Libratone's new Zipp speakers embrace SoundSpaces flexibility
Libratone is known for blending Scandinavian design with high-performance hardware to create speakers that look plush and sound refined. The company recently launched its new Zipp speaker line-up, which, through the company's SoundSpaces concept, is designed to stream 360-degree audio individually or as part of a multi-room setup, be they plugged into power outlets or not.
Those familiar with the brand may notice that Libratone's previous products, such as the Loop and Lounge, have been retired and are now labeled as "classic." In their stead, along with a selection of completely revamped mesh-fabric covers, are the new Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers.
Both the Zipp and Zipp Mini feature a comprehensive set of connectivity options, which include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, and USB-audio with support for AirPlay, DLNA, Spotify, QPlay, and Apple Music. But what sets this new generation of Libratone products apart from their predecessors – and quite possibly many competitors – is the SoundSpaces feature within Libratone's mobile app.
"There's an entire demographic of young settlers out there who are entirely reliant on portable music," explains Libratone CEO Jan McNair. "They are living an elastic lifestyle, using their homes for everything from eating and entertaining to creating and working. Today’s consumers expect their sound to be ever-present, portable and flexible – and stationary multi-room technology does not fulfil this."
SoundSpaces is designed to let users connect and combine multiple Libratone speakers in order to create flexible, multi-room audio set-ups. The mobile app can control up to a maximum of 16 speakers, limited only by eight groups per wireless network and six speakers per group. Users can choose to have all speakers streaming the same audio, or designate separate groups to play different music entirely.
Unlike other options, such as the HEOS 1 from Denon or the latest speaker by Sonos, the Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini don't need to remain plugged into power outlets. With built-in batteries that are capable of up to 10 hours of playtime, Libratone's Zipp speakers allow users more freedom for creating custom listening environments. From bookshelves to bathrooms to attic art studios, users can place speakers anywhere to enjoy music as desired. The speakers are also able to charge mobile devices through their USB port.
The Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini are available now for US$299 and $249, respectively, with shipments expected to start sometime early next month. The speakers come in a choice of grey, green, black, or red fabric covers, with additional cover colors available for $29.