The Libratone Zipp is an AirPlay speaker with a unique twist: Unlike other AirPlay setups, which depend on your existing network to stream music, the Zipp's PlayDirect system creates its own WiFi hotspot, allowing you to stream content from compatible music sources directly to the speaker. As MacWorld puts it, "this means that unlike other 'portable' AirPlay systems weâ€™ve covered, the Zipp really can be taken beyond the reaches of any existing wireless network and still stream music to it." Sure, you can do the same thing with Bluetooth, but as Sound and Vision points out, "AirPlay is lossless, so technically you get better fidelity than Bluetooth can offer. Downside? PlayDirect doesnâ€™t work with Android or Windows phones." If you're an iOS user, though, the Zipp is among the best-sounding portable speakers available, according to Sound and Vision: "The Zippâ€™s sound was so addictive I wanted it loud all the time, even when I was playing mellow stuff like James Taylor."
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