What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 20 Dec 2012, 12:07pm

Loewe AirSpeaker

Tested at £500

Stylish, subtle and great-sounding: at £500 the AirSpeaker is a serious must-buy

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  • Neat design
  • Customisable insets
  • Great tonal balance
  • Detailed and dynamic sound


  • Does not spread sound as well as some rivals
  • Fiddly Airplay set-up

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 features
Designed 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 quality
The 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.

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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