08th Nov2014

‘Libratone Loop’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Libratone-Loop-Shelf

We’ve reviewed a number of Libratone products here on Nerdly. From the amazing Libratone Live to the more recent Libratone Zipp, the company has consistently produced speakers that perfectly marry style and sound in a way that no other company does. And now we have the Libratone Loop – the latest in the companies range of Airplay speaker and already an award-winning product, having scooped an iF Design Award and a prestigious Red Dot Award!

The Libratone Loop features a duo stand and elegant wall mount, making placement in the home incredibly easy and flexible. The slim, stylish and wall speaker is clad in fine Italian wool and – like the rest of the range we’ve reviewed – brings couture into the world of sound by combining great audio engineering with a design that blends in to modern home décor, separating Libratone’s product from the traditional “black-box” speaker market.

Like the Zip, the Loop uses Libratone’s PlayDirect technology which works in conjunction with AirPlay technology, creating a direct Wi-Fi connection between the speaker and any compatible device; which means it works straight out of the box with iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Mac. Of course there is a downside to the technology, PlayDirect doesn’t work with Android or Windows phones and it hogs your Wi-Fi connection often meaning you can’t connect to the web via wi-fi whilst using the function. But that’s a small price to pay for a speaker that looks and sounds as good as this does.

For those that don’t want to use the PlayDirect function, Libratone also provide a universal iOS app which allows you to connect to many of their devices that are connected to the same wi-fi network. The latest models also feature Bluetooth 4.0, which eliminates need for a Wi-Fi access point and Near Field Communication (NFC) via Android, which makes Bluetooth pairing and setup a breeze.

Hidden under the Italian wool covers, the Libratone Loop delivers powerful, strong sound – a trademark of all the Libratone speakers we’ve reviewed so far – via a combination of two tweeters- which means vocals are crisp and clear (something I particularly value) and a 5-inch sub that really pumps out the bass; the circular shape of the speaker also helps really fill any room with audio, especially coupled with Libratone’s proprietary Full Room technology. This really does offer the best of everything. The only downside I found to the audio wasn’t even a problem with the speakers – it was the stand… Pumping up the volume on bass-heavy tracks I actually found the speaker rocking slightly in place!

Yet another great speaker from Libratone, the Loop‘s diminutive 13 inch size belies the sheer brilliance of the audio. The only problem is the price. The Libratone Loop comes in Pepper Black, Salty Grey or Raspberry Red, and is sold at Apple Stores and Apple Online as well as selected retailers for €499 / £399 / $499.95. Extra covers, available in Pineapple Yellow, Passion Pink, Plum Purple, Petrol Blue and Icy Blue, are sold separately at around £50. In all it’s a serious investment for trendy audiophiles only.

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