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Symfonisk frame: Ikea introduces picture frame speakers


Ikea is expanding its range to include a speaker that looks like a picture frame - or vice versa. The technology for this is provided by a well-known audio company, the images by the furniture company itself.

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Hopefully it sounds better than it looks: The picture with the cable is actually a loudspeaker

Photo: Ikea

You'd think the designers at Ikea don't like speakers.

In any case, they don't like what speakers normally look like.

The Swedes have even teamed up with Sonos, pioneers in the audio industry who were the first to build loudspeakers - and still build today that don't need more than a power cable (if at all), otherwise network with each other via WiFi.

But after the first networked loudspeakers that Ikea developed together with Sonos tried to disguise themselves as table lamps and bookends, the Swedish-American sound design cooperative is now taking the next step: the new model that the two companies will share is called Symfonisk frame and is also one, i.e. a picture frame.

At least that's how it looks at first glance.

Because the frame of the Symfonisk frame is actually six centimeters deep, so that you can hide excess power cable in the space that is created.

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Conventional loudspeaker technology is hidden behind the front

Photo: PER LIEDBERG / Ikea

The space is actually needed due to the construction, because Ikea does not rely on hypermodern technology that could possibly turn the picture itself into a loudspeaker. Instead, there are two normal loudspeakers in the Symfonisk frame, a mid-woofer and a tweeter, which are hidden behind a canvas-like front. And the power supply seems to have been housed in the deep casing of the Symfonisk frame. At least it said in Ikea's presentation that a second frame can be connected directly to the first.

And the new speakers don't need more than a power cable because, like all Sonos speakers, they communicate with each other via WLAN. In any case, the technical part of the Ikea speakers is contributed by the US company. Therefore, they will also offer the same possibilities as other Sonos and Ikea speakers. So you will be able to combine two Symfonisk frames into a stereo pair or use them with other Ikea and Sonos speakers as a multiroom system in which all speakers play the same music.

As a reason why the decision was made to develop a networked loudspeaker with the look of a picture frame, Ikea developer Stjepan Begic explains that many people are reluctant to set up loudspeakers in their homes. With the Symfonisk frame one now has the possibility to set up loudspeakers without them being noticed as such. You don't necessarily have to hang it on the wall, you can also lean it against the wall while standing on the floor or a sideboard.

What, however, will not be possible: to put your own pictures or those that you bought elsewhere on the Ikea loudspeakers. Instead, you will have to buy the corresponding fronts from Ikea. At the start, Ikea wants to offer twelve different motifs at a price of 30 euros each. Ten of them will only be available online. Ikea specifies the price for the Symfonisk frame itself, covered with a graphic motif, at 179 euros. Sales are slated to begin on July 15th.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-06-18

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