Apple’s (AAPL) wireless AirPlay technology beats Bluetooth for two reasons. First, it can stream audio in uncompressed CD-quality. And second, unlike Bluetooth speakers that only work within 30 feet of a paired device, AirPlay speakers work over Wi-Fi, so distance is not a problem. But what happens when a Wi-Fi network is not available? Libratone’s 10.2-inch tall and 4.8-inch wide (diameter) battery-powered Zipp AirPlay speaker is here to solve the problem. Instead of using a router-based Wi-Fi network, it connects to any iOS device, Mac or PC by creating a direct Wi-Fi network using Libratone’s PlayDirect technology. What about sound quality? The Zipp’s 360-degree cylindrical design is supposed to”disperse sound in all directions.” The only kicker is that the Zipp weighs four pounds and costs $399 and additional colored felt-sleeves will cost extra. Look for the Zipp in Apple Stores beginning this October. Libratone’s full press release follows below.
No wires, no hassle, no compromise – Libratone introduces a truly portable AirPlay® speaker
Copenhagen, Denmark, 27 September 2012: Libratone today announces the first ever truly no-compromise and hassle-free wireless speaker, the Libratone Zipp.
An attractive and compact portable speaker, the Libratone Zipp is the first and only device to deliver the performance and convenience of AirPlay without the need for a Wi-Fi network and complicated setup thanks to Libratone’s all-new PlayDirect™ technology.
With the battery-powered Libratone Zipp, you are able to take wireless high-end audio to the outside world, eliminating the need to be close to a wireless network. A full charge provides up to eight hours of playtime wired and up to four hours using the wireless connection.
The fashionable Libratone Zipp not only gives anyone the freedom of music anywhere, anytime, it also features changeable wool covers in eight vivid colors to suit all tastes and occasions. As with the rest of the Libratone product family, the Libratone Zipp works seamlessly with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac, as well as PC.
“We wanted to design a speaker that makes high-end sound portable and truly wireless,” says Tommy Andersen, CEO of Libratone. “Similar to a pair of headphones, Libratone Zipp follows you wherever you go – around the house, to work, in the park or on holiday. PlayDirect technology makes Libratone Zipp a wireless, out of the box product – setting your music free has never been this easy!”
An exciting innovation developed especially for Libratone Zipp; PlayDirect™ technology makes it possible to stream music with or without the need for an in-home Wi-Fi network. This Libratone-only feature is an easy-to-use, ideal solution for picnics, camping trips and other outdoor activities.
PlayDirect™ works in conjunction with AirPlay technology, creating a direct Wi-Fi connection between the Libratone Zipp and any compatible device, such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or computer. Whether connected through Airplay or using PlayDirect™, Libratone Zipp is immediately ready to deliver a high-quality audio experience.
Contemporary design and color
The slick Libratone Zipp offers a contemporary design with a Scandinavian heritage and a rainbow color selection, including Salty Grey, Pepper Black, Pineapple Yellow, Raspberry Red, Passion Pink, Plum Purple, Petrol Blue and Icy Blue. Libratone’s characteristic fine Italian wool covers are sold separately and are quick and easy to change. Additionally, the minimalistic speaker features a leather handle for easy portability.
A 360° sound experience
FullRoom™ technology is a 360-degree sound experience created by specially designed drivers inside the Libratone Zipp. Unlike conventional speakers, which have a “sweet spot” directly in front of the speaker, FullRoom™ technology disperses sound in all directions for an unrivalled experience – no matter where the listener happens to be.
Contrary to regular speakers, Libratone Zipp doesn’t have a front or back meaning that everyone around it is surrounded by music. To further enhance the music experience, you can download the Libratone app that allows for customization of the sound.
“The round shape of Libratone Zipp is an example of how design and functionality can go hand in hand. The cylinder shape combined with the FullRoom technology makes Libratone Zipp a social speaker, including everyone in the music experience,” says Kristian Krøyer, creative director at Libratone. “The cover change feature also makes Libratone Zipp a long-lasting design object.”
Libratone Zipp dressed in Salty Grey or Raspberry Red is sold exclusively at Apple Stores and Apple Online from October 2012 and retails for $399
Libratone Zipp also comes in 3-pack-color boxes with two extra wool zip-on covers included. The elegant Classic Color Collection features Libratone Zipp in Pepper Black, Petrol Blue & Raspberry Red and the fresh Funky Color Collection includes Pepper Black, Passion Pink & Pineapple Yellow covers. The Libratone collection boxes are sold broadly in retail and online from October 2012 and retails for $449
Also available in the Libratone AirPlay family is Libratone Lounge, a true hi-fi replacement for your living room, and Libratone Live a versatile AirPlay speaker and winner of the CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Award.