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Libratone Upgrades Feature Set Of Wi-Fi Speakers

Framingham, Mass. – Libratone is upgrading its selection of Wi-Fi speakers with such features as Spotify Connect, HTC Connect and an updated control app that offers new features.

Spotify Connect will be available as an embedded feature in all new $499-suggested Libratone Loop and $399 Zipp Wi-Fi speakers and through a firmware update for current owners of the two speakers. HTC Connect will be available on all Libratone speakers.

Every Libratone Loop and Zip will ship with built-in Spotify Connect beginning July 15, and current owners will be able to upgrade their current speakers by downloading the latest version of Libratone’s iOS app, available July 10. The Android version of the app will be available mid-July.

The updated apps enable the firmware updates for the Loop and Zipp as well as add HTC Connect to all Libratone speakers.

Currently, Libratone speakers don’t feature any built-in streaming services, though users can still stream other services such as Pandora and Rdio to the speakers via a phone’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, a spokesperson said.

With Spotify Connect, consumers will be able to hand-off Spotify-playlist streaming from a smartphone to a network-connected Loop or Zipp as they enter the house. The Libratone speaker will begin streaming the Spotify playlist right where it left off when the speaker is turned on.

Spotify also promotes Spotify Connect as reducing battery drain on mobile devices because consumers don’t have to stream Spotify from a mobile device app over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to a home audio system. Incoming calls also don’t interrupt Spotify playback.

With HTC Connect, consumers use three fingers to swipe up on the screen of their HTC phone to send music playing on the phone to a Libratone speaker via Wi-Fi.

With the updated control apps, Libratone is offering such new features as assessment of Wi-Fi signal strength, an improved set-up wizard, new voicing functionality, the ability to update current speakers with new technologies, and ability to adjust sound to optimize volume, bass and treble automatically by plugging in the size of a particular room.

The company’s speakers feature Wi-Fi, 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.

The speakers also reproduce 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.

The company’s speaker lineup consists of the disc-shaped $499 Loop, rectangular $1,299 Lounge, triangular $549 Live, portable cylindrical $499 Zipp and portable Zip Collection at $449.

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