If you mostly use Apple products and you're looking for a smart speaker, choosing an HomePod makes sense. If you own non-Apple devices or like using Amazon Alexa over Siri, another choice comes to mind. The Zipp 2 and Zipp Mini 2 are Libratone's newest smart speakers that can benefit Apple and non-Apple fans alike. In this review, I take a look at the smaller of the two devices. As you'll soon see, much of what I like (and dislike) about Libratone's flagship device is also noted here.
Price: $249Bottom line: The Libratone Zipp Mini 2 is just as impressive as its big brother, perhaps even more so because it contains the same features for less. You'll have to decide which one is best for your situation.
- Amazon Alexa built-in
- Supports Apple AirPlay 2
- Connect through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- 12 hours of music on a single charge
- 360-degree sound
- Not waterproof (and it really should be)
- Frustrating touch controls
- Pricing suggests you might want the bigger model
What is the Libratone Zipp Mini 2?
The Libratone Zipp Mini 2, as its name suggests, is a continuation of a popular device that was first introduced in 2015. Like the first Mini, this version is essentially the same as Libratone's bigger speaker, the Zipp 2, except for its size. As I'll discuss, with little disparity, choosing between the two devices could prove difficult for most folks especially when you consider the price points. Make no mistake, the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 is a terrific device. In the long run, however, bypassing it for the larger model might be a more practical choice.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Zipp Mini 2||Zipp 2|
|Height||8.8 inches||10.3 inches|
|Width||3.9 inches||4.8 inches|
|Weight||2.4 pounds||3.3 pounds|
|Woofer||3-inch neodymium||4-inch neodymium|
|Tweeter||1-inch soft dome neodymium||1-inch soft dome neodymium|
|Radiator||2 x 3.5-inch low-frequency||2 x 4-inch low-frequency|
|Far-field mic array||3 mics||6 mics|
Libratone Zipp Mini 2: What I like
Admittingly, most of the electronic devices in my home are from Apple. Because of this, it's a no-brainer that whatever smart speakers I bring through the doors must work with AirPlay 2. I'm less tied to Siri, however.
First announced in 2017, Apple's AirPlay 2 protocol allows audio to be sent to multiple devices in different rooms, all maintained by Control Center, the iOS Home app, and Siri. Libratone introduced AirPlay 2 into its previous Zipp and Zipp Mini speakers through a software update in late 2018. With the new versions, AirPlay 2 is baked in. For non-Apple users, you can also connect different Libratone speakers through the company's proprietary Soundspace Link technology that allows you to connect other speakers through Wi-Fi.
The Libratone Zipp Mini 2 also offers Amazon Alexa, which is enabled using a far-field mic array with three mics. Just as you would with Amazon's lineup of Echo speakers, you can ask Alexa to play music, order pizza, turn on/off your lights, and much more, directly through the Zipp Mini 2.
Beyond this, let's talk about the sound the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 provides.
Thanks to its internals, the Zipp Mini 2 offers loud audio in all directions; better still, even at the highest levels, there are no cracking sounds. To achieve this, sound comes through using the device's 3-inch neodymium woofer, 1-inch soft dome neodymium tweeter, and 2 x 3.5-inch low-frequency radiator.
Called FullRoom, the 360-degree sound on the Mini 2 offers high-res audio (96 kHz/24 bit) with a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz. Whether through Apple's AirPlay or Libratone's SoundSpace Link, you can attach up to 10 additional speakers for a multi-room effect. Using the official Libratone app for iOS and Android, you can also create an authentic stereo experience. Both are so to do.
Setting up the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 is easy thanks to the app, which you can also use to link other Libratone devices seamlessly. There's also voice presets that Libratone designed to match the type of music you're playing. The app also provides room EQ presets, a sleep timer, and a toggle to turn the Amazon Alexa integration on/off.
Are you Spotify user? The app and speaker fully integrate with Spotify Connect, a protocol that uses higher-quality Wi-Fi connectivity versus Bluetooth. (Think fewer dropouts and a more comprehensive range.) If you're an Apple user, you're likely to use AirPlay 2 to listen to your streaming or downloaded music. I've tested both technologies, alongside Libratone's SoundSpace Link system, and they all work perfectly. The Libratone Zipp Mini also supports Tidal and TuneIn Radio accounts.
Two other positives come to mind. First is the Zipp Mini 2's built-in battery, which provides up to 12 hours of active use between charges, which is impressive given its many integrations. Also, I was impressed with the Zipp Mini 2's responsiveness to interacting with Alexa. Yes, it just works even from many feet away.
Controls and price
Libratone Zipp Mini 2: What I don't like
One of the things that bothered me about the Zipp 2 is on display here as well, namely the brightly lit touch controls at the top of the device. Alongside standard controls for volume, play, pause, and skip forward/back, the circular display also features icons showing whether the speaker needs recharged or if there's a firmware update available. There's also a button you can use to quickly pick from five preset playlists or radio stations which you can set up via the Libratone app.
This is overkill, folks and goes against Libratone's otherwise keen decision to create minimalistic products. As designed, the interface on the device looks crammed.
Two things I do like about the touch control is how you can lower the music briefly by placing your hand over the interface, and the so-called correct feature that will scan the device's surroundings to create a customized sound.
Finally, its disappointing Libratone hasn't made this device waterproof or at least water-resistant. Instead, we're told it's humidity resistant only. Hopefully, a future Zipp Mini version can spend the day in and around a swimming pool where it deserves to be!
Should you get the bigger model instead?
For about $50 more, you can purchase the slightly larger Libratone Zipp 2. For this, you get the same great features in a somewhat bigger footprint, with better internals. These include a 4-inch woofer and 2-by-4-inch low-frequency radiators. The larger model also includes a far-field mic array with six mics, versus just three on the Zipp Mini 2. If you can afford it, I'd recommend buying the Zipp 2 unless size and money are both huge factors.
Likeable and powerful
Libratone Zipp Mini 2
The Zipp Mini 2 is an exceptional speaker with many useful features, including Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, and much more. Whether you buy one or 10, you'll be happy with your purchase. Like the Zipp 2, it's currently available in four colors, black, red, gray, and green.
See Libratone Zipp Mini 2 at Amazon
Have any questions?
If you have any questions or concerns about the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 or smart speakers in general, let us know below.
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
By Tammy Rogers