- Eye-catching colourful design
- Decent price
- “360-degree” sound
- Lacks bass power
- Some alternatives sound more expansive
- Review Price: £109.00
- Aux input
- IPX4 splash resistance
- 2x 1.5-inch drivers
- Passive radiator
- Up to 12-hour battery life
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What is the Libratone Too?
The Libratone Too is a small wireless speaker that belongs to a class where price, portability and sound quality converge. Little “tube” speakers such as this are often great buys.
This model is another strong contender, but one that favours style and a clean sound over the sort of room-filling bass you get with the Bose SoundLink Mini II and others.
Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers
Libratone Too – Design and Features
The Libratone Too is a cute little tube speaker. There are plenty of rivals sporting a similar shape, but few have the sheer charm of this one.
First, there are no hard edges to the Libratone Too. The smooth weaved grille curves into the soft-touch rubberised plastic of the base, with the rubber carry-handle popping out of the end. Nothing looks out of place here, and all its parts are colour-matched.
The controls on the Too’s top have plenty of Libratone special sauce, too. The lightly indented power button all-but blends into the shell and the light-up Libratone logo is actually a smart touch-sensitive panel that lets you control playback with a tap, or alter volume with a circular sweep.
Among small wireless speakers it stands out, but in use I’ve found it a little annoying at times. When you carry the Libratone Too around, it’s far too easy to accidentally knock the touch panel, which will result in pausing your tunes. I’ve done this a lot, more times than I’ve actually used the touchpad deliberately. It doesn’t help that’s positioned so close to the carrying handle.
Since the Libratone Too uses a relatively hard rubberised underside rather than a full rubber foot, the speaker tends to transmit far more vibration than much of the competition. This means it can actually use the surface it’s on to improve the bass; unfortunately, it also results in some unwanted noise if you rest it on the wrong object.
These are niggles rather than big problems, however, and the Libratone Too has both a microphone for calls and a solid battery life of up to 12 hours. It has splash-proofing too – it’s certified to IPX4, meaning it will handle the odd splash but not being submerged in water. Other than the water-resistant grille, it’s the rubber clasp covering the micro-USB charge socket and 3.5mm input that make this possible.
Libratone Too – Sound Quality
The Libratone Too’s design is largely a success. It’s prettier than the competition, without upping the price or sacrificing many important features. However, sound quality is a little more mixed.
Positives include that the sound is nicely balanced and that it has “360-degree” dispersal. What this really means is that, contrary to what you’d guess, the drivers actually face upwards, the sound then being routed through both sides of the grille.
Most speakers of this type have front-facing drivers. There are two 1.5-inch active drivers and a passive radiator, used in little speakers like this to increase bass power.
This is precisely what the Libratone Too lacks, however: bass. Playing next to the Bose SoundLink Mini II, the Too sounds meek and reserved, without anything like the fun low-end punch of the Bose speaker. It’s a much smaller sound that doesn’t get close to the room-filling capabilities of the best at the size.
On a surface that won’t resonate sympathetically to improve the low-end, the Too sounds like one of the less exciting speakers in this class. For example, the Jam Heavy Metal has more crisp treble, and bass somewhere between the Libratone and the Bose.
In the Libratone Too’s favour is that it’s £60 cheaper than the Bose SoundLink Mini II, but alternatives from Creative and Jam Audio aren’t weighed down by the same price difference.
A few years ago the Libratone Too would have seemed like a bit of a revelation. Nowadays, sonically, it’s a middleweight – if one that’s still perfectly satisfying.
The scenarios in which it will flourishe are when you’re not having to deal with a sound “sweet spot”, or you don’t want to disturb people nearby too much with your tunes.
A picnic in the park is native ground for the Libratone Too. Bung it in the centre of your spread and everyone sat around it will be able to hear properly, where with most speakers of this style, one side get a better deal than the other.
Should you buy the Libratone Too?
The Libratone Too scores better on design than sound quality; it’s a sensibly priced and pretty portable speaker, with no glaring feature gaps.
Alternatives tend to sound bigger, bassier and more energetic, so if you’re out to fill your kitchen or living room with music that you’re going to want to dance to, consider the options.
These include Libratone’s own Click speaker, although it suffers from bass that isn’t quite as tight and well controlled as some. Other favourites worth a look include the seriously beefy-sounding Bose SoundLink Mini II, the crisp Jam Heavy Metal and the Creative iRoar Go.
None of them quite have the colourful style of the Libratone Too, though – so if a fun, low-maintenance speaker is what you’re after, you’ve found one here.
A fun, cute Bluetooth speaker with a neat design – if not quite the punchiest sound at the price.
Watch: Portable & Bluetooth Speaker Buying Guide
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