Ikea/Sonos Symfonisk Image Body Speaker

MSRP $199.00

“A intelligent idea that’s held again by an extended energy wire and uneven sound high quality.”

Professionals

Swappable “artwork”

Wall or floor mounting

AirPlay 2

Works with the Sonos ecosystem

Cons

Energy cable is ugly and awkward

Can’t show your personal artwork or pictures

Sound high quality is common

When Ikea debuted the $199 Symfonisk Image Body speaker (its newest wi-fi audio collaboration with Sonos), two issues have been instantly obvious: The age of reasonably priced, customizable, and ornamental dwelling audio is upon us, and, we nonetheless haven’t discovered a technique to eradicate our dependence on energy cords.

It’s a daring concept: Attempt to fulfill the wants of music lovers who concurrently hate the look of wi-fi audio system. Does it succeed? We put it to the take a look at.

Design

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

The Image Body enjoys many benefits. It doesn’t seem like any speaker you’ve ever seen. Its “artwork” could be swapped out for a number of different designs for simply $20, and also you get a number of placement choices: It may be held on a wall vertically or horizontally, or propped towards virtually any flat, vertical floor the best way you’ll with an precise image body.

It comes with the whole lot you want: Within the absolutely recyclable cardboard field you’ll discover the speaker, a wall-mount hook, two rubber ft, a security tether, and a extremely lengthy energy wire.

When you’re going to make use of the Image Body angled towards a wall, setting it up is a snap. Pop the included rubber ft into the suitable spots within the body relying on whether or not you need it to be horizontal or vertical, connect the ability wire and route it by means of one of many many grooves and openings within the again panel, and plug the ability wire right into a wall socket.

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Surprisingly, Ikea limits you to 2 of the potential 4 orientations. As an alternative of two horizontal choices and two vertical ones, you simply get one in every of every. This could be a tad complicated, particularly since there are oval openings on all sides — making it seem like the rubber ft can go wherever, however they will’t. Two units of those openings are only a tad too small to accommodate the ft. Why? I don’t know.

Ikea thinks you need to use the included wall tether when utilizing the Image Body on this configuration, which can really feel pointless, however after three deadly incidents of its dressers tipping over, the Swedish firm now consists of tethers on nearly each product it sells that poses even the slightest threat of falling over.

There are alternatives for concealing the wire, however none are excellent.

When you place the Image Body on the ground, you in all probability don’t want to fret about it, however when you place it on a mantle, or another elevated floor, I like to recommend utilizing it — the speaker isn’t tremendous heavy, but it surely might nonetheless trigger every kind of harm if it fell.

Hanging the Image Body on a wall takes a bit extra endurance. The included wall hook isn’t like a standard image hook. It’s rectangular and is formed to match up with the 2 corresponding cavities on the again of the speaker. However this implies you possibly can’t nudge the Image Body if it’s not degree, so mounting that wall hook appropriately is absolutely essential.

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

You’ll discover a set of bodily buttons behind the entrance face of the speaker for play/pause and quantity (additionally they allow you to track-skip and be a part of a taking part in group of audio system). They’re simple to make use of regardless of being hidden, however it’s essential maintain their placement in thoughts when selecting a peak for wall-mounting. In panorama mode, the controls find yourself on the top-left nook. When you place the speaker too excessive, they’ll be actually awkward to entry.

Can’t kill the wire

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

As anticipated, when hanging on a wall, the ability wire appears to be like fairly dangerous. Ikea and Sonos deserve some kudos for wrapping the wire in braided materials. This diminishes the shiny plastic really feel of energy cords that accompany most Sonos audio system, and it additionally lets the wire lie fairly flat and kink-free towards the wall. In brief, it appears to be like pretty much as good as a dangling white energy wire can look. However it’s nonetheless a dangling white energy wire.

There are alternatives for concealing the wire, however none are excellent. You would encase the wire in a paintable plastic conduit. You’ll discover loads of these on Amazon. However even the bottom profile conduit will nonetheless depart a visual vertical line dropping down from the speaker.

You would pay an electrician to put in an influence outlet proper behind the speaker. Thanks to an enormous cavity constructed into the again panel that has its personal retention strap, you possibly can conceal your entire wire there. However that can in all probability price you as a lot or greater than the speaker, and you could possibly be dealing with some drywall repairs too.

