Sonos IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame with Wi-Fi Speaker review

Style and substance in equal measure

The Symfonisk Picture Frame sat next to a vase of flowers and a card on a mantlepiece
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Symfonisk Picture Frame wireless speaker from Sonos and Ikea is the perfect blend of design and performance. Not only does it look great but the sound quality is comparable to some of the best speakers on the market, such as the Sonos One. If you’re able to afford the more premium price, this speaker is sure to impress.

Pros

  • +

    Full-bodied, rich sound

  • +

    Google Assistant / Alexa / Homekit support

  • +

    Easy to set up

Cons

  • -

    Pricey

  • -

    Design won’t be for everyone

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Two-minute review 

The Sonos IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame with Wi-Fi Speaker is a superb device that succeeds at blending together both style and function. If you want a wireless speaker that will impress but won’t disturb the layout of your room, this is an excellent solution.

For the price ($199 / £179 / AU$299) you’ll get a great-sounding device that delivers exciting audio, thumping bass, and clarity that’s unmatched by most cheaper options. You can turn the volume up without fear of distortion, and preset volume limits are there to help keep your neighbors happy.

Thanks to its sleek form factor, the Picture Frame can fit almost anywhere, from hanging on your wall to resting on your mantlepiece – and the 3.5m power cable almost guarantees that it’ll be near enough to a socket to fire it up.

Through the Sonos app, you can integrate this speaker seamlessly with your pre-existing Sonos sound system – but newcomers to the platform will find it easy to set up the speaker, too. The app also acts as a one stop shop for all your audio streaming needs, allowing you to effortlessly switch between your favorite songs, podcasts, and audiobooks from your smartphone.

Unfortunately there's no Bluetooth on board, but thanks to the app you won’t miss it. Additionally, Apple users can always use Airplay to cast music if they need to, as well as taking advantage of Trueplay to tune their speaker perfectly to its new home (sorry Android users – but you’re out of luck here).

Sure, the design of the Symfonisk Picture Frame won’t be for everyone, but if you can look past that (or choose to snag an alternative print design in the future) you’ll still be left with a wireless speaker that’s sure to dazzle you and any guests thanks to its fantastic audio performance.

Sonos IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame with Wi-Fi Speaker price and availability

  • Available at IKEA
  • $199 / £179 / AU$299

You can find the Symfonisk Picture Frame with Wi-Fi Speaker exclusively at IKEA for $199 / £179 / AU$299. If you aren’t a fan of the print that comes with it by default, you can purchase alternatives for $19.99 / £17 / AU$25).

For a speaker that’s comparable to the Sonos One in terms of audio performance this isn’t a bad price, though it will make the Picture Frame a little out of reach for users on a budget.

The Symfonisk Picture Frame seen from the front, with its music inspired pattern on show

(Image credit: Future)

Design

  • Choice of prints
  • Canvas-like shape
  • Can be hung vertically or horizontally

Calling it the Symfonisk Picture Frame is perhaps a little confusing, as you won’t be able to display your family portrait or favourite snap with this device. Instead the Picture Frame features a print created by IKEA designers.

Creating a default print that appeals to everyone was always going to be tough, but we think the design chosen by IKEA and Sonos (which is meant to be a visual representation of music and sound) looks neat. If you aren’t a fan though, other options are available for purchase, including a paint splatter design and one that resembles a turntable.

You can also choose to purchase the Symfonisk Picture Frame in either white or black, which again, will come down to personal preference. Whatever option you choose, we’re sure the plastic frame and canvas-like fabric grille won’t look out of place wherever you decided to hang it – and the Symfonisk Picture Frame is just as practical as it is pretty.

The Symfonisk range of speakers – which also includes a lamp speaker and bookshelf speaker – is designed to suit audiophiles who don’t have space for a dedicated sound system. The flat form factor of the Picture Frame, which measures 22 x 16 x 2 inches (H x W x D), means you’ll most likely be able to find space for this in your home.

A lot of care has been taken to ensure the Picture Frame can suit most spaces: it can hang vertically or horizontally, and you can swap between these orientations easily. Alternatively, if you don’t want to hang it up (or aren’t allowed to drill into your walls) you can instead use the two rubber feet included in the box that allow this speaker to lean comfortably against a wall.

The 3.5m power cable is long and flexible, meaning it should be able to reach an outlet from nearly anywhere you might want to place this speaker. In addition, a sizeable cutout in the back of the device ensures you have plenty of space to hide any excess wire to keep your room looking neat.

