Sonos IKEA bookshelf speaker gets an upgrade – but what's actually changed?

The Symfonisk book shelf stood vertically
(Image credit: Ikea)

IKEA’s Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is reportedly being upgraded, though it doesn’t sound like the audio performance is getting a boost.

Spotted by Dutch tech website Tweakers the new bookshelf speaker (which costs the same as its previous iteration) will receive upgrades to its processor and memory to help it run faster, and its energy consumption while on standby is set to drop from 2.55W to 2.05W. 

You’ll also notice that its external buttons have been subtlety rearranged and that the power cable is now 2m instead of 1.5m – making it easer to connect the speaker to a faraway plug socket.

However, unlike the store page that promoted the September 2021 upgrade to the Symfonisk table lamp, the new bookshelf entry makes no mention of enhanced audio performance – suggesting that this is one area users won’t see be improved.

We had the chance to review the original Symfonisk bookshelf speaker back in 2019 and found that it was a worthwhile and budget-friendly entry into the excellent Sonos ecosystem, even if it lacked the audio finesse you’d achieve with a device like the Sonos One.

That being said the Sonos One costs double the price of the bookshelf speaker and offers no other functionality beyond being a smart speaker. The true advantage of the Symfonisk range is that the speakers double up as other useful items such as a bookshelf, lamp, or piece of wall art

These alternative form factors allow users to create a comprehensive sound system setup without needing to find dedicated space for speakers that serve no other purpose.

For those looking to get more out of their bookshelf speaker as a bookshelf these upgrades – especially the longer cable – should help them achieve these goals. 

Currently, the new speaker isn’t showing on Ikea stores in the US, UK nor Australia; however, given the current iteration of the Symfonisk launched in those regions, we expect the new model won’t stay a Dutch-exclusive gadget for long.

An IKEA spokesperson told us as much when asked. Most European markets can expect the new speaker to release sometime this month, while those in the US, Canada, and Asian Pacific region will have to wait until around April 2022 before they can get their hands on one.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.