Hacking the Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Into a High Quality Speaker Amp

  • 17 August 2019
  • 17 replies
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https://makezine.com/2019/08/16/hacking-the-sonos-ikea-symfonisk-into-a-high-quality-speaker-amp/

Pretty cool!

17 replies

Hacking a proper lampshade and light socket onto the Ikea lampspeaker. Looks infinitely better!

https://www.reddit.com/r/sonos/comments/cs4ulu/hacked_symfonisk_lamp_hue_e27_and_proper_lamp/


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The first one sounds like a lot more work then most people are willing to do. The second looks a lot easier to do and a lot of motivation to do it. You can essentially get a sub for easily half the cost of the Sonos sub. Since it's also effectively a Sub set as it's own room, you can group it wit other rooms, move it around physically, as you wish.

There are a few downsides though. One is that you can't use it in a Sonos HT room as the audio will be slightly delayed. I don't think you really be able to trueplay it to a remove very accurately. Then there is the fact that other speakers in the room don't know it's there, so they would still be attempting to play bass frequencies themselves instead of letting your sub handle it. And I don't think too may do this if the rumored Core sub ever happens.

The third option...I don't know. Doesn't seem like it would be hard, but I image few people are going to buy the lamp with the intention of switching out the shade.
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https://makezine.com/2019/08/16/hacking-the-sonos-ikea-symfonisk-into-a-high-quality-speaker-amp/

Pretty cool!


Yup pretty cool.

Finally a way to trueplay tune your own speakers, my poor amp can't even do this, come on Sonos!
The first one sounds like a lot more work then most people are willing to do.

Most people aren’t hackers. To those who are, this is like candy.

However, I doubt his claims about Trueplay. Unlikely that it will change the crossover frequency, so careful selection of drivers will likely be required to create a speaker that actually sounds great. The potential, with the right drivers, is certainly there for some pretty awesome speakers, much better sounding than the IKEA shelf.
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The first one sounds like a lot more work then most people are willing to do.Most people aren’t hackers. To those who are, this is like candy.

However, I doubt his claims about Trueplay. Unlikely that it will change the crossover frequency, so careful selection of drivers will likely be required to create a speaker that actually sounds great. The potential, with the right drivers, is certainly there for some pretty awesome speakers, much better sounding than the IKEA shelf.


That was my thought regarding trueplay. It would work, but whether it would actually improve or make it sound worse might depending on the speaker used. And I'm sure you could get better passive speakers than the ikea ones, but wouldn't you still be a bit limited by the abilities of the amp itself? Cost wise, I would guess you'd need to spend a pair.$100 or more for passive speakers that are better than ikea. So that would put your total cost at around $300 for a pair. That's the cost of play:1s, so I'd conclude there isn't a ton to be gained.here cost wise. Well, if you already have your passive speakers, it makes sense.
Some people have garage fulls of vintage speakers, lol. Some truly great speakers can be found at garage sales for next to nothing. Many have cycled through mi casa, lol.
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Some people have garage fulls of vintage speakers, lol. Some truly great speakers can be found at garage sales for next to nothing. Many have cycled through mi casa, lol.


Yea, I must admit that I haven't gotten rid of a speaker since Freshman year in college, some 25+ years ago. None of them are bi-amp though. I suppose it should be possible thought open up the passive speaker itself. If I understand correctly the single +/- wire should go to a crossover, then to the separate woofer and tweeter. Should be able to bypass the crossover entirely and wire directly to the tweeter and woofer. Would probably have enough room to place the amp in the passive speaker itself, and then just drill a whole for the power cable,

Another thought is that you could use car audio speakers (components) and just build a box around them.
Could it be an idea to instead of ripping out the interior and connecting it to a speaker, build a new better enclosure in wood instead? In the process you could change the woofer and tweeter. Tried to find if anyone tried it out but haven't found anyone who have done it.. yet at least 🙂
Could it be an idea to instead of ripping out the interior and connecting it to a speaker, build a new better enclosure in wood instead? In the process you could change the woofer and tweeter. Tried to find if anyone tried it out but haven't found anyone who have done it.. yet at least :)

Probably cheaper to find a good quality 2-way speaker at a garage sale or Craigslist.

Couple of issues:
  1. The crossover frequency of the amp is critical - the crossover frequency of your target 2-way system should match it, but we don't (yet) know what it is.
  2. Sonos/IKEA might have implemented power limiting to the woofer to protect it from being overdriven. Using a nice, high excursion 6.5" or larger woofer will provide better bass, but if the power limiting kicks in, it won't live up to its potential.
  3. We don't yet know how much power the amps deliver. The Symfonik is a ported design, which is generally more efficient than the sealed One design, so perhaps less powerful amps were used. Too little power won't drive an inefficient sealed design with enough oomph.
Someone in the DIY community will (eventually) sort all this out, and match it to one of the classic speakers, like the great old widely available Advents or Boston Acoustics or similar.
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Could it be an idea to instead of ripping out the interior and connecting it to a speaker, build a new better enclosure in wood instead? In the process you could change the woofer and tweeter. Tried to find if anyone tried it out but haven't found anyone who have done it.. yet at least :)

I don't know how you're going to get a better enclosure without ripping out the existing interior. Are you thinking you'd just pull out the woofer and tweeter, and then connect the speaker wires to a new box with new woofer & tweeter that also hold the entire old box?

If you're going to use a different woofer and tweeter, why not just open up an existing passive speaker, put the amp inside that box, wire it, remove the existing speaker posts and use that hole for the power cord?
my integration of symfonisk motherboard in jmlab 706s speaker (based on makezine.com).


Notes :
- need to extend internal AC wire (be careful) and internal speaker wires.
- trueplay makes miracle (on/off it changes everything).
- don't forget to disable loudness (to heavy to drive for the digital amp at high level).
- enable volume limiter to 85% (to heavy to drive for the digital amp at high level).
- i don't bypass the speaker crossover for the moment
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Cool! Looks like what I was thinking would work well. Assuming you just used an existing passive speaker instead of building your own box.
Routing wood to access to the buttons

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These are nice hacks… basically swapping out the output devices.

I've been thinking about input to the Symphonisk though.

I'm curious how a pair syncs sound.
If it's not that both are streaming the source, playing one channel and exchanging sync info, it might be there's a protocol where one is streaming and resending other channel to the other device.

If that's the case, then what if another device (e.g. a PC/Pi) were to pretend to be either and send a stream to each; so effectively become a Connect without the hardware inputs?
Has anyone tried to play with the software side?
In a pair, one (usually the left) fetches the stream and sends it to the other. Each applies a channel map. The units exchange timing information to maintain sync.

Playing with the software side? The notion of a 'software ZonePlayer' has been doing the rounds since 2005. It would imply the implosion of Sonos' business model. Everything is locked down tight.
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I looked at doing something Sonos like using Raspberry Pi computers and digital i/o or amplifier HATs and it doesn't look unreasonably hard.

What is a problem are the software patents ratty mentions. Trying to find a way around them would require a lot of legal fees as well as input from technical experts. The risk in ignoring the patents and just quietly building a personal system is low UNLESS it leaks to the public and the lawyers come calling. I'm not that brave so I did something else less risky.

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