the primary desk lamp speaker from Ikea and Sonos changed into a touch… odd. With its bulbous, mushroom-esque lampshade, material-protected speaker, and a plate beneath all of it, the unique Symfonisk lamp wasn’t exactly a popular match for domestic decor. But the idea of a lamp that still doubles as a capable speaker changed into in itself a good idea — so the companies are again with their 2d strive at it. The new Symfonisk has a extra traditional layout, fixes the original’s frustratingly restrained bulb compatibility, and has a made over speaker architecture that does a better job spreading sound all through a room.
Ikea is now promoting the base/speaker and lampshade one by one; the former charges $a hundred and forty, and you could choose between a glass ($39) or textile ($29) colour. The glass shade — I reviewed the black one — is now open-ended and has a secondary, opaque glass cylinder walking up the center, which encircles the bulb. It’s nevertheless no longer going to be absolutely everyone’s flavor, however the normal fashion is a piece more conservative and much less probable to stand out for the wrong reasons. That said, if you despised how the authentic looked, I doubt you’ll reverse direction after seeing the new version.
The lamp base has ditched the lowest saucer plate, which become wherein the controls had been positioned at the older version. It’s noticeably shorter as a result and appears pretty much like Apple’s authentic HomePod. Ikea also moved far from the appears-like-a-dimmer-however-isn’t knob for turning the lamp on or off. Rather, there’s now a small circular button on the decrease front area of the base for powering the light.
One downside of this modification is that even as the old knob can be left to “on,” this less complicated button doesn’t keep the bulb’s nation within the event it gets unplugged or in case you lose strength. That may get stressful in case you’re the usage of clever bulbs because you’ll need to stroll over to the lamp and toggle the bulb strength lower back on to control them remotely once more. Round lower back are the usual Sonos controls for extent and play / pause. The quantity buttons are easy to function by way of feel considering the fact that one is concave, and the other is convex.
The 2019 Symfonisk lamp best supported lightbulbs with an E12 base, which came with a double whammy of being tougher to find and outputting lackluster brightness for a desk lamp. With the new version, Ikea has switched to the a whole lot extra common E26 / E27 base. The organisation includes one of its own LED bulbs in the container, but you’ve got plenty of picks for smart bulbs from Philips Hue, LIFX, and others with a purpose to screw into the lamp in case you want a sprint of coloration or greater flexible methods of controlling the light remotely.
setting up the lamp speaker is a brief system within the Sonos app: plug in the detachable, braided strength wire, and it’s robotically detected and brought for your entire-domestic audio device some moments later. For the final step, you maintain your cellphone near the tool to finish linking it for your Sonos account via NFC. After that, the Symfonisk lamp acts like any other Sonos speaker you’ve got. You could organization them together to get the identical music gambling during your residing space or simply have the lamp do its own thing. Like different present day Sonos speakers, the lamp supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, so it’s clean to play audio on it from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If you buy two of the lamp speakers, they can be used as a stereo pair or function rear surrounds for one in every of Sonos’ soundbars. Assuming the design is in your taste, it’s a more subtle answer for surrounds than setting audio system on stands or wall-mounting them.
none of the Symfonisk products thus far have include integrated microphones, and that stays genuine with the second-gen lamp. To add voice controls in your Sonos machine, you’ll both want one of the agency’s voice-enabled audio system or to set up Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in case you already personal a well matched tool.
Ikea and Sonos say the second-technology Symfonisk lamp has a very redesigned acoustic architecture. The maximum significant addition is a waveguide that’s meant to better disperse and unfold the speaker’s sound round a room. (There’s a comparable waveguide within the image frame speaker.) this means you gained’t ought to fear about a narrow “candy spot” whilst locating a spot for the lamp; it have to sound constant irrespective of in which you location it in a room. But the re-engineered guts have modified the overall sound enough that the Symfonisk doesn’t sound as close to a Sonos One because the original did.
For its size, there’s a very pleasant degree of bass, and vocals come thru with appropriate readability. However other elements of the mixture can sound less detailed as compared to maximum Sonos audio system, and some instrumentation falls deeper into the background than I’d like. Taking note of Kacey Musgraves’ new album superstar-Crossed, this speaker exceptionally lacked some brightness and definition on her vocals and acoustic guitars on a music like “Hookup Scene.” There are EQ changes for treble and bass in the Sonos app, and you can additionally run TruePlay (when you have an iOS device) to in addition optimize the sound. However there’s usually a mild muddiness to the speaker, even though it’s no longer as present or apparent relying on what you’re paying attention to. That’s the tradeoff you’re making for the broader sound dispersion.
if you’re searching out a decent speaker for a bedroom or office — and also you certainly need it to double as a lamp — the brand new Symfonisk makes accurate on that hybrid capability. However to me, the $ninety nine bookshelf speaker remains the exceptional fee and maximum sensible device inside the Symfonisk lineup, mainly while you put of them collectively.
in terms of the wall art speaker or the lamp, they’re less flexible. You’re both searching out this very precise twin-motive issue, or you’re probably now not fascinated at all. If you are involved, the second one-generation Symfonisk lamp fixes plenty of what Ikea were given wrong the first time. It looks (barely) greater traditional, supports an easier-to-supply bulb, and gets a much wider audio spread out of the drivers interior. The belief of cloaking generation internal other, extra inviting household home equipment will sincerely be a massive plus for some. But if you’re already set on lamps and ok with displaying audio system that don’t hide their proper motive, you may do better for the cash.
images by means of Chris Welch / The Verge