Ikea ’s been working its way into the tech area for the earlier few years. It began with wireless chargers, got into good lighting remaining year, and now it ’s entering into speakers. I ’ve been trying out the company ’s first two Bluetooth audio system for the prior week, and they really feel quintessentially Ikea in ways both just right and dangerous.
the primary two pairs of Ikea-made Bluetooth speakers went on sale in advance this month: the Eneby 20 and Eneby 30. They ’re each large, minimal squares with a unmarried dial on them for controlling the quantity and turning the unit on and off. The layout is lovely forgettable, even though you’ll dispose of the speaker grille to get a extra stylized, commercial appearance. For essentially the most section, even though, they give the impression of being like they have been designed to suit inside of one in all Ikea ’s many sq. garage devices.
The Bluetooth syncing process was once simple, but that ’s additionally the place the generation problems seem to start. The audio system ’ audio high quality isn ’t great while playing over Bluetooth — there ’s a fogginess that makes tools blur together and really takes clear of any advanced recordings. For the smaller fashion, which sells for $FORTY NINE, it ’s now not an outrageous factor; however at $89 for the larger speaker, you ’re getting into the territory of much better-sounding Bluetooth audio system. (Moveable ones, too.)
Ikea ’s Eneby 20 speaker
It truly turns out to be an issue with Bluetooth, too. Both Eneby speakers additionally allow you to attach an audio supply the use of a headphone jack, and that ends up in much clearer sound than when it ’s coming in wireless and compressed. In thought, you could connect a Chromecast Audio or an Echo Dot to one in every of these things and turn them into smarter, higher-high quality speakers using Wi-Fi (which doesn ’t have the similar bandwidth problems), however at that point, you most likely must have just purchased a normal Amazon Echo in the first place.
the thing I keep pondering is who these audio system are designed for and the answer turns out to be, well, Ikea consumers — not all of them, however individuals who aren ’t otherwise searching for devoted audio system or smart speakers. if your number one fear is that you don ’t have already got a speaker (and never getting the most productive speaker, or one thing in particular hip or portable) and also you are physically in an Ikea store, then the Eneby models work. The smaller type isn ’t terribly expensive, they usually must fit nice with your different Ikea furniture.
There are some other extraordinarily Ikea highlights to these speakers, particularly the smaller fashion. The Eneby 20 comes with a care for that, with the proper tool, you’ll be able to connect your self. It in reality appears way more stylish with the take care of on. The deal with could also be intended to make the smaller speaker portable. Each the smaller and larger fashion wish to be plugged in to energy — they don ’t have batteries. but the smaller can accept an optional battery pack, sold one at a time for an additional $20, that may be delivered in to can help you take it at the go. That makes the associated fee start to add up, but i love the Ikea-ness of it being more or less modular.
Ikea ’s Eneby 30 speaker (with the material grille removed)
The Eneby audio system are some other example of Ikea hitting some, but no longer reasonably all, of the suitable beats while it involves tech. I haven ’t tried its Qi chargers, and via all bills they paintings effective, but they haven ’t been up to date in a while and price at simplest 5W — beneath the faster charging speeds that many brand new telephones, together with the iPhone, settle for. I ’ve also heard that Ikea ’s inexpensive smart mild bulbs work great while paired with Philips ’ Hue hub; but when I examined them with Ikea ’s personal hub, the hub ’s device got within the means of them working reliably.
Ikea has so much more tech bobbing up. It ’s engaged on new speakers with the revered design and audio company Teenage Engineering. And it ’s supposed to unencumber merchandise — possibly speakers — with Sonos subsequent 12 months. Maybe it ’ll take working with a more matured spouse to push its products over the brink. i hope so. i think everybody would be satisfied to peer Ikea strip extra sensible tech to its basics, deliver the price down, and make it more out there to everyone.
We took a glance at the audio system within the up to date episode of Circuit Breaker Are Living. You’ll watch the phase above, or see the whole show below.