The Libratone Zipp catches your attention before you even turn it on. It looks like no other speaker, in lots of ways.
First, there's the zip that gives the gadget its name. Wrapped around the speaker is a soft cloth jacket that's held in place by the zip which means it's exceptionally quick and simple when you decide you want to swap to another colour finish. There are plenty of combinations available so you can match your room décor easily. The Nordic Black finish looks particularly chic, though there's something rather calming about Atlantic Deep, a rich dark azure blue colour.
Or, if you want something that leaps out at you even in the most colourful room, then Signal, a sunshine-bright yellow option or the striking Victory Red are worth a look.
You'll also spot immediately that there's a leather strap which means the portable speaker is easily picked up and carried around the house. And if you move it around a lot, then something unmissable would be especially useful.
That portability is not just down to the strap or the fact that it stands 26cm high and weighs 1.5kg, though those things help, obviously. It's also because the rechargeable battery inside lasts for 10 hours of non-stop play, which should be enough for the longest party, shouldn't it?
Oh, and the Zipp has a charging port so you even can top up your smartphone battery from it while you're playing music.
The customisable sleeve isn't the only design highlight on the Libratone Zipp. The top of the speaker includes a touch-sensitive panel which lights up and is a simple control for volume, playback, pairing the speaker with your phone and even a quick access to favourite internet radio stations, for instance. And if you want to temporarily mute the speaker, when you want to hear somebody in the next room, say, you just place your hand on top and it quietens the audio. Remove it and the sound smoothly slides up to the previous volume. It's an elegant interface.
Once you've decided which room you're going to listen to music in, the 360-degree FullRoom speaker on the Zipp means you can place it where you want. The speaker sounds as good wherever you plonk it, and wherever you are in the room.
There's another reason the Libratone Zipp is so versatile and suitable for every style: the sound. Whether you're sitting in the garden for a smart dinner party or cooking up a storm on the barbecue, the Zipp will be a great accompaniment, providing detailed audio in every direction and pumping out significant, punchy bass without losing the higher notes in the mix.
There's even more the Zipp's versatility, though. It's simple to turn it into a multi-room system using multiple Zipps and the dedicated smartphone app. It's simple to do: on the app just drag one speaker image on top of another and, er, that's it. You can link a speaker in the garden with one in the living room and another in the bathroom – so your dinner party guests really never need to be without music wherever they go. You can then connect another pair of speakers in your bedroom. All can be playing music at the same time, and you can choose whether they all have the same audio, or separate groups play different audio – handy if the kids are upstairs while you're in the garden and everyone wants their own sounds.
This versatility is down to the fact that, unlike many speakers, the Zipp connects to your wi-fi network as well as Bluetooth, increasing its effective range into the bargain - Bluetooth rarely stretches all round a house, but wi-fi can.
The Libratone Zipp is an effective speaker with lots of flexibility, great audio and a design which is highly attractive – whichever colours you choose.