Wed, 09 Dec 2009 Pure Sensia review
Large-screen brings DAB and Internet radio device to life
- Manufacturer: PURE
- Manufacturer: PURE
- Pros: Large touch screen interface makes navigation a breeze, entertaining apps, fantastic styling, great sound quality
- Cons: Interface should be more responsive (especially when scrolling through long lists)
- Min specs: DAB & FM: Stereo digital radio with full Band III, and FM reception. ETSI EN 300 401 compliant and capable of decoding all DAB transmission modes 1-4 up to and including 192 kbps. Supports FM RDS and RadioText. Future upgrade supported for DAB+; Wireless: 802.11b and 802.11g supported with WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption; Media Streaming: Audio codecs supported include WMA (Standard V9), AAC, MP3, MP2, Real Audio; Speakers: Two full-range 3in drive units; Controls: 5.7in touchscreen display, standby button
- Price: £249 inc VAT
- Star rating:
And what an interface it is: the left hand side is devoted to a list (usually a list of channels, depending on what is active), the bottom right displays current track information, while the top right displays a variety of info from the various apps: FaceBook, Twitter, weather, and so on (it even displays channel specific information such as webcams from radio stations). On the bottom of the interface is a series of buttons for various options. Clicking the Source button, for example, lets you switch between DAB, The Lounge, Media Player, FM Radio, and Auxiliary. The menu options fan out in a circular display.
One slight downfall is the implementation of scrolling. Long lists fail to scroll as smoothly as you’d like, and it’s clear that the speed of the device should be faster. This makes flicking through long lists a chore, which is something of a drawback on a device designed to display the thousands of channels available via DAB and Internet radio.
On the upside, you can search for specific stations using an on-screen virtual keyboard. The presence of the keyboard is another area where the Sensia excels over other audio streaming devices. The keyboard also makes logging on to the WiFi network a breeze.
The audio of the device is surprisingly clear given its small stature. The Sensia has a distinctive elliptical shape, it looks somewhat like a smaller version of the Bowers & Wilkinson Zepplin. It has to be said that – like the Zepplin – it’s a gorgeous piece of kit to look at. And with its diminutive stature it’s easy to place it on a shelf where it blends in seamlessly with your room, powering out good quality sound.
There’s a large aerial extending from the rear of the device, and a powerful internal WiFi antenna (we found it could find networks from a long way away).
And it’s a good job the audio is very good, because at £249 the Pure Sensia sits right at the top-end of audio streaming devices. However, its comprehensive feature-set (DAB, FM, Internet radio, Listen Again, podcasting and media streaming) ensure that you’re unlikely to need another audio device for a long time. And the touch screen display adds a level of interaction sorely lacking on other similar devices.