Do you believe that music is the single most important ingredient for creating the right atmosphere at home? Well, most people agree. 59 percent of the respondents in a survey from the IKEA Life at Home Report, say that they play music to get a homey feeling. Last year, IKEA made it possible to personalise light at home through the TRÅDFRI range. The step from light to sound is not a big one. Both are important for creating the right atmosphere and mood at home, and both are deeply personal – everyone has their own unique preferences for volume, brightness, type and genre. IKEA is entering music and sound with a humble attitude. Björn Block, Business Leader for IKEA Home Smart, understands the challenge. “If we were going to be immediately relevant for people, we couldn’t start from scratch. Early on, we realised that we needed a collaborator, someone with technical know-how and experience, who can teach us the most and complete our knowledge about life at home.”
Knocking on Sonos’ door The right match came along quickly. When Björn Block and his team reached out to Sonos in California 2016, they hit it off immediately. The American consumer electronic company, widely known for their smart speakers, wanted to join forces. It turns out they had also been curious about IKEA. With Sonos, IKEA found a company with a similar culture, and they began to explore music in the home together. “When the actual work started, we felt this was a perfect match in every way, and since we share values and beliefs, discussion and brainstorming quickly became productive,” says Björn Block. The products are still in the development phase. The goal is to work together to save space, get rid of cords and clutter, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way. The collaboration SYMFONISK will launch in 2019 and Björn Block emphasises that this is not a one-off collaboration, but a long-term partnership. “We still have so much to learn from each other, and much to explore about sound in the home.”
Play that funky music loud The partnership with Sonos is not the only “Living with Sound” launch underway. Together with teenage engineering the Stockholm-based consumer electronics company made up of engineers and computer programmers with a passionate design interest, IKEA will launch FREKVENS for party lovers in 2020. The limited collection with bluetooth technology includes speakers and a light system – everything you need to throw a party. IKEA has also created sleekly designed ENEBY speakers, in stores earlier this April 2018. They can be mounted on the stands or wall brackets, and the small speaker has a handle so it can be hung on a hook or taken along wherever you go. Living with Sound is a part of the IKEA Home Smart Journey. Home Smart is intended to add functionality to the entire IKEA range by integrating technology into our home furnishings. But what it’s really about is realising the IKEA vision: making a better everyday life for the many people.