Acoustic bliss in an orgasmic sense. That’s the best way I can describe a speaker to you since you can’t hear it. Audio is totally subjective. My review is based on three basic points – how it looks, how it sounds, and how it compares. The Libratone Loop has already won almost every major design award in our industry so it stands to reason the accolades along with the $499 price tag means a really good speaker. Hit the jump for my review!
By far the Loop’s design is the most brazen. It looks handsome propped up with the included stand but was meant to be wall mounted. With a myriad of colors to choose from – seeing a wool covered circular object on a wall instantly changes any space into a modern setting. It’s not something you see everyday and visitors will probably mistake it for art or even an odd lamp before guessing it were a speaker. This is the epitome of Scandinavian design – minimalism with just a touch of warmth and any semblance of boldness usually comes from color.
The saucer shaped disk ingeniously hides components that generate sound belying its diminutive size. Libratone calls it Fullroom sound. In layman terms, that means sound spills out at nearly 360º. From one speaker, you can fill an entire room with hi-fi audio with a surprising amount of bass. OH GOD the bass! I love me some bass. Bass is one of the key markers of a good speaker. The Loop rumbles without rattling. The mids and highs are well balanced even with the volume cranked up. Once you get past the initial setup, you can stream via AirPlay, DNLA, or directly via USB.
It’s expensive but if you’re an audiophile – the price shouldn’t be a surprise. There are a few off-name brands that make pretty decent speakers at half the price, but for this level of engineering and quality, the only other company that competes is Bowers & Wilkins. I had a chance to play with the B&W A5 which also happens to be $499. It’s also Airplay enabled and sounds amazing. Setup on the A5 is a little more straight forward. You just download an app and push a couple of buttons and you’re done. The Libratone also has an app but requires you to mess with your wifi network. Fortunately once you set it up, you never have to touch the app again. B&W designed their speakers to optionally work as a group. You can buy multiple A5′s and control them all from one place. The Loop is meant to operate alone. Besides that one caveat, choosing between the two comes down to aesthetics. The Loop looks like modern art. The A5 looks like a very expensive piece of technology. Which would you choose?
TRANISM is a weekly vlog series on YouTube from your favorite editor!
Timeless Designs - Explore wonderful concepts from around the world!
Shop CKIE - We are more than just concepts. See what's hot at the CKIE store by Yanko Design!
(Libratone Loop Wireless Speaker Review was originally posted on Yanko Design)
- RAFL Wireless Speaker
- Plug & Play – Wireless Speaker System by Per Brickstad
- Wireless Stereo Speaker Docking Station Laughs at Physics!
Libratone's speaker line hasn't been convenient at all for mobile users who don't swing the iOS way -- not unless they've got a very long audio cable. The audio designer hasn't quite achieved the Holy Grail of full wireless control for other platforms, but its new Android app provides the next best thing. The release lets Android 2.3 and beyond set up Live, Lounge and Zipp speakers on the WiFi network, and it can tune their sounds to match a physical space or musical tastes. There's still a distance to go when the speaker needs an aux-in connection just to change the volume. Still, we'll take a free app if it saves us a few walks across the living room.
Source: Google Play
The new Libratone Zipp portable speaker supports Apple’s AirPlay technology that enables you to stream audio wirelessly and effortlessly from iOS devices and Mac/PC with iTunes. The speaker also adopts the PlayDirect technology that allows for wireless playback anywhere – even without a WiFi network. Its battery provides enough juice for up to 8-hour of music playback time (wired mode), or up to 4-hour (wireless mode). The Libratone Zipp AirPlay speaker will be released in October 2012 for $399. [Libratone]
If you've been following the surge of AirPlay speakers that started hitting the market in 2011, you've likely feasted your eyes on the spendy wool-clad systems by Libratone. While its larger Live and Lounge units have primarily been purposed for households, its new Zipp speaker is the being touted as the "first and only" portable AirPlay speaker. Make no mistake, unlike B&O Play's portable AirPlay-equipped Beolit 12 ($800), the Zipp's loaded with Libratone's proprietary PlayDirect protocol, meaning it doesn't require a separate wireless network / router for iDevices to connect to it over the air. The Zipp moniker is a play on the swappable wool grill which cozies around its vertically-standing tubular enclosures. Weighing four pounds and measuring in at 10.2 inches high by 4.8 inches in diameter, this "portable" unit is a good bit larger than the Blutooth-equipped Jawbone Big Jambox placed sideways, but it'll certainly fit in a backpack -- hey, it does have a leather carrying strap. Thankfully, that weight is partially due to its internal rechargeable battery, which should last up to eight hours.
As far as the speakers go, you'll find a duo of 1-inch ribbon tweeters facing the sides for the left and right channels, along with a 4-inch up-firing woofer. The rig also features Libratone's signature FullRoom design, which forces a 360-degree dispersion of the sound by way of deflectors in front of the tweeters. Beyond that, it'll naturally work with Libratone's existing iPhone app, allowing you to change the DSP on the fly for optimal output regardless of its placement in a room. The Zipp will hit Apple Stores later this October wrapped with a single red or grey zippered grill for $399, while other retailers will carry the $449 Classic Color and Funky Color editions, which each come with a trio of those wool grills (black, blue and red for the Classic, and black, pink and yellow for the Funky). Past that, a single grill by itself will cost you a relatively expensive $49 directly from Libratone. In the meantime, join us past the break for more details about the unit itself and PlayDirect, our initial impressions and a hands-on video overview.
Gallery: Libratone Zipp (press shots)
Filed under: Portable Audio/VideoPermalink | | Email this | Comments