The Pure Contour 200i Air is the AirPlay version of a Contour dock released last year. It's compact, fairly stylish and - thanks to its wireless chops - can be set playing before you even enter the room. But does this dock claiming "room-filling" sound supply the goods?
Design and Features
The Pure Contour 200i Air is in some respects a very simple device. Pure is best-known as a maker of DAB radios, but there's not a single tuner to be found here. Instead, almost all audio will come directly from your phone, tablet or computer, whether sent through the front iOS dock port or transmitted over AirPlay.
Getting back to basics rules-out needing two things that stopped the original Contour from looking truly pretty - an aerial and the front display. There's no display on the Contour 200i Air whatsoever, making this the best-looking contour yet. Instead of an LCD screen, there's a colour-changing LED hidden under the front grille to let you know what the dock's doing.
The 200i Air's body is a curvy semi-circle of fabric grille-topped plastic, with a band of silver running along its top that houses the function buttons, controlling volume and power. The front iOS dock doesn't retract back into the dock's body, but has a sloped-sides design that makes it look good regardless. It'll take iPads as well as iPhone and iPod touches, and has no trouble charging the latest Apple devices.
The Contour 200i Air may not feature the top-end, heavy materials of something like the Philips Fidelio DS9010, but it's among the best-looking affordable iPod docks - especially if you're looking for something sober rather than showy. Just under 40cm wide, it's large enough to appear a "full-size" dock without taking over your living room.
The culled feature you're likely to miss the most is the integrated DAB/FM tuner. You can get access to any content it would offer easily enough using a connected smartphone, but there's something to be said for the immediacy of a DAB radio. The lack of integrated internet radio is less of a problem - flicking through reams of stations always feels a little compromised using dock controls, and works much better on a smartphone or tablet screen.
The Pure Contour 200i Air is home to a couple of additional sockets that open-up the limited functionality a little. There's a 3.5mm auxiliary input and a coaxial digital output on the back, which will let you connect to a full-size hi-fi system.
Alongside the aux-in is an Ethernet port. The Contour 200i Air has integrated Wi-Fi, but if your home wireless is a little spotty, you can use this port to connect directly to your router.
Once up and running you're meant to use the Contour 200i with the Pure Lounge app, which lets you access thousands of internet radio stations as well as Pure's on-demand streaming service Pure Music. There's nothing tying you this app, though, and you can simply pipe content over using the integrated iOS media player, or iTunes when using a computer.