Loewe Speaker 2 go review: Premium sound for a premium price

Speaker systems that hook into your iPhone or your iPod are nothing new, they've been with us for many years now. Neither is the idea of a premium speaker that does just that. Bose were one of the first to make a popular, mainstream, high-end speaker dock, and we've since seen efforts from others such as Bower & Wilkins with the mighty Zeppelin range. The fact both are available through the Apple Retail Stores helps their appeal, but now there is another way; Loewe.

Perhaps not the most recognisable name to many, Loewe has a reputation – especially in Europe – for building high end TVs and home entertainment equipment. At a recent press gathering in Italy, I went eyes on with the AirSpeaker, and learned first hand of their next project with a mobile focus; the Speaker 2 go. It recently launched to the public, and we've had the pleasure of taking a look at one.

The first thing you notice upon pulling the Speaker 2 go from its box is the weight. As a portable speaker, the weight is quite substantial. But, with the weighty nature you immediately get the feel for the quality nature of the product. This is a speaker for those who are serious about their music, and want that same quality sound away from their home set up.

In weight comes almost no plastic on the exterior at all. It's a beautifully minimalist design, and yes, it's just a box, but it looks fantastic at the same time. Underneath the Speaker 2 go has a stand that pops in and out as you wish, and when out angles the speaker up ever so slightly with a view to filling the room more with the sound. Up top you have the controls for the Bluetooth, power, volume and the speakerphone; yes, you can use this as an expensive hands-free for your iPhone.

The other main controls are situated round the back out of sight, and they include a USB charging port. This serves no other purpose than to charge your iPhone or iPod – or any device with a USB charging cable – from the internal battery. Loewe promises around 8 hours battery life from just using it as a speaker, and in a recent camping trip that proved more than ample to get through the weekend, including a quick phone charge along the way.

So, it looks great, but how does it sound. The short version is; awesome. For the £269 price tag that Loewe has instilled upon the Speaker 2 go, you would hope for an impressive performance where it matters. It's loud, and powerful, with good but not overwhelming bass. And when I say loud, I really do mean loud. Even on the lowest volume setting in my house, it's probably going to be heard by the neighbors. Sound quality is one of those subjective things, though, so click a little further below for a sample. It doesn't do it justice by any means, but it should at least give you a taste of what it's all about.

So, it looks and sounds superb, but since this isn't like previous speakers from Loewe, like the AirSpeaker, it works with anything you can stream music from via Bluetooth. iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10, all work perfectly. In fact, the Speaker 2 go has NFC connectivity that makes pairing with those devices even simpler.

The good

  • Excellent build quality
  • Very nicely designed
  • Powerful sound without overwhelming bass
  • Works with any mobile device that supports Bluetooth music streaming
  • On board battery life impressive as is the ability to use it to charge your phone
  • NFC for devices that support it

The bad

  • Very heavy for something billed as a portable device
  • Still quite expensive, even though it is a premium product
  • Speakerphone performance is somewhat lacking

The bottom line

If you're in the market for a premium speaker to connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or even any other mobile device, the Loewe Speaker2go has to be on the shortlist. If portability is top of the list, it's maybe not for you as it is quite heavy. But if premium sound, design and build quality are what you're looking for, the Speaker2go is one of the best you'll find.

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Loewe Speaker 2 go review: Premium sound for a premium price

12 Comments

I bought the Loewe AirSpeaker (the expensive AirPlay one) directly from the Apple Ireland online store and it kept dropping off the network. The longest I got without it dropping off was a few days. It was seriously frustrating after shelling out €749 for this speaker. It was my reliable AirPort Extreme network.

OK, Apple replaced it with a new Loewe AirSpeaker. But, same issue again. I had the second speaker about 3 months from when I bought the first, and somehow after this time I convinced Apple to give me the full money back. I promised myself at that point that I likely would never buy another Loewe product again. Don't be fooled by expensive audio equipment, guys. Buy something cheap and save your money.

P.S. I have since noticed Apple online have removed all Loewe products from their shelves. Be careful out there.

So, this is Bluetooth only, no native Airplay?
Bluetooth is fine, I guess, for other devices not Apple, but it uses far more juice than Airplay.

I made the mistake of buying the "JBL on Air Wireless", which have giving me nothing but grief, so I stay away from any of their products now. I need to reboot it every time I use it, sometimes multiple times in one setting, and have been eyeing the Loewe speakers for a while now.
Also the new B&W speakers looks great.
Too bad the pricing is so high on both companies products though...

Thank's for the review - this sounds promising. I bought to my son Bose Soundlink BT II (in excellent bargain) couple of months ago - and I have to admire that I'm already selling my hifi-equipment!

I'm looking for something which I can use by streaming music - and Loewe Speaker 2go might be the one to start with!

Has anyone connected this speaker successfully to a windows computer. I have tried to do so with 2 different windows 7 computers and 1 windows 8 computer. It pairs, then goes offline and will not work. Speaker works fine with two different models of blackberrys and an Ipad2.

Did you solve your problem? I can't connect to my Win 8Pro Notebook or to my Surface RT (running pre 8.1) either. I asked Loewe Support in Germany, but they told me they don't know of any problems ... Windows Phone (Lumia 920), however, is no problem ...

No luck. I am going to go to a Loewe store and show them. The email support told me to go buy a Bluetooth dongle because they say it is a windows Bluetooth problem and not their problem! If Loewe can't resolve or give me a speaker that will connect to a windows 8 computer then I intend to return the speaker.

Too bad, the speaker is really great and sounds better than Bose SoundLink II (at least for my ears). I actually just got a Bluetooth dongle for my Win8 PC at work, so I am going to try if that changes anything. It's not the first time, though, that I have problems with Windows Computers and Bluetooth. Everything other than a mouse seems to problematic ...

The Bluetooth dongle didn't work either ... and it can't be all Windows fault: I forget to mention that my Surface RT can perfectly connect to my home A/V receiver from Pioneer via Bluetooth.

I've tried everything as well. I've tried with windows 8.1 with its native Broadcom stack, and then a CSR based dongle on W8.1 and windows7. My 8.1 PC connects to car and a friends Bluetooth speaker. I think the problem is Loewe's. Premium $ for premium product, but this is not good!

Loewe sent me this email:

Hi Richard,

I have obtained some feedback from the software developers.

The current version of S2GO shows incompatibilities with the Bluetooth drivers of Windows 7/8. We would suggest that you use external software-apps or updated BT-drivers to test pairing between S2GO and Windows. Regarding A2DP being mentioned in the manual. A2DP is one of a few protocols which are used to establish a connection between BT-Adapters and S2GO. Below are some protocols which are used on the S2GO:

1. AVRCP V1.4
2. HFP V1.6
3. A2DP V1.2

Which version of these protocols are supported by your Win8-Version? That is something you would need to speak with Microsoft about. You can look at suitable drivers to download to ensure the two devices pair.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
etc.

This was the last reply in a polite and timely email thread, but in the end left me no closer to a solution. It is actually very hard to find what protocols my laptop and dongle support. I'm pretty sure AD2P is standard, not sure which version. I'll get back to Loewe again.