I’ve made no secret in declaring my love for Libratone speakers, having covered the Zipp and Loop in the past.
So, when Libratone got in touch asking if I’d like to take a look at the latest iteration of the Libratone Zipp, of course I jumped at the chance.
Watch the video below to see my full thoughts!
The new Zipp is reminiscent of Libratone’s 2011 debut speaker, and comes in the standard 10-inch size and the more compact 8.8-inch Zipp Mini.
With an updated look, this incarnation delivers on the promise of all of Libratone’s previous speakers: premium sound in a unique, Scandinavian design. A big part of the design is the interchangeable covers, which come in 13 different colors as well as the choice of either the classic wool cover from the original Zipp speaker, or the new and trendy CoolWeave mesh. Both materials allow sound to penetrate cleanly through.
Being able to customize the color of the speaker is a nice touch, especially if you’re as house-proud as my fiancée. But, changing the covers via the zip at the bottom of the new speaker is a bit more awkward than on the older model, which zips vertically, due to the cover getting stuck on the leather strap handles at the top. It looks nicer to have the zip at the bottom of the speaker, but it’s definitely less practical.
The Zipp now features SoundSpaces, Libratone’s version of Sonos, which allows me to connect up to six speakers via Wi-Fi to fill my entire home with sweet, sweet music. Or, if so inclined, I can link two speakers together for a stereo setup, assigning one speaker for the left audio and the other for the right. The Zipp can also connect via DLNA, AirPlay or Spotify Connect.
Overall speaker performance is the same as previous Libratone speakers I’ve tried out — excellent. For such a small speaker, the Zipp brings a great level of bass without being too heavy, and amazing volume which doesn’t distort even at its highest setting.
The cylinder-shaped Zipp houses a 4-inch woofer, two 4-inch passive radiators, two 1-inch tweeters and a 100-watt class-D amp — all of which add up to vibrant, immersive sound.
Intuitive, minimalist design
The power input, audio jack and USB port are neatly housed on the rear of the speaker. The Zipp’s battery life is around 11 hours, so I can get away with giving my iPhone a little boost without entirely zapping the speaker’s full charge.
Controlling the speaker is a breeze thanks to the single, circular touchpad on top. To skip a song, swipe left or right. To increase the volume, spin clockwise (or anti-clockwise to decrease). It’s a really intuitive, simple way to keep the speaker looking minimalist while still retaining its functionality. I can control all the settings from my iPhone and the Zipp’s free companion app, which has been recently redesigned to be cleaner and make it simpler to manage multiple speakers.
The Zipp is competitively priced compared to other premium speakers, with the 10-inch speaker coming in at $299 and the Mini dropping down to $249.
Overall, I’m truly impressed with the new Libratone Zipp, and it seems like somewhat of a rebirth for the company due to it now being the only speaker they currently sell — taking it back to basics and concentrating on the things that matter.
Price: Zipp $299 list, Zipp Mini $249 list
Libratone provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. Read Cult of Mac’s Reviews Policy.