Scandinavian design is everywhere. We’ve grown to love the minimalist, stylish characteristics of their products and we’re happier than ever to have more of Scandinavia in our homes, in our garages and now, in our ears. Danish company Libratone make headphones and speakers and with their Zipp range of they’ve done something that I wish all audio companies would do; help me get rid of the wires.
Unpacking the Zipp Wireless speaker from it’s futuristic tubular packaging reveals a capsule shaped gadget that looks exceptionally designed. This is technically, a portable speaker and it even has a carrying strap but it has a smaller, lighter sibling mini version if portability is important. It weighs in at 1.5 kilos and is 26cms tall and has an unusual cover with a zip attached. In an unusual design twist, the cover can be zipped off, and there various mesh cover in different colours and even wool covers that can be swapped on to style it for your home.
On the lower section of the speaker’s body are a power button, a charging port, a 3.5mm input jack and a USB socket for playing music through, which also doubles as a charging socket for your phone. There is only one button on top of the device, a touch-responsive dial for that neatly manages volume, favourites and some additional functions.
I downloaded the free Libratone app which is available for iOS and Android and connected my phone to the Libratone’s wireless network. In a really quick installation process, I selected the option to set-up a new speaker and a few moments later an audio signal indicated success and it was ready to play.
The app to control this gadget is well designed, easy to use and has various customisation features, but I was anxious to get straight to the nitty gritty and started playing some music straight from my phone wirelessly to the Zipp. The design of the Zipp is unusual in that it has no front, or back and uses a 360° reflector to fill the room with sound and various types of jazz, vocals, and rock sound wonderful with remarkably good bass reproduction for a wireless and compact device.
Airplay and Bluetooth work perfectly but the Zipp, as it’s connected to your wireless network can play music without your phone being involved. You can use the app to set-up 5 internet radio stations on the device and you can also set-up Spotify Connect to play from the device itself. Bluetooth is still useful though for other content and it will even allow you to use the Zipp as a speakerphone.
Using the app, I was able to control the equalizer settings for the speaker, with modes for Jazz or Speech and there’s a useful setting for room set-up which alters how the speaker behave in different set-ups. It also allows you to control multiple speakers and pair them together and create sound-spaces. Multi-room audio is easy to manage with the app and you can have up to 6 speakers per group and 16 on the same network.