No, You Don't Have to Build Them

How Ikea Is Diving Into the World of Speakers


March 8, 2020 Tech By Photo by Ikea
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Ikea, with its affordable, assembly-required chairs and shelving units, is the largest furniture retailer in the world. But that hasn’t meant that the growth is over. In just the past few years, the Swedish goliath has been dipping its hands into tech as well, trading in charging cables, wall adapters and wireless chargers, and a launching a whole home division — named Trådfri which is Swedish for “wire-free” — with smart light bulbs, smart blinds and other smart sensors. But one of its notable, growing sectors, is the furniture giant’s growing suite of speakers.

Björn Block, the leader of Ikea’s Home Smart division, will tell you that this focus is actually nothing new for Ikea, which sold records in its stores as early as the 1970s. It also launched its Renn range of hi-fi products around that time, consisting of a turntable, amplifier and a pair of bookshelf speakers. While it doesn’t sell hi-fi products or vinyl records anymore (although it does have copious vinyl storage options, as you’d expect), it does sell more speakers than ever.

Ikea upped its audio game last year with the much-anticipated speaker collaboration with Sonos, consisting of two bookshelf speakers and a table lamp speaker, which paired Sonos calling cards — same app, similar acoustic abilities — with affordable Ikea style. And the mixture proved a great success, with 30,000 Symfonisk speakers sold on the first day they went on sale in August 2019.

It was also the first time Ikea had ever sold a non-Ikea product in its stores, though the co-branded speakers are available exclusively through Ikea’s stores. But Ikea isn’t dependent on Sonos for sound. It has its own audio division located in Älmhult, Sweden, that’s dedicated to developing its own line of first-party speakers. Here is a look at what Swedes have to offer so far.

Ikea Eneby Bluetooth Speakers

The Eneby line of home speakers is fully designed and developed by Ikea. There are two different sizes, an 8-inch and a 12-inch model, both of which share a minimalist design, a simple and multi-functional volume knob, and a surprisingly powerful sound. There’s also a portable option, which is smaller yet just $25. If you don’t have Wi-Fi or don’t want to pay over the odds for a speaker, the Eneby line is for you.

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Frekvens Speakers

The Frekvens collection is a one-time collection between Ikea and Teenage Engineering that was just released in early 2020. There are two Frekvens speakers. The first is a $70 party speaker and a smaller, more portable $20 speaker option that actually has a belt clip. Both are portable Bluetooth speakers that are kind of quirky, which is Teenage Engineering’s modus operandi. You can also buy a subwoofer combo or a $10 base for your speaker, in case you want to spice things up.

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Symfonisk Speakers

The best way of looking the Symfonisk range of speakers, which means “symphony” in Swedish, is that they’re the cheapest Sonos speakers you can buy — specificially the bookshelf speaker. They work exactly the same, and sound very similarly, to Sonos’s own Play: 1 speakers. The Table Lamp speaker is a little more niche, but highlights how Sonos likes to blend home furniture with sound.

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Review: Sonos’s $99 Speaker Is A No-Brainer Buy for Most People

Ikea and Sonos are going to make a killing on these Symfonisk speakers. Read the Story

Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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