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Libratone Zipp is world’s first Wi-Fi-free AirPlay speaker

With Apple’s switch to the new Lightning dock connector on the iPhone 5 and other new gadgets, we could see more customers look for wireless audio connectivity for docks and speakers rather than the good old fashioned 30 pin dock connection.

Thankfully we have technologies like Bluetooth and AirPlay that make streaming audio from our Apple gadgets to speakers and docks pretty straightforward. Libratone has come up with a brand new AirPlay speaker that it claims is the “first and only device” to stream music from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without the need for a Wi-Fi network.

We’ve tested Libratone’s Live AirPlay speaker before and thought it was pretty darn great, but the setup with AirPlay meant getting involved with the Wi-Fi network and various passwords, which wasn’t especially straightforward. The new Libratone Zipp does away with all of that by turning itself into a wireless hotspot for your iOS device, Mac or PC to stream music to.

The Zipp speaker does this using some clever technology that Libratone calls ‘PlayDirect’, which should in theory make connecting and sending audio from iOS devices, Macs and PCs much easier.

The Libratone Lounge was pretty hefty, but the Zipp has been designed with true portability in mind. It’s much smaller and lighter, with a cylindrical shape, pop-out carry handle and a rechargeable. Its cylindrical shape will pump out your tunes at a full 360 degrees to fill the room with sound, and once fully charged up you’ll get 4 hours of use before you need to charge up again. There is of course the option to connect the speaker to the mains for permanent use.

An app is available to download for iOS devices, which allows the sound settings to be tweaked wirelessly, including bass and treble levels, as well as choosing from preset EQs.

Finally, the Zipp speaker gets its name from the interchangeable covers that can be zipped on and off. Several bright colours are available, with exclusive grey and red covers to be sold through Apple stores. Each speaker will cost £329.99, or you can pick up a bundle pack with a range of different coloured covers for £369.99 through various retailers, including John Lewis.

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