Possibly the first new speaker for the new year, IKEA’s flat-panel take on the Sonos has launched in Australia, and without a lot of fanfare.
Last year when IKEA launched a new style of its Sonos collaborations as a form of wall art with a speaker inside, Australia was not on the cards for release, not just yet, anyway.
Built to be a flat speaker with a piece of decorative art in front, the Symfonisk Picture Frame WiFi was basically a flat take on the Sonos multiroom speaker, resembling more art and decoration than the typical speaker you might associate with Sonos or even sound.
Granted, you couldn’t throw your own art on the speaker, but you could find interchangeable panels to make it a little different than the standard poster art you might find framed at the Swedish home and furniture store, with the whole goal being a speaker that didn’t resemble a traditional speaker.
Unfortunately, the July release in Europe and America wasn’t to be for Australia, with IKEA at the time telling Pickr that it wasn’t coming until 2022.
Now that it’s 2022, however, that appears to be now, with the IKEA Picture Frame WiFi Speaker launching without so much as a big fanfare from the local IKEA team, and popping up on IKEA’s online store for the expected price of $299, with replacement artistic panels priced at $25 locally.
Of particular note is what the Symfonisk Picture Frame speaker replaces: with the launch of this model, the lamp-styled Symfonisk speaker appears to have disappeared entirely in Australia, now sitting alongside the standard Symfonisk WiFi speaker, which could sit in a bookshelf or even be mounted to a wall as a sort of bookshelf.
Locally, that means the IKEA take on what was basically a Play:1 with a light bulb socket at the top is gone, replaced with a speaker that doesn’t really have a Sonos equivalent. Neither Symfonisk model does now, it seems.
Comparatively, neither the $149 Symfonisk WiFi bookshelf speaker nor the $299 Picture Frame WiFi have equals from Sonos, making them a little more unique overall, adding to the Sonos-compatible line-up found out in the world, and keeping the entry price still somewhat affordable to the world of Sonos. As it is, the $149 Symfonisk is still the least expensive Sonos model, followed by the $289 One SL (what is basically a Sonos One minus the microphone and smart assistant), the portable $299 Sonos Roam, and then the new Symfonisk picture frame speaker.
As to what the new Symfonisk picture frame speaker sound like, that we’re not sure, but with the models hitting stores now, it won’t take long for either reviewers or even regular shoppers to find out for themselves.