Ikea plans to reveal its second generation of Sonos-compatible Symfonisk smart speakers next month, according to a leaked marketing schedule for the Swedish furniture giant.
The promotional calendar, shared in a since-deleted post on Reddit and sighted by Executive Traveller, lists a ‘Symfonisk virtual press event’ for June 14 (sandwiched between two ‘influencer campaigns’) under logos for both Ikea and Sonos.
This will mark the first refresh of the Symfonisk range since Ikea and Sonos kicked off their collaboration in October 2019 with a table lamp speaker and bookshelf speaker.
Both were fully compatible with other Sonos kit, becoming part of a Sonos network and being controlled through the Sonos app, although they lacked Amazon and Google voice control.
Ikea’s Symfonisk line focuses on more of a lifestyle approach to the product’s design, and in the case of the lamp and bookshelf speakers also offered sub-Sonos pricing.
So what’s in store for Ikea’s new Symfonisk 2021 family?
It’s widely expected that we’ll see a fresh take on the speaker-lamp, given that many Ikea stores around the world are now heavily marking down their remaining stock – in some cases as much as 50% – while also labelling it as ‘outgoing product’.
No such sales are being applied to the bookshelf speaker, which is the entry-level model and some consider to be a ‘gateway drug’ into the Sonos ecosystem (although it works well as an adjunct speaker in small closed environments such as kitchens and bathrooms, while also being a low-cost way to add rear speakers for a surround-sound Sonos home theatre setup).
More exciting will be the rumoured speaker-frame, which will embed a Sonos-compatible speaker behind a frame for any art you’d care to hang on your wall.
Filings for the integrated Symfonisk smart speaker frame have been steadily making their way through the US FCC over recent months for approval of the dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth radios
A speaker hidden inside a picture frame would be a perfect fit for Ikea’s Symfonisk series, which the company describes as “great-sounding, great-looking pieces of furniture that blend into the home in new ways and make it easier to furnish with sound.”
It would also have the same dual-purpose application as the Symfonisk table lamp and bookshelf models, adding quality Sonos sound which blends into modern home decor.
Executive Traveller has approached both Ikea and Sonos for comment.