Farewell to the boring black speaker boxes you’re used to seeing. Libratone is bringing the style and sound to your homes in a very exciting way. Their lineup of airplay speakers is quite impressive and we were able to get a bit more hands on with their Loop.
- Duo stand and wall mount for flexible placement
- PlayDirect™ eliminates need for a Wi-Fi access point
- Wool cover you can change in less than a minute
- AirPlay and DLNA support for wireless streaming
- 120W total. 2.1 Stereo system with FullRoomTM DSP optimization and Full Digital Amplification
- 1×4” woofer, 1 passive radiator and 2×1” ribbon based tweeter
- 100-240 Volt AC, 50/60Hz. Power consumption 40W internal power supply
- 33.3 cm / 13.1″ Depth: 8.3 cm / 3.3″ Weight: 2,7 kg. / 5,9 lbs
The Loop isn’t quite like traditional box speakers you’re familiar with. It’s nice round design is very stylish and functional. To top if off, the speaker cover is Italian wool (which you could change….fancy huh?). It’s also pretty light, and looks great standing up with the provided legs or mounted up on a wall. The choice is yours.
The main button on the front controls the power and volume. The other buttons on the back are used to connect the speaker to your device, wifi, and a 3.5mm input as well. There is also a USB port back there for the initial setup with your device (in my case it was an iPhone).
The setup was very easy and it was done in minutes. Upon opening the box you are given instructions on how to pair the speaker with your device. Once you get that done you’re set and you won’t have to do it again unless you are using a different device. I was able to connect and control the music from my iPhone. I also connected the speaker to my Macbook Air via airplay using iTunes. Very simple easy setup.
For a speaker of it’s size the Libratone Loop definitely packs a great deal of sound. At 120W I can actually say that the speaker produces quality sound on many levels. It’s full-room technology does a great job of expanding sound in the room. Definitely ideal for gatherings/parties in the house. On high volume treble can sound a bit sharp so you will have to turn it down a notch. The bass is pretty impressive for the size of the speaker, but it definitely does the job. I am usually big on the bass heavy tunes so I was very satisfied in this department. Not that high frequencies sound bad, but depending on the sound you may just have to adjust the volume a notch lower to get the better sound. On occasion you may get a rattle out of the drivers but again, you just have to turn it down a notch.
If you’re a premium Spotify user (iOS and Android app friendly), you can make the most out of that membership with the Loop. I was able to send the music straight to the speaker and use my phone at the same time, pretty awesome. You can make phone calls, use Snapchat, text, browse the web (all the things I do) while your music plays.
The features are very iOS friendly which may be a turn off for those of you who aren’t into the iOS lifestyle. I was able to use the airplay function via my Macbook as well and it was convenient and easy. Aside from that you can stream from any DLNA device.
You can get your hands on a Libratone Loop on their site HERE for $499.95. You can also purchase it at other select retailers. It is available in Salty Grey, Pepper Black, Icy Blue, and Raspberry Red. Wool covers are also available in a variety of colors, sold separately.
The Bottom Line:
The Loop is a beautifully designed speaker that makes a perfect centerpiece for your home or entertainment area. It boasts high quality sound with it’s full-room technology and definitely makes a statement. For those of you that don’t have iOS devices, it may be harder to justify the price BUT, If you got the bankroll, treat yourself to this stylish, powerful airplay speaker.
** As of October 2nd 2014 – Libratone will be adding Bluetooth 4.0 into their Loop, Zipp, and Diva speakers! Here’s some details from the official press release:
Greater freedom with WiFi and Bluetooth
“Although we consider WiFi to be the optimal way to stream music at home, Bluetooth has reached a stage where it adds a lot of value to our speakers. In combination with WiFi it makes set-up and daily use even easier. Libratone users can now stream music from virtually any device, anywhere – at home, on holiday or even outdoors,” says Libratone’s COO, Jan McNair. BT 4.0 aptX delivers direct streaming in CD-quality, and with Bluetooth Smart, devices can stay paired for hours and even days, without losing connection. Near Field Communication (NFC) makes Bluetooth pairing a breeze.
“We want Libratone to be a friendly and open brand, and by adding BT 4.0 our speakers have become even more social. Are you having friends over with great playlists on their smartphones? Just let them connect via Bluetooth. If they have a Phone with NFC, they can pair the device in seconds simply by hovering the phone over the logo on the Libratone speaker,” says Jan McNair.
Read the full release HERE