After a table lamp speaker and a bookshelf speaker, Ikea and Sonos are continuing their collaboration with a third connected speaker, this time taking the form of a wall frame. Is the success of the first two models repeated?

The Symfonisk range, the result of a partnership between Sonos and Ikea, was launched in August 2019 on the basis of a very simple founding idea: to offer all the comfort and convenience of use of the Sonos connected audio ecosystem in speakers specifically designed to integrate as seamlessly as possible into a home decoration. Initially materialized by two speakers taking the form of a table lamp and a mini-shelf, this summer 2021 approach finds its most radical execution: a speaker designed to be hung on a wall, where it stands. simply pass for a decorative frame.

The Symfonisk “frame” speaker is available in black or white, exclusively at Ikea, at an indicative price of € 179 per unit.

Ikea furniture has in our time become an image of Épinal, perhaps even a dictionary definition of the expression “simple but effective”. The Symfonisk framework is no exception to this rule. Its plastic frame and its finishes assume their banality: the object draws its aesthetic appeal from its modernism and minimalism. It is hardly except in the most opulent interiors that it could really stain.

However, before deciding on the location that the enclosure will occupy, take into account its thickness of 6 cm. This relative overweight is certainly justified and necessary from an acoustic point of view, but the fact is that it prevents the speaker from going completely unnoticed – especially when it is illuminated by grazing light, and therefore causes a very wide shadow.

On the other hand, it is also this thickness which allows the frame to offer a generous space for the storage of the mains cable (3.5 m long).

Rubber pads allow the frame to be placed on a piece of furniture, without having to drill holes in the wall. {“@ Context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type”: “ImageObject”, ” contentUrl “:” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim / test / 16 / 167931 / 8567b213-wireless-speaker-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-frame-l-alchemy-still-stands__w800_wtmk .jpeg “,” name “:” Rubber pads allow the frame to be placed on a piece of furniture, without having to drill holes in the wall. “,” description “:” Rubber pads allow the frame to be placed on a furniture, without having to drill holes on the wall. “,” exifData “: [{” @ type “:” PropertyValue “,” name “:” Brand “,” value “:” SONY “}, {” @ type “:” PropertyValue “,” name “:” Model “,” value “:” ILCE-7RM2 “}, {” @ type “:” PropertyValue “,” name “:” Speed ​​”,” value “:” 1 / 100 s, opening: f /2.5 “}, {” @ type “:” PropertyValue “,” name “:” Sensitivity “,” value “:” 500 “}, {” @ type “: “PropertyValue”, “name”: “Focal length, expo shift”, “value”: “500 / 10 mm, 0 / 10 IL”}]}

Rubber pads allow the frame to be placed on a piece of furniture, without having to drill holes in the wall.

The speaker can be hung on the wall in both vertical and horizontal positions, thanks to the presence of two fixing lugs on its back.

The wall hanger, supplied with the frame, needs to be fixed to the wall with two screws. {“@ Context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type”: “ImageObject”, “contentUrl “:” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim / test / 16 / 167931 / 3a6422a1-wireless-speaker-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-frame-l-alchemy-still-stands__w800_wtmk. jpeg “,” name “:” The wall hanger, supplied with the frame, needs to be fixed to the wall with two screws. “,” description “:” The wall hanger, supplied with the frame , needs to be fixed to the wall with two screws. “,” exifData “: [{” @ type “:” PropertyValue “,” name “:” Brand “,” value “:” SONY “} , {“@ type”: “PropertyValue”, “name”: “Model”, “value”: “ILCE-7RM2”}, {“@ type”: “PropertyValue”, “name”: “Speed”, “value”: “1 / 100 s, opening: f /2.5”}, {“@ type”: “PropertyValue”, “name”: “Sensitivity”, “value”: “500”}, { “@type”: “PropertyValue”, “name”: “Focal length, expo shift”, “value”: “500 / 10mm, 0 / 10 EV”}]}

The wall bracket, supplied with the frame, needs to be fixed to the wall with two screws.

The front grille is removable, and can of course be replaced by one of the many different designs sold in Ikea stores, for prices between € 20 and € 30.

The Symfonisk framework embeds a connectivity of a characteristic minimalism for Sonos: apart from network connectivity via Wi-Fi, no salvation. We forgive without too much difficulty the absence of an Ethernet port or any other wired connection, which would not have really been in phase with the philosophy of the product. But we would still have appreciated the presence of at least one Bluetooth receiver – which would have allowed guests to connect their smartphones to the speaker with much more ease.

The Symfonisk framework is therefore envisioned as a 100% connected speaker. As such, it is only logical that it is satisfied with the strict minimum union in terms of “physical” orders: the speaker is above all made to be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

Concretely, it is therefore not supplied with any remote control, and is only equipped with three buttons hidden at the back, in a corner of the frame. These simply allow you to adjust the volume or pause the music in an emergency. It is not much, but it is again consistent with the philosophy of the machine.

Those familiar with the Sonos universe will not encounter any surprises when using the connected functions of the Symfonisk framework: it is a Sonos S2 speaker like any other, no more and no less – with the many advantages that this entails, and the few disadvantages.

