Ikea’s third collaborative project with Sonos under the Symfonisk brand is the $199 Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker, a 22 by 16-inch rectangular Wi-Fi speaker that can be hung in portrait or landscape orientation on a wall, or sat freestanding on a flat surface. It goes on sale at Ikea-usa.com and in stores on July 15. At that time, buyers will be able to choose between black or white frame colors, and a dark grey or light grey geometric print as the speaker grille/artwork. Two additional print options will be available at launch for $20 each.
In typical Sonos fashion, there has been no discussion of the Picture Frame Speaker’s power in terms of watts. Instead, the company describes it as “room-filling” — a term it uses for many of its speakers. Sonos put a focus on the architecture of the speaker, specifically the design of the tweeter. It uses a special diffuser to help high-frequency sounds spread out around a room.
That tweeter is joined by what looks like a mid-bass woofer, which could produce a sound that is similar to that of a Sonos One or the Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker.
On the back of the speaker, which is 2 inches in depth, a wire guide lets you route the included power cable to exit three of the four sides to help with wall placement. If you choose to mount two Picture Frame Speakers near one another, they can be daisy-chained so that only one speaker needs to be plugged into a wall outlet.
The included power cord is just shy of 12 feet in length, which should help owners connect it to the nearest outlet, although it remains to be seen how many people will be comfortable with seeing a power cord snake down their walls from the speaker.
It comes with a magnetic hook that can be used to mount the speaker in either landscape or portrait orientations, while a set of rubber feet can be installed on the bottom for freestanding placements. When not in use, the feet have a handy storage location on the back of the frame.
Instead of the usual front- or top-mounted controls, the volume up/down and play/pause buttons are hidden on the backside of the frame’s edge where they can still be easily accessed.
Two Picture Frame Speakers can be set up within the Sonos app as a stereo pair, but they can’t be stereo paired with any other Symofonisk or Sonos speakers. Sonos tells Digital Trends that the new speakers can be configured as a set of surrounds for owners of the Sonos Arc, Playbar, Beam, or Playbase soundbars.
As with virtually all new Sonos speakers, the Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker is equipped with Apple’s AirPlay 2 wireless streaming technology, but it doesn’t have Bluetooth. So far, only the Sonos Move and Roam allow Bluetooth connections.
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