Sonos who once had ambitions of being a major networked sound Company in the premium sound market has taken to teaming up with Ikea to sell table lamps with speakers built in to the base.
The product is similar to those that will be on show at this weekend’s Hong Kong Fair, the big difference is that the Sonos product requires the Sonos proprietary operating system while their competitors are Bluetooth and can be easily played open standard software from Google, most of the new speakers include voice which is missing from the new Ikea speakers.
This week Ikea unveiled a pair of speakers that the two companies have collaborated on for years, they include the Symfonisk table lamp and bookshelf speaker.
“The products will deliver something that both companies are super proud of,” Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said.
As far as audio goes the output is identical to the Sonos One which is the Companies bottom end speaker that is having to compete with products from UE Ears, JBL and premium brands such as Bowers and Wilkins who are tipped to launch a new networked speaker later this month.
The new Ikea speaker has a dial on the lamp body to control the light, and there are other control buttons on the base plate portion.
Missing is a smart bulb in the box, so you’ll have to buy one separately.
Another problem is that Sonos’ TruePlay feature, which tunes a speaker’s audio output based on its position in a room is back. In tests that we conducted with this product in Sydney the technology only worked on an Apple iPhone and was not effective, it was more a gimmick than a benefit.
The IKEA lamp and bookshelf speakers can be configured into the Sonos ecosystem.
They can be set up as an existing standalone speaker or integrated into a multiroom audio set up.
The product is built by IKEA with the sound boards supplied by Sonos.
The two Symfonisk speakers incorporate the same processors as the Sonos One, but there’s no microphone built into either device. This presents problems for owners who want to say, ‘Hey Google play Santana from Spotify”.
Also missing are the touch sensitive buttons found on the Sonos One, owners will have to resort back to ‘physical buttons’.