The Zipp (US$399.95) is the first in Scandinavian-based Libratone's range of high-end, wireless speakers, followed by the Loop, Live and Lounge. Steve Sande took a closer look at the Loop earlier this year, and while he was impressed with the quality of sound and design, the high price point and finicky setup process were some noted drawbacks. I've spent the last week or so using the Zipp. I was keen to see how the smaller Zipp compared to Steve's take on the Loop.
First off, the Zipp looks great. With its tall, cylindrical shape, the Zipp is unassuming and simple in appearance, yet its changeable, woolen covers (that come in multiple colors) give it personality and life. The covers are changed by unzipping the old one and zipping on a new one -- hence: the Zipp!. The Zipp's Height is 26.0 cm (10.2") and its circumference is 12.2 cm (4.8"). The Zipp weighs 4 lbs (1.8 kg).
On top of the Zipp is a simple, circular button to power the device, with volume-up and volume-down buttons either side, not dissimilar to an Apple TV remote in appearance. There's a small LED light that indicates the Zipp's status; if all's well the LED fades in and out with a soft, white glow.
Round the back is a leather strap to carry the Zipp from room to room or out and about. Underneath the leather strap are the Zipp's inputs (3.5mm aux-in and audio USB) as well as a WiFi and PlayDirect button and a battery status indicator. Underneath is a solid base with an input for the Zipp's power supply, a rather clunky brick.
All in all, the Zipp looks great, especially with its removable cover. The Zipp's form factor means it will fit on just about any table top, counter or shelf. The only aesthetic drawback of note was the Zipp's plastic top, which feels a little, well... plasticky.
Inside the Zipp is a 60W, digital amplification 2.1 stereo system. There's a 4" bass speaker and two 1" ribbon based tweeters. There's also a lithium-ion battery that promises 8 hours of wired operation or 4 hours of wireless operation.