Airplay-friendly Libratone Zipp speaker ditches Wi-Fi

Airplay-friendly Libratone Zipp speaker is cute but pricey
You can just use it at home, too

The Libratone Zipp may look like something you'd keep in a picnic hamper or cuddle on a cold winter's night, but don't be fooled; it's a cute and stylish 360-degree Airplay speaker in disguise.

It's a bit special, because the Zipp can connect directly to your iPhone or other iOS device using Libratone's bespoke Direct Play tech and AirPlay, rather than needing a separate Wi-Fi network (which is handy for when you're out and about). There's a Libratone app that makes the set up quick and easy too.

With a 60W amp and 2.1 digital stereo system, the diminutive speaker pumped out a decent sound at TechRadar's demo, thanks in no small part to the 4-inch bass drive and two 1-inch tweeters within.

Out and about

Battery-wise, Libratone reckons you'll get around 80 hours if you connect via aux lead, but only around 5 hours when using the wireless settings.

It's fairly hefty for a portable speaker-about-town - weighing in at 1.8kg (4lb) we're not sure how long that little hand strap will last.

That strap is made of leather, though, while the fuzzy zip-toting interchangeable cases are Italian cashmere which may give you a hint as to the price tag of the thing.

Because it's a bit cool, there are eight colour options to choose between – grey, red, black, pink, yellow, purple and two shades of blue.

But the Libratone Zipp certainly doesn't come cheap; a single-cover edition will set you back £330 while a speaker with multiple covers will be £370. Additional covers will sell for around £30 each.

If that doesn't put you off, or you've recently had a small lottery win, you'll be able to nab a Zipp in the first week of October.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.