Ikea & Sonos Announce AirPlay 2 Compatible Speakers Coming in August

Today Ikea and Sonos officially took the wraps off of their long rumored smart speaker collaboration, and has not one, but 2 different products launching later this year. Starting this August, customers can purchase the SYMFONISK at Ikea stores worldwide, and the line starts at just $99. The company has also announced that these upcoming speakers will support Apple’s AirPlay 2 streaming protocol, but HomeKit support has not been mentioned at this time.

The cheaper of the two options from the SYMFONISK line is a bookshelf speaker that features a clean minimal design. The bookshelf speaker has a cloth front, comes in both black and white, and has manual controls to toggle volume and play/pause. The speaker has a rectangular design that gives it the appearance of a sound-bar, but Sonos claims is “the smallest speaker they have ever made”, according to an interview with Sonos CEO Patrick Spence and The Verge. While exact size specifications have not been provided, some other details have been shared about the speaker’s internals, which features two amplifiers, a tweeter, and a mid-woofer. The announcement page on the Sonos website also confirms that the speaker can be wall mounted in both vertical and horizontal positions.

The other, perhaps more interesting product that the companies unveiled today is a smart lamp/speaker combination. The lamp, which will retail at $179, has the same cloth like exterior as the bookshelf speaker, but takes on a cylindrical design that is reminiscent of Apple’s HomePod. The lamp comes in both black and white options, with the white version coming with a matching white “shade” for the light, and the black version sporting a gold “shade”. The base of the speaker appears to sit on what looks like a plate or platter which features playback controls, and also has a physical switch on the side of the speaker to allow for volume adjustments. According to The Verge, the lamp does not come with a smart light bulb, so an additional purchase will be required if you are looking to add the actual lamp to your smart home. Just like the bookshelf speaker, the lamp features two amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer for sound.

As far as software goes, both of the speakers will be controlled via the Sonos App. Since the speakers will support AirPlay 2, users will be able to group them, and use them for all sorts of audio streams. Sonos also said that they can be grouped with their existing products, such as a Sonos beam, for those outside of the Apple ecosystem. Ikea plans to integrate the speakers into their own smart home App, and says that it will allow for building scenes that incorporate music and Ikea smart devices. Also of note is that these speakers do not include Amazon’s Alexa built in, which is somewhat of a surprise given that Sonos has included the voice assistant in most of its recent releases. Both speakers will be available at Ikea stores in August 2019, and interested customers can sign up to stay informed with the product launches on the announcement page.

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