Loewe speaker 2go review
- Chunky charger
- Big for a travel speaker
A late entry into the startlingly busy Bluetooth speaker market, this premium offering goes head-to-head with the likes of the Cambridge Audio Minx Go. Beats Pill and Jabra Solemate. Opening the streamlined box you'll find a handy drawstring bag, underneath which is the aluminium clad speaker itself.
In a separate box there's a somewhat bulky charger with EU and UK plug options, as if to intentionally cement this product's Euro credentials. It's available in two colour ways – silver and black.
Loewe speaker 2go: Design and build
Just like the Loewe Air Speaker, the Loewe speaker 2go is immediately a winner in design terms – if you're into modernism and Apple-style clean lines. In audio terms it's very 80s Bang and Olufsen, in a good way. The double-banded trim is solid 3mm aircraft grade alloy, and the front/rear grilles are aluminium also.
Five ally buttons grace the centre of the top rear band – volume up/down, power, bluetooth and phone. Rather neatly, Loewe has embedded tiny square white LEDs into the groove under the buttons for a visual cue as to what's on and off.
The volume is particularly pleasing, with each of six LEDs indicating three volume positions via slightly ascending and descending brightness. There's also a tiny rubberised retractible foot, activated by pressing down on the top front of the unit.
According to Loewe, the precise angle of this was the subject of a research project all to itself. Apparently the result is the optimum angle to fill the average-sized room with sound. The only negative you'll notice immediately is the weight – there's premium weight for sure, but in a travel speaker? Loewe claim 1.3kgs, which tallies with our review scales.
Loewe speaker 2go: Connectivity
Ports are to the rear, along with an on/off switch, handy for preventing accidental activation during travel. As well as an analogue aux in, there's a handy USB power out, and a less exciting 12V power inlet. One of the main selling points though, requires no port at all, and that's the NFC sync system.
Touch a phone with NFC enabled onto the left hand side of the top (there's a handy black plastic plug with a inset 'C' here), and pairing is automatic. Once paired, bluetooth works as normal within a 10 metre radius, or a bit more in good conditions. Of course, Bluetooth never experiences good conditions, and unfortunately there's nothing any manufacturer can do about it.
If you've synced the Loewe Speaker 2go with your phone it'll also function as a hands-free speaker. Loewe claims the echo cancellation enhances call quality, which was pretty decent in our tests.
Loewe speaker 2go: Audio
Audio quality is excellent thanks to the apt-X codec, but there's a cable option if the whole wireless thing is too exhausting. Loewe states the speaker 2go has an output of 40 watts, and its two mid-range 10w speaker drivers and a single 20w woofer are certainly enough to fill a room adequately.
Pitched as a travel speaker, it delivers audio flawlessly at this level. Bass is reasonable (impressive given the cabinet size), midrange balanced and distinct highs. Considering the whole package is slightly larger than a house brick, it's an impressive performance.
Compared back to back with a slew of cheaper bluetooth speakers you can appreciate what Loewe has achieved here in audio terms. This is the ideal companion for executive travel, if you can live with the weight and dimensions.
Loewe speaker 2go: Battery
Loewe claim the battery is good for eight hours, and in our unscientific tests that seems about right, although even on low volumes that's a maximum figure from the performance of our test model. Charging other devices will see this drop further.
Loewe speaker 2go: Verdict
Overall then, this is definitely one of the best-designed Bluetooth speakers out there, oozing quality from every orifice. Practical touches abound as well, very much not all mouth no trousers. However, priced at a salty £269 you'd be expecting a seamless, luxury experience, and that's what you get. If you're looking for a budget knockabout speaker for the beach, this isn't it, but as a chunk of design classic to grace Manhattan penthouse hotels it's all win.
Loewe speaker 2go release date: Out now
Loewe speaker 2go price: £269