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IKEA, Sonos Redefine the ‘Bookshelf Speaker’ (Even Though No One Asked Them To)

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  March 15th, 2019  By Maggie Overholt is reader-supported. If you click on or buy something via a link on this page, we may earn a commission.

Pricing update: IKEA and Sonos’ speakers now have a price tag. Some A-level sleuthing by revealed the SYMFONISK line can be expected to start at $120 — $30 cheaper than Sonos’ current entry point. The website cites a poster intended for IKEA’s Danish staff, offering them a free SYMFONISK speaker valued at DKK799, which translates to just over $120.

Have you heard the good news? IKEA and Sonos are having a brainchild.

The companies’ joint venture, a line of smart speakers called SYMFONISK, was announced way back in December 2017. We even got to see a prototype at IKEA’s Democratic Design Days last June. Now we finally have a due date.

IKEA and Sonos SYMFONISK Prototype
Image: IKEA

IKEA and Sonos will unveil their official smart speaker line in Milan on April 9. And despite a somewhat confusing “teaser” video the company released (which blurs out the actual product), we expect it’ll look a lot like the prototypes we saw earlier this year. In other words: Not so different from your run-of-the-mill Sonos speaker.

As far as we can tell there’s just one feature that really sets the SYMFONISK line apart from other Sonos models (functionally, at least): It includes a bookshelf speaker.

And before you ask — no, we’re not talking about the traditional “bookshelf speaker,” so named for its small size and ability to sit comfortably on your average bookshelf. We’re talking about a smart speaker that actually is a bookshelf.

“Because they’re designed for IKEA, at least one prototype features brackets that makes it possible to use as a shelf,” points out The Verge.

Which means the SYMFONISK line will be able to accomplish what no previous Sonos speaker — oh wait…

Sonos Speaker as Bookshelf

Then again, if you’re someone who prefers to stack their books standing upright, a Sonos speaker that doubles as a bookshelf might just be the thing for you.

Sonos Speaker Books Fall Off

In all seriousness, we’re looking forward to IKEA and Sonos unveiling their SYMFONISK line this April. Between IKEA’s knack for understated, integrated design and Sonos’ reputation for superior sound quality, the speakers are bound to be slick (if not particularly revolutionary).

We also hope IKEA will make the entry point for Sonos speakers more affordable. With the company’s current cheapest model ringing in at $150, it’s not so easily accessible for people on a budget.

“Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it,” Björn Block, business leader for Ikea Home Smart, told The Verge. “Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way.”

OK, Björn, you set the bar. Now let’s see you meet it.

Featured image: IKEA

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