Music

Libratone's new Zipp speakers embrace SoundSpaces flexibility

Libratone's new Zipp speakers ...
The Libratone Zipp speakers offer 360 degree audio, making any spot in the room a "sweet spot"
The Libratone Zipp speakers offer 360 degree audio, making any spot in the room a "sweet spot"
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The Libratone Zipp speakers feature removable fabric-mesh covers to coordinate with style, mood, or living spaces
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The Libratone Zipp speakers feature removable fabric-mesh covers to coordinate with style, mood, or living spaces
The Libratone Zipp speakers feature internal batteries that can last up to 10 hours before needing a recharge
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The Libratone Zipp speakers feature internal batteries that can last up to 10 hours before needing a recharge
The Libratone Zipp Mini (left) offers a slightly more portable option than its larger Zipp sibling (right)
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The Libratone Zipp Mini (left) offers a slightly more portable option than its larger Zipp sibling (right)
The built-in fabric handle offers additional ways to carry or place Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers
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The built-in fabric handle offers additional ways to carry or place Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers
With dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers can wirelessly stream from practically anything
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With dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers can wirelessly stream from practically anything
The Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini offer easy controls and connectivity through touch-interface and accessible ports
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The Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini offer easy controls and connectivity through touch-interface and accessible ports
The new Libratone Zipp speakers can play individually or as part of multi-room audio through the SoundSpaces link in the mobile app
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The new Libratone Zipp speakers can play individually or as part of multi-room audio through the SoundSpaces link in the mobile app
The Libratone Zipp speakers offer 360 degree audio, making any spot in the room a "sweet spot"
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The Libratone Zipp speakers offer 360 degree audio, making any spot in the room a "sweet spot"
View gallery - 8 images

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.

The Libratone Zipp speakers feature internal batteries that can last up to 10 hours before needing a recharge
The Libratone Zipp speakers feature internal batteries that can last up to 10 hours before needing a recharge

"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.

Source: Libratone

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1 comment
Daishi
I sound like an old man here but I had a couple of 3 way floor speakers with 8" and 10" subs that were loud enough to bring in the cops and the brands were just, OK. It was a long time ago but I want to say they were around $150/pair and 150 to 200 watts.
I have a couple of $200 - $300 bluetooth speakers that came with great reviews for being loud but they aren't in the ballpark of what I consider loud (about 10 watts). I've tested a handful in stores too. Most $50/pair PC speakers would destroy my portable bluetooth speakers because they aren't designed to be portable.
I am looking for a non-portable (read household) system that would be closer to my old 3 way floor speakers than something the size of a popcan and I'm disappointed with how few non-portable options I have other than just buying a bulky 3 way floor speakers + receiver setup.
You can get a 200 watt 6.5" 2 way speaker like XLS-6 for a little over $100. If someone could build in an amp and bluetooth connectivity for under $80 more it would blow away virtually every other bluetooth speaker on the market by an order of magnitude but almost nobody makes powered home speakers meaning a receiver/amp is still a requirement.
A lot of people don't (or want to use) the space for a standard for factor receiver and even shelf stereos waste most of the space and many bluetooth speakers are used plugged in 100% of the time anyway. Even shelf stereos are a waste of space and cables because all you really need is an amplified speaker(s) that supports an audio in jack and bluetooth. Why can't I seem to find something like this? The closest thing I am able to find is to just "roll my own" with a powered PA system/Keroke/DJ speaker system and use a $20 Nyrius Songo that just bridges from bluetooth to a 3.5mm audio in.
Considering bluetooth speakers are used right next to AC power probably over 95% of the time, with as competitive as that space is you would think by now someone would have made one that isn't portable with the upside of being significantly louder than everything else on the market. For $300 you can get a 500 watt RMS powered 12" Mackie Thumps so why are all the equivalent priced "bluetooth" speakers still basically battery powered 12 watt RMS crap?