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Ikea gives us a closer look at its Sonos/Symfonisk wireless controller

Sonos’ partnership with Ikea has not only created the most affordable Sonos speakers to date with the Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker, but it’s also about to unleash a product Sonos should probably have created years ago: An inexpensive wireless remote control for its Wi-Fi speakers. We first got wind of the Symfonisk volume remote control in June, but the one product shot Ikea made available wasn’t much to go on. The small white circle lacked any visible buttons, and now we know why.

Unlike Ikea’s Tradfri lighting remote, which uses a series of five buttons laid out in a circular pattern, the Symfonisk volume remote works more like the click wheel on Apple’s first iPod. The entire remote spins — this controls the volume level. A small depression on the top surface gives you an indicator of where your volume level is set (relatively speaking) while also letting you spin the knob with just a fingertip. It’s also a button. Pressing on the surface mimics the function of the play/pause button on Symfonisk/Sonos speakers, with a single press for play/pause, a double-press for skip forward, and a triple-press for skip back. Although Ikea’s video doesn’t show it, it’s possible you may also be able to use the press-and-hold feature that makes your speaker sync with another speaker in the home that’s already playing music.

The volume control comes in the same two colors as Ikea’s Symfonisk speakers — black or white — and it magnetically latches to the included base, giving you the option to place it on a flat surface and then move it to a wall mount. The remote uses a single replaceable button-cell CR2032 lithium battery, and you’ll need a $35 Tradfri gateway device if you don’t already have one, in order to set up and use the volume remote with Symfonisk or Sonos speakers.

Much like other third-party systems for controlling Sonos, the configuration of the Symfonisk volume remote control depends on both the Ikea Home app and the Sonos app. Speaker groups are controlled from the Sonos app, while the volume remote is assigned to either an individual speaker or a group from the Ikea Home app.

The details for the remote have shown up on Ikea’s France website, though no release date is mentioned. It shows the Symfonisk volume remote for 14.99 euros (about $16.50) as well as a combo kit for 47.98 euros ($53) that gives you both the volume remote and the Tradfri gateway.

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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