Coming next: Symfonisk Picture Frame


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The Sonos model S29 is the Symfonisk Picture Frame, which is as it sounds: a picture frame with a speaker built-in. Some details have been posted on the Verge, which confirm many of the details that I have been seeing since January.

The codename I saw on one prototype was “TITAN-redacted” which is similar to the Verge’s story.

The speaker specs are similar to the Play:1 and the existing IKEA devices. There is no mic and insufficient horsepower to run Alexa or Google.

I am guessing they would make great “invisible” rear speakers for surround systems, as well as being very spousal-approved audio devices in the home.

As the device is not on the FCC site yet it must be at least a few months from release.

The Verge article is here: https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/6/22370130/ikea-sonos-symfonisk-2021-lamp-wall-art-artwork-speaker


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20 replies

Userlevel 7

I hope they come up with a good solution to hide that power cord.

That’s an outstanding point, GuitarSuperstar...and while I should go look at the link, I hope it includes a small LED to light up the enclosed picture. 

Now, let me go look at that article. Thanks, controlav!

Is it just me, or is that picture of the Symfonisk Lamp a tad suggestive?

 

I hope they come up with a good solution to hide that power cord.

Removable, chargeable battery?  Probably not, but it is a theoretical possibility.

I hope they come up with a good solution to hide that power cord.

 

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/sanus-in-wall-cable-kit-for-soundbars-and-tvs.html

Solutions like this have been around for years.  That said though, I would be surprised if this isn’t designed with a ‘wall wort’ type setup, so the cable between plug and picture is low voltage, and can more easily and safely be hidden behind walls without the need of an electrician.  You can’t really do it better than that with the way walls are currently constructed.

 

Removable, chargeable battery?  Probably not, but it is a theoretical possibility.

 

That would raise the price up, and according to what we know about the Move/Roam, eliminate it for use as surround sound duty. Although perhaps you could make an argument that a picture won’t be moved around.

 

 

Is it just me, or is that picture of the Symfonisk Lamp a tad suggestive?

 

Thanks for that image.

 

The Sonos model S29 is the Symfonisk Picture Frame, which is as it sounds: a picture frame with a speaker built-in. Some details have been posted on the Verge, which confirm many of the details that I have been seeing since January.

The codename I saw on one prototype was “TITAN-redacted” which is similar to the Verge’s story.

The speaker specs are similar to the Play:1 and the existing IKEA devices. There is no mic and insufficient horsepower to run Alexa or Google.

I am guessing they would make great “invisible” rear speakers for surround systems, as well as being very spousal-approved audio devices in the home.

 

So it’s just the frame and not the picture itself?  At first mention, I was picturing speakers behind acoustically transparent material.  Frame makes more sense though, as it would allow customers to use whatever picture they want.

Don’t know what to think of this overall.  Seems a little gimmicky, and doubtful it has any new features beyond what the ikea stuff already has.  I think I’m honestly a bit more interested to see people hack it and use it for unintended purposes, like they did with the bookshelf speakers.   The form factor of this could make for some creative uses.

 

https://www.smarthomeassistent.de/ikea-ein-neuer-symfonisk-lautsprecher-ist-auf-dem-weg/

It’s on IKEA.com now. Looks great!

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/symfonisk-picture-frame-with-wi-fi-speaker-white-50487329/

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“You can choose to hang it on its own on the wall as an eye-catcher, match it with your other pictures on a wall, place it on the floor or lean it against a wall.

Blends in with your other décor and adds a uniform and stylish touch to your home.

Available with a white or black frame and with different interchangeable fronts, so you can choose the style that suits you and your home.”

 

So it seems to be less like a picture frame and more like a flat speaker since it doesn’t seem like personal photos can be used with the “frame”. I’m curious to see what the “interchangeable fronts” will look like.

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Is it just me, or is that picture of the Symfonisk Lamp a tad suggestive?

 

When will Sonos offer a “Bedside” Sub? 

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https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/1/22464111/ikea-sonos-symfonisk-picture-frame-speaker-leak

Really not enough information to make a good judgement on this product.   The pictures available don’t give a full image of the device/speaker/thing, but the article mentions the dimensions.    Sounds like it’s meant to be used in pairs.  

It comes in black or white, but with interchangeable fronts?  What’s a front?  Is that the actual picture in the frame, or perhaps a cover over the frame itself?  In other words, can you use your own picture in the frame? If not is it because the speakers themselves are in the inside of the frame, beneath the picture...and therefore, the picture must be acoustically transparent material?  That would be kind of cool, but rather limiting.

I hear questions about the power, but I don’t think that will be as big of a concern as people think.  Most likely it will be a low voltage cord that you can fairly easily snake down the wall and then across baseboards to the nearest power outlet (with a wall wort) I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes with some simple tools to do it.

I suspect the sound quality will be near Sonos One, based on the price and the fact that the Table lamp (also near Sonos One quality) is the same price.

The other thing I wonder about is how people will modify this.  If the speaker hardware is only on one side of the frame, then perhaps people will remove the other 3 sides and use it as an odd shape speaker that might work in places where others don’t.  For example, perhaps it can work well under a cabinet, or behind a couch for surround sound.  Although at $200 a speaker, not sure people will be as willing to tear it apart. A roam could work just as well mounted under a cabinet, and the ikea bookshelf speaker might be better behind a couch.

