speakers on your bedside tables, but these lamps? Pretty sure they’ll pass the test.

There’s a knob on the body that controls whether the lightbulb inside is turned on or not and there are buttons for music control on the base of the lamp, but they’re subtle and honestly? You don’t even need those buttons because everything can be controlled from your phone.

The SYMFONISK might be an IKEA product, but it connects to the Sonos app and can be controlled from there, which is excellent. It also means that it can work in the Sonos ecosystem, so people who already have a Sonos speaker in their house will be happy since they all play nicely together.

If you’re looking to get stereo sound, you’ll be able to pair two speakers together as well. A single speaker gets plenty loud on its own, however, and most people interested in this would most likely be using it for casual music playback in the background instead of a proper listening session.

There’s an Ethernet port on the side for connectivity, although there’s always the option to get it working over Wi-Fi, and the power port is on the bottom of the lamp, with a guide for the cable to sit nicely in.

One downside is that IKEA doesn’t provide a lightbulb with the speaker. This isn’t too big an issue though, since the lamp supports Philips Hue bulbs and even IKEA’s own TRADFRI smart lights and other bulbs you might want to use, as long as it fits in the E14 socket.

There’s no dimmer on the lamp, so if you want to be able to set the intensity of the light, you’ll most likely want to go for a smart lightbulb for that functionality.

So how does this lamp sound? It’s actually really similar to the Sonos One, with punchy bass, clean mids and bright treble. The soundstage is pretty spacious, but it might get a bit crowded on more complex tracks.

When listening to tracks with heavier bass emphasis, you’ll definitely hear the impact. It’s not quite as dynamic as other speakers out there though, and you might find more subtle details disappearing into the mix.

There’s also no microphone in this speaker, so that means no support for any voice assistants. That’s pretty in line with what the Sonos One SL provides at the same price point. For people looking for more functionality and better sound, they’ll have to pay a bit more for the Sonos One which offers a microphone.

Credit: IKEA

Then again, most people who get this aren’t looking for a super accurate speaker. But for everyday listening and just to have some music in the background, the SYMFONISK is perfect for lighting up the home.

The SYMFONISK (S$299) is now available at IKEA stores and IKEA’s online store.

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