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Libratone Returns With Zipp Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Speakers

Two portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speakers from Denmark- based Libratone are the first new products launched by the company since it was sold in June 2014 to a consortium of Asian investors and Libratone management.

The company has since sold through its previous products, which included a mix of battery-operated and AC-only wireless speakers.

The new products bring the company’s wireless-speaker technology to lower price points, and they add Apple-approved ability to send music via AirPlay from a mobile iOS device to more than one speaker at a time.

The two app-controlled speakers are the $249 Zipp Mini and $299 Zipp, both available through Libratone’s web store and Amazon. They are batterypowered cylindrical models that disperse sound over 360 degrees. They’re covered in mesh fabric available in optional colors.

The company’s previous opening-price speaker retailed for $399 at launch.

Both new models feature Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, AirPlay, Spotify Connect and Internet radio stations, and both support Apple Music over Bluetooth or, over Wi-Fi, via AirPlay.

The new products use AirPlay and DLNA to send music from a mobile device or computer to up six speakers at a time in a group. Multiple groups are supported. Only one song can be streamed at a time from one computer or from one mobile device.

The ability to send a song via AirPlay from a phone to multiple speakers at a time is a new Apple-approved capability, Libratone said. “Previously Apple did not support streaming over AirPlay from a mobile device,” the company said. “They only supported streaming from a mobile device to a single speaker using AirPlay.” Libratone, however, “received Apple’s approval to stream from a mobile device to multiple Zipp speakers using AirPlay.” Such approval “is uncommon in the audio industry today,” the company said. Other companies offer such a feature but not with Apple approval, Libratone said.

Other key features include eight- to 10-hour battery life, up from four to six hours on the company’s previous portables. The top model features 100-watt output, two 1-inch tweeters and a 4-inch woofer. The other is rated at 60 watts and comes with one 1-inch tweeter and a 3-inch woofer.

The speakers also feature AptX over Bluetooth.

The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company shipped its first wireless speakers in 2009 and entered the U.S. market in 2011.