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Review – Ikea Vappeby: the lamp burns and sounds here – Reviews

A WiFi speaker that doubles as a lamp: Ikea already had that. But now there is also a Bluetooth speaker with lamp. We had to hold them up to the light for a while.

A table lamp speaker: the word looks and reads terrible, but the design is not that crazy. In the Symfonisk range, Ikea has been selling a Wi-Fi copy for quite some time now, which is part of the Sonos ecosystem. This is especially a handy addition for anyone who already has one or more Sonos speakers at home. But with the Vappeby, Ikea now also brings a table lamp speaker – does it read a bit more smoothly? – off which does not work with wifi but with bluetooth.

When you take the device out of the box, you can immediately bring out your Ikea skills: you have to screw the plastic carrying handle yourself to the table lamp speaker, which is reminiscent of a lantern in design. At the front we find a start button, a Bluetooth button to connect devices with a larger rotary knob in the middle. So you can connect from any Bluetooth device – smartphone, tablet, PC: in that respect there is nothing ‘different’ than any other Bluetooth speaker. After the connection you can use any app or music source (including locally stored music, ed.) or streaming service to let music reverberate through the speaker. With the large rotary knob, you can adjust the volume or pause the music by pressing the button.

The Vappeby is crying out for a sunny terrace or balcony. © Ikea/DN

Spotify Tap

The Vappeby is the first Bluetooth speaker on the market to have a so-called Spotify Tap. This also allows you to use the button to set up Spotify from a connected device. With one press of the rotary knob, you can immediately make Spotify resume the music where it stopped last time. If you press the start button, Vappeby chooses a different playlist: that sometimes results in very large mood swings when you suddenly start from, for example Dutch-speaking sing-along nasty Totally Stress Free being catapulted.

In practice, the Spotify Tap appears to go wrong and the music does not resume automatically. This often has to do with the fact that the Spotify app is no longer active on your smartphone or was automatically closed by the battery management of your mobile phone. But even then things can sometimes go wrong. The exact reasons why this happens were not always clear to us, but we suspect that it has to do with the amount of devices on which we use Spotify via the same smartphone. What it comes down to is that in practice it is still better to keep your smartphone or other music source close by to select your favorite tunes. Do you receive a call on your smartphone? Then the music will pause automatically. Calling via the speaker is therefore not possible, unlike many other Bluetooth speakers.

Charging is done via USB-C: a cable is included, an adapter is not., Ikea
Charging is done via USB-C: a cable is included, an adapter is not. © Ikea

Sound quality

The table lamp speaker – you really don’t get used to it, do you? – sounds exactly as we expected and hoped for the price. To be clear: this is absolutely not a high-end speaker – that is not possible at all for a target price of 59 euros. The sound usually sounds fairly flat, but you still feel that Ikea has done its best to squeeze the most out of the speaker with some bass and certainly also some treble. With an old smoky rock song like ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC the treble is too much. At ‘No Man’s Land’ by Tourist LeMC and Meskerem Mees we can just appreciate it. Just to say that it is mainly personal taste and in that respect it is a pity that you cannot adjust bass, mid and treble yourself. Anyway, it is and remains a Bluetooth speaker of barely 59 euros. If you want to throw a solid party, it is probably better to choose another speaker. If you are looking for music as a mood maker on a summer terrace to end a delicious barbecue, then the Vappeby is completely sufficient in our opinion. Place the speaker on a round table and you will effectively hear the music just as clearly on all sides: 360° sound as it should be. Still pretty!

Ikea
© Ikea

And also a lamp

At the back we find one more button; this allows you to operate the built-in LED lamp. Pressing it twice dims the light a bit. We don’t think you should do dimming too often: the lamp does not spread such a powerful light. But enough to – we repeat – create atmosphere when the evening sun has almost disappeared on your summer terrace.

The Vappeby certainly doesn’t look out of place indoors, but we see it mainly serving as an outdoor speaker and lamp. We would take him in again and again. The device does have an IP65 rating and is therefore resistant to dust and water splashes, but heavy rain showers are not covered by this.

It only remains for us to say something about the battery life. You have to charge the table lamp speaker via the included USB-C cable on a charger that is not included. But that is certainly not a disaster: or do you really not have a mobile phone charger at home? The battery lasts up to 12 hours, according to the specifications, and that turns out to be the case in practice.

