Pure Avanti Flow review

£250
Price when reviewed

Pure has already wheedled its way into our digital radio affections lately, with the superbly designed Evoke Flow portable. Its latest internet/DAB/FM radio is far from mobile, but the reassuringly hefty Evoke Avanti makes up for its lack of portability with astonishingly good sound quality.

Housed in the type of squat, cabinet design that Bose has been pushing in the Sunday supplements for years, are two full-range 3in drive units and a 5.25in, downward firing subwoofer. They combine to deliver an audio richness that, frankly, outclasses the pitiful sound quality available from many DAB and internet stations.

The spoken word is delivered with the crispness of a sharp February frost, while music is delivered with remarkable delicacy and enough punch to easily fill a bedroom, study or even a small lounge.

Connect an MP3 player (via either the 3.5mm input or the iPod dock on top of the cabinet) and you can actually hear the difference between tracks encoded in a lossless format and high-quality MP3s: a distinction you’d struggle to make on most table-top devices.

The scrolling text on the Avanti’s display is as sharp as the audio, which is ideal for reading the additional info and news delivered by DAB radio stations and podcasts.

The bright yellow text on black display might prove a little garish for some tastes, although the screen can be dimmed, which is a necessary mercy for those who plan to use the Avanti as a bedside clock-radio.

The Avanti arrives with a box of iPod Dock adaptors, covering everything from 4th generation iPods to the latest 4th generation Nanos. Docked iPods can be controlled from the Avanti’s remote control, but the iPods menus aren’t translated to the Pure’s screen, which rather defeats the object of a remote control.

You have to get right up close to check which album you’re playing on a tiny Nano screen.

It’s not the only issue we had with the Avanti’s leaden remote: it’s not possible to search for podcasts or Wi-Fi radio stations solely on the remote – without resorting to buttons on the radio itself to confirm search term selections. Why an OK button couldn’t be accommodated on such a sizeable remote is baffling.

A firmware upgrade also rendered the remote impotent until we delved deep into the menus to “bind” the remote to device once more.

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Internet radio stations are located through Pure’s Lounge service, which allows you to store your favourite stations and podcasts using a web interface on your PC, rather than having to perform endless tedious searches on the device itself. And DAB and FM reception is as good as we’ve heard on any similar device.

The Avanti does more than enough to justify its premium price tag. Apart from those irritating, and largely avoidable niggles, it’s close to being the perfect desktop radio.

Basic specifications

Speaker power ouput 75W

Inputs

3.5mm audio input jacks 1
Wired remote power/volume control yes

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