Forget HomePod — check out Ikea’s amazing new home speaker

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eneby ikea speaker
The Eneby is $300 less than a HomePod, and it's not like Siri works properly anyway.
Photo: Ikea

Ikea’s new Eneby speaker may not pack the smarts of a HomePod or an Amazon Echo, but it’s great-looking and it’s pretty cheap. The new range of Ikea Bluetooth speakers starts at $49. If all you want is a nice, easy speaker for the living room, kitchen, or even the backyard, you should take a look.

Friends and Eneby

The speaker looks just as good with the cover removed.
The speaker looks just as good with the cover removed.
Photo: Ikea

At just under $50, the Ikea Eneby is going to sell a ton of units. Does it sound great? Who knows? At a time when most people are happy to listen to music through their smartphone’s speaker, anything is an improvement.

But the Eneby is more about looks, anyway. It comes in black or white, and in two sizes : 8×8 inches, or 12×12 inches (the bigger unit costs $89). With the tasteful fabric cover in place, you see nothing but the elegant front panel and the volume knob. If you remove the cover, you get an equally attractive — if a little busier — view of the speakers themselves.

Big knob

That volume knob is great, too. So many Bluetooth speakers opt for buttons that have to be held down, or repeatedly tapped, to change volume. The Eneby just puts a good old-fashioned knob right there on the front. Nobody will ever get confused about how to turn the speaker up or down.

The 12-inch Eneby fits right into your other Ikea furniture.

Both speakers are mains powered. The larger Eneby packs two drivers instead of one for a bigger sound. It also has a bass port around the back. The large speaker is sized to perfectly fit Ikea’s own Kallax shelving unit (the one with the square holes sized for olde worlde vinyl records.

The smaller Eneby has a pull-out handle for portability, and can run off an optional battery ($20 each). A nice touch is that, if you add a battery, it will charge when the speaker is plugged into the mains.

With smart speakers spying on our every spoken word, it’s nice to have an option that is as nice-looking as a HomePod, but that which does nothing but play music. It’s going to be hard to resist dropping one into your oversize yellow bag next time you’re in an Ikea store.

Price: From $49

Buy from: Ikea