FlowSongs Beta: The devices it will work on and what they are like
Pure, the leader in digital DAB radios, has launched a new music streaming service that allows users to stream tracks from a central location to their radio, as long as the device that supports the service has Internet access.
But, which devices work with the new FlowSong Beta offering and are they any good? This is what we think of the devices, so you can decide which one you should get.
AVANTI Flow, £279
There’s no escaping the fact that the Avanti Flow is an expensive bit of kit and it’s not without its failings, but the audio output alone is worth the cash. The internet radio search is a touch inelegant and we’ve seen better remotes, so it’s not all roses, but once you’ve heard it in action those issues become less of a problem.
Probably more for the audio enthusiast than a simple iPod dock solution, however it could conceivably replace a much bulkier hi-fi system and give better audio quality.
EVOKE Flow, £150
The Pure Evoke Flow is launched at a time when more and more manufacturers are getting into the internet radio market. Its offering on the hardware front, as we've come to expect from Pure Digital, is second to none.
That's not to say it’s completely perfect, there are a few glitches with the radio: no live pause for example and the menus can be confusing at times with no direct button to get you to the home page, but on the whole, the radio's performance when listening to DAB, FM or internet radio is very good. Sound quality and speaker capabilities are excellent and as a piece of hardware we love it.
Where the chink in the armour occurs is in thelounge.com website, that accompanies the radio. It's just rough around the edges and, compared to the competition, not very Web 2.0. It's not that there isn't some good functionality tucked away in there, it just doesn't match up to the player in performance or aesthetics.
Oasis Flow, £169
The Pure Oasis Flow comes with three criticisms, but plenty of praise. Those criticisms come in the form of the price, software, and the fiddly control mechanism. At £169.99 it does look a bit too expensive, even though it offers plenty in the way of DAB, FM and internet radio. The thelounge.com website is just badly designed. And in terms of the controls - you'd better just hope you have deft fingers.
Get past these foibles and the radio is a great device, well made, able to withstand being left out in the rain while you duck for cover, and good enough to produce a sound that you and your party guests will be happy with.
The space age cousin to the Evoke and the Avanti, the Pure Sensia's departure in looks is matched just as much in its different design. It has all the premium features to justify its hefty price tag, given it's a radio, but it does rather rely on both the touchscreen and the app support being strong as that's what you're really paying for.
The sad truth is that although both are a step in the right direction neither quite delivers the quality you'd be after. The screen is no iPod touch and the apps haven't really got much further than Facebook, Twitter and some bits and pieces of news and weather. It's fun to check your timelines from your bedside, but you can do that with your phone without having to sit up. On the plus side, the sound quality is typically good and the pebble remote control is on the sexy side.
Siesta Flow, £99
The Pure Lounge is a great way of organising your podcasts and internet radio and being able to stream music from your PC or Mac is compelling. However, the finicky touchscreen is our major complaint about the Siesta Flow; if that were better we'd be much happier to recommend it. As it stands, however, it's a little bit too expensive to get our full backing. Especially when there are similarly priced, and cheaper radio alarm clocks that do just as good a job.
Sirocco 550, £140
The Sirocco 550 is the new flagship model of Pure's micro hi-fi family, offering digital and internet radio in a micro hi-fi system with FM, CD and an iPod/iPhone dock. Pocket-lint has yet to review this device.