There’s little better way to learn about a piece of electronics than by tearing it down. Taking a peek under the hood can reveal all manner of things about a device’s design, manufacturing, and origins. [This Does Not Compute] does a great job of doing just that, digging into the guts of IKEA’s Symfonisk speaker.
Symfonisk is a WiFi-enabled speaker, working with the Sonos ecosystem. Tearing down the device reveals some similarities to IKEA’s earlier Eneby speaker, with both devices sharing similar speaker drivers, apparently sourced from GGEC. However, upon digging deeper, it’s revealed that the Symfonisk has more in common with a speaker from another manufacturer entirely.
The video does a great job of not only investigating the manufacturing origins of the device, but breaking down the way it all works. This shows how the speaker relies on an Atheros WiFi-only chipset, thus explaining the lack of Bluetooth functionality, as well as discussing things like the neat solutions for cable management. Interestingly, the speaker uses a two-channel DAC and Class-D amplifier, but only operates in mono. Instead, the two channels are instead used to separately drive the tweeter and woofer, allowing EQ to be done in software on the main CPU, negating the need for analog crossover electronics.
It’s a teardown that would serve as a great primer for anyone considering building a piece of consumer electronics, but particularly those involved in the hi-fi space. To see how it was done way back when, perhaps try this 8-track teardown instead. Video after the break.
13 thoughts on “Tearing Down IKEA’S Sonos Speaker”
“two channels are instead used to separately drive the tweeter and woofer”
This is called “bi-amplification” in audio circles, just noting it here in case someone searches for that.
totally over engineered!
Yes, overengineered, you would not design the electronic from scratch this way, but as it looks like a complete reuse, it’s the way to go.
Pitty, no bluetooth, line in and always on (what’s the power?)
It will do flac though I didn’t see weather 24/96 is supported, certainly better than blurtooth 4.0. Not in stereo or quad though.
Mono eh? Dad never saw the point to stereo. His 1955 Chevy had two speakers, one in the dash, one in the dip in the middle of the rear seat back.
That’s why you are supposed to get two. Neat marketing trick …
If you buy two you can create a stereo pair in the software.
I don’t know if HAD has covered this already but it is worth checking [@benhobby] teardown of the Symfonisk.
He extracted the “amp” and was able to connect it to high end speakers. Even “true play” seems to be working.
A great project if you ask me.
I’m not sure if GGEC is supplying the whole loudspeaker set. When looking at the normal SONOS supply chain they are also getting their drivers from PSS (Premium Sound Solutions) and others.
That said i’m not sure if this IKEA is just a watered down Sonos play one with the same drivers or they went the effort of designing something completely new just for IKEA.
I wonder if you could use one of these to drive a passive or active sub woofer? The Sonos sub is ruinously expensive, so making something simpler could be pretty handy!
Any one have an idea on how to extend the 10 pin flex cable? I am doing a hack where I want to move the control buttons further from the unit. Looks like a .5 mm pitch 10 pin but haven’t been able to find a longer version online.
Would there be a max / min watt rated speaker you could do this to
Hi, I’d like to feed the symfonisk with my own digital or analog input over a cable. Does anybody know where i would have to feed the signal to? It has to be before the dac for digital input or before the amp for analog input. If you know pls describe what the components look like and what id have to do.
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