Libratone has come back yet again with a brand new portable speaker. After discontinuing most of their earlier ranges, the new Libratone One Click is everything you would need anyway from a portable speaker. The speaker’s design is consistent with others from Libratone which I think is a very nice touch. There are no weird and wonderful designs. They’re usually very basic and plain, but it works. The Libratone One Click speaker is no different.
It’s covered in a rubbery type silicone housing which gives it some form of protection from bangs and scrapes. We haven’t tested it but I can’t see it surviving if it is really dropped from a substantial height. The rubber indents act as different slots for the accessories that come in the box. The first is a rubber clip type mount for the speaker to attach it to your bike or even hang it on the back of your chair at a summer barbecue. The second acts as a type of handbag carrying strap so you can carry it around on your person when out and about. Each adapter slots in fairly easily too despite having to make it work with rubber.
The Libratone One Click has been awarded an IPX4 rating meaning it’s splashproof. This is mainly thanks to the rubber flap that covers the micro USB charging and 3.5mm auxilary port. It won’t break under a little rain if you are out on a camping trip but will unfortunately die a quick death if it takes a dive into the swimming pool at the hotel. This is fairly standard with higher end portable speakers which isn’t a bad thing unless you’re going to be careless.
The speaker itself weighs around 900 grams which is a little weighty for something regarded as portable. It’ll happily fit inside a backpack if you are wanting to carry it with you though. But the different clips and straps can offer so much more in terms of portability than other speakers on the market. Controlling the speaker made us a little confused, and a little embarrassed when we finally figured it out. All the controls to the speaker are on Libratone’s new touch sensitive bubble like sensor. Volume and track skip can be activated by swishing your finger across it. Very innovative and looks smart too although could be confusing to newcomers to the brand.
There is a 360-degree sound stage on offer here as both sides of the speaker emit music from them. There is a 3-inch subwoofer backed up by 1-in tweeters and a passive driver. An issue with this is that the speaker needs to be standing up on its side for the 360-degree sound to kick in. This isn’t very practical as the speaker doesn’t really have much of a stand. A tiny nudge could send this speaker toppling over which is strange for Libratone as their designs are usually absolutely on point. Lay the speaker down flat and you don’t just lose the 360-degree sound but it also turns into an upfiring speaker meaning you lose some sound quality as you’re no longer straight on.
However, if it’s on its side or back the speakers audio is actually alright. The biggest let down was the lack of higher frequencies. The One Click does a fine job of pumping out bass, but when it comes to listening to more rock/pop type music it just sounds a little flat and muddy. If you’re into your RnB, Dubstep or EDM then this speaker would do you justice. For the £139 asking price there are a few more speakers I would aim for such as the Pure Jongo S3 or even a Bose Soundlink II. What was impressive was the One Click’s battery life. It can last up to 12 hours from a full charge which was pretty accurate during our testing.
Libratone has been a favourite for a very long time now. It’s disappointing to see a sub-par speaker compared to others on the market come out of their doors. Yes there are other alternatives on the market for better sound quality, but none that match the portability of the Libratone One Click. It’s also one of the most attractive portable speakers on the market within this price range too. Maybe in the future Libratone will learn from this and combine both sound quality and portability one day. I’m sure they will, and I’m positive it will be great.