Libratone Zipp(s) up powerful sound into stunning design [Reviews]

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Improve your speaker game this summer with the new Libratone Zipp.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

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!

Libratone Zipp review

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.

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Sonos-like sound

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.

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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.

Buy from: Amazon for the Zipp, and Amazon for the Zipp Mini.

Libratone provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. Read Cult of Mac’s Reviews Policy.

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  • Daniel Hana

    It is an interesting looking device, if it’s new why does it not have a USB Type-C connector? Type-C is supposed to be the One-cable Future they promised us at CES 2016.

    • Daniel Hertlein

      Are there a lot of speakers of this type with USB Type-C? I had not noticed that.

  • DrMuggg

    SB has invented the Loudspeaker for the 1000000000000th time over….. zzzzzz

    Checked my local store, I guess they had 100 speakers on display.
    A speaker is a box that produces sound. How on earth can this produce headlines…..

  • Daniel Hertlein

    I have a Loop and two Classic Zipp’s with the wool covers, one wifi only and one wifi Bluetooth. I concede that this is probably a superior product if for no other reason than the SoundSpace and the ability to pair two speakers for stereo. However, I find the new design to be a huge step down in terms of aesthetics.

    The old ones match my decor, all of it, perfectly, and the wool is great at resisting and hiding stains. These like slightly more subtle Ultimate Ears Booms.

    You said these were also available in the classic wool covers but I couldn’t find any reference to this on the website and it didn’t come up in my Twitter exchanges with Libratone when they first made the switch. Are you sure about this?

  • DrMuggg

    Your comment: zzzzzzzz