Sep 04 2019

A perfect match: furniture and music

Furniture and music – it’s a combination that can open up additional sales opportunities for furniture manufacturers and retailers, especially in these times of growing consumer interest in the smart home. This is something that the latest figures from Statista also confirm. According to the German statistics portal, sales in the smart home market are expected to total around Euro 3,583 million in 2019. The market volume is predicted to grow to Euro 6,974 million by 2023. We present three interior companies that are already setting examples in this field.

SYMFONISK: Wi-Fi speakers by IKEA and Sonos

The sound experts at Sonos and IKEA’s designers spent three years developing the SYMFONISK Wi-Fi speaker collection together. The first two products from the range went on sale in August this year in the Swedish retailer’s furniture stores. The sound is supplied by the US manufacturer while the design comes from Sweden.

The two products are Wi-Fi speakers: one is combined with a table lamp; the other is a box-shaped speaker that can double as a bookshelf thanks to the supplied wall bracket. The Wi-Fi speakers therefore blend seamlessly into the interior design.

The SYMFONISK bookshelf Wi-Fi speaker can support up to three kilograms in weight. The slimline speaker can be screwed to the wall or placed in a bookshelf. It can also be connected to other stereo speakers to create a multi-room system.

Unlike the US manufacturer’s original speakers, the IKEA devices do not have microphones, so voice control (Alexa, Google Assistant) isn’t integrated. But they can be controlled via the Sonos app on the Wi-Fi network. What’s more, both devices are compatible with all Sonos systems and Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology, so users can stream music from their iPhone, for example.

Integration into IKEA’s own smart home app is planned from October. A custom remote control is also in the pipeline. It will be able to play and stop music, skip a song, scroll back to the previous song and adjust the volume.

Both SYMFONISK speakers are available in black and white. The golden lampshade on the black table lamp is a real eye-catcher. But as visually pleasing as the two products may be, the SYMFONISK collection is not strictly speaking smart because the absence of an integrated microphone means that there’s no voice control. Other manufacturers have products of a completely different calibre up their sleeves.

Kooduu Synergy: the smart multifunctional lamp

Take the slimline LED floor lamp Kooduu Synergy for instance. It impresses with its ingeniously designed multifunctional compartment, which enables it to be transformed into a wine cooler. The hollow in the top section can hold 4.8 litres and has space for both ice cubes and the bottle of wine to go with them.

The premium Bluetooth speaker provides a clear sound experience with its 10 watt amplifier. The designer lamps developed by Kooduu, a company based in the Netherlands run by a Dutch/Danish team, can provide nine hours of illumination without being connected to a power source.

With their characteristically Danish design, the lamps fit in perfectly in modern living spaces or the homely old balcony. The lamps provide a premium sound experience and synchronise quickly and seamlessly with all compatible devices.  They can also be connected to existing surround sound systems.

Brick: a TV unit with sound in the plinth

TV furniture manufacturer Spectral is another company that is merging modern technology and sophisticated interior design. From its base in Swabia, the German company has been making a name for itself for many years with its innovative solutions such as integrated sound systems, hidden cable guides and projector drawers.

Brick is another stunning example. Spectral integrates a fully active 2.1 virtual surround home cinema system into the plinth of the beautifully designed lowboard. It can house Spectral’s SCA3 and BRA2 sound systems as well as soundbars by other manufacturers. The black fabric covering makes the speakers completely invisible for perfect integration into the furniture unit.

All the cables are out of sight inside the unit. Audio and video equipment does an elegant disappearing act – in the ample storage space behind the matt satin or high-gloss glass fronts. The added benefit: with the new smart charge technology, users can simply place their smartphone on the unit and it will charge completely automatically.

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