Libratone ZIPP 2 is a Wireless Bluetooth and Airplay speaker designed for those who stay at home but also for those who, more fortunate, can go outside for some music with friends. On its side it has fanciful smart capabilities and the ability to change the color of the cover.
One, none and one hundred thousand colors (plus one)
Just out of the box, the Libratone ZIPP 2 shows itself in all its magnificence: with 26.1 cm in height and 12.2 in diameter (for 1.5 kg of weight) it certainly does not go unnoticed, especially for the strong contrast between the Black part (in our case) of cotton, which dominates, and the white one below.
Inside the box, the white power supply, with a finally interesting design (which is a rarity these days) complete with cable, adapters for the Italian and English sockets and a small brochure explaining the initial operations (mostly useless if downloaded the App for iOS or Android).
Important form, with 12 hours of autonomy
From an aesthetic point of view, the feature that immediately catches the eye is undoubtedly the zipper that delimits the two areas: by opening it, the upper part is freed, made of open-knit cotton.
This can be removed paying attention, however, also to the upper hook, to leave the Libratone ZIPP 2 “naked” or to replace it with another cover of a different color, which can be purchased separately in different colors and also available in wool.
To tell the truth, however, the writer is not sorry even the naked version, with that slightly rebellious cut that reminds a little of the charm of the Honda NSR 125 in the F version, without fairing, which those with some white hair will surely remember for the impact it made on the adolescents of the time (thanks to Andrea Banfi for the clarification).
Smart by nature
The underside of the speaker houses the power connector, the power button, the headphone jack and a USB-A connector for charging third-party devices (such as the iPhone).
Higher up, exactly in the upper part, there is a huge backlit multifunction button that performs various functions.
In addition to controlling the volume, it allows you to manage most of the functions of the Libratone ZIPP 2 independently, from the types of connections to the voice assistant: nothing that the smartphone app cannot do but for this reason it is nice that there is a system to use the speaker even independently.
The App, elegance and modernity
The smartphone App is really well done: in design it recalls, in part, the Apple House, even if it differs in the individual functions, offering an original and very pleasant design.
In the basic functions, the App allows you to capture the speaker, or speakers, since in the case of multiple devices it also allows you to manage a multiroom network: otherwise it has an integrated equalizer with various presets even if there is no possibility of intervening in a personal.
With the App it is possible to insert a sleep time to fall asleep in the evening with music but also, this much appreciated finesse, to instruct the speaker on the environment where it is playing and, consequently, to adapt the sound for the best possible performance ( playing in a lawn is different from playing on a shelf in a closet or on the desk, because the acoustics are very affected by the environment).
How the Libratone ZIPP 2 sounds
We tried the Libratone ZIPP 2 in different operating environments: from listening to some symphonic song while writing the various articles for Cyberlayman or as a background soundtrack for a few games of Diablo III, but we also used it as a serious audio speaker to enjoy a few seasons of “Supernatural” via Amazon Prime Video until we lend it to the little boy of the house who used it to sing Rovazzi's songs with Spotify.
The judgment on the sound of the speaker is positive: using the Neutral preset the sounds are fairly balanced, even if the lower tones sound better than the others.
Like many other similar speakers in the market, it is clear that this model offers a penchant for pop and disco music and, in orchestral pieces, loses some liveliness in the details of the various instruments.
The top is interchangeable, so you can have the right color for any occasion
But they are subtleties of those who love orchestral soundtracks very much, from Hans Zimmer to Michael Nyman, for which the one-way sound already nullifies various riches. Instead for those who love the sparkle of newer sounds, from the song Zitti e buona by Maneskin to Call me by name of the duo Francesca Michielin and Fedez, up to something more classic like Knockin'on Heaven's door by Guns'n'Roses, where the drum power is really a blast or for Crazy by Aerosmith, in which the power of the bass still harmonizes very well with the bewitching voice of Steven Tyler.
Tougher proving grounds like Loren Allred's This Is Me were tackled well, without smudging and without additional glory while we loved Mister Mister's Broken Wings. Taylor Swift's voice in The Archer appeared slightly muffled, while we liked the young American star much more in Welcome To New York.
Using the presets present in the App, the musical timbre changes and is appreciated more if it coincides with the song we are listening to (but there is also a preset for speech): we really like the fact that, with the various presets, the speaker can offer a more personal tone, even if to optimize it you need to play a little with the equalizer.
A technical note concerns the use in bluetooth from macOS, with Music, which a couple of times offered some uncertainty in the continuity of the signal, when instead everything went perfectly with our iPhone and Spotify.
The market is really full of speakers of this type, both in terms of size and sound power, but it is interesting to evaluate how the Libratone ZIPP 2 knows how to distinguish itself for the large series of technological refinements.
The use both as a Bluetooth speaker and as an Airplay speaker (as well as in analogue) in a more advanced management is very convenient and also allows the progressive purchase and multifaceted use in various situations (as an Airplay speaker where there is a signal wireless, perhaps at home, via Bluetooth when you are outdoors).
The presence of an integrated radio (via internet) is not a revolutionary feature, because having a radio on the iPhone is a matter of an App, however it is appreciable to have a fairly high autonomy even without a smartphone.
The versatility of the integrated functions, the good sound and the wide aesthetic customization given by the interchangeable covers (plus the naked version for those who love a strong and crisp look) is offered at an interesting price (for the black version), compared to other models of competing brands that offer sounds of comparable quality but lacking the smart subtleties.
• Good sound at the right price • Excellent smart functions • Interchangeable covers • Works in Bluetooth and Airplay
• Changing the cover is not easy
• 134.95 Euro (black version) • 39.85 Euro (additional covers, the price varies according to the color)
Libratone ZIPP 2 is available directly from the Amazon.it pages. In addition to this model is also available the ZIPP 2 mini model of reduced size that we have talked about here.