Just a couple of weeks ago I took a look at the Logitech Squeezebox Boom. It was an impressive device that enabled you to connect over your home network to Internet radio stations and your digital music collection stored on your PC. It was very well made and sounded brilliant but it suffered from a couple of basic problems.
First and foremost was its overly complicated setup and user interface. It was just so packed to the gills with features that it was invariably a bit of a pig to get to the bits you wanted.
It's other failing was its lack of any other conventional playback features. It's all very well having access to thousands of Internet radio stations and your thousands of MP3s but for a standalone system it's sometimes nice just to have the basics like FM radio or CD playback catered for as well, which is where the Pure Evoke Flow comes in.
This is a conventional tabletop DAB/FM radio that also has Internet radio and media streaming capabilities. The key point being that it does the basics that we all want from a tabletop radio incredibly well then adds the extra functionality in a seamless and easy-to-use manner.
The Flow's styling is classic Pure (see: Pure Evoke 3 and DAB Tempus-1 S) but with a modern twist. Gone is the wood veneer and faux brushed metal of previous models and in its place is a glossy piano black finish with some funky yellow highlights. It may sound a little garish and frankly it is and will certainly not be to everyone's taste. The fit and finish, however, are exemplary.
All the signature little Pure touches are there like the touch sensitive SnoozeHandle and the battery compartment on the back that enables you to get up to 24 hours on-the-go listening out of this diddy box. This is only compatible with the optional £29.99 Pure rechargeable battery pack so if you run out of juice when out and about you can't just nip to the shops for a few replacements. However, we reckon 24 hours is enough to deal with most situations and, assuming you keep the radio plugged in when in normal use at home, the battery should always be fully charged when you need it.
You'll notice it only has one speaker but you can buy a matching second speaker that will give you full stereo. It's only £34.99 so is well worth considering, though it must be said, while they're not bad, Pure's radios aren't exactly built for their amazing sound quality, so it will be of limited benefit.
As well as the battery pack and the connection for the extra speaker, the back is home to a headphone jack, stereo in and out jacks, a USB socket, and the power socket. You may also notice the EcoPlus symbol. This marks this radio as complying to Pure's own green credentials, which include things like low power usage of the radios themselves and the use of 100 per cent recycled paper pulp for the internal protective trays in the packaging. This is obviously very welcome but it must be said the policy is far from a catch all with things like the main box still using a lot of non-recyclable inks and plastics.