• Loewe AirSpeaker
Our Verdict 
Stylish, subtle and great-sounding: at £500 the AirSpeaker is a serious must-buy
For 
Neat design
Customisable insets
Great tonal balance
Detailed and dynamic sound
Against 
Does not spread sound as well as some rivals
Fiddly Airplay set-up
Reviewed on

We’re glad we missed out on reviewing the Loewe AirSpeaker when it first came out a few months ago. By waiting, we’ve managed to review it post-price drop, and while we think at its original price of £700 it would have struggled to get a five-star rating, with the new £500 tag it’s very difficult to resist.  Loewe AirSpeaker: design and featuresDesigned ostensibly to blend into, rather than stand out from, its surroundings, the AirSpeaker can still be made that bit more eye-catching with the interchangeable insets on the top.

Not only are there a few preset colours (one of which is in the £500 price) and materials available (including aluminium and even wood), you can also get a bespoke inset by choosing any colour from the RAL spectrum.

As you’ll have noticed, there’s no dock interrupting the Loewe’s straight lines, but you do get a digital USB socket on the back that will charge and take audio from your iDevice, as well as a 3.5mm aux-in for the rest.

Loewe AirSpeaker: sound qualityThe key feature, though, is AirPlay – but get ready to jump through a few hoops to get that working. Loewe’s step-by-step guide isn’t that hard to work out, but it does mean making a direct connection between the AirSpeaker and a computer using an ethernet cable. Compared with B&W’s not-so-hard wireless, iDevice-based set-up, it’s a bit fiddly.

Make that effort, though, and the results are impressive. The Loewe sounds tight, detailed and has the kind of tonal balance and control that makes the Zeppelin Air sound a tad tubby in the bass. It’s got a great way with vocals, too, ensuring that they emerge clearly.

More after the break

But the Loewe can’t quite escape the confines of its physical form: you always know where the sound is coming from and a little vibration is evident in the casework with upper bass. Those would be big issues if the Loewe was £700, but at £500 they’re overwhelmed by the design and overall superb, balanced sound.

MORE: Best AirPlay speakers 2014

 

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