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Libratone's got a new soundbar, and yes, it's covered in wool


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If only there was a way to combine your two greatest passions: high-quality audio and soft, fluffy fabrics? Well as it turns out, Libratone is kind of a specialist in that field, and for its next wool-covered creation, the company is revisiting soundbars with the "Diva," announced today. Following on from its "Lounge" speaker of several years past, the Diva trades the square form factor for a curvier, oblong shape. And while it's supposed find a home under your big-screen TV, the idea is the Diva can be your primary sound system, rather than just an accessory. Nestled beneath its woolen coat are two 1-inch, 25W tweeters taking care of the higher end; two, 3-inch 50W mid-range speakers; and one, 5-inch 75W subwoofer dealing with bass tones. In addition to the on-board digital amplifier, that sub is also supported by two passive radiators that are meant to facilitate a richer low-end sound without increasing energy consumption or weight.

Gallery: Libratone Diva | 9 Photos

There are only a couple of ports on the back of system for a 3.5mm line-in or optical input. There are several other ways to pipe music through it wirelessly, however, over WiFi or Bluetooth 4.0 (plus aptX), with an NFC chip for hassle-free pairing. Apple's AirPlay and HTC's Connect protocols are both catered for, as well as good ol' DLNA. The Diva also works with Spotify Connect, which streams tunes straight to the speaker so you can use the source device for other things. An IR learning feature means you can make it play nice with any of your existing remotes, and Libratone's iOS and Android apps will optimize output based on where it's installed, if you feed in a few basic parameters like room size.

The Diva includes a normal stand and simple wall mount, which doesn't need to be elaborate given the thing only weights 5.5kg (194 ounces). Since you're likely position it under a TV, both mid-range speakers and tweeters have cup-like structures behind them that reflect some sound upwards, which is supposed to give the impression it's coming at you from the TV. Vents in the back also bleed noise in that direction to give something of an omni-directional sound.

The Diva only comes with a black woolen cloak in the box, but you'll get a code to order another free sheath in one of eight colors. Three more hues are due in time, which may or may not replace some of the existing options. Having been treated to demos including a live Foals concert and Batman movie trailer, it's safe to say it sounds pretty nice. Then again, you'd expect it to at a price of £649 when it goes on sale in the UK and Europe from mid-October. We haven't heard anything about a US release, but considering Libratone's past history, we'd expect to see it reach the region in due course.

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