If there's one thing Scandinavian brands have in common is conceiving one of the cleanest and minimalist speaker designs backed by ridiculously good sounding audio quality. Bang & Olufsen and Vifa were two standout names that have rubbed us the right way recently with the introduction of the beautifully made and ultra-compact Beoplay A1 by B&O, and Vifa with its powerfully capable Oslo portable wireless speaker. Another noteworthy Danish company that makes some incredibly well designed, unique wireless speakers is Libratone. And just so happens that we've gotten our clean hands on the company's newest offering – the One Click. Which we of course had to compare against some of the most popular speakers available right now, the Charge 3 and Beoplay A1.
Priced in at $200, Libratone's new One Click portable Bluetooth speaker is customizable right out of the box with its unique accessory system, and like Libratone's much larger Zipp speakers, it also offers none other than Libratone's signature 360-degree audio output using three internal drivers and a unique acoustic dispersion design that evenly delivers sound in every direction. This feature-rich portable speaker sounds like it could be the one, but is it really? Catch our full review to find out!
Libratone's One Click is one of the more interesting portable Bluetooth speakers to have come out in recent years. The reason being is that unlike other speakers, the One Click features an adaptable kit that enables users to add funtionality to their speaker to fit their usage style without having to purchase additional add-ons. There are two accessories included inside the box: a carry handle and a lock that can be used to hang or attach the One Click to various things. And I know you might be thinking that a handle isn't exactly revolutionary or unique, but the idea is that more attachments will open up even more modular funtionality and style customization. Libratone isn't offering any optional accessories at this time, but it does plan on releasing more in the future including different colored frames and styles for the One Click speaker.
The One Click is part of Libratone's new ultra-portable Bluetooth speakers which also includes the $149 Too, Libratone's smallest and the least expensive wireless speaker yet to offer 360-degree audio with a 12-hour battery life. You'll be able to find both speakers in the same four colorways: graphite gray, caribbean green, cerise red, and cloudy gray. Like Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini models, the One Click features a similar design language using a mixture of rubber and textile elements that give the speaker a very solid quality construction. Although I will say that the fabric used here doesn't seem to be as durable and resilient to tearing as the woven nylon material found on JBL's Charge 3, which isn't as soft and thin. Libratone says the One Click is weather-resistant with a rating of IPx4 for being splashproof. It also feels like it can take a few bumps and drops with that extra-thick, metal reinforced rubber bumper layer surrounding the outer edge of the speaker.
The familiar circular touch interface is also present here and can be used to control volume, play/pause, skip and answer/end calls with just a touch or a swipe. It works really well and even lights up with small white LEDs. Pressing the power button on the back will display the current battery level on the touch interface. You can also see a more detailed battery percentage of your One Click using the Libratone app. From within the app you can view a detailed battery percentage of your One Click speaker, pair a secondary speaker to play audio together and even set a sound EQ preset, albeit not a custom one.
Like most tall multi-directional speakers, the One Click is designed to be used while standing up. It is however not the most stable as it is relatively slim yet tall and hefty, so a nudge will cause it to fall back or forward. Although not ideal, you can lay the One Click flat on its back when playing music. Because of the raised bumpers around the frame of the speaker, the One Click cannot be positioned on its side and will only stand up on its own if placed upright on a flat even surface.
This rubberized bumper is part of the One Click's "click frame" system and is actually removable in order to support different types of attachments, which right now only consists of two available attachments already included with the speaker: a rubber handle and a rubberized carabiner-esque lock.
The frame is surprisingly easy to remove, perhaps a little too easy. Not that it doesn't feel snug and secure when it's on, but a bump in the right corner will nudge part of the frame from its position around the speaker. To attach an accessory, you first need to remove the frame and pop out one of those raised inerts and replace them with the accessory you'd like to use in its place.
One thing to make note of here are the two mounting points you'll need to use with the handle accessory, which are actually made out of a nicely finished silver aluminum material rather than just plastic. The ends of the rubber handle simply stretches over these and hooks in securely. You'll notice that there is more areas where you can attach an accessory throughout the One Click's frame, but we haven't seen any attachments that currently support these other orientations. Perhaps more will be available in the future, but for right now, the lock and handle should be attached near the top of the speaker instead of the bottom portion.
As gimmicky as it may seem right now with such a limited accessory selection, I actually found myself really liking the One Click's modular accessories like the carry handle, which has proved to be a very nifty yet functional accessory that adds convenience when carrying this speaker around.
Around the back you'll find the One Click's power button and the speaker's micro-USB charging and 3.5mm audio inputs protected by a rubber flap.
Where the Libratone One really excels is at producing a very clean, clear sound that is evenly distributed from back to front creating great sound no matter where you place it, or where it is that you are in relation to the speaker. In that regard, it's one of the best portable speakers you'll find for $200, beating the UE Boom 2 without a single drop of sweat. The 360-degree audio from this thing is really the most impressive feature, one that Libratone has been really good at since its inception with the original Zipp speaker.
That said, the One can't compete against Bang & Olufsen's Beoplay A1 when it comes to sonic detail. Not only that, but the it almost entirely lacks the ability to create any kind of a deep low-end, or an impressive bass thump that other similarly priced speakers of this size can quite easily deliver. And no matter what audio profile you try and set using the Libratone app will positively affect or enhance the One's audio signature in a significant way. You really know when you're in trouble as an audio company when a speaker like JBL's $100 tiny Flip 3 can contest against your much larger and more expensive offering. And that's all really odd when you consider the fact that the One Click features what seems like an impressive concoction of drivers that include a 1-inch tweeter, a 3-inch woofer, and a passive radiator.
But to be fair, the Libratone One isn't completely flat sounding and still produces an acceptable bass response considering its really slender, portable profile. And while the One isn't quite as loud as the Charge 3, it doesn't reduce its bass at high volumes nor did we experience any distortion either which is great.
When comparing the One Click against the $150 Charge 3 from JBL, we find that it really lacks that warmth and fullness afforded by the Charge 3, which sounds so much richer. There's no comparison. Mids and bass have more of a presence and create and overall fuller sounding audio compared to the brighter sound of the Libratone One. If you love bass, you won't love the One Click. But if you appreciate clarity and a more immersive audio performance, the One Click is a really great speaker in that regard.
The One Click is a good portable wireless speaker, nothing more. It's a decent sounding speaker for its size, the weather-resistant build quality is very good, and we really love the amazing 360-degree audio output -which is one of the best around, but for $200 there are better sounding portable speaker alternatives. Although we can see the value of the One Click's attachment funtionality, Libratone has yet to offer any compelling accessories that would truly make this a unique device.