Sonos is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of wireless home speakers. As one of the trailblazers, the company has developed numerous patents regarding wireless speaker connectivity (as Google discovered in court recently). All of that research and development typically doesn’t come cheap, however, and coupled with Sonos’ desire to deliver high-quality sound, its speakers can cost a little more than the competition, including speakers from Google and others.
Instead of heading to your nearest consumer technology store or Hi-Fi center for your next wireless home speaker, you might want to think about going to your nearest IKEA store. IKEA has just released the second-generation SYMFONISK bookshelf speaker, which like the first-generation model, was developed in collaboration with Sonos (via Tweakers). As you might expect, as a result, it is fully compatible with other products from Sonos. It also happens to be the cheapest entry point into the Sonos audio experience at $120 and features several upgrades over the original.
Major internal updates
From the outside, there are only minor changes to the design of the second-generation SYMFONISK bookshelf speakers, which continue to come in either white or black colorways. The biggest changes have been left for the internals, which now feature a faster processor and more memory; this should make for a more seamless listening experience. The software system has been updated and is now running on the same platform as the rest of IKEA’s SYMFONISK speaker range. Power consumption on standby has also been reduced from 2.55W of the original to 2.05W.
Like the original, the SYMFONISK bookshelf speaker supports Apple’s AirPlay 2 Wi-Fi audio protocol as well as Spotify Connect along with most major streaming services. A single SYMFONISK speaker can also be paired with a second SYMFONISK speaker of the same type (including the first-generation model) for a stereo audio experience. A pair of SYMFONISK speakers can also be used as rear speakers for a Sonos home cinema system, which is pretty handy if you already have a Sonos 2.1 set-up or soundbar.
The SONOS|IKEA second-generation SYMFONISK speaker is now on sale in Europe for 99 Euro and will be rolling out globally over the coming weeks and months.