By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Framingham, Mass. – Wireless-speaker maker Libratone expanded its wireless-speaker line with a new disc-shaped model that can be placed on a shelf, floor or wall.
The $499-suggested 13.1-inch-diameter Loop is a 2.1-channel speaker that comes with embedded Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and DLNA to stream music from an Apple, Android or Windows Phone 8 mobile device over a home’s Wi-Fi network and from networked PCs and Macs. Up to six speakers at a time can stream music from a Mac or PC.
Via the speaker’s embedded PlayDirect technology, the speakers can stream music direct from a mobile device via Wi-Fi in homes without Wi-Fi networks.
Loop also reproduces music from a mobile device’s music-streaming apps, which must be DLNA-enabled apps in the case of Android and Windows Phone 8 devices.
Loop also connects to TVs via a mini-jack input and to PCs via a USB Audio input.
Loop speakers are managed through an Android, Windows Phone 8, or iOS app to set up the speakers and control sound, a spokesperson said. The app selects sound sources, volume and other functions.
The price includes an Italian-wool cover in one of three debut colors: red, black or gray. Other colors will be sold separately at $59 each.
The speaker will be available in mid-October in select flagship Apple Stores, Apple’s online store, and select retailers.
The 2.1-speaker system is only 3.27-inched-deep and features 120-watt amplification, 4-inch woofer, two 1-inch “ribbon-style” tweeters, and a passive radiator.
The new speaker joins four other AirPlay and DLNA-equipped Libratone speakers, including a rectangular $1,299 Lounge, triangular $549 Live, a portable cylindrical Zipp at $399, and a portable Zip Collection at $449, all with interchangeable color wool covers.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company shipped its first wireless speakers in 2009 and entered the U.S. market in 2011.
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