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Pure Avanti Flow review

Verdict:

If you're into music and radio, and want one unit rather than a hi-fi system of separates, then the Avanti Flow is a great choice.

Review Date: 13 Feb 2009

Price when reviewed: (?242 ex VAT)

Reviewed By: Christopher Brennan

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

The Avanti Flow is a DAB and FM radio, streaming music server, alarm clock, Internet radio and iPod dock. The low-profile design in piano black gives it a somewhat 1970s feel, but this is certainly a modern device.

The unit itself is very well put together. The buttons are mounted flush to the top of Avanti Flow, which keeps everything nice and neat. The iPod dock comes with adaptors for most of the recent iPods, though not the iPhone, which seems a slight oversight, but it will attach to the dock without an insert.

The remote control uses wireless rather than infrared technology, so you can use it without being in line of sight of the Avanti Flow. This is a nice touch, but the buttons aren't all that responsive, and it appeared to take a few seconds to respond to commands. The device is operated through the large, clear LCD screen, and the range of information that you can have on display should be more than enough for the most detail hungry listener.

The Avanti Flow is simple to set up and we had no problems connecting it to our wifi network. Once we'd entered our network password, it updated itself with the latest firmware and tuned itself. Within about 10 minutes of powering up we were listening to a podcast. However, you have to register with Pure to get the full functionality and operation, and enter a serial number emailed to you.

Though the screen is good, the Avanti Flow can be a bit cumbersome to navigate, especially considering the huge number of stations available. It's going to take a while to find all your favourite radio stations and podcasts, as they're simply shown in alphabetical order. This is more down to the sheer number of Internet radio stations, podcasts and listen again programmes available than a fundamental flaw with the Avanti Flow. There is a search facility, but scrolling though the alphabet with the up and down keys of the remote is a bit of a chore.

The device can also stream your music content from your Mac, but you have to download the TwonkyMedia Server software in order to do this. With DRM being removed from iTunes downloads, you won't have to worry about your music not playing on the Avanti Flow, but none of the playlists you've put together in iTunes will be utilised.

The sound quality of the Avanti Flow is by far and away its strongest point, with audio quality that just blew us away. Everything, about the audio is superb. Music and speech are well measured and balanced, with the built-in sub-woofer adding plenty of depth. At £279, you'll have to be serious about your music and radio to consider the Avanti Flow, but the sound quality is very good. We would have preferred a smoother setup process without the emailed serial number, but this is a minor niggle, as you normally only have to do this once.

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