Pure Sensia review

DAB radio and wireless streaming devices are fairly commonplace these days, but the Pure Sensia has no trouble standing out from the crowd thanks to the inclusion of a large touch-screen display.

Far from being a superficial addition, the large 5.7in capacitive glass touch screen transforms the radio interface beyond all recognition. One thing’s for sure, it’s hard to back to a regular remote control after you’ve handled one of these for a while. With a with a reasonable resolution of 640x480 the screen is great to look at, and functions as both a display for menus, station information, and an assortment of other goodies.

The capacitive part is important because (like the current generation of smartphones) it means that you only have to lightly touch the screen rather than press down on the glass, this makes scrolling up and down easier, which - in turn - makes flicking through long lists easier.

It turns out that this is a fairly smart move. Long lists are something of a bane of DAB radios and wireless media streamers because they do, by their nature, access a long list of radio stations, podcasts, and your music library. Navigating these menus and list with remote controls and miniscule displays has long been a drawback of traditional audio streaming devices.

It’s a versatile device too: with DAB and FM it has regular radio covered, and there is a mode called “Pure Lounge” which is a collection of Internet-based audio. There’s a set of Internet radio stations from around the world, and a large collection of podcasts; there’s Listen Again, which has a collection of radio shows available for a second listen(mainly BBC iPlayer shows); finally there’s a large collection of ambient mood sounds (bird tweets, rainforest, dogs barking, and so on). You can also hook to either a PC or Mac for media streaming, and navigating your audio collection is easy.In fact, just about the only thing you can't do is play video on the device.

Pure recently updated the Sensia firmware to version 1.4, which now includes on screen apps. The applications currently include Twitter, Facebook, and a weather program. While you’re unlikely to do much social interaction on the Sensia, the apps act as good screensavers while the music plays; alternatively you can have the large screen act as a photo display. When the device is on standby it acts as a nice clock with a virtual flip-card display.

NEXT: Using the touch screen interface

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