Sound and Vision 2013 - The Bristol Show logo
Libratone Zipp and Live photos and quick review at The Bristol Show 2013

Summary


High class audio from high quality portable speakers.

Our rating


four stars out of five

Great build quality, but expensive.

Where to get one


You can get the Libratone Zipp from John Lewis with red, blue and black interchangeable covers or with a set of black, pink and yellow covers at around £370.

You can also find the Libratone Live at John Lewis with a grey cover or black, beige, red or green covers at around £450.





Libratone Zipp sews up portability and style in one

It's not a name we'd heard off until Bristol Sound and Vision, but the Libratone speaker certainly caught our attention with its zipped covers in modern colours.

The colourful Zipp speaker connects to your home network, streaming music, live radio and catchup from RadioPlayer and TuneIn thanks to built-in DLNA and Airplay capability. It can also link wirelessly direct to your Apple iDevice - handy if you're clearing out the shed and out of range of your broadband router. Connecting to a secure network is as simple as hooking up your Smartphone directly to the Zipp via its USB port and letting it grab your network ID and password.

Unzip the wool jacket to reveal a tube, perforated to its upper half (that is, after all, how the sound gets out!) with high quality ribbon tweeters and a single, upward-firing woofer. The tweeters radiate their sound in opposite directions to maximise the stereo soundstage. This is a portable speaker, designed to be taken around the house without trailing wires, so it would make no sense to split the unit into two distinct modules.

If you own a decent mp3 player (or just want better, portable sound from some other kind of audio device) and the thought of setting up wireless links between bits of kit doesn't appeal, a handy 3.5mm input is found at the base of the speaker for quick music hook-ups.

The Libratone logo button on top connects to your audio and a gently twinkling white light lets you know when you're up and running.

The tweeters ensure treble and midrange is suitably detailed and Libratone's FullRoom technology certainly helps to create the illusion of a wider soundstage than would normally be expected from a speaker of this type.

There's no denying the Libratone Zipp is a welcome change from anonymous boxes and the real wool colourful jackets and leather carrying strap add style to a speaker with a fair deal of substance. Sturdy enough to feel like a £370 speaker yet just the right weight to be portable, the Zipp's quirky design is its main point of difference against cheaper competitors.
Libratone Zipp with red and purple interchangeable colours
Libratone Zipp in red
display at Bristol Sound and Vision

Libratone were also demonstrating their Live portable speaker, with cashmere covers and solid, crafted chrome carrying handle. Fitting in both midrange and tweeter drivers alongside a single bass driver, the £450 monoliths ooze quality and style. Packed with the same tech as their smaller counterparts - the Zipp - the tall, sturdy Live active speaker would certainly be a talking point in any room.
Libratone Live speakers