The Libratone Loop is a stylish standalone speaker which comes in the form of a 13-inch disc. The front of the speaker is covered in Italian wool which looks and feels great and is definitely not something that we’re used to seeing. This woollen material covers the entire front of the speaker except a small round button located towards the bottom. This button controls the volume as well as housing a small indicator LED. The wool covers are removable and you have the choice of eight different colours which you can purchase.
The back of the speaker is finished in white gloss and holds the holes for both a clip-in stand as well as a mount for installing the speaker onto a wall. This mounting hole can also be used to carry the speaker around when moving places. Also located on the back you’ll find a power port, 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB port, and two buttons for AirPlay and wired input.
With the stand clipped into place the speaker is just 15cm deep which is remarkable and means it can be quite easily placed onto a shelf or small space.
You can set-up your device in a variety of ways and an instruction booklet on how to do so is included for Apple deivces. Unfortunately set-up instructions for Android devices seem to be missing so you’ll have to attempt connection on your own, although the process is fairly simple.
If you remove the woollen cover from the front of the device you’ll actually be able to see what the Loop has internally. In the middle of the device you’ll find your standard 4-inch driver. To either side you’ll find a ribbon tweeter which you’d normally expect to find in high-end speakers. Above these you’ll find a single passive radiator which delivers a heavy bass.
Libratone have been very clever with the placing of these tweeters. They’ve taken into account that the speaker system is a single piece and therefore you won’t receive the stereo separation that you would from your normal Hi-Fi system. To give the maximum stereo separation Libratone have placed the tweeters at either end of the speaker disc as far away from each other as possible. This helps to give the effect of a stereo sound rather than mono.
In terms of the audio quality though unfortunately we we’re a little disappointed. As the volume increased we noticed an annoying level of distortion to tracks, especially those with noticeable bass presence. This volume also seemed to cause the speaker itself to vibrate and cause a very annoying buzz on the surface it was sitting. This being said the ribbon tweeters do an astonishing job of producing detailed audio and when not set at the maximum volume I did really enjoy listening to the speaker.
Update x1: From the 15th July 2014 the Libratone Loop and also Zipp speaker will become compatible with Spotify Connect. This means you’ll be able to stream millions of songs from Spotify to Wi-Fi connected Libratone speakers without interruption from incoming calls.
The Libratone Loop is a great looking speaker and would look great sitting in your living room. In terms of usability the speaker is very easy to use and setting up its wireless capabilities and AirPlay is again easily done. Unfortunately though, the audio qualityis just as important if not more so than the aesthetics of a speaker. The Libratone Loop costs £400 and a speaker in this price range should really excel in this area, something which I cannot say about the Loop.
If you’d like to take a closer look at the Libratone Loop then you can do so by following the link below.