Good sound. Affordable. Not Ugly. Pick two. That's generally the best-case scenario, design-wise, when you've shopping for a speaker. Like TVs, they€™re a household staple that's also a bit of an eyesore, but unlike TVs, you can€™t throw a pretty landscape (or seasonally, a fireplace) on screen to distract from the big black box. It's a design flaw that seems like it should be a pretty easy fix: couldn€™t you just make the surface of the speaker a little more beautiful?

Of course you can. Or rather, Ikea can. And they did. Today (July 15, 2021) they launched the Symfonisk (It's not Ikea if It's not 66% consonants) picture frame with wifi speaker in collaboration with Sonos. The frame and speaker comes in two designs (a black or white, geometric, constellation-like pattern) and has both a magnetic hook and rubber feet, so you can hang it lean it against a wall. 

While Ikea's not the first to do this (a quick Google search yielded Soundwall, a company that also makes gorgeous art speakers€”for over $1000) they€™re doing it at a much lower price point. The Symfonisk is $249, which is a bit more than Sonos's cheapest speaker (the Roam is $229). The speaker/art collab also isn€™t portable€”aka, It's not wireless€”so you if you've mounting it on a wall, keep that in mind.

If monochromatics aren€™t your thing, they also have two separate panels that can be swapped out€”and my bet is there'smore variations to come. So far the options are a record player design and a colourful, splotchy pattern (my personal favourite). Each additional panel is $20. I'm hoping they release a soothing landscape panel€”maybe an ocean view complimented by ocean sounds? there'ssome immersive art for you.