You’d be forgiven for thinking we’re back in the 80s. There’s an oil crisis. People aren’t too stoked about Russia. Top Gun: Maverick is storming the box office. Kate Bush is charting. And vinyl record sales have climbed by a considerable 61%, breaking through the $1 billion threshold for the first time in 35 years. The latter of which perfectly sets the stage for the IKEA x Swedish House Mafia OBEGRÄNSAD record player.
Unveiled as part of the larger IKEA OBEGRÄNSAD home collection in Milan (“OBEGRÄNSAD” being Swedish for “unlimited”), this soon-to-be-released record player celebrates the timeless joys of listening to vinyl. Complete with the Scandinavian conglomerate’s signature minimalist form factor, well-considered functionality, and extremely reasonable price point.
“I remember Axwell said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could buy a record player as a gift for a friend?’… and that became sort of a brief,” explained IKEA designer Friso Wiersma.
“To make something so simple, so accessible, and sort of plug-and-play that you could basically buy it as a gift for anyone who enjoys music.”
Currently, not much is known about the IKEA x Swedish House Mafia record player features beyond Bluetooth speaker support, built-in pre-amplifier, USB port, USB-C power connection, RCA ports for those who prefer analogue speakers, needle, and a replaceable AT3600L cartridge w/ conical diamond tip (play speeds: 33 & 45 RPM). But on the merits of easy use, impressive appearance, and affordability alone… we smell another best-selling winner.
“Everything with Swedish House Mafia is a very conscious statement. I really like that approach. Music is a big part of my life as well. I would want to showcase that in my interior too.”
“Today you see a lot of slim record players that are almost trying to hide, but we wanted something very bold, and we wanted the record player to be a very physical manifestation of music,” added Wiersma.
“The solid, chunky design gives the player a presence in the room. It transmits the physicality of music in the collection, making it really claim space with the attitude of music woven into it – rather than making it blend.”
“Before meeting with Swedish House Mafia, we decided not to go into electronics too much, because of the challenges they pose,” said Carmen Stoicescu, IKEA Product Design Engineer.
“But then one of the guys from the band started talking about making a record player, and all of a sudden, I forgot everything we had discussed.”
“In the previous project, we tried giving a specific design to all parts, but with OBEGRÄNSAD, we tried to limit the moulds. We wanted to make it simple, mechanical – so we looked into what gives the best sound, and we put all our eggs in that basket.”
“I never thought I’d work with producing a record player. But I will be the first buyer of this one.”
Other items you can expect to find in IKEA’s forthcoming OBEGRÄNSAD home collection include a desk specifically crafted for music production – speaker stands, pull-out shelf for MIDI keyboards, other controllers, and all – an armchair with adjustable straps specifically crafted for enjoying music, plus another 20 something pieces that have yet to be announced.
The IKEA x Swedish House Mafia OBEGRÄNSAD record player is scheduled to hit shelves on October 1st of 2022 (American price: US$159.99 | European price: £140 | Domestic price: TBA). This marks the first IKEA record player since its debut music hardware collection back in 1973.