The art of good sound

Is it a speaker? Or is it an art piece? In fact, it’s both. Meet the designers of the all new SYMFONISK picture frame WiFi speaker – the latest addition to the family of products created through the collaboration between Sonos and IKEA.

Research shows that many people believe music is the single most important ingredient for creating the right atmosphere at home. People who live together and listen to music together spend more time together at home. When listening to music together, people also feel more inspired, and they feel more loved. Both IKEA and Sonos recognise the importance of sound and its positive effect on life at home.

IKEA and Sonos have been working together since 2017, which has resulted in a range of products merging sound with life at home knowledge. This long-term partnership is stronger than ever, which is also reflected in the new SYMFONISK speaker that literally is a work of art.

“I wanted this product to work like an art piece. Something that adds uniqueness to a home,” says IKEA designer Andreas Fredriksson. “My main challenge was the ability to design a product that was light, thin and minimalistic – making it the perfect canvas for personalization – all while ensuring amazing sound quality. And since simplicity is a complicated thing, this was no easy feat,” Andreas continues.

Andreas Fredriksson, IKEA designer.

The fact that he has achieved his goal is clearly visible when looking at the final product, with its thin frame, hidden buttons, and discreet cable.

The fronts were created by the artist and designer Jennifer Idrizi and come in a range of different expressions.

“My inspiration for the art piece originates from my exploration of ‘cymatics’, which is the scientific study of sound and vibrations that result in the most amazing patterns. I wanted to capture what sound looks like; the feeling and structure of it and how it fades in and out,” she says. “And yes, it was a bit daunting to know that it had to result in an art piece that millions of people across the world would love” she adds.

Jennifer Idrizi, artist and designer.

The SYMFONISK picture frame speaker is designed to either hang on its own as an eye-catching art piece, or be combined with other types of wall art. The speaker can be hung on the wall either horizontally or vertically. The acoustic design made by Sonos, means the picture frame speaker offers a great sound experience while being compact, taking up a minimum of space and making it ideal for small space living. Mounting the speaker is also made easy for the customer, since the product comes with a self-levelling bracket. However, the frame is also intended multiple ways of use and can be placed on the floor or be leaned against the wall like a sculpture piece.

So, what about the collaboration with Sonos?

“What makes our collaborations so fruitful every time is the mutual respect for each other’s area of expertise; Sonos with their very specific knowledge around sound whereas IKEA’s knowledge works more like a shell around it, moving sound into home furnishing,” says Andreas. “The outcome is a unique product that I really haven’t seen anywhere else, something that none of us could have achieved without the other. And that’s the amazing thing about teamwork, right?”

The SYMFONISK picture frame Wi-Fi speaker will be available from July 2021, starting with a selection of different covers to choose from.