Pure Avanti Flow review
Pure's Avanti Flow is a streaming audio receiver that also works as an alarm clock and DAB, FM and internet radio. We found its wedge-shaped design and glossy black-and-chrome finish appealing.
The 4in OLED display is small but easy to read up to six feet away. The remote control is large and comfortable to hold. There's no Ethernet port, but we had no trouble connecting the Avanti to our WPA-secured wireless network. You can check the WiFi signal strength by pressing the remote's Info button, which is handy if you're having difficulty getting a connection.
We had no trouble using the Avanti to stream music stored on our networked PC, which was running Windows Media Player. You can also plug your iPod into the top-mounted dock connector or connect any other MP3 player through the line-in port. It's compatible with all modern iPods - for a complete list, visit www.tinyurl.com/cs22p5. You can browse your iPod's library using the remote and even change the repeat and randomise settings.
When you tire of your own tunes, you can explore the vast range of internet radio stations, podcasts and Listen Again services available. Browsing through them all would be incredibly tedious, so thankfully you can search for content by name, genre, country, language and bit rate. The interface has its quirks, but it's an improvement over the company's aggravating Evoke Flow. Alternatively, you can find stations on your PC using the online web interface. Any stations you bookmark there will appear on the Avanti's list, too.
The built-in stereo speakers are surprisingly loud, and the integrated subwoofer provides a respectable amount of bass. Vocals can sound muddy, but they're more than good enough for background listening.
The alarm fades in slowly and you can use a simple tone, your iPod or a DAB radio station as the audio source. Sadly, you can't use an internet radio station for the alarm. You can save two alarms with different times and audio content, which should be enough for most people. There's even a collection of ambient sounds to help you sleep or relax, including oddities such as pigs or the beeps of a heart monitor.
Pure's Avanti Flow is generally well designed. It's a shame you have to use the web interface to get the most from it, but this is largely due to the vast amount of online content. It's a bit expensive compared with similar devices, but if you're looking for an all-in-one audio device to sit by your bed, this is the best we've seen.