Ikea Symfonisk image frames put to the take a look at: the artwork of noise

RRP $ 199.00

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

benefits

  • Interchangeable “artwork”

  • Wall or floor mounting

  • AirPlay 2

  • Works with the Sonos ecosystem

drawback

  • Energy twine is ugly and awkward

  • My artwork or images can’t be displayed

  • Sound high quality is common

When Ikea launched the Symfonisk Image Body speaker for $ 199 (its newest wi-fi audio collaboration with Sonos), two issues have been instantly clear: The age of reasonably priced, customizable, and ornamental dwelling audio was simply across the nook, and we nonetheless have not discovered a option to do away with our reliance on energy cords.

It is a daring concept: attempt to fulfill the wants of music lovers who on the similar time hate the look of wi-fi audio system. Succeeds? We put it to the take a look at.

draft

Ikea Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker hung vertically on the wall.Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

The image body enjoys many benefits. It does not seem like any speaker you have ever seen. Its “artwork” could be swapped out for a number of different designs for simply $ 20, and also you get many placement choices: it may be hung vertically or horizontally on a wall, or positioned on nearly any flat, vertical floor such as you would with an precise one Image Body.

Nevertheless, in contrast to an actual image body, there isn’t a option to mount your personal art work or images, and Ikea doesn’t at present plan to supply such an choice. There are additionally no plans to create customized display printing in case you do not just like the artwork from Ikea.

Every part you want is included: Within the totally recyclable field you will see that the speaker, a wall mount hook, two rubber ft, a seat belt and a extremely lengthy energy twine.

If you wish to use the image body at an angle on a wall, setting it up is a breeze. Insert the provided rubber ft into the suitable locations within the body, relying on whether or not you need to align it horizontally or vertically, connect the facility twine and information it by way of one of many many grooves and openings within the rear panel, and plug the facility twine into one Wall socket.

Ikea Symfonisk picture frame speakers leaning against a wall.Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Oddly sufficient, Ikea limits you to 2 of the 4 potential orientations. As a substitute of two horizontal and two vertical choices, you solely get one by one. This could be a little complicated, particularly since there are oval openings on all sides – which makes it seem to be the rubber ft might go wherever, however not. Two units of those openings are just a bit too small to accommodate the ft. Why? I don’t know.

Ikea thinks that in the event you’re utilizing the image body on this configuration, which can really feel pointless, it is best to use the included wall mount bracket, however after three deadly incidents by which its dressers tip over, the Swedish firm is now including the It sells so as to add brackets that pose evenly the least threat of falling.

There are methods to cover the twine, however none is right.

For those who put the image body on the ground you most likely needn’t fear, however in the event you place it on a mantelpiece or different raised floor I like to recommend utilizing it – the speaker is not very heavy, however it nonetheless might trigger all types of injury if it falls down.

Hanging the image body on a wall takes somewhat extra endurance. The provided wall hook shouldn’t be like a traditional image hook. It is rectangular and formed to match the 2 corresponding recesses on the again of the speaker. Nevertheless, which means that you will be unable to bump the image body if it isn’t degree. Subsequently it is vitally vital to mount the wall hook accurately.

Back of the Ikea Symfonisk Picture Frame loudspeaker with control buttons.Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

You’ll find numerous bodily buttons behind the entrance of the speaker for play / pause and quantity up (additionally they allow you to skip tracks and be a part of a enjoying group of audio system). They’re simple to make use of regardless that they’re hidden, however you want to control their placement when selecting the peak for wall mounting. In panorama mode, the controls finish within the higher left nook. For those who place the speaker too excessive, will probably be very troublesome to entry.

Cannot kill the string

View of the power cord on the Ikea Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker.Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

As anticipated, the facility twine appears to be like fairly dangerous when held on a wall. Ikea and Sonos deserve credit score for wrapping the string in braided materials. This reduces the shiny plastic really feel of energy cords that accompany most Sonos audio system, and in addition leaves the twine comfortable towards the wall pretty flat and kink-free. In brief, it appears to be like pretty much as good as what a dangling white energy twine can look. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless a dangling white energy twine.

There are methods to cover the twine, however none is right. You could possibly enclose the cable in paintable plastic tubing. You’ll find a great deal of them on Amazon. However even the bottom profile cable nonetheless leaves a visual vertical line that falls down from the speaker.

