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Libratone Diva review

Richard Easton
30 Jun 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

The Libratone Diva is a rather chunky soundbar with limited EQ customisation, but sound quality is decent

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Specifications

Speakers: 2, RMS power output: 225W, Dimensions: 988x100x158mm, Weight: 5.5kg, Dock connector: N/A, Networking: Bluetooth (aptX)

Speaker size and sound quality have a strong correlation in any audio product, but it's especially true of sound bars. When you're buying something to give your TV's weedy audio a boost, you want to sure you're actually getting something capable of delivering a bigger sound. Libratone's Diva might be on the larger end of the scale in terms of dimensions, but that means it creates an impressive audio presence.

Two 1in ribbon tweeters, two 3in mid-range drivers and a 5in subwoofer deliver 225W of 2.1 stereo sound, and while we would have liked a little more punch in the lower frequencies to give explosions in our Star Trek Blu-ray some added excitement and aggression, dialogue was definitely much clearer. There's no option for connecting an external subwoofer, although admittedly this would go against the Diva's clean design.

The Diva could at least present the delicate tones of our test tracks well, with a refreshing amount of detail in our folk and jazz tracks. Stereo separation is reasonable for the most part, but we would have liked a slightly wider soundstage.

It's a good thing the Diva impresses when it comes to music, as it also doubles as a wireless speaker with built-in Bluetooth. The less-lossy aptX codec will maintain the audio quality of your tracks if you play them on a compatible device, or you can opt for Apple AirPlay or DLNA to stream music from an iOS device, networked PC or NAS device. NFC makes it easy to connect your handset, and Spotify Connect means the Diva simply appears as a compatible speaker within the Spotify app on your phone or desktop.

You’ll need to connect your Diva to your home wireless network to start streaming, using the free companion app for iOS and Android. Annoyingly, the app was somewhat unreliable during the initial setup; you need to connect directly to the speaker via Wi-Fi direct before adding the details of your main wireless network, but we found the app kept losing connection. Once we'd successfully paired them, however, the connection remained stable.

Disappointingly you can’t use the companion app to make granular adjustments to bass, mids and treble to get a sound profile to your personal taste – only choose from different pre-set EQ settings. It's through the app you can activate Quiet mode, which lowers volume and bass presence even further to avoid disturbing your neighbours. However, the Diva wasn't particularly loud to begin with, and we found ourselves having to listen at 100% in order to fill a medium-sized room from five metres away.

With no remote control included, you’ll have to either use the Libratone app or program the Diva to recognise your TV remote's volume control inputs. We actually prefer this to having a separate remote control purely to adjust volume, although there are also physical volume controls on the front of the Diva if you prefer.

A woollen cover, available in a choice of 14 different colours, dominates the front of the Diva, with a subtle logo on the front being the only visible branding. The design is consistent with Libratone’s other audio products, so if you own any of those it’ll fit right in. You're also able to claim a second cover by registering your Diva with Libratone.

While its added girth may be good for sound quality, the Diva's 98.8x15.8.10mm dimensions make it most suited to 42in or larger TVs. It’s the height that could cause the most problems, however. A lot of modern TVs sit quite low on their stands, meaning there's a good chance the Diva will obstruct the bottom part of your screen – or at the very least the IR receiver, blocking your remote control inputs. You do at least have the option of wall mounting the Diva, as a bracket and screws are included in the box. The companion app lets you calibrate the speaker based on its location, adapting to either stand, wall or floor-mounted positions.

Libratone hasn't used the Diva's large size to add extra connectivity, either, with only digital optical and auxiliary 3.5mm audio jacks on the rear of the sound bar. There's no HDMI connection to make use of HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) if your television supports it, meaning you're reliant on your TV being able to feed audio from a Blu-ray player, set-top box or games console through its digital optical connection.

The Libratone Diva does a great job at delivering clearer audio when watching movies or television and its music performance was also respectable. However, £650 is a considerable amount of money for a sound bar, especially when there's very little in the way of EQ customisation and connectivity. The minimal woollen design might not be for everyone, either. For less money you can pick up a Samsung HW-H750, which also has the benefit of a dedicated external subwoofer.

Hardware
Speakers2
RMS power output225W
Subwoofer option75W (built-in)
Rear speaker optionNone
Dimensions988x100x158mm
Weight5.5kg
Ports
Audio inputs3.5mm stereo, optical TOSLINK
Audio outputsN/A
Video inputsN/A
Video outputsN/A
Dock connectorN/A
USB portUSB
NetworkingBluetooth (aptX)
NFCYes
Features
Video playback formatsNone
Image viewing formatsN/A
Audio playback formatsN/A
Smart TV appsN/A
Buying information
Price including VAT£650
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.libratone.com
Detailswww.libratone.com
Part codeLibratone Diva

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