Sonos S2 app on iOS {“@ context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type”: “ImageObject”, “contentUrl”: ” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim /test/16/167931/2251d466-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-cadre-l-alchimie-symfonisk-alchemy- always works__w800_wtmk.jpeg”,”name”:”Sonos S2 application on iOS “,” description “:” Sonos S2 app on iOS “}

Sonos S2 app on iOS

As for the seconds, we deplore as always a completely closed multiroom ecosystem, which therefore only works with other speakers and Sonos devices. As for the former, said ecosystem is still the most complete connected audio solution, the most efficient and the most pleasant to use on the market. The mobile application is very mature, and can be used in a completely intuitive way – in particular during the initial configuration, for which we are accompanied step by step by a very well designed guide. Added to this is the native integration of almost all existing music streaming and Internet radio services, support for Spotify Connect, Chromecast, AirPlay 2… The total!

One can only approach with suspicion the performance of a loudspeaker such as this one, whose physical characteristics (little volume, very shallow depth) are a priori at odds with good acoustic practices. But this “a priori” is obviously not placed there by chance.

Frequency response by default (black) and after automatic TruePlay calibration (dotted green). {“@ Context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type”: “ImageObject”, “contentUrl”: ” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim / test / 16 / 167931 /098bc022-seinte-sans-fil-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-cadre-l-alchimie-tient-toujours_png__w800_wtmk.jpg “, “name”: “Frequency response by default (black) and after automatic TruePlay calibration (dotted green).”, “description”: “Frequency response by default Default (black) and after automatic TruePlay calibration (dotted green). “}

Frequency response by default (black) and after automatic TruePlay calibration (dotted green).

While one could legitimately fear low frequencies, in particular subjected to strong resonances and causing significant parasitic vibrations of the enclosure frame, this is not the case. The bass, while being of a rather generous depth, are perfectly mastered: no “box effect” to deplore, we appreciate on the contrary their very nice sharpness.

This is especially true when you can take advantage of the TruePlay automatic acoustic calibration, available through the Sonos mobile app on iOS. Without this, beyond the questions of adapting the rendering to the acoustic characteristics of the listening room, the default frequency response is a little too bassy. Too bad, as always, that this solution is reserved for owners of iPhone and iPad … For others, it is still possible to lower the bass a few notches in the tone settings of the application – but the result is clear even less convincing, with an energy peak at 60 Hz impossible to eradicate.

Frequency response with TruePlay, default tone setting (green), and without TruePlay, with bass setting at -5 (dotted blue) {“@ context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type “:” ImageObject “,” contentUrl “:” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim / test / 16 / 167931 / ea23b8e2-wireless-speaker-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-cadre -l-alchemy-still-hold_png__w800_wtmk.jpg “,” name “:” Frequency response with TruePlay, default tone setting (green), and without TruePlay, with tuning bass to -5 (dotted blue) “,” description “:” Frequency response with TruePlay, default tone setting (green), and without TruePlay, with r Bass setting at -5 (dotted blue) “}

Frequency response with TruePlay, default tone setting (green), and without TruePlay, with bass setting at -5 (dotted blue)

Apart from this subtlety, the Symfonisk frame produces a very balanced tone, barely marked by a small gradual withdrawal in the highs. The latter do not lack precision, however, and guarantee a good reproduction of the acoustic space of the recordings – within the limit of course of what a monophonic speaker can do. It is possible to combine two frames into a stereo pair – or even as surround speakers with a Beam or Arc soundbar! -, but we were not able to experience it for our test, having only one copy at our disposal. However, we dare to imagine that the rendering must be quite convincing, due to the low sound directivity. An excellent point, which also means that a single frame will have no trouble providing a homogeneous sound to a large room.

Despite the peak between 1 and 2 kHz, harmonic distortion remains almost inaudible over the entire spectrum. {“@ Context”: “http: / / schema.org”, “@ type”: “ImageObject”, “contentUrl” : ” / / dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net / optim / test / 16 / 167931 /dbc3e770-enceinte-sans-fil-ikea-sonos-symfonisk-cadre-l-alchimie-tient-toujours_png__w800_wtmk.jpg “,” name “:” Despite the peak between 1 and 2 kHz, the harmonic distortion remains almost inaudible over the entire spectrum. “,” description “:” Despite the peak between 1 and 2 kHz, the harmonic distortion remains almost inaudible across the entire spectrum. “}

Despite the peak between 1 and 2 kHz, harmonic distortion remains almost inaudible over the entire spectrum.

We are certainly not talking about a palace ballroom either; one would then be confronted with the power limit of the enclosure, relatively modest. But this is in truth not a bad thing: it thus makes sure to know how to maintain its dynamics in all circumstances.

Ultimately, the greatest sound quality of the Symfonisk frame is the perfect sizing of its performance. It is not with him to add sound to a frenzied electro evening or to indulge in analytical listening which we would like to allow us to distinguish all the tiniest subtleties of music. To shape a musical background in a living room or a bedroom, on the other hand, it produces a soft and ample sound perfectly adapted.

The partnership between Sonos and Ikea is definitely very fruitful. Much like the lamp and shelf that came before it, this smart frame / speaker calls for little criticism: its concept is perfectly executed, and its sound performance is extremely solid – while the quality of the ecosystem connected audio from Sonos, closed as it is, is no longer to be proven. A real success.

Audio editor by day, lab assistant by night, hipster with a beard and bun all the time. Multilingual of tech, handles decibels, candelas, Kelvins and FLOPS with as much greed.

Sounds pretty good to me. I’ll test when I go. It remains to hide the rather unsightly power cable

Indeed it looks nice, on the other hand I have to buy an iphone for the calibration …

Ref: https://www.lesnumeriques.com