You could possibly pay an electrician to put in {an electrical} outlet proper behind the speaker. Thanks to an enormous recess within the again wall, which has its personal strap, you possibly can disguise your complete twine there. However that can probably value you an identical or greater than the speaker, and also you would possibly face some drywall repairs as properly.

You would possibly need to attempt operating the cable behind a chunk of furnishings, however since image frames are hardly ever assembled with no house between them and different objects, there’ll probably nonetheless be no less than a small quantity of cable seen.

Your cable concealment technique turns into much more vital if you benefit from the body’s capability to daisy chain two audio system collectively. Every speaker has an influence enter and energy output connector, so you should utilize each audio system from a single energy outlet. The umbilical twine required for this, which Ikea calls “FÖRNIMMA”, is out there individually, however has not but been seen on the Ikea web site.

And since we’re speaking about cables, if you wish to use the photograph body’s built-in ethernet port, now you want to disguise one other cable.

Simple adjustment

Since it’s totally suitable with the Sonos ecosystem and Apple AirPlay 2, it affords unimaginable flexibility as a sound system. Stream music from any music service conceivable, group the Image Body with different Sonos or Symfonisk audio system in your house and set it up as a stereo pair with a second Image Body speaker.

Given how skinny the speaker enclosure is, Sonos was capable of pull out a shocking quantity of bass.

For those who’ve by no means used the Sonos app, it would stroll you thru the setup course of in minutes. Nevertheless it’s even simpler for present Sonos customers. After you will have related the photograph body to the mains and began the Sonos S2 app, the speaker can be mechanically acknowledged and you can be requested so as to add it to your system. You do not even should press any buttons. Simply maintain your phone subsequent to the speaker when the app prompts you and it’ll do the remainder. Sonos merchandise have all the time been extremely simple to arrange, however now it is fully hassle-free.

Surprisingly good bass

Ikea Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker with removed graphic showing driver.Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Out of the field, with out EQ adjustment or Trueplay tuning from Sonos, the sound is okay, however nothing particular. Excessive frequencies appear a bit muffled and the bass lacks punch. However elevating the bass and treble sliders within the Sonos app makes an enormous distinction and the image body actually involves life.

For individuals who are brief on house or simply hate the look of most audio system, that is an reasonably priced and simple option to get nice sound.

Given how skinny the speaker enclosure is, Sonos was capable of pull out a shocking quantity of bass. However only a phrase of warning to fulfill your expectations: excessive frequency feels like snares, cymbals, and a few voices can sound a bit harsh. Sonos designed the tweeter to ship a sweeter sound, however I did not discover the soundstage significantly vast or deep.

The midrange drivers – all the time a problem to seek out precisely the correct one, even with costlier audio system, can lack particulars.

I additionally seen that if you flip the quantity up north of 75%, the case tends to vibrate somewhat. This was extra noticeable when the speaker was mounted on the wall.

For those who’re questioning how the Image Body sounds in comparison with different Symfonisk merchandise, it is a troublesome comparability. It affords extra punch than the bookshelf speaker, however general the desk lamp delivers a extra nice sound signature with extra heat and particulars.

Our opinion

Having the ability to put a speaker disguised as artwork on a wall is a superb idea, however the Ikea Symfonisk Image Body speaker does not fairly get it proper. The ability twine is a thorn within the facet and it does not sound pretty much as good as an everyday wi-fi speaker for the same value. For individuals who are brief on house or simply hate the look of most audio system, it is an reasonably priced and simple option to get nice sound in your chosen house.

Is there a greater different?

Higher alternate options for the sound are these Sonos One, Sonos One SL, and the Symphonic desk lamp speaker. But when your aim is to disguise a speaker as an object of artwork, I’ve a tough time discovering a greater option to do it.

How lengthy it would take?

So long as you do not harm it by careless set up (or journey over the facility twine), the Image Body Speaker ought to final for a few years. Sonos has a (principally) good monitor report of updating its merchandise with new software program and I count on the photograph body to stay a helpful part of the Sonos ecosystem for years to come back.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, however provided that you contemplate the distinctive properties of the photograph body to be important to creating your perfect dwelling sound system. In any other case, I believe most individuals can be happier with one of many different Symfonisk or Sonos merchandise.

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