One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.
This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.
On day 18 we’re kicking out the jams with the Libratone Zipp.
I like my beats loud and my bass down low, which is usually an impossible task for ordinary portable speakers. The Libratone Zipp is not your ordinary portable speaker though. Not only is it freaking gorgeous but its sound quality is incredible too, which is why it’s become one of my favorite gadgets of 2012.
The Libratone Zipp is one of the first speakers I’ve seen where I don’t want to hide it underneath a table so guests can’t see the hideous box that’s blasting out John Denver tracks. I wanna display this puppy. I want people to touch its felt cover and undress it to see the magical guts inside. It’s beautiful.
Using the Libratone Zipp has made me actually care about speakers much in the same way that my first MacBook made me pay more attention to laptops – not just how they perform, but how they’re designed and whether they’re easy to use. Setup of the Zipp takes less than a minute and it’s even easier to use. With its small cylinder shape it doesn’t take up much space either which is also nice.
Did I mention that the Libratone Zipp is an AirPlay speaker and that it comes with a battery that lasts 4-8 hours? If I want to take it out to pool I can just disconnect it from its discreet charger and control everything via my iPhone. It’s even got a little strap in the back that makes it easy to carry around too.
Another magical element of the Zipp is its PlayDirect capabilities which allow you to connect to the speaker directly from your iPhone without needing a home network or router. It’s basically got the power of AirPlay merged with the convenience of Bluetooth.
Even though the Zipp is small its sound quality is still superb. On full blast its deafening without distorting all the beautiful intricacies of a song, and it’s thick felt cover doesn’t have any effect on the speakers’ performance.
Spending $400 on an AirPlay speaker might seem like a steep price, but if you use AirPlay a lot around the house the Libratone Zipp is actually a pretty good deal. Its design and performance make the Zipp one of the best all-around speakers on the market.