Libratone Lounge AirPlay speaker
Libratone’s soundbar combines high quality sound and high quality design
- Clear, clean sound at all volumes
- Simple, versatile (for iOS users)
- Sturdy design and build
- Sound lacks some bass and expansiveness
- No physical volume control
Libratone's Lounge speaker system is designed to hide away on your sideboard or take pride of place under your plasma TV - wherever it sits, it'll look great and be incredibly easy to use (if you've got an iDevice). The sound that the Libratone Lounge produces is crisp and detailed, although it's slightly lacking in the bass power we expected from a large cabinet.
Price$ 1,599.95 (AUD)
Libratone is a small Danish audio company with three products: the mini Zipp, the midi Live and the maxi Lounge. Each speaker is exceedingly simple — no volume controls or superfluous buttons, minimalist designs with exacting construction. They’re marketed at buyers who love their iPhones, iPads and iPods, and want to share their music.
Libratone Lounge: Design, setup and features
As the biggest member of the Libratone family, the Lounge isn’t designed to be outside-the-house portable like the Zipp or inside-the-house portable like the Live. It’s designed to be set up in one spot — your living room, your bedroom, wherever — and to stay there for good. Libratone includes a wall mount in the Lounge’s box, so it can even hang under your television if you’ve got that wall-mounted as well.
The majority of the Lounge’s body is constructed from wood, with a deeply glossy white lacquer finish on the top panel. Our test speaker was wrapped in the company’s Slate Grey wool, although there are five colours in Italian or cashmere fabric to choose from. We absolutely love the texture, quality and finish of the woollen speaker grille cover — it definitely makes the Lounge feel like it’s worth its $1599.95 price tag.
Like the Live, the Libratone Lounge has a single button on its front right top corner — a white circle with the company’s passerine logo, which glows with a soft white light when connected to a wireless network and streaming audio through Apple’s AirPlay standard. There’s also a power switch on the Lounge’s rear next to the AC power socket, along with a 3.5mm input and mini-TOSLINK optical digital audio for connecting a TV — in this way you can use the Lounge as a soundbar speaker, as long as you’re happy controlling the volume over Wi-Fi (digital output doesn’t include volume adjustment, so your TV’s remote won’t do the job) or by using the 3.5mm jack.
The setup procedure for the Lounge is quite simple, and instruction booklets are included for whether you’re using the initial setup through an iPhone, Mac, PC, or other device. We set up the Lounge using an iPod touch — waiting for the Lounge to start up and create its own temporary Wi-Fi network to which we connected, went to a pre-defined IP address to enter our infrastructure Wi-Fi network’s SSID and password, then restarted the Lounge for it to connect automatically. It’s a simple process and the instructions are well-written and easy to follow.
Libratone Lounge: Sound quality and performance
The Lounge is a step up from the compact-but-spacious sound of the Libratone Lounge, with the kind of performance you’d expect from a high-end soundbar or bookshelf stereo speaker system. It’s somewhat short on bass, but that (and the frankly frustrating lack of a physical volume control) is its only real flaw.
It’s got excellent detail in mid-range and treble sounds, with all our test audio and music sounding clear and natural without any undue emphasis on any frequencies. The Lounge is a very measured, even speaker system that makes movie dialogue sound just as impressive as an acoustic music track.
Bass is the one area that we were expecting a little more than the Lounge was able to deliver. It’s a compact system, so we weren’t expecting anything window-shattering, but the 8-inch downward firing woofer serves the purpose of reinforcing the lower mid-range rather than producing deep lower bass kicks. It contributes to the overall warmth and high quality sound of the system, but it doesn’t have the outright power we were expecting.
The wide design of the Lounge — it’s around the width of a 50-inch TV screen, making it a good accompaniment for a mid-sized television of any size between around the 42- to 55-inch size. It also means the Lounge has great stereo separation for its size, keeping each channel distinct from each other until you get within half a metre of the speaker itself. If you’re listening to music that’s got a wide stereo mix — we noticed it on Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me &38212; you’ll appreciate the depth of sound that the Libratone Lounge is able to produce.
In terms of its performance, the Libratone Lounge is entirely adequate. It takes around 30 seconds to turn on and establish a Wi-Fi network connection, but it’s also able to hibernate in a low-power mode that makes startup instantaneous once you start streaming music to it over AirPlay.
If you’re using the Libratone Lounge through either the digital or analog direct audio inputs, and you start streaming a song over AirPlay, the AirPlay stream will take precedence. This is convenient — it means you’re able to switch over to AirPlay without any hassle — but if you’re sharing the Lounge with other friends or family members it could prove to be an inconvenience.
Just like in our review of the Libratone Live, we have to mention that the Lounge’s simplicity can potentially be a burden. The lack of a physical volume control on the speaker does impede its usability if you’re using it for anything but AirPlay — connect the 3.5mm or digital audio connector, and you’ll need to use the volume control on the device you’ve connected. The only alternative is to always have your iPhone (or other iOS device) on hand to change the volume over Wi-Fi, which just isn’t feasible if you want to relax and watch TV with remote control in hand.
Libratone Lounge: Conclusion
The Libratone Lounge is big, very well built, very simple — sometimes to its detriment — and has sound quality that flatters most of the music or audio that’s played through it. It doesn’t handle heavy bass or beat-driven music with the same panache as a Sonos SUB paired to a PLAY:5, for example, but for most music listeners it’s got more than enough power and a wide enough frequency range.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Xbox One X
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCJunior Java DevelopersVIC
- CCTransition ManagerNSW
- CCCRM Business AnalystQLD
- FTSecurity Cleared Network EngineerACT
- CCSAP ABAP CRM DeveloperQLD
- CCIteration Manager - TelcoVIC
- FTSIEM EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - HP Service Manager 9NSW
- FTUX Design LeadOther
- TPDelivery ManagerACT
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- TPSitecore DeveloperQLD
- CCProcess Improvement LeadNSW
- FTTeradata Systems Engineer - Financial Services - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - HR RosteringOther
- FTGraduate Application Support OfficerOther
- FTSenior Front End Developer - ReactOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - Operational Performance ReportingOther
- FTSenior Change Analyst / Change Manager ( Banking background)Other
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperNSW
- TPProgram Scheduler | 12 Month Contract | Qld GovernmentQLD
- FTService Desk AnalystVIC
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Health - Data Linkage SystemQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer (Juniper)WA
- CCJunior to Mid Level Java Developer - BankingACT