The now-synonymous wooly coat of the Libratone speaker range isn’t for everyone. But if you like it and like the quirky designs of this unique Copenhagen-based speaker manufacturer then the Loop may be for you.
The Libratone Loop is an entry level non-portable speaker in the Libratone range and it features some really striking looks. It looks great, sounds really good and like all the Libratone range, allows you to buy replaceable covers in a variety of colours to suit any room.
The form-factor is really interesting as it looks like a big dish that sits on a stand or is mounted on the wall. It looks like a smaller version of the B&O A9 speaker.
It allows wired and wireless connectivity and supports AirPlay, DLNA and Libratone’s own streaming system called PlayDirect.
The Loop comes with a small crossbar stand that plugs into the back of the speaker dish, a plastic wall mount and screws and a braided power cable.
It features twin 1-inch ribbon tweeters at the sides, a 4-inch midrange driver in the centre and a 5-inch passive radiator at the top. This is effectively a 2.1 system and it is powered by a 120 watt amp.
The main control multi-button can be found on the front of the speaker and this controls power, volume and mute, and also has an LED that changes colour to indicate the speaker’s status (booting, sleeping, connected etc).
The back panel of the Loop has power input, a 3.5mm aux input, a USB port (for charging your smartphone and connecting to wifi) and a small hole for use with the stand that comes with it.
If you prefer to mount the Loop on the wall with the included mount the there is a circular divot on the back for this which can also double as a carry handle.
Adding the Libratone Loop to the local wireless network is fairly straightforward.
Simply connect it to your idevice via USB, press the Wi-Fi and Playdirect buttons on the back of the speaker together and then select “Allow” on your idevice when you see the “Share Wi-Fi” prompt.
You can also use Libratone’s PlayDirect system for connecting your device. However, this can be a pain if you want to steam music to your device and then play it via the speaker as PlayDirect basically creates an ad hoc wireless connection, which means that you device will be connected to the Loop’s WLAN instead of the local WLAN and won’t, therefore, be able to connect to the internet.
However, if you want to play music or other content that is already on your device then this is fine, with the added bonus of not requiring a wireless network, should you not have one or want to use the speaker in a place that doesn’t.
As the Loopalso supports DLNA you can also send any compatible audio to it from a range of other devices in your network.
One other great thing is that with PlayDirect and DLNA, you can use Android devices as well as just iDevices. This makes it great for use by the whole family.
The tweeters in the Libratone Loop really allow the high frequencies to shine and the bass is punchy and adequate. The midrange is acceptable but all in all the midrange get a little weak. The Libratone app allows you to make some small adjustments in the EQ which improves things slightly.
On the whole the audio quality is fine but perhaps leaves you a little underwhelmed, especially the midrange.
The Libratone Loop looks great, though it’s eye-catching design may not be to everyone’s taste.
It comes with some great connectivity options whether you have wifi or not and even supports play from Android devices.
The audio quality features really clear highs, adequate lows but a weak midrange, meaning that though, all in all, this is a great package it may well leave you a little underwhelmed.