It may look like an oversized alarm clock, but Pure’s Avanti Flow has a trick or two up its sleeve. Not only does it possess DAB and FM radio, an iPod dock and WiFi streaming from a PC or Mac, but recent updates have added some genuinely unique features.
‘FlowSongs’ – the ability to tag and download any song on the radio as an MP3 – is fun, though the Avanti Flow’s exacting and powerful sound quality is its biggest draw. Able to fill a relatively large room, there’s a balance to audio that’s rare in this genre.
Weighing a hefty 1.9kg, the designers have gone for the all-in-one feel. The only exception is an aux input for taking an analogue feed from, say, an MP3 player. The only other distractions are a headphones jack and a USB port, though the latter is strictly for software upgrades.
A garish lime green-on-black display presents a rolling list of functions, from iPod, FM radio, aux input and digital radio to the two more media-savvy features – The Lounge and Media Player.
Pure Avanti Flow: Connectivity
The Avanti Flow’s built-in WiFi module finds and joins a home network relatively simply, and in our test was playing MP3s from a Mac (with TwonkyMedia installed) in minutes – the delay was caused by the unit failing to join a WiFi network despite a strong signal, and the rather laboured process for entering a network password.
Accessed through The Lounge online portal (which also stores your preferences for web radio stations), FlowSongs – the ability to buy a digital version of a song your hear on the radio – is a nice idea, though it’s ‘seamless’ simplicity does seem to be a solution after a problem; surely most DAB listeners are after footie commentaries on Radio 5 Live.
Potentially more useful is an OLED screen since the LCD screens on previous Pure products do tend to illuminate a bedroom in the darkest hours. Unfortunately the OLED screen doesn't make enough of a difference on this count; it’s darker, for sure, but light sleepers will still be searching for a shirt to chuck over the Avanti Flow at night.
Pure Avanti Flow: sound quality
The large 5.25-inch subwoofer employed here is in cahoots with a digital nuanced amplifier. Complete with Clearsound processing, the result is a sound field that’s powerful, yet well balanced; turn the Avanti Flow up and – unlike a lot of the competition – the subwoofer won't seem like it’s playing a completely different tune. Tight and together, the sonics on offer here are terrific quality at this size. So good, in fact, is the Avanti Flow with myriad genres of music and speech radio that to use it on a bedside table could be considered massive overkill.
Well over £200 is one helluva price tag for a bedside table radio, but the Avanti Flow breaks just enough new ground to make it reasonably good value. The key feature we like – and also why it physically outgrows the bedside table moniker – is the sheer size of its speaker casing. Equipped with a subwoofer and 75W speakers that play well together, the Avanti Flow performs best either as a radio-cum-iPod dock in a living room or open plan kitchen/diner where its serious sonics won't be wasted on sleepy heads.
Pure Evoke Flow release date: Out now, link Pure
Pure Evoke Flow price: Around £279 online