 

I share a lot of these concerns. I’m not convinced I’d call it a picture frame, if you can’t frame pictures, but perhaps I’m misunderstanding the information provided so far from IKEA. Perhaps they decided “large flat speaker” didn’t have the same marketability as “picture frame”. 

The Verge article linked above has been updated since this morning with additional information and images. Looks like they got a hold of Manual.

Items of note:

  • You can daisy chain these together for power
  • Looks like the plug isn’t a wall wart. (Not going to be as easy to hide wires I think)
  • The picture is shown in both portrait and landscape positions. 
  • Picture gives the impression that audio comes from the center of the picture, not the frame itself. That makes me believe that this is indeed using acoustically transparent fabric for the picture, and you won’t be able to use your own image.  Unless you can get a custom print done on AT fabric.
Userlevel 7

So it’s not a picture frame, but a flat speaker with “interchangeable fronts”. I hope they include plain “fronts” with no artwork.

The power cord is going to be a deal breaker for many people. I think most people will place it on top of a piece of furniture and lean it against a wall to hide the cable.

It will be interesting to see how mounting it on a wall or leaning it against a wall will change the way it sounds.

So it’s not a picture frame, but a flat speaker with “interchangeable fronts”. I hope they include plain “fronts” with no artwork.

 

 

I’m guessing the woofers and tweeters are actually on the frame, but it’s designed in such a way that the sound come out of the picture somehow. Maybe some sort of combination of tuning and bouncing the signal off the opposite of the frame or something….don’t know.

Did a little more research and you can actually get custom prints on acoustically transparent material.

https://acousticsoundpanels.com/products/custom-acoustic-art-panels

Looks like you actually get one of these that would could be placed right over the ikea one of you don’t like it. You could fit it over a Roam too? :thinking:

 

The power cord is going to be a deal breaker for many people. I think most people will place it on top of a piece of furniture and lean it against a wall to hide the cable.

 

 

You could use the same sort power management kit to hide the power behind the wall that you do for TVs.  That does require some work and cost though

 

It will be interesting to see how mounting it on a wall or leaning it against a wall will change the way it sounds.

 

It’s got to have a gyroscope in it to sense it’s position, which is nothing new for Sonos really.  The Five has that.  And of course trueplay will be important.

 

edit:  Not sure the AT picture frames I listed above would work as I think they might.

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(deleted)

I’m guessing you might like to know about the other three new Sonos devices coming later this year? (Not from IKEA, not headphones, nor earbuds). Maybe later.

Go on… spill the beans 😁

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Here is today’s SYMFONISK live launch event from IKEA:

 

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Hmm.

I don't hate this idea.

I was expecting an actual art frame but this is more about space-saving design. I can see how you might put this up on a white wall and just forget about it. After a while it just blends in and becomes part of your wall.

Sound quality being equal- I would choose this over the Symphonisk Book Shelf as the size and shape of the Book Shelf is just a bit awkward (as a speaker it's too big and as a shelf it's too small).

In the video it looks like the woofer and tweeter are pretty big. Bigger than what can fit inside the Sonos One. But maybe that's making up for lack of depth?

Why doesn't IKEA invent a decorative power cords? Why should all power cords be black or white and a twisty mess. I propose a cord that is designed to sit flush and rigid against a wall on one side and nice lovely matte hemisphere on the opposite site. Could even have patterned art on it.

 

Hmm.

I don't hate this idea.

I was expecting an actual art frame but this is more about space-saving design. I can see how you might put this up on a white wall and just forget about it. After a while it just blends in and becomes part of your wall.

 

I don’t really see it that way.  The frame since a few inches off the wall, so I don’t think it’s going to blend in much more than a piece of art or in-wall speaker would. And of course, there is the power cord to deal with.  Like the other ikea products, the point is to throw a speaker into an item that you will likely have in your space anyway.

 

Sound quality being equal- I would choose this over the Symphonisk Book Shelf as the size and shape of the Book Shelf is just a bit awkward (as a speaker it's too big and as a shelf it's too small).

 

 

It really depends on the space. For a kitchen, the bookshelf speakers will fit under a cabinet much better than a picture frame would.  For a bathroom, it could go either way, depending on how much free wall space you have and location of plugs (though I like the Roam for bathrooms).

As far as sound quality goes, I suspect it to sound better than the bookshelf, based on price.  Probably about same as the lamp.  

 

In the video it looks like the woofer and tweeter are pretty big. Bigger than what can fit inside the Sonos One. But maybe that's making up for lack of depth?

 

 

If your thinking that this could sound better than a Sonos One, I highly doubt it.

 

Why doesn't IKEA invent a decorative power cords? Why should all power cords be black or white and a twisty mess. I propose a cord that is designed to sit flush and rigid against a wall on one side and nice lovely matte hemisphere on the opposite site. Could even have patterned art on it.

 

A power cord is ugly no matter how you dress it up, IMO.  But I do kind of like your idea. Place tape on on the wall side so you can attach to the wall in a straight line for a clean look.  Maybe offer match fake power cords, so you could run a line to the ceiling so it looks like a design choice rather than a power requirement.  And I still wish they used a 12V DC power cord with wall wart rather than a traditional 110/220 V power.  You could hide the cord behind the wall much easier.