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 we’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 doesn’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 Zipp’s sound was so addictive I wanted it loud all the time, even when I was playing mellow stuff like James Taylor."
At $399 it’s a hundred bucks more than a BIG JAMBOX, but to our ears the audio performance is well worth the extra cash. Broad compatibility with Apple devices and appealing design make the Zipp a solid pairing to your iPhone or iPad.
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The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
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