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Test: Ikea Vappeby – did you say speaker/lamp or lamp/speaker? – ICT news

A wifi speaker that also serves as a lamp: Ikea already offered it. But this time it’s a Bluetooth speaker lined with a lamp. We couldn’t resist the temptation to test it.

A loudspeaker acting as a table lamp: it may seem bizarre, even incredible, and yet the concept does not turn out to be so crazy. In its Symfonisk range, Ikea has been selling a model that works with wifi and is included in the Sonos ecosystem for quite some time. This is a handy addition for anyone who already has one or more Sonos speaker(s) at home. But with the Vappeby, Ikea is now also introducing a speaker/table lamp that does not work with wifi, but with Bluetooth.

When you remove the device from its box, you discover everything that makes the charm of Ikea: the plastic handle must still be attached to the speaker / lamp which, in terms of design, is reminiscent of a lantern. On the front, there is a start button, a Bluetooth button to combine devices and in the center a fairly thick rotary knob. The connection is made from any Bluetooth device: smartphone, tablet, PC. From this perspective, this is therefore nothing ‘other’ than an ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Once connected, it is possible to use any app or music source (including locally stored music, editor’s note) or a streaming service to play music through the speaker. The volume is adjusted using the rotary knob. It is also possible to pause by pressing the button.

The Vappeby invites itself on a terrace or a balcony in the sun. © IKEA/DN

Spotify Tap

As the first Bluetooth speaker/table lamp on the market, the Vappeby is equipped with Spotify Tap. As a result, the ad hoc button can also be used to access Spotify from a connected device. By pressing the rotary button, it is possible in Spotify to directly resume the musical program where it left off the previous time. With a simple press of the rotary button, Vappeby chooses another playlist: this sometimes results in very significant changes of rhythm, when one is suddenly catapulted, for example, from a French song to Totally Stress Free.

In practice, however, Spotify Tap seemed to make one or the other mistake, as the music doesn’t always resume automatically. This is often due to the fact that the Spotify app is no longer active on the smartphone or has been automatically interrupted by the battery management of the latter. But even apart from that, sometimes there is a problem. The exact reasons why this happens weren’t always obvious to us, but we suspect it had something to do with the amount of devices we were using Spotify on through the same smartphone. This means that in practice, it is still and always necessary to hold the smartphone or any other musical source in the immediate vicinity to select your favorite tunes. Do you receive a call on your smartphone? The music then stops automatically. It is therefore not possible to call via the loudspeaker, contrary to what many other Bluetooth models allow.

Charging is via USB-C: the cable is supplied as standard, but not the adapter., Ikea
Charging is done via USB-C: the cable is supplied as standard, but not the adapter. © IKEA

Sound quality

The speaker/table lamp delivers exactly what we expected and hoped for given its price. Let’s be clear: this is absolutely not a high-end speaker. It cannot be so with a device sold at the recommended price of 59 euros. The sound is generally quite flat, but we still feel that Ikea has done its best to get the most out of the speaker with very present bass, but with certainly also treble. With a good old rock title like ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC, there is an abuse of treble. As for ‘Niemandsland’ by Tourist LeMC and Meskerem Mees, the appreciation is good. However, it is above all about everyone’s taste and with this in mind, we will regret not being able to adjust the bass, midrange and treble yourself. But hey, it’s still a Bluetooth speaker with a price of only 59 euros. If you want to organize a boom that imposes it, it is certainly better to set your sights on another loudspeaker. But if you’re more looking for background music on a terrace in summer to accompany a nice barbecue, the Vappeby is perfect, in our opinion. Place the speaker on a round table and you’ll hear the music clearly wherever you are: 360° sound so as it should be, and that’s what counts!

Vappeby., Ikea
Vappeby. © Ikea

And therefore also a lamp

On the back, there is also a button allowing you to control the built-in LED lamp. Press it twice to decrease the intensity somewhat. You won’t have to do this often, however, in our opinion, because the lamp does not emit a powerful light from the outset. But enough to create the atmosphere, when the evening comes, the sun will have almost disappeared from your terrace.

Inside, the Vappeby certainly finds its place, but it will mainly serve as an outdoor speaker/lamp. We would advise against leaving it permanently outside, as while it is IP65 rated and therefore protected against dust and splashing water, it is not against continuous rain.

It only remains for us to mention the duration of the battery. The speaker / table lamp is recharged using the USB-C cable supplied as standard from a charger which is conspicuous by its absence. But it is not catastrophic insofar as you surely have a charger for GSM at home! The battery offers up to 12 hours of battery life, depending on the specs, and that seems to be the case in practice.

