IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker vs. Sonos One: Which should you buy?

When you look at the Sonos One and the IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf side-by-side, you'll notice both have similarities. Both offer a unique and modern design that'll surely blend well in any home. While the IKEA Symfonisk speaker may be cheaper, the Sonos One is a more-rounded option with better specs.

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Header Cell - Column 0 IKEA Symfonisk BookshelfSonos One (Gen 2)
Audio SystemSonos surround soundAAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, WMA
AirPlay 2YesYes
Touch controlsNoYes
Voice controlYesYes
Built-in microphoneNoYes
Sonos appYesYes
Unique featuresConverts to shelfHumidity resistance
Dimensions & WeightH x W x D12 x 4 x 6 in.6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 in.4.08 lbs.

It's simple. If you're somewhat of an audiophile who wants a smart speaker that sounds good when playing music, then the best choice is the second generation Sonos One. You're probably asking: "Is better sound worth the extra 100 bucks?" I'd say yes.

The best choice

If you step outside the $200 price tag for a sec, with the Sonos One, you get a premium sound along with cool features, like AirPlay 2 support, built-in mic for better voice control, and the ever so important, humidity resistance. You know, for listening during those steaming hot showers.

Sonos has a ton of great speakers to choose from, but the One is beloved by many for its reliable sound and features. The Sonos One's built-in mic for voice control is a big differentiator when you compare this to IKEA's speaker. Although both speakers use AirPlay 2 support, the Sonos One's built-in mic allows it to have commands shouted to it without your phone near. This is something IKEA's Symfonisk speaker doesn't offer.

If the price is what you care about

IKEA's Bookshelf speaker comes at an affordable price with the color option of black or white. The minimalist design on the speaker is great, as it will surely blend into any room without drawing much attention, especially in the case of IKEA's Lamp speaker).

What shouldn't go unmentioned is both IKEA's lamp and bookshelf speakers can be set up as rear speakers to a Sonos Beam, Playbar, or Playbase.

Unfortunately, IKEA's Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker does have some less than desirable traits that will probably rub you the wrong way. For starters, the speaker's sound isn't as good as the Sonos One, even when combined as a stereo pair. You also can't turn the speaker into a shelf without buying the bracket that allows it to convert. Had IKEA just included it in the box at purchase, it would've been a nice one up on Sonos and the competition.

What you stand to get with IKEA's Bookshelf speaker is a similar performance you'll find with other popular smart speakers on the market at the $100 price point. The biggest difference with this speaker is it looks better than what most of the competition has to offer.

Which one should you buy?

The choice is clear. If you want a great sounding speaker with solid, smart features out the box, then we'd recommend the second-generation Sonos One. It has everything you'd want in a smart speaker, including impressive build quality, a high-end design, sound, and great software with the Sonos app.

If the price is your primary focus, then the obvious choice is the IKEA Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker. This speaker is a Sonos collab, so it'll house many of the same features the Sonos One carries.

Overall, the Sonos One is just a higher quality product, thanks in large part to its top of the line sound performance along with added features such as capacitive touch controls, humidity resistance, and built-in voice control.

Chuck West