Libratone Zipp: the first truly portable AirPlay speaker
The Libratone Zipp is far from the first speaker to embrace Apple’s AirPlay streaming tech, so you can sling music to it over the air from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac. But it is the first to do it without the need for a Wi-Fi network: say hello to the slickest portable speaker we’ve ever seen.
Even without the new AirPlay tech, the Libratone Zipp impresses. It’s a striking wool-clad cylinder that packs some serious sonic oomph, courtesy of speakers arranged to give 360 degree sound. You can take it out and about with you for beats on the go, assuming the weather picks up at some point soon anyway – the rechargeable battery is good for eight hours on a charge.
But the Libratone Zipp also does something no other AirPlay speaker can: it streams without a Wi-Fi network. That’s right: you don’t need to be in reach of your home hotspot: that’s because it uses new Wi-Fi Direct technology to create an ad hoc network wherever you are, just between your iOS device and the speaker. No fiddly passwords on stickers on the back of your router to type in: you just start streaming.
If that sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. Last month the Telegraph reported that Apple is working on building this technology directly into the AirPlay standard itself, and it could be called AirPlay Direct (Interestingly, Libratone says it actually worked with Apple on its PlayDirect tech for the Libratone Zipp).
In the meantime though, the LIbratone Zipp is the only game in town for seamless on the go streaming. It’s out in the UK next month for £329.99 in eight different colours: a pack with three different shaded wool covers will sell for £369.99. Look for it in John Lewis, Dixons and online.