Review: Libratone One Click Bluetooth Portable Speaker
Unless you’re a close follower of all things ‘Sound,’ you’ve probably never heard of Libratone before, and that’s a shame. As a company, Libratone is barely seven years old. But based on what they manufacture, they’re growing up quick, and about to enter adulthood. It’s been one heck of a busy year for this brand, introducing half of their current product line in the past six months. With the end of year approaching, they kept their right foot on the pedal and launched new products like the Q ADAPT in-ear and on-ear headphones. This brings us to the One Click Bluetooth portable speaker. So how does this product stack up? Let’s take a closer look in this Libratone One Click speaker review.
• Beautiful, creative design
• Solid construction
• Powerful sound with exceptional bass
• Four attractive color options
• Great battery life ≥ 11 hours
• Bass may be too strong for some folks
• While it’s splash proof, it’s not waterproof
• $200 price tag, may be too expensive for some
One Click Design and Features
If you couldn’t already discern, the Libratone One Click is one engaging speaker. First off the design.
It’s hard to decide what makes the Libratone One Click Bluetooth speaker stand out the most.
- Is it the attractive color choices and fabric scheme?
- Is it the solid construction and the rubberized metal bumper?
- Or is the multi-functional touch interface with the birdie on it?
Even I can’t narrow it down to one.
As I just stated, the One Click is surrounded by a most durable rubberized metal bumper. While I don’t recommend testing its sturdiness for yourself, just know that it can handle a fall from your desk. It’s also splash proof with an IPX4 rating. Now be careful with this speaker around say a swimming pool. If you drop it in water, it’ll sink like a brick. It does not float.
Like most bumpers, it’s adjustable/removable. You can attach the enclosed short strap or U-shaped lock through the bumper. Both options are shown in photos below. So if you want to connect your One Click to a backpack or just hold it like a purse, you can easily do so.
The fabric on the front/back surfaces of the One Click is not only eye-catching, but it’s also durable. The speaker is available in four colors: Cloudy Grey, Graphite Grey, Cerise Red, Caribbean Green. How cool would it have been if Libratone called the last color Caribbean Queen in honor of singer Billy Ocean? Just a thought.
I suspect that in a majority of people’s opinions, the touch interface is the coolest design feature. Through this interface, you can adjust volume, start and stop operation, as well as take and end calls. Adjusting the volume is a matter of circling a finger around the interface whereupon you see the backlit indication.
On the rear of the speaker is the on/off button and splash protected area for the mini-HDMI and Aux ports. Charging the battery is handled via the aforementioned mini-HDMI jack. Should you want to listen to music or a podcast via a cabled connection, that’s what the Aux port is for.
I inquired about the TDH and wattage of the speaker, but the answer is more complex than I imagined. The word according to the Libratone’s Tech Department was “we do not provide THD and wattage specifications as these typically only express performance of single elements of the product, rather than the end result.” I can live with that response.
One thing I’d like to be able to do with the speaker is comfortably set it on its long edge. Although it’s possible, the speaker is not exactly stable.
The speaker has overall dimensions of 2.8″ x 6.6″ x 10.8″, and weighs in at 3.3 lbs.
What’s In The Box?
- One Click Speaker
- One Short Strap
- One U-Shaped Lock
- USB Charging Cable
- Quick Guide
Audio Performance & Playlist
• Lana Del Rey – Born To Die, Paradise
• Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events
• Ellie Goulding – Halcyon
• 30 Second To Mars – 30 Seconds To Mars
• John Coltrane – The Ultimate Blue Train
• Rush – Clockwork Angels
As we often state here at Beantown, when reviewing speakers and headphones, the most important performance factor is the quality of sound. Using the playlist above, the OneClick was tested across a broad range of music. Songs within each album were sampled against comparable $200 speakers selected from my collection. The results were noted, and quite kind to the reviewed speaker.