Conclusion

If you don’t need high-end sound, but ambient sound, the Vappeby – available in gray like the one we tested, or blue – will definitely meet your expectations. We will somewhat doubt the usefulness of Spotify Tap, but the sound and light combination that the device offers, is in any case a success

A loudspeaker acting as a table lamp: it may seem bizarre, even incredible, and yet the concept does not turn out to be so crazy. In its Symfonisk range, Ikea has been selling a model that works with wifi and is included in the Sonos ecosystem for quite some time. This is a handy addition for anyone who already has one or more Sonos speaker(s) at home. But with the Vappeby, Ikea is now also introducing a speaker/table lamp that does not work with wifi, but with Bluetooth. When you take the device out of its box, you discover everything that makes the… charm of Ikea: the plastic handle still needs to be attached to the loudspeaker/lamp which, in design, is reminiscent of a lantern. On the front, there is a start button, a Bluetooth button to combine devices and in the center a fairly thick rotary knob. The connection is made from any Bluetooth device: smartphone, tablet, PC. From this perspective, this is therefore nothing ‘other’ than an ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Once connected, it is possible to use any app or music source (including locally stored music, editor’s note) or a streaming service to play music through the speaker. The volume is adjusted using the rotary knob. It is also possible to pause by pressing the button. As the first Bluetooth speaker/table lamp on the market, the Vappeby is equipped with Spotify Tap. As a result, the ad hoc button can also be used to access Spotify from a connected device. By pressing the rotary button, it is possible in Spotify to directly resume the musical program where it left off the previous time. With a simple press of the rotary button, Vappeby chooses another playlist: this sometimes results in very significant changes of rhythm, when you are suddenly catapulted, for example, from a French song to Totally Stress Free. In practice However, Spotify Tap seemed to make one or the other mistake, as the music doesn’t always resume automatically. This is often due to the fact that the Spotify app is no longer active on the smartphone or has been automatically interrupted by the battery management of the latter. But even apart from that, sometimes there is a problem. The exact reasons why this happens weren’t always obvious to us, but we suspect it had something to do with the amount of devices we were using Spotify on through the same smartphone. This means that in practice, it is still and always necessary to hold the smartphone or any other musical source in the immediate vicinity to select your favorite tunes. Do you receive a call on your smartphone? The music then stops automatically. It is therefore not possible to call via the loudspeaker, unlike what quite a few other Bluetooth models allow. The loudspeaker / table lamp offers exactly what we expected and hoped for given its his price. Let’s be clear: this is absolutely not a high-end speaker. It cannot be so with a device sold at the recommended price of 59 euros. The sound is generally quite flat, but we still feel that Ikea has done its best to get the most out of the speaker with very present bass, but with certainly also treble. With a good old rock title like ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC, there is an abuse of treble. As for ‘Niemandsland’ by Tourist LeMC and Meskerem Mees, the appreciation is good. However, it is above all about everyone’s taste and with this in mind, we will regret not being able to adjust the bass, midrange and treble yourself. But hey, it’s still a Bluetooth speaker with a price of only 59 euros. If you want to organize a boom that imposes it, it is certainly better to set your sights on another loudspeaker. But if you’re more looking for background music on a terrace in summer to accompany a nice barbecue, the Vappeby is perfect, in our opinion. Place the speaker on a round table and you will clearly hear the music wherever you are: 360° sound so as it should be, and that’s what counts! On the back there is also a button allowing you to control the built-in LED lamp. Press it twice to decrease the intensity somewhat. You won’t have to do this often, however, in our opinion, because the lamp does not emit a powerful light from the outset. But enough to create the atmosphere, when in the evening, the sun will have almost disappeared from your terrace. Inside, the Vappeby certainly finds its place, but it will mainly serve as a loudspeaker / outdoor lamp. We would advise against leaving it permanently outside, as while it is IP65 rated and therefore protected against dust and splashing water, it is not protected against continuous rain. to mention the battery life. The speaker / table lamp is recharged using the USB-C cable supplied as standard from a charger which is conspicuous by its absence. But it is not catastrophic insofar as you surely have a charger for GSM at home! The battery lasts up to 12 hours, depending on spec, and that seems to be the case in practice. the Vappeby – available in gray like the one we tested, or in blue – will certainly meet your expectations. We will somewhat doubt the usefulness of Spotify Tap, but the sound and light combination that the device offers, is in any case a success

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