Summary: The Libratone Loop is a great little AirPlay speaker. Sound quality is very good and the ease of setup and use is top notch. However, with an MSRP of $499.99, the Loop faces a great deal of competition. For that kind of money one can have a Sonos Play 5, the Cambridge Audio Minx 100, or Bowers & Wilkins lauded A5. The former two offering many more features than the basic AirPlay streaming found on the Loop and for about $100 less.
Libratone Loop Review: The AirPlay Speaker That Looks As Good As It Sounds
20 January 2014
Conclusion: The Loop is a great AirPlay speaker, and with DLNA support, it’s relatively platform agnostic. I’m a sucker for the design aesthetic Libratone has chosen, too, so that’s a big selling point as well, but it’s the sound that brings it home. Libratone is essentially a boutique shop specializing in AirPlay sound, and it shows, so you can’t go wrong with their lineup, and the Loop fits nicely price wise in a gap between its Zipp and Live range of devices.
Excerpt: Around a decade ago, Apple helped bring about the mainstream’s acceptance of the separation of design and function. Just think of how your telephone, email, airline boarding passes, and sepia-toned photos of your brunch now all exist inside a slim, rectangular box made of glass and metal. Given familiarity of this concept, it’s easy for us to quickly warm to Libratone’s Loop , a speaker with an exterior devoid of classic hi-fi aesthetics.
Pros: One look and you can imagine it as a living room centerpiece. Simple setup for an AirPlay speaker. Total sonic clarity, even at high volumes. Changeable cover colors. Easy to stand up or to mount on a wall.
Cons: AirPlay remains unreliable, especially in areas with lots of wireless traffic in the air. Two-second delay for non-iTunes playback. $500 is a big price tag for a single speaker.
Conclusion: Our experience with the Libratone Loop has been a rollercoaster ride from frustration through to full-on aural pleasure and then back to the start again. But that's because we’ve had AirPlay issues - something you might not experience. That being the case, and despite no Bluetooth being featured, we like the distinctive design of the Loop and just how good it can sound. For a fairly small speaker it bangs out the sound with gusto.
Pros: Plenty of bass, sounds really good, quirky design and colour options give it a distinctive edge
Cons: No Bluetooth, setup and AirPlay playback hit and miss, expensive, driver rattling, top-end can be harsh