You could need to attempt operating the wire behind a bit of furnishings, however as a result of image frames are seldom mounted with out some house between them and different objects, you’ll probably nonetheless find yourself with not less than a little bit wire exhibiting.

Your wire concealment technique will matter much more when you avail your self of the Image Body’s potential to daisy-chain two audio system collectively. Every speaker has a power-in and a power-out port, so you possibly can run each audio system off of a single energy outlet. The umbilical energy wire wanted to do that, which Ikea calls “FÖRNIMMA” is bought individually, however up to now, there’s no signal of it on Ikea’s web site.

And, since we’re discussing cords, if you wish to use the Image Body’s built-in Ethernet port, you’ve now received one other wire to cover.

Simple setup

As a result of it’s absolutely suitable with the Sonos ecosystem and Apple AirPlay 2, it’s received unimaginable flexibility as a sound system. You possibly can stream music from each conceivable music service, you possibly can group the Image Body with different Sonos or Symfonisk audio system in your house, and it may be arrange as a stereo pair with a second Image Body speaker.

Contemplating how skinny the speaker cupboard is, Sonos has been capable of extract a stunning quantity of low-end bass.

When you’ve by no means used the Sonos app earlier than, it guides you thru the setup course of in a matter of minutes. However for current Sonos customers, it’s even simpler. After you plug the Image Body into energy and hearth up the Sonos S2 app, the speaker is robotically acknowledged and also you’re prompted so as to add it to your system. You don’t even must press any buttons. Simply maintain your cellphone subsequent to the speaker when the app asks you to, and it does the remainder. Sonos merchandise have at all times been extremely simple to arrange, but it surely’s now completely easy.

Surprisingly good bass

Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Out of the field, with out adjusting EQ or performing Sonos’ Trueplay tuning, the sound is OK, however nothing particular. Excessive frequencies really feel a bit subdued and the bass lacks punch. However boosting each bass and treble sliders within the Sonos app makes a world of distinction and the Image Body actually comes alive.

For individuals who are tight on house, or just hate the best way most audio system look, it’s an reasonably priced and straightforward technique to get good sound.

Contemplating how skinny the speaker cupboard is, Sonos has been capable of extract a stunning quantity of low-end bass. However only a phrase of warning that will help you set your expectations: Excessive frequency seems like snares, cymbals, and a few voices can sound a bit harsh. Sonos designed the tweeter to supply a extra expansive sound, however I didn’t discover the soundstage particularly huge or deep.

The midranges — at all times a problem to get excellent even on pricier audio system, can lack element.

I additionally seen that as you push the amount north of 75%, the cupboard had a bent to vibrate a little bit. This was extra noticeable when the speaker was wall-mounted.

When you’re questioning how the Image Body sounds in comparison with the opposite Symfonisk merchandise, that’s a troublesome comparability. It packs extra punch than the Bookshelf Speaker, however total, the Desk Lamp delivers a extra pleasing sound signature, with extra heat and element.

Our take

Having the ability to place a speaker on a wall, disguised as artwork, is a good idea, however the Ikea Symfonisk Image Body speaker doesn’t fairly nail the execution. The ability wire is an eyesore and it doesn’t sound pretty much as good as a similarly-priced common wi-fi speaker. Nonetheless, for many who are tight on house, or just hate the best way most audio system look, it’s an reasonably priced and straightforward technique to get good sound in your chosen room.

Is there a greater different?

Higher alternate options for sound embody the Sonos One, Sonos One SL, and the Symfonisk Desk Lamp speaker. But when your aim is to disguise a speaker as an objet d’artwork, I’m hard-pressed to think about a greater technique to go.

How lengthy will it final?

So long as you don’t injury it by means of a careless set up, (or journey over that energy cable), the Image Body Speaker ought to final for a few years. Sonos has a (principally) good monitor document of protecting its merchandise up to date with new software program and I count on the Image Body will stay a helpful a part of the Sonos ecosystem for years to come back.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, however provided that you discover the Image Body’s distinctive qualities important to creating your excellent dwelling sound system. In any other case, I believe most individuals will likely be happier with one of many different Symfonisk or Sonos merchandise.

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