Great value, good looks and solid sound - the Pure Jongo T6 is a classy wireless speaker that should bring multi-room to the masses
Pure has finally delivered on its promise of an affordable multi-room family of speakers. The portable Pure Jongo S3 has been joined by the A2 Bluetooth adapter and big beefier brother - the Jongo T6, but has Pure done enough to drag back the advantage from Sonos and the marauding hoards of budget Bluetooth speakers?
Pure Jongo T6: Size and build
Depending on your choice of grilles - take your pick from Black, White, Orange, Lime and Mango - the Pure Jongo T6 can either steal the show or disappear into the background. Time will tell if the Um Bongo colour palette will find an audience - especially with a fixed, rather than portable speaker - but we like the choice.
Measuring 370 x 175 x 190, the Jongo T6 is remarkably similar in size and bulk to the Sonos Play:5 and feels just as solid. But unlike the Sonos the T6 can be positioned horizontally or mounted vertically on a stand (sold separately, £TBC). Choose to go vertical and you can even spin the Pure logo to keep things looking neat.
Pure Jongo T6: Features
As a standalone speaker the Pure Jongo T6 can stream content over either Bluetooth or via Wi-Fi and the ever-improving Pure Connect app. As you'd expect it handles both Apple and Android devices with equal aplomb.
Under the grille Pure has squeezed in 100W of total power (2 x 50W RMS) through two full-range 5" drive units. It's a generous amount of grunt for something not much bigger than a bookshelf speaker.
Controls mirror the smaller Jongo S3 and are simple and unobtrusive. A single ring of light on the standby/Bluetooth button glows amber, red or green depending on status and that's it. There's also the usual 3.5mm input for auxiliary devices and a USB for product upgrades.
Pure Jongo T6: Setup
Connecting to the Pure Jongo T6 via Bluetooth is a doddle. Simply press the power button, search for 'Jongo' on your mobile device, pair and play.
Connecting over Wi-Fi, while not as simple, is still relatively painless. There have been a few tweaks since we reviewed the Jongo S3 - set-up manager now loads automatically in most cases instead of having to enter the URL - and assuming you actually bother to read the instructions you shouldn't have any issues.
Adding extra Jongo units to create a multi-room set-up is also mercifully simple and shouldn't require re-entering passwords and searching for networks. A quick press of the Wi-Fi buttons should do the trick.
Pure Jongo T6: Pure Connect app
Unlike Sonos whose control app streams content from the likes of Napster and Spotify, the Pure Connect app is a library (15 million tracks and counting) in its own right and currently the only way to exploit the multi-room benefits of the Jongo.
The app is engaging and it's simple to search your existing library and the online content. It's a huge improvement from the earlier versions and with new subscription services recently launched it offers Spotify convenience to Jongo users.
There are now three subscription levels to choose from; the free Pure Connect Green, which gives access to over 20,000 radio stations and more than 200,000 on-demand podcasts and programmes.
Pure Connect Blue, £4.99 per month, lets you stream millions of tracks while Pure Connect Violet, costing £9.99 per month includes offline downloading.
One thing we did notice was a delay and occasional crackle between selecting a track on the app and the song playing. It isn't a deal breaker, but does mean pregnant pauses as you put together a playlist.
Pure Jongo T6: Sound quality
Compared to its nearest rival - the Sonos Play:5 - the Pure Jongo T6 performs admirably especially considering it's £100 cheaper. The sound isn't quite as refined, but the bass has plenty of kick, with more detail than the softer Sonos. If we're having a party the Pure would be first choice.
The Pure Jongo T6 can sound overly bright at volume, but there's no hint of distortion and, considering the price - the Bose Soundlink II travel speaker costs the same - and the teeth rattling volume it is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Currently the Pure Jongo streams a meagre 128kbps MP3, but anything you purchase through Pure Connect is 320kbps MP3. Not stunning, but more than acceptable for a budget system.
Buy two Jongo T6s and you can also stream in stereo. It's a welcome addition, although expensive compared to buying a pair of wired monitors. With no audible delay between speakers the paired T6 we tested sounded exceptional, offering genuine left/right split and room-filling audio even at low volumes.
Proof that while a one box speaker system is convenient, stereo speakers just sound better.
Pure Jongo T6: Verdict
With the Jongo T6 Pure has created a wireless speaker with enough welly for all but the biggest living rooms.
Combined with the dinky S3 and Bluetooth adapting A2, creating a great sounding multi-room set-up no longer means maxing the credit card. As a standalone speaker the Pure Jongo T6 is a tempting proposition for first-time streamers, but sonic snobs would do well to invest in a pair for superb stereo sound.
Pure Jongo T6 release date: Available now
Pure Jongo T6 price: £299