Sonos and IKEA Collaborate On Smart Speaker

Sonos has been in the news a lot lately with the recent announcement of its Alexa-enabled Beam soundbar and the introduction of a couple dozen Sonos-certified AV receivers. Now the company that created the market for wireless speakers more than a decade ago is teaming with Swedish furniture king IKEA to create a speaker “aimed at coordinating sound and design in the home.”

IKEA showed early prototypes of a new line of smart speakers last week at its annual Democratic Design Days conference in Sweden. Dubbed Symfonisk, the line is “designed to help people listen and live better at home” as it evolves the home listening experience with a focus on the “natural symmetry between the visual and the sonic.”

“Many people dream of built-in sound systems, but few can afford it,” said Björn Block, business leader for IKEA Home Smart. “Sonos makes this dream a reality, and, true to our ethos, the range will fully integrate with our home sound system.”

In its official blog, Sonos said the companies are working on speaker designs that fit “seamlessly and almost invisibly into everyday life.” Or as Giles Martin, record producer and Sound Experience Leader at Sonos, put it: “The core of what we do is create a home environment where you can listen without thinking. The experience should be as natural as possible.”

Sonos offered few details in the blog apart from quoting IKEA’s Block: “Our goal is for our collective work to save space, get rid of cables, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way.”

Press reports of the rare preview revealed among other things fabric-covered speakers that can be placed within an IKEA storage unit or mounted on the wall where they can double as a shelf. The prototypes are designed to live within the app-based Sonos ecosystem like any of the company’s other speakers. No word yet on whether the speaker collaboration will include voice-powered models.

As of the end of 2017, IKEA operated 355 stores in 29 countries and logged 936 million store visits plus 2.3 billion visits to