It is always welcome to see new AirPlay speakers being announced, and as a fellow Scandinavian it is great to see Danish company Libratone embracing the Apple AirPlay technology in their latest high-end wireless speakers; meet the Libratone Live & Libratone Lounge.
Following in the footsteps of the heralded first Libratone Beat speakers, the new AirPlay additions to the Libratone family is expected to hit markets sometime in September this year (did anyone say Christmas present??). The Libratone Live tower speaker which is pretty much identical to the Libratone Beat, with the addition of AirPlay of course, will retail at £599 in the UK ($699/€699), whilst the new Libratone Lounge soundbar will retail at £1,099 ($1,299/€1,199). With the fairly hefty price tag on both of them compared to some of the other AirPlay speakers already in the market it will be interesting to see how their sound compares.
As mentioned earlier, the Libratone Live looks the same as the Beat model, but there are a few other improvements besides the AirPlay technology as well, including an upgrade to 150W with five dedicated amps powering a 5-inch bass, a pair of mid-range 3-inch drivers, and a pair of 1-inch ribbon tweeters.
The Libratone Lounge soundbar is designed to sit alongside your television set, so it is a sizeable unit (100 x 22 x 12cm) that can also be wall mounted in case you have your tv wall mounted as well. It is not a surround system if that is what you are looking for, but you can connect it to your television set using the 3.5 mm mini-TOSLINK jack found on both the Lounge and the Live model. There is plenty of power in this top model, with 150W of power across one 8-inch inverted woofer (50W), dual 4-inch midrange drivers (2x25W) and a pair of 1-inch ribbon tweeters (2x25W).
Both models are available in the standard slate grey, but you can also upgrade (extra cost) to the cashmere finish in blood orange, vanilla beige, blueberry black, and lime green.
A dedicated app will come alongside the new Libratone AirPlay speakers as well which will help you get the best sound experience from the speakers based on room and placement.
Libratone might not be a household name for the masses of iPod/iPhone owners out there yet, but they are slowly becoming a favourite with Apple which will be featuring the new range in their Apple Store as well as on their website in September.
Unless my fellow Scandinavians read this and decide to send me a pair for review i will be visiting an Apple Store in September to give them a test (Lounge only in Apple flagship stores). And if they sound as good as they look (reports indicate that they do), i will just have to start putting some savings aside, as these Libratone speakers will look great in my living room.