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Review: Sonos x IKEA Speaker Collab

Review: Sonos x IKEA Speaker Collab

This week I went to the 2020 Ikea Catalogue media preview where they announced their partnership with Sonos. I love IKEA and smart home accessories so was keen to learn more. Through this partnership, IKEA is focussed on enhancing your home with sound and lighting. This post is not sponsored by Ikea but I would love if it was!


I was given the new SYMFONISK speaker and set it up as soon as I got home. Wanted to share my thoughts right away because I’m super impressed. It’s my first Sonos and by far the nicest speaker I’ve ever personally owned.

Symfonisk Setup

In a few minutes, I set it up on my home wifi, connected it to Apple Music, and my Amazon Echo to work with Alexa. The SYMFONISK I received is a bookshelf speaker which is quite the coincidence because I have been looking for the best bookshelf speakers recently so this was perfect timing! It can go vertical or horizontal and be mounted as a shelf that can hold up to 7lbs. Multiple speakers can be paired for surround sound, paired over wifi, or to your TV. You control the speaker with the Sonos app and can set up voice controls. Mine is connected to Alexa and works perfectly!

Symfonisk Design x Quality

Both speakers in the series come in black or white and are designed to blend in with your home decor. The bookshelf speaker is $149 and table lamp speaker is $249. Pretty good price for the sound quality and Sonos brand. For the one with the light, you can add in smart bulbs like Phillips Hue or Ikea’s own smart bulbs to make the light change colour.

My Symfonisk speaker in the IKEA KALLAX shelf

At the media preview, they had a bunch of the speakers paired together for ‘party mode’ which was pretty rad.

One of the really cool things, when you set up the speaker, is it takes you through pairing it to your specific room from the app. You slowly move your phone up and down around the room in a wave-like technique to pick up on the room shape and tone, this allows the speaker to perform the best sound for the space. Safe to say I am loving how loud it goes and clarity of sound.

The speakers are available online and instore August 7th. If you are buying online, make sure you sign up for Ebates first because they have 2.5% cashback at IKEA right now.

[that’s Swedish for thank you!]

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Interview: Vocab Comm Influencer Tuesdays

I recently did an interview w/ Chrissy, longtime friend, OG PR, and founder of Vocab Comm. I talk about the social media landscape, influencers, and my career. I included part of the interview below, read the whole thing here. Chrissy used to host MMVA and celebrity gifting lounges at the beginning of social media, we worked together on a few. This was a fun one.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Cambridge, Ontario. My parents immigrated here from New Zealand and my dad had a custom Hot Rod shop growing up. I created my first business in grade 2 and at 14 I wrote a book and started a publishing company. I went to Conestoga College and last year was given an Alumni Award for my work from the President of the college. I went to university in Australia and have a B. Com in International Business. I have lived in Toronto since 2005 when I started my blog. Through my blog, I’ve built some amazing brand partnerships (Pepsi, Telus, Aeroplan, Sassoon) and traveled to incredible amazing places in the world (Thailand, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Disneyland).

How do you define an influencer?

I think the word ‘influencer’ has really taken on a whole new (kinda negative) meaning with the rise of Instagram influencers. To me, influence is a product of something someone does. It’s not something you get by having a lot of followers. My influence has grown from being a pioneer in a new industry and constantly innovating. I share my life with the world and love discovering new things, my influence comes from building trust with my audience.

What advice do you have for other people looking to become an online influencer?

Don’t do it. Find something you love and do that! Don’t set your goal at being an influencer. I swear it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

Don’t strive to be an influencer, aim to do something that has influence on the world.

– Casie Stewart

The other week I was at the Cannes Film Festival and someone said “I’m jealous of your life”. Shortly after, I tweeted, “You wouldn’t be jealous if you knew how much work it took to get here”. For almost 10 years I blogged every single day. I very rarely take a day off and hardly any of my travels are vacation. I love what I do and have turned it into a career. It takes WORK and consistency.

What’s your fav personal social media moment in your career so far?

