The PURE Avanti Flow is a micro system that incorporates an iPod docking station, DAB radio, FM radio and internet streaming with a Wi-Fi connection all in a sleek, compact little black box. There's no CD player, but then this is a product aimed very much at generation download (or at least generation burn) who don't really see the need for one.
Price: £240 More info: PURE Size: 385x125x225mm Input connectors: 3.5mm Aux-in for auxiliary devices. iPod connector with adapters. USB (mini-B type) for product upgrades Audio Power output: 75W RMS total (2x 20W + 35W) Frequency range: -6dB at 36Hz and 50kHz Speakers: 2x full-range 3in drive units, 5.25in subwoofer. Output connectors: 3.5mm headphone socket Presets: 30 DAB and 10 FM presets, unlimited internet favourites Display: High contrast yellow-on-black graphical 128 x 64 auto-dimming OLED display Plus points:
It's small and packed full of features with market-leading internet radio functionality.
Suited for smaller environments, no CD player.
It's a solidly built unit finished in glossy black plastic with chrome-look trim - a classy looking package in other words. The twin front-mounted 3in speakers offer a strong midrange but at lower volumes they can seem a bit weak, so keep this in mind for an office environment.
Crank it up though, and the AVANTI Flow's 2x20-watt 3in speakers and 35-watt down-firing subwoofer offer an impressively full sound that wouldn't appear out of place on a more substantial-looking system. Pure puts this down to its Clearsound technology, which is a catch-all term for its speaker and amp system. In practise though, it delivers an impressively rich and controlled level of bass without neglecting detail in the higher register.
The iPod dock makes the Avanti's preference of portable music player clear, and it will accept virtually all iPod types thanks to a series of adapters, but there's also a 3.5mm jack plug which will allow you to connect other MP3 players. It will play WMA (up to v9), WAV, AAC, MP3, MP2 and Real Audio formats.
The AVANTI Flow lacks what you would find common on many a micro system: a CD Player. The trade-off is that you can access hundreds of radio stations online via internet radio, so long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. You can search for stations by genre, language, location or sampling rate, and Pure even offers its own gateway to the net with www.thelounge.com. This makes it even easier to sift through the myriad online stations and keep track of your favourites. You can store unlimited numbers of stations, set up profiles for different users or music styles and even store podcasts online for future listening. There's also a selection of ambient sounds from Pure, which might go some way to filling the void left by the demise of Birdsong radio on DAB.
The crisp OLED display delivers time and station information but unfortunately not iPod info when you're using the dock. It's not essential, but it would have been nice to have an enlarged display of track info. The buttons on the console aren't terribly well marked and can be slightly confusing but fortunately the remote is clearly laid out and easy to use.
The FM radio proved to be adept at picking up stations in awkward parts of our office that defeated other tuners we tried. DAB too (Band III and L-Band) performed well and we noticed no problems with reception. It comes with 30 presets on DAB, but inexplicably only ten on FM, which seemed a bit stingy, though it does come with RDS and RadioText.
The Flow's price tag puts it in competition with CD-player micro systems rather than standard internet radios, but if you've gone some distance down the route of transferring your CDs to your iPod, it's a very convenient in-one solution.
If you have an iPod and Wi-Fi connection this is an ideal system. Neat and compact, it can be positioned in all manners of locations, and with its sound range and subwoofer it offers the quality you might expect from a midi system in a very compact casing.
The Pure AVANTI Flow offers a serious alternative to the standard CD player/radio micro system, with its iPod dock and FM/DAB radio combination. But its internet radio capababilities lift it well above the average, offering a whole new world of music that's easily accessible, and thanks the Pure's Lounge system, easily configurable too.
But it's the AVANTI Flow's sound quality that really puts it into a different class, offering an impressively full sound that more than justifies its slightly high cost.