The primary Libratone speaker I keep in mind testing was the corporate’s debut product from 2011, an AirPlay sound bar referred to as the Lounge that mounted on the wall. After that there have been different audio system, all coated in material, all relatively giant, and providing premium sound. There was the Loop, the Stay, and the smaller, moveable Zipp. Now, Libratone has redesigned the Zipp from the within out, and the speaker is at present the corporate’s solely product. Libratone doesn’t promote any of these previous, huge audio system anymore—simply portables. Think about this a rebirth, I assume.
The brand new Zipp is small, cylindrical, and battery-powered, all issues which are very a lot in vogue. The speaker truly is available in two sizes, the ten-inch tall Zipp ($299) and the eight.eight-inch tall Zipp Mini ($249). Each have little leather-based straps for handles, and each are coated in material. The truth is, you should purchase further mesh cloth covers for $29 every, and also you simply (yep) zip them on.
This moveable boombox has a few cool tips that set it aside from different wi-fi audio system. First, you’ll be able to hyperlink as much as six audio system collectively by way of Wi-Fi and place them round the home to unfold out the sound. You can also make all of them play the identical music, or play totally different tracks in every room and management all of it from a single telephone app, kind of like Sonos. Second, it helps a number of wi-fi choices: you need to use it as a Bluetooth speaker, or (when you join it to your Wi-Fi community utilizing Libratone’s app) you possibly can stream music by way of AirPlay, DLNA, or Spotify Direct.
Nice sound for a small speaker. Contained in the bigger Zipp, there’s a one hundred-watt Class D amp, a four-inch woofer, two 1-inch tweeters, and two four-inch passive radiators. These are all positioned across the face of the cylinder so the sound spreads out in a circle. It will get very loud, and whereas some small audio system sound like a automotive horn whenever you crank them, the Zipp sounds fairly pure at larger volumes. I performed numerous bass-heavy jams (Erykah, Nicola Cruz, Peter Tosh) and the little factor actually thumps. The Zipp Mini (60 watts, three-inch woofer, and one tweeter) doesn’t sound almost nearly as good, and I can’t advocate it—spend the additional $50 and get the larger one. App makes connecting to your Wi-Fi community straightforward. Battery lasts longer than the quoted 10 hours; extra like 12 in my testing at average quantity. Additionally the speaker can cost your telephone by way of a USB port within the base.
The on-board controls are a multitude. All interactions—altering quantity, skipping tracks, linking a number of audio system collectively, favoriting songs—are completed by way of an enormous button on the highest. There’s a capacitive metallic ring on the surface of this button that you simply run your finger round to vary the quantity, however it’s rubbish. Swipes and faucets merely wouldn’t register half the time. One factor that does work is the “Hush” function: maintain your hand over the button for a second and the sound mutes. However that’s not sufficient to make me really feel higher. I wound up utilizing my telephone for skipping songs and altering quantity, which is definitely simply advantageous as a result of that’s how most individuals work together with a wi-fi speaker anyway. Charging is completed with a proprietary, wall-wart-fashion charger. This implies you’ve gotten one other chunk of plastic to pack with you on trip, and it means you possibly can’t cost it with a USB cable like each different gadget in your house.
6/10 Good sound, good options, however robust to actually love.
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