I’ve some really cool moments in the last 10 years of my life. A lot of them tie back to my work in social media. Traveling around the world, working with Virgin America & Richard Branson, walking in Toronto Fashion Week, being in a film about TIFF, reporting on The Royals for eTalk, speaking at SXSW, doing a TEDx talk.

Celebrity Stylist Derek Warburton, Nicole Miller at NZFW, 2010

How do you inspire others through your work or personal life?

I try to keep it real. Being on the internet can be hard. I have a series of posts called ‘Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like It’ (See here: http://bit.ly/2KA5Bgd) where I write about how social media gives me anxiety or I don’t feel like being an ‘internet person’. I’ve had great feedback on those posts because they share the realness that you don’t see in curated Instagram feeds.

Casie Stewart, signature, iPad Pro.

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P.S. Did you get a ticket to my upcoming event? I'm speaking at LinkedIn Local this month about branding. More details here, use CASIESTEWART as code for discount tickets. Love ya! 

 

Review +Wireless Headphones Giveaway: AfterShokz Trekz Air

Hellooooo! I’m excited to share this review with you and announce the giveaway I mentioned in previous posts. My favourite thing about AfterShokz Trekz Air is how you can hear the world around you while wearing them. This month in my final post, I got a second opinion from my tech-loving friend Dan Levy and have a great prize pack up for grabs.

Dan and I have known each other since the early years of Twitter 10 years ago. He’s written about heaps of tech gadgets in the time I’ve known him. Dan has a love for great music so I was keen to see what he thought of AfterShokz Trekz Air. Find his edited review below and make sure you enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.


AfterShokz Review: A Second Opinion from Dan Levy

I’ve been using the AfterShokz Trekz Air headset for a couple of weeks after Casie asked me for a “guy’s perspective” on this new Bluetooth headset.

Out of the gate, the coolest thing about this headset is how it delivers sound to your brain without going into your actual ears. Instead, they use a technology called “bone conduction” where the headset’s audio is delivered to you via your jaw bone under your ears as opposed to going into or over your ears like other headsets you’ve used before. [Read more about this in a previous post by Casie]

I have really enjoyed using these headphones for walks and just day to day audio. Aftershokz greatest strength is also their greatest weakness – that they allow you to be aware of all that is going on around you because they don’t block your ears from hearing ambient noises. This is FANTASTIC for when you need to be present to the sounds around you but also want to be able to listen to your own personal soundtrack.

Aftershokz bone conduction technology is an absolute joy for getting out and exercising in your neighbourhood without risking lack of awareness of your surroundings. They helpfully include a pair of disposable ear plugs in the Aftershokz Trekz Air package so you can still listen in loud environments but where these headphones truly shine is for fitness users. They are IP55 rated which means that they are made to withstand dust particles and that they are “protected against powerful water jets and heavy seas”. You can sweat in them or get caught in the rain and not be concerned you kick up dust on the sidewalk/road while you’re running because these are built and certified to withstand such hazards.

I’ve been wondering if bone conduction audio delivery at full blast is better for your ears than putting a pair of earbuds to full volume (which is very much not advisable and can damage your hearing). I’m guessing it is!

If you’ve given these a try let us know what you thought of them. If you have any questions about them, be sure to reach out!

Find Dan on Twitter at @TheDanLevy.


AfterShokz Trekz Air Giveaway

OK, giveaway time. After spending the last couple of months with these headphones I have to stay I’ve really grown to like wearing them.

As someone who likes to always be aware of what’s going on around me, they’re awesome. In the last few weeks, I’ve been wearing them around the house to listen to books & podcasts and wearing them to do my BBG workouts.

AfterShokz Giveaway

The prize pack includes:

  1. Trekz Air Headphones
  2. A water bottle
  3. Black Sport Belt (I love this!)
  4. Portable Large Case
  5.  Sport Towel

If you have any questions, please let me know and GOOD LUCK.

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The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and AfterShokz are giving away 3 units. This post is part of my 4-month partnership with PTPA and Aftershokz Canada.