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Tech Review: Libratone Lounge Airplay Speaker

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For the past couple of weeks I have been testing out the Libratone Lounge Airplay Speaker. When I say testing I mean I have been listening to lots of music and watching a few films.

What is the Libratone Lounge (LL from now on) I hear you cry? Obviously, it is a speaker. A very big speaker or one of those sound bars. The main selling point is that it is Apple Airplay enabled. The means if you have any device which supports Airplay – iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch, (4th, 3rd and 2nd generations) with iOS 4.2 and iTunes 10.1 (Mac or PC) or later – then you can stream music through the LL.

Going back to its appearance the LL is a big beast yet pleasing to the eye. It comes in a range of colours so there is bound to be one to fit whatever space you want it to sit in. Constructed of cashmere, chrome and wood you know this is a high quality piece of kit. It also comes with a wall mount and has the dimensions of 8.7″ high, 40″ wide, and 4.7″ and weighs about 27 lbs.

Within it there is an 8″ inverted woofer, two 4″ ceramic midrange drivers, and two 1″ ribbon based tweeters. 150W total. 1x50W bass, 2x25W tweeter & 2x25W midrange.

Once it is plugged in it takes a minute or two to set it up with the wi-fi and Airplay devices. I had no problem setting it up on my laptop with iTunes, but I had to try a few times with my iPhone 4S before I could get it to work. Once it was set up there was a Libratone App to download. This was used to control the volume and also customize the speakers to give the best sound depending upon where it is – on a wall, floor, distance from wall or shelf etc. Really simple to use.

This official bit explains it better

Libratone Lounge plays like an acoustic instrument, dispersing sound waves in multiple directions, reflecting them off the walls. This eliminates the sweet spot and gives you a 360° sound experience. To get a bit more technical, inside the cabinets there are five units each driven by dedicated audiophile amplifiers and each dedicated to spreading sound in a specific direction. This setup means that the system both spreads out the sound and encapsulates you in it.

Once you do have it set up correctly the sound quality is sublime. It fills the entire room with sharp, clear sound. Watching movies on iTunes, especially those with great soundtracks was an absolute joy.

If you don’t have an Airplay device then your only option is a 3.5mm audio input although the LL does come with connections for a digital optical connection.

I was impressed with the Libratone Lounge. The sound quality was fantastic and the way you can customize it to suit your room is most impressive. However, I would have liked a few more audio connections on the back just to have more options available to me. Having the ability to hang it on the wall below your TV and hooked up to the surround sound would be of great us. Because of that and as it costs a whopping £1000+ I will not be purchasing one anytime soon.

Check out the offical site for more information.

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