Following yesterday’s announcement from Sonos that AirPlay 2 will be coming to its speakers this July, more details about the company’s partnership with IKEA have now emerged, after first being revealed in December. In a press release shared by the Swedish furniture maker, the two companies detail a “long-term partnership” that’s beginning with a new range of speakers called “Symfonisk” (via The Verge).
A few non-functional prototypes of Symfonisk were showcased at IKEA’s Democratic Design Day event in Sweden, and the company says that the Wi-Fi speaker system will fully integrate with Sonos’ existing products as well as IKEA’s own Trådfris smart home line of lights and switches. Of course, Symfonisk will also be compatible with many of IKEA’s furniture through a bracket system that can turn the speaker into a shelf or place it under a METOD kitchen cabinet, among other prototyped ideas.
IKEA mentioned that it’s still early on in the design process for Symfonisk, so the look and implementation of the speakers could change before they are released sometime “after summer in 2019.” Suggested prices were also not yet given.
“Sonos’ company culture is very similar to that of IKEA. Our shared values and beliefs made us connect from day one. When the actual work started, we felt that we were the perfect match in every way”, says Björn Block, Business Leader for IKEA Home Smart.
“Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it. Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way”, says Björn.
IKEA has already gotten into the speaker market, launching a line of minimalist “Eneby” Bluetooth speakers earlier this year. These devices come in 8-inch and 12-inch sizes, can be both mounted on a wall or displayed on a stand, and are designed to fit in the Kallax and Eket storage systems.
In 2017, IKEA launched the Trådfri Smart Lighting System in the spring, and then debuted HomeKit support for the lighting range in the fall, allowing users to easily integrate their IKEA bulbs and switches into the Home app on iOS. The company got inspired by Apple when it launched a new ad campaign for its Qi charging furniture alongside the debut of Apple’s foray into wireless charging with the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus in September 2017.