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Gadgets Libratone_Loop

Published on April 4th, 2015 | by Greg

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Libratone Loop: Wireless Speakers Come Full Circle

First generation products often make a few compromises- and in a world full of technology, aesthetics can often take a backseat to the latest and greatest features. Luckily, wireless audio is now several generations advanced and most of the bugs have been worked out, leaving companies to push design as a key differentiator. Decent speakers aren’t hard to find, and when you’re looking for a wireless audio system, you’re probably deciding between a portable, battery-powered model and a larger one that can be part of your home.

The Libratone Loop falls into the latter category, a perfect complement for the picnic-perfect Libratone Zipp that we checked out previously. Like it’s sibling, the Loop includes a very compelling and fairly unique combination of DLAN as well as AirPlay and Bluetooth 4.0 with full apt-X support, meaning you can choose between easy point-to-point audio or use Apple’s multi-room solution. The Loop also includes Libratone’s trademark colored Italian wool covers, available in a range of hues and changeable at a whim. The Scandinavian influence is clear, and it the Loop fits nicely into just about any room.

Small enough to fit on a bookshelf, side table, or on your kitchen countertop, the Loop still manages to put out a full, room-filling sound that sounds surprisingly big for a compact unit. Close your eyes, and with careful placement, you might just be fooled into thinking you’re hearing a 2.1 system. Wall-mountable, we liked the simple stand and rear wired connections for 3.5mm minijack and USB audio, and with most sources audio was crisp, clear, airy, and even haunting. Dual 1-inch ribbon tweeters and a passive bass radiator combine to put out realistic mids and highs, though with electronic music we did find them a touch bright and bass won’t impress those looking for a real pounding low-end. If you crank it up, the Loop will vibrate noticeably but on the flipside, the speaker can push out plenty of volume.

For the price, we would’ve liked to see a wooden rear panel and stand (rather than plastic). But with a native app, and Android and iOS support, you’ll be well taken care of regardless of your device. Lossless or high-resolution audio files sound great too, with plenty of definition. Other Bluetooth speakers limit you to a single room and AirPlay devices alienate Android users- but Libratone has found a way to combine the best of both worlds. Better yet, they’ve done it in a way that never sacrifices visual beauty in service of gadgetry. The Libratone Loop is certainly priced at a premium, running around $400 online and in stores, but well-built and flexible and a piece of art in it’s own right, the Loop has earned a permanent place in our life.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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