Not a fan of your speakers sitting on furniture or mounted to the wall? The next one you consider could instead be a piece of art on your wall.
The multiroom audio system that is Sonos is expanding this week, but not necessarily from anything Sonos itself is releasing. Rather, the practical pioneer of the multiroom audio concept that sees speakers linking together to share music is collaborating with IKEA once again and producing something a little bit different for your home.
Much like it did when IKEA first launched its Sonos collaboration “Symfonisk” back in 2019, IKEA and Sonos have been working on something new for Symfonisk with a different shape and form-factor. Specifically, IKEA is launching a Sonos-compatible speaker that sits in a picture you can hang on the wall.
Technically, the Symfonisk Picture Frame WiFi is a flat speaker with a print set up as the speaker grill, but the idea is a little bit different for a Sonos speaker, because it may well be the first Sonos speaker that looks nothing like a speaker to begin with.
Not so with the Symfonisk Picture Frame WiFi speaker, which builds a speaker into the frame of a piece of art, and then covers it with a grill that features the art.
The concept means you’ll be able to hang a speaker on the wall, with the power hanging down from the plug port at the back. Depending on if you feel like getting an electrician to hide the cable, you could probably do that, though we suspect most would just hang the cord down over the wall.
IKEA hasn’t mentioned too much about the speaker, but has said the art on the grills will be interchangeable, allowing you to take the grill off and change art simply by clipping it in and out. Don’t expect your own art on the Symfonisk Picture Frame WiFi speaker, though, as right now it comes from a selection of IKEA’s own art.
“The space-saving picture frame speaker can hang on its own on the wall as an eye-catching art piece, be matched with other art on the wall, be placed on a shelf or on the floor, leaning against the wall,” said Stjepan Begic, Product Developer at IKEA in Sweden.
“The interchangeable fronts make it easy to choose a style that suits your individual home,” he said. “As part of the growing IKEA Home smart range this new speaker contributes to our ambition to enable the many to enjoy a smarter everyday life.”
And like IKEA’s other Symfonisk speakers, these are Sonos compatible, meaning that they integrate entirely with the Sonos system, allowing them to play nicely with any other Sonos speakers you have. We’re told that includes the S2 app, making them designed for the latest Sonos gear.
What they won’t be is available in Australia until next year. While folks in Europe and North America can buy it from July 15, IKEA doesn’t plan on releasing the Symfonisk Picture Frame WiFi Speaker until next year in 2022. That’s not entirely out of kilter with how IKEA released the first batch of Symfonisk speakers in Australia, officially announcing the first Symfonisk speakers to the world in April 2019, but not releasing them to Australia until a few months later in September of that year.
With July the timeframe for the US and other parts of the world and a $199 USD price tag being targeted, we suspect Australia will be early next year, with the Picture Frame WiFi Speaker possibly hitting $299 or $349 locally when it does launch.