Libratone Zipp Review
Using an iPhone to test out the Libratone Zipp, we’re required to download the free Libratone app to connect the smartphone via AirPlay. In addition to that wireless mode, we can connect it via DirectPlay as well – where the iPhone connects to the Wi-Fi network being broadcasted by the speaker. Alternatively, there are also the physical connections with the auxiliary jack and a direct USB connection.
Looking at the app, it’s a useful thing in setting up the speaker initially – so that it can be connected to an existing home Wi-Fi network for streaming. Once it’s all set up, the app provides us with a wealth of options and useful information pertaining to the speaker. For example, it shows us the battery level of the speaker, as well as the different modes for its Voicing and FullRoom options.
Starting with the former, the Voicing mode is none other than a selection of various equalizer settings – to tune the audio accordingly to the type of music we’re listening to. In truly giving us control to the speaker’s output, the FullRoom Settings gives us the opportunity to fine tune how the audio is projected from the speaker. Therefore, we can adjust the settings to tell how far away the speaker is from different walls.
Lots of volume, but it's strained at the loudest setting.
For a portable speaker solution, there’s no shortage of volume with the Libratone Zipp – albeit, at the loudest setting, it tends to have a strained tone. Additionally, the bass is a little too subtle for our liking. However, we have to stress that with enough patience, and the fine tuning of its settings (FullRoom modes and Voicing options), the quality out of the speaker can be dramatically enhanced. Being used in a stationary place is one thing, but seeing that it’s portable, it requires a lot of adjustment each time we use it in different settings.
With varying usage, we’re able to get 6 hours of usage out of the Libratone Zipp, which is right there within the manufacturer’s rating of 4 to 8 hours. Of course, the included full-sized USB port means that we’re given the added functionality of charging our mobile devices on the go.
Visually, we can’t deny that the Libratone Zipp has an amusing one that manages to go outside of the norm, but the $400 price point attached to it online through places like Amazon makes it a tough call. It sure is a big investment on its own, that’s certainly obvious here, especially for one that produces average sounding audio – with no Bluetooth connection on top of that. Yes, we’ll argue that its PlayDirect option is an effective alternative, but most people have come to be complacent with Bluetooth instead. Finally, the fine tuning properties of the speaker is fantastic for those who really want more control in how audio is projected into the environment, but it merely means that additional time is needed in making those adjustments – whereas, some people would prefer a play-and-go kind of deal.