Conclusion

Doesn’t it have to be high-quality sound, but is it fun you are looking for? Then the Vappeby – in addition to the gray color that we tested, also available in blue – will undoubtedly meet your expectations. We doubt the usefulness of the Spotify Tap, but the combo sound and light is a direct hit for this device.

A table lamp speaker: the word looks and reads terrible, but the design is not that crazy. In the Symfonisk range, Ikea has been selling a Wi-Fi copy for quite some time now, which is part of the Sonos ecosystem. This is especially a handy addition for anyone who already has one or more Sonos speakers at home. But with the Vappeby, Ikea now also brings a table lamp speaker – does it read a bit more smoothly? – off which does not work with wifi but with bluetooth. When you take the device out of the box, you can immediately bring out your Ikea skills: you have to screw the plastic carrying handle yourself to the table lamp speaker, which is reminiscent of a lantern in design. At the front we find a start button, a Bluetooth button to connect devices with a larger rotary knob in the middle. So you can connect from any Bluetooth device – smartphone, tablet, PC: in that respect there is nothing ‘different’ than any other Bluetooth speaker. After the connection you can use any app or music source (including locally stored music, ed.) or streaming service to let music reverberate through the speaker. With the large rotary knob, you can adjust the volume or pause the music by pressing the button. As the first Bluetooth speaker on the market, the Vappeby has a so-called Spotify Tap. This also allows you to use the button to set up Spotify from a connected device. With one press of the rotary knob, you can immediately make Spotify resume the music where it stopped last time. If you press the start button, Vappeby chooses a different playlist: that sometimes produces very large mood swings when you are suddenly catapulted from, for example, Dutch-language sing-alongs to Totally Stress Free. the music will not resume automatically. This often has to do with the fact that the Spotify app is no longer active on your smartphone or was automatically closed by the battery management of your mobile phone. But even then things can sometimes go wrong. The exact reasons why this happens were not always clear to us, but we suspect that it has to do with the amount of devices on which we use Spotify via the same smartphone. What it comes down to is that in practice it is still better to keep your smartphone or other music source close by to select your favorite tunes. Do you receive a call on your smartphone? Then the music will pause automatically. Calling via the speaker is therefore not possible, unlike many other Bluetooth speakers. The table lamp speaker – you really don’t get used to it, do you? – sounds exactly as we expected and hoped for the price. To be clear: this is absolutely not a high-end speaker – that is not possible at all for a target price of 59 euros. The sound usually sounds fairly flat, but you still feel that Ikea has done its best to squeeze the most out of the speaker with some bass and certainly also some treble. With an old smoky rock song like ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC the treble is too much. At ‘No Man’s Land’ by Tourist LeMC and Meskerem Mees we can just appreciate it. Just to say that it is mainly personal taste and in that respect it is a pity that you cannot adjust bass, mid and treble yourself. Anyway, it is and remains a Bluetooth speaker of barely 59 euros. If you want to throw a solid party, it is probably better to choose another speaker. If you are looking for music as a mood maker on a summer terrace to end a delicious barbecue, then the Vappeby is completely sufficient in our opinion. Place the speaker on a round table and you will effectively hear the music just as clearly on all sides: 360° sound as it should be. Still handsome! At the back we find one more button; this allows you to operate the built-in LED lamp. Pressing it twice dims the light a bit. We don’t think you should do dimming too often: the lamp does not spread such a powerful light. But enough – we repeat – to create atmosphere when the evening sun has almost disappeared on your summer terrace. Indoors, the Vappeby certainly does not look out of place, but we see it mainly serving as an outdoor speaker and lamp. We would take him in again and again. The device does have an IP65 classification and is therefore resistant to dust and water splashes, but heavy rain showers are not covered by this. It only remains to tell us something about the battery life. You have to charge the table lamp speaker via the included USB-C cable on a charger that is not included. But that is certainly not a disaster: or do you really not have a mobile phone charger at home? The battery lasts up to 12 hours, according to the specifications, and that turns out to be the case in practice. Doesn’t it have to be high-quality sound, but is it cosiness you’re looking for? Then the Vappeby – in addition to the gray color that we tested, also available in blue – will undoubtedly meet your expectations. We doubt the usefulness of the Spotify Tap, but the combo sound and light is a direct hit for this device.

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