Along the side of the speaker, you’ll find some basic controls that allow you to change the volume or play / pause the current track, though we almost never used them. That’s because most of the speaker controls are handled in the Sonos App.

The Symfonisk Picture Frame from behind, you can see its controls and power cable storage space

(Image credit: Future)

Setup

  • Sonos app compatible
  • Multi-room audio support
  • TruePlay set up for iOS users

To interact with the Symfonisk Speaker you’ll need to first download the Sonos App and connect your speaker to your Wi-Fi (the typical IKEA instruction manual will explain this to you in case you forget).

The Sonos app works very similarly to the Google Home app, allowing you to virtually assign speakers to specific rooms. You can then control where your music plays, activating all your devices, just those in one place, or even an individual speaker. If you have multiple Sonos speakers already, you can take advantage of each speaker’s specific qualities to deliver great sounding music in a wireless setup – for instance, by using a pair of Sonos Ones as rear speakers.

To play music – or podcasts and audiobooks – you’ll have to log into your streaming service of choice through the Sonos app. This may feel tedious at first, but the result is a one stop shop for all your audio needs; in the long run it makes for a much improved experience.

Unfortunately though, there’s no Bluetooth, meaning that there are some limits on what this device can do. However, we didn’t find this to be a very significant drawback given how comprehensive the Sonos app is.

Apple users will notice the lack of Bluetooth even less, as the Symfonisk Picture Frame supports AirPlay 2. This gives you a little more freedom on what can play through the speaker – and that’s not all you can do with your iPhone and iPad. If you’re using a device that runs the latest version of iOS (except those listed on the official Sonos website (opens in new tab)) you can access Trueplay, a system that will automatically tune your speaker to make it sound as good as possible in its current environment.

Android users will instead be stuck with a manual EQ control in the Sonos app. We didn't spend a long time setting up the speaker this way, so it shouldn't pose too much of an inconvenience.

The Symfonisk Picture Frame hanging on a wall next to two framed pictures a beach and a floral pattern

(Image credit: Future)

Audio performance

  • Clear, detailed sound
  • Doesn't vibrate wall too much
  • Volume limits can be applied

While every picture frame should look aesthetically pleasing, this Picture Frame needs to deliver a great sound performance too – and it’s safe to say that the Symfonisk Picture Frame succeeds in both.

No matter what you enjoy listening to, be it a heavy rock track, a classical symphony, or your favorite podcast, this device offers a fantastic listening experience. For tunes that need to be turned up to 11, this Symfonisk speaker can deliver chest thumping noise, all while keeping the sound clear and free from distortion. The bass is powerful but never muddy, even when you crank it up.

Even for more subdued soundscapes, this speaker offers tremendous clarity to each and every instrument being played in a song. You’ll be able to pick out distinct playing styles and sounds that you wouldn't usually hear from less accomplished speakers or headphones.

Don’t worry about disturbing your neighbors too much, either. We found the Symfonisk Picture Frame did a great job of not vibrating the wall it’s placed against; when we went into the room behind it, we couldn’t hear what was playing at moderate volumes. That means you should be able to get away turning your music up a decibel or two more before you get any noise complaints.

If you are worried about this though, the Sonos app allows you to set up volume limits, so you’ll never have to worry about disturbing your neighbors again.

Should I buy the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame with Wi-Fi speaker?

SYMFONISK Billedramme

(Image credit: IKEA)

Buy it if… 

You want a great speaker
While you might find better, for its price the Symfonisk Picture Frame delivers superb audio clarity and an exciting sound that you’re sure to enjoy.

You want a speaker that blends in
If you don't want to clutter your home with a bulky speaker, this one could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

You’re an Apple user
While Android users will still get a lot out of the Sonos IKEA Picture Frame, Trueplay give Apple users even more of a reason to snag this speaker. 

Don’t buy it If… 

You hate the design
More so than most speakers, the Picture Frame’s look will be incredibly subjective. Given that’s meant to be a piece of art, if you aren’t a fan of the available prints, it might not be for you. 

You’re on a tight budget
The Sonos Picture Frame delivers a great audio experience, but charges for it. If you haven’t got the biggest budget for new tech, you’ll have to look elsewhere or wait for a deal.

You want 360-degree audio
The shape and build of this Symfonisk speaker means you won't get 360-degrees of sound – check out cylindrical Bluetooth speakers (opens in new tab) like the UE Boom 3 (opens in new tab) if this is a concern.

Hamish Hector
Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a 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.