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 battery-powered 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.