Libratone One Click Review: Big Sound at a Good Price

Libratone prioritizes sound quality with its speakers, generally emphasizing full, rich acoustics. The $200 One Click definitely fits that mold, with surprisingly good audio performance and impressive battery life for its price. But these features come at the expense of a speaker that's not so easy to carry around.

Design

The 8 x 4.7 x 1.6-inch One Click is larger than the $200 UE Boom 2 and the $180 Fugoo Style, and also much heavier at 3.3 pounds (the Boom 2 is 1.2 pounds; the Fugoo 1 pound). As a result, it's less portable — it doesn't fit well in one hand, and it's weighty. But the extra size allows for bigger speakers inside. The One Click has a 3-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter, and you can hear the difference.

Credit: LibratoneCredit: LibratoneTo make the speaker easier to tote around, the One Click comes with two options: a hook on the top, or a strap. You can switch from one to the other by removing the sleeve that wraps around the edges of the speaker. Be careful when removing the sleeve, though; I dislodged the front cover at the same time.

Libratone centralized all the controls to a touch-sensitive circle on the front of the speaker. Tap it to pause or play songs or answer calls. Swipe clockwise to raise the volume; counterclockwise to lower. Unlike the Libratone Zipp, which has a similar touch surface, you can't skip songs directly from the speaker.

You'll find the power button on the back and, beneath a cover, a micro USB port for charging and an auxiliary output for wired connections. That's it as far as controls and inputs on the speaker itself.

MORE: Best Bluetooth Speakers for Home or On-the-Go

Ruggedness

The One Click is rated IPX4, meaning it can withstand a water splash but it shouldn't be submerged. The Boom 2 and Fugoo, on the other hand, are much more rugged — both can both be dunked in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Performance

With its rich treble, midrange and bass, the One Click separates itself from other portable speakers in this price range.

Justin Timberlake's vocals on "Can't Stop the Feeling!" came across full and clear, while the bass line was detailed and rich; the bass on the Boom 2 was muddier, while the Fugoo couldnꞌt match the midrange. The One Click produced the complex layers of sound on Radioheadꞌs "Burn the Witch" well, and the vocals were easier to hear than on the other speakers.

The One Click performed well on all types of music. The piano on Steely Dan's "Aja" had a richness that the Boom 2 and the Fugoo lacked. Miles Davisꞌ trumpet on "Summertime" popped to the front of the mix, while the acoustic bass was more present than the competitors.

The One Click has enough power to fill a medium room. It maxed out at about 85 decibels, though it sounded less distorted and brash around 80 dBs.

Wireless and Software

The One Click connected via Bluetooth without problem to iOS and Android devices. Libratone doesn't state the wireless range; in testing I found the signal started to break up at about 75 feet — comparable to the Boom 2 and better than the Fugoo.

Once connected via Bluetooth, you can use Libratone's free iOS or Android app to monitor battery life or change the sound settings. I used Rock the House for my testing for the extra bass, though the Neutral tone also sounded good.

You can also pair two One Clicks to create a "SoundSpace" — doubling up the output. Libratone offers the same feature on its Zipp line, but for now the One Click and Zipp lines are not compatible. The company says it will offer that in the future.

Speakerphone

As with many Bluetooth speakers, the One Click includes a speakerphone. I could hear people I spoke with loud and clear through the speaker — much better than through the iPhoneꞌs built-in speaker. To the people on the other end of the call, my voice sounded about as clear as with the iPhoneꞌs speakerphone.

MORE: Our Favorite Outdoor (Waterproof) Speakers

Battery

Libratone says you should be able to get 12 hours of playback on a full charge, and that seems conservative. After listening for 10 hours at low to moderate volume, I still had about half the battery left. The Boom 2ꞌs battery life is stated at 15 hours, while the Fugoo Style dominates with 40 hours.

Bottom Line

In the $200 Bluetooth speaker range, you wonꞌt find another speaker that offers the excellent sound quality, along with good battery life and water resistance, of the Libratone One Click. It has a balanced and rich sound, with good treble, midrange and bass tones ─ competitors usually lack in at least one of those areas.

But itꞌs heavy and fairly large, making it less likely that youꞌll want to take it places. The Boom 2 and the Fugoo are smaller, lighter and more rugged, making them better choices for people who plan to take the speaker with them frequently. Still, if sound quality is your priority, you can't go wrong with the One Click.

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