The new Libratone Zipp is one of the first AirPlay speakers that does not need an internet connection to work.
Libratone produces stylish, high quality speakers, and its latest creation is the Libratone Zipp. It costs £329, and debuts Libratone's PlayDirect technology, which lets you use AirPlay without an internet connection.
PlayDirect makes AirPlay much more useful, letting you use the Libratone Zipp wherever you are, rather than being tethered to your home Wi-Fi network. It features an internal battery that offers up to eight hours of playback off a charge too.
Like the Libratone Live AirPlay speaker, the Libratone Zipp is a stylish little thing, covered in coloured felt. The grey and red colour versions will be available exclusively from Apple Stores, while more colourful "Collection" box Libratone Zipps will be available from other retailers including John Lewis and Dixons. The Apple editions are a little cheaper at £329.99, but elsewhere you get three different woollen sleeves to customise your Zipp, for £369.99. Flavours include black/blue/red and black/pink/yellow.
The Libratone Zipp uses what's called FullRoom tech, which means the speaker fires out sound in multiple directions, removing the need for careful placement. Behind the felt fascade are two 1in ribbon tweeters and a 4in bass driver. Libratone says it was out to make a "speaker that makes high-end sound portable and truly wireless". We'll check out its chops fully at review, but using AirPlay is a good start, with less lossy audio transmission than bog-standard Bluetooth.
To further up its portability cred, there's a handle on the top. It's not completely lightweight at around 2kg, but should add a sense of sturdiness. There's a also a 3.5mm audio input for non-Apple devices.
We'll be back with the full review soon.