PURE Avanti Flow review

At first glance, the Avanti Flow looks like one of the many bedroom alarm clock units that are currently available for the iPod. It does have an alarm feature, but this impressive music system does a lot more than just wake you up in the morning.

Once you’ve set up the hefty black unit, pressing the ‘Source’ button lets you scroll through six different options for playing music - including both DAB and FM radio tuners, an iPod connected via the built-in dock, or the AUX input on the back. The Avanti Flow also has wireless networking features built into it, so it can be connected to a wireless network to access internet radio or your computer’s media library.

Our first move was to plug in an iPod to check out the sound quality. It has a pair of front-mounted stereo speakers, rated at 20W each, along with a separate subwoofer that pumps an additional 35W of bass. The resulting sound wasn’t as powerful as we were expecting - we’ve heard speaker systems rated at around 40W that produced similar volume levels. However, the quality is excellent - it’s a warm, full sound that displays no sign of distortion even when you crank the volume up to the maximum (which is 32 for some reason - whatever happened to 11?).

Wireless woes

Connecting the Avanti to your wireless network at home lets you use PURE’s website and play any of the hundreds of internet radio stations and podcasts that PURE has gathered together in its ‘Lounge’ portal. You can also use the wireless network to ‘stream’ music that is stored on your home computer so that it plays through the Avanti. Sadly, PURE’s FlowServer software is clumsy and complicated.

OUR VERDICT

At almost £300, the Avanti Flow will simply be too expensive for many people. Even so, there’s no denying that its excellent sound quality and wireless streaming features make this an impressive partner for your iPod. We would, however, be even more impressed if Pure junked its FlowServer software and looked up the words ‘ease of use’ before starting work on a replacement.

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