The IKEA Symfonisk table lamp speaker with Wi-Fi combines two functions: you can listen to music with it and it is a lamp at the same time. We have extensively tested this speaker lamp in recent weeks to see if it works just as well as a ‘real’ Sonos speaker. The audio experience is identical to the Play: 1, according to Sonos, but with something extra: a lamp.
When you think of IKEA houses, you don’t immediately think of spacious houses with a lot of space. Often it is compromising with space. There is already a table lamp on the side table, but you would actually also want to put a Wi-Fi speaker next to it. Just doesn’t fit. For such cases IKEA has devised the Symfonisk table lamp speakers, with which you can combine a speaker and lamp.
Earlier you could read a review of the IKEA Symfonisk bookshelf speaker. We found that speaker to be an excellent price-quality ratio. But does that also apply to the almost twice as expensive table lamp speaker from the Symfonisk series? You read it in this review!
Symphonic design: striking mushroom
- Available in black and white
- ‘Mushroom’ design conceived by IKEA
- The bottom part is a speaker, on top is a lampshade
- Physical buttons for controlling the music and lamp
While the IKEA Symfonisk bookshelf speaker has a fairly simple and unobtrusive appearance, this table lamp is very different. It has a striking design, although at first glance you would think that it is only a lamp. Most people will not suspect that it also contains a Wi-Fi speaker. It is a smart idea from IKEA to combine both devices, so that it easily fits on a bedside table, for example.
The top consists of a glass sphere made of frosted glass, which you can screw off. You will then see a small fitting (E14) where you can place an ordinary lamp or a smart lamp. We had hoped that the lamp would be smart right away, or at least it is included, but you will have to take care of the lamp yourself. That in itself is not bad, because now you have the free choice whether you put a normal lamp or a smart lamp in it. That may of course also be a lamp from another brand, but IKEA makes it very attractive in terms of price to opt for smart: for € 6.99 you can buy a suitable Tradfri lamp with E14 connection.
The bottom of the lamp consists entirely of speaker. It stands on a saucer-shaped base, which is fitted with speaker buttons. When we first saw pictures of this lamp, it reminded us a lot of the HomePod , which also has such a spherical housing covered with fabric. However, it looks different: the HomePod has a tightly woven cover that cannot slide, while IKEA has opted for a loose-fitting knitted cover. You could replace that cover with a self-made cover, although you have to deal with a few tricky points, such as the rotary knob on the side.
Initially you might think that the dial controls the volume of the speaker, because the button is so prominent on the speaker. But that is not the case: it is the on / off switch for the lamp, which has only two positions: on or off. So it is not a dimmer. The speaker functions can be found on the base: it consists of an LED status light and three buttons for volume up / down and play / pause. This is identical to the bookshelf speaker. You can also use the buttons for other Sonos functions, such as pressing the play button to add a speaker to a group.
The lamp is equipped with a power cable that is covered with textile, which gives it a slightly more luxurious appearance. At the back you will also find a network connection. To use the speaker, it must always be connected to the wall socket, because it does not contain an internal battery .
IKEA Symphonic table lamp speaker in use
- Works with AirPlay 2
- Can be linked to a stereo pair
- Tune in to the room with TruePlay tuning
- No speech functions
- Controllable via Sonos app, Spotify and more
The IKEA Symfonisk speaker is basically a standard Sonos speaker and that’s especially true for this table lamp model. This is the same as the Play: 1 in terms of sound profile and further functions. The main differences are that the Play: 1 is a bit more angular and that there is no lamp bulb on top.
Setting up and operating this speaker is exactly the same as with all other Sonos speakers, especially the Play: 1. You can merge them into a multi-room system, control them from the Sonos app (or from various other apps) and you can play something different on each speaker.
Sonos works with more than 80 music services and that also applies to these IKEA speakers. In addition, from autumn you can operate the speaker from IKEA’s Home Smart app where you can create scenes in which you also include the control of lamps and roller blinds. A special remote control will be used to control those scenes, which you can see in the photo below.
Because the Symfonisk speakers support AirPlay 2 , you can stream music from your iPhone or another suitable device. Siri speech functions are missing because there is no microphone in it. For some people that will be a reassuring idea: IKEA will then also not be able to listen in. Just like with regular Sonos speakers, you can also tune the audio based on the room with these copies, thanks to the Trueplay function.
By making a stereo pair you can play the music on both speakers simultaneously. You can even turn it into a 3.1 or 5.1 home entertainment system by, for example, connecting the IKEA speakers to a Sonos Beam. You must use a Sonos One or Sonos Beam to control it with smart assistants such as Alexa , Google Assistant or Siri . You can also connect a suitable device such as the Google Home or an Alexa speaker.
Audio quality of the Sonos Symfonisk table lamp speaker
- Power unknown
- Mid-range woofer
- Two Class D digital amplifiers (the bookshelf lamp has one)
We would have liked to tell you what the wattage (power) of these speakers is, but IKEA could not tell us that (yet). It’s also nowhere to be found, online or on the packaging.
Since the Symfonisk table lamp speaker is in fact identical to the Play: 1, it is not surprising that the price is also about the same level. At IKEA you pay € 179 for the table lamp speaker, while you pay around 170 euros for the Play: 1 . The appearance is of course very different, so they are not interchangeable. The Play: 1 has a slightly more angular business appearance, while the IKEA speaker with its knitted cover radiates a bit more cosiness.
For a small speaker, the Play: 1 offers quite impressive sound and you can see that with the table lamp. The ‘sound architecture’ is the same for both speakers, from which we conclude that everything is actually the same internally. It therefore sounds the same. Via the Sonos app you can adjust things such as bass, just like with the regular Sonos speakers. We noticed that the table lamp delivers slightly better audio quality, although you will only hear the difference if you listen to both models consecutively in a listening test. IKEA is going to set up special sales corners in the stores so that you can start doing this.
The great thing about this speaker is of course that Sonos provides the technology and that you are therefore assured of long support. That does give us confidence. However, we would not recommend the IKEA Symfonisk in all cases. If you need a speaker for your home cinema system, you could also opt for the much tighter Play: 1. Not everyone needs a lamp and the distinct design of this Symphonic should just appeal to you.
- Outspoken design, love it or hate it
- Space-saving by combining two functions
- Audio quality identical to Play: 1
- Great sound for such a compact speaker
- No speech functions
- Less versatile than the bookshelf speaker in terms of placement options
- More expensive than the Play: 1 (but it has no lamp)
Conclusion IKEA Symfonisk table lamp speaker review
The IKEA Symfonisk table lamp speaker is much more pronounced in terms of design than the understated bookshelf speaker, which is easier to put away, hang up or put down somewhere. The joke with this product is that it cleverly combines two functions, so you need less space on your side table or bedside table. It wouldn’t immediately be our favorite lamp for the bedside table. But it is nice and functional. If you are looking for a speaker and a lamp that takes up little space, then it is a great option. We think that the audio is delivered by Sonos a plus, but it does mean that in terms of purchase price it hardly differs from a ‘real’ Sonos Play: 1. So it is just what you like.