Last week in a review of the HK One, I described that speaker in the following way, “It’s a sad moment when the only positive thing you can write about a product, in this case, a speaker, is its ability to deliver strong vocals.” I’m so glad I can’t make that statement two weeks in a row. You see, the One Click produced excellent vocals, which were warm and inviting. The One Click didn’t stop there. The speaker took a balanced approach with sound quality. For a speaker of its size, bass reproduction was excellent. In fact, it was too good thanks to its 3″ woofer. In my opinion, the bass sounds could have been dialed down a notch along with the vocals being dialed up one. I’m not complaining; it’s just personal preference.
Like the HK One, I tested the Libratone One Click against ten albums. When I say I haven’t heard better playback of John Coltrane, Rush, and 30 Seconds to Mars from a $200 portable speaker, it’s not an understatement. Say what you want about actor/musician Jared Leto and his band 30 Seconds to Mars, but the Libratone One Click just played that album perfectly. It’s like the speaker was engineered for their sound. And I can’t wait until I listen to John Coltrane’s The Ultimate Blue Train again.
When the One Click was compared song-to-song against the HK One, the former delivered superior sound quality across all the sampled artists. Lana Del Rey’s vocal reproduction on Paradise was impressive. The same was said of the other female artists: Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, and Emeli Sandé.
The one negative takeaway from this Libratone speaker was that on Emeli Sandé’s song Wonder, I could barely hear the finger snapping which I know is in the song. If I weren’t familiar with the song, I wouldn’t have noticed that particular sound was missing.
I stood in different spots in my 300 ft² entertainment room, as well as adjacent rooms, and the sound quality did not disappoint. Then I placed the one Click around the room. What I heard out of the 1″ tweeter, 3″ woofer, and dual passive drivers was terrific. Thanks to the upfiring tweeter, you get what Libratone refers to as 360° FullRoom™ sound. I highly suggest placing the portable speaker (in a more central location) on a coffee book table should you have one.
The One Click’s sound quality was matched with excellent battery life. While I’m not certain of its lithium-ion battery size, although I suspect it’s around 5000 mAh, its life approached 12 hours. As a consumer, this is what you want from a $200 portable speaker. One night while testing, I had the speaker volume near its maximum for four straight hours and there was no drop off in sound output. What more can I say?
While the speaker has received a 5 out 5 rating in Amazon reviews, the same cannot be said for the app. Reviews posted on the Google Play Store give it a rating of 2.9. Feel free to read them to get a better understanding. I too have had issues using the app, in particular two dropped calls in one night over Bluetooth, but none since that date. I can’t explain why it happened, it just did.
Since that time, I’ve had zero problems with updating the password, connecting via bluetooth, visiting internet stations such as BBC 6 Radio, or adjusting SoundSpaces. You can view the battery charge remaining and adjust volume via the app. Sadly, I couldn’t attempt pairing two Libratone speakers as I only have one available.
• Easy Listening
• Soft & Comfortable
• Rock the House
• Movie Mode
• Live Concert
Upon downloading and installing the app, it will be able to perform the following:
• Approximate location (network-based)
• Reroute outgoing calls
• Read phone status and identity
• Access USB storage filesystem
• Read the contents of your USB storage
• Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
• View Wi-Fi connections
• Allow Wi-Fi Multicast reception
• Connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
• View network connections
• Pair with Bluetooth devices
• Access Bluetooth settings
• Change network connectivity
• Full network access
• Run at startup
• Prevent device from sleeping
• Modify system settings
Our results surpassed our expectations on the One Click portable speaker. It was a clear winner in features and performance over compared speakers such as the HK One. As I’ve stated, the Libratone One Click is not only a wonderful speaker with a range of attractive color options; it’s a true performer.
It takes up only a small footprint on a flat surface while delivering solid sound quality and battery life all at a reasonable price point.
With CES2017 approaching, here’s hoping we see some new products available in 2017.
Normally, the Libratone One Click speaker can be purchased directly from the Libratone website for $199.99. Fortunately for you, it’s $50 less right now through January 30th. At $149.99, this speaker is worth taking a long look at.
What do you think of this Libratone One Click speaker review? Do you agree or disagree with our verdict? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
FTC Disclosure: Libratone provided Beantown LLC with one (1) Libratone One Click Bluetooth speaker sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC or Libratone © 2016.