The last time we heard from Denmark-based, fancy audio purveyor Libratone, they made one of the finest AirPlay speakers we had ever heard. At $US400, the Zipp wasn't cheap, but it was considerably cheaper than anything else we had ever seen/heard from the company before. Here's their latest effort, an artsy, wall-mounted audio orb for your living room.
Like other Libratone speakers, the Loop is based around Apple's AirPlay Wi-Fi music playback tech, and following a firmware update to all of the company's devices last year, it's also compatible with Android devices via DLNA. Additionally, the Loop supports ad-hoc Wi-Fi connectivity, so that it can turn itself into a hotspot in the event that your local network is on the fritz.
The unit sports two ribbon-style tweeter drivers and a subwoofer. How do these drive units sound? Well, we only listened for a few minutes in the office, but the Loop was certainly loud enough to dominate the small room where the company demoed it for us. And there weren't any noticeable sound errors in the playback either. It's definitely worth listening a little more closely to see if it's worth it.
At $US500, the Loop is a tad more expensive than the aforementioned Libratone Zipp. Unlike the Zipp, though, the Loop doesn't have battery power so you can't cart it off to the beach with you next summer. The unit stands about two-feet tall and is designed to be the centrepiece of a room's audio, whether mounted on the wall, or standing on the little included kickstand. As always, you'll have your choice of a few designer fleece coats to drape on your darling little speaker.
This Danish orb reminds us of smaller, much cheaper version of the $2500 B&O A9, which is also an orb-shaped speaker from Denmark. At just $US500, the Loop is a lot less expensive than the A9, but we'll have to wait and see if it's even worth all that when we've had a little more time to listen to the speaker down the line.
The Loop will hit the US by mid-October and is available for pre-order now, though shipping is to the US and Canada only. Hopefully we'll see it stocked locally at the same time or soon after.