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Pure One Flow - Sound Quality, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Pure One Flow 5

Summary

Our Score:

8

The Pure One Flow is cheaper than the Evoke Flow, but it uses the same basic speaker arrangement. There's a single 3in full-range driver, firing out of the front grill. No tweeter, no bass radiator - it's a very simple setup.

Like most of Pure's radios, though, it performs very well, considering. It has the warm, surprisingly bassy sound that we've come to know and love over the years of listening to the company's DAB boxes. The sound is still small-scale - not a hi-fi-replacement - but it doesn't have the very boxy, traditional worktop radio sound we heard recently in the Roberts Wave 105. Pure One Flow 3

Its fun, bouncy sound works well with music and isn't too harsh on the lower-quality stations doing the rounds on the DAB spectrum - some use such a low bit-rate as to be all-but unlistenable. Some voice-only broadcasts can make the One Flow sound a little too bass-driven - a tiny bit muffled - but it's one of the best-sounding models of its size. It's a pity there are no equalisation options available here, as having some basic control over bass and treble levels could have solved this small issue.

Switching frequently between DAB, FM and Internet stations during our testing, we did find that the maximum volume varied dynamically depending on the source. DAB is a little quiet in comparison to many net stations, which might become a problem if it has to contend with the sound of DIY or an extractor fan (if, like us, you enjoy a spot of DAB while cooking). It is a little louder than its Roberts rival, and at least on-par with other small radios.

Pure One Flow 4

If you need greater volume, it's worth considering a slightly larger radio, such as the Kogan Deluxe. Such a device comes with its own set of limitations, though - lack of portability, no battery-power potential, and the sheer size makes it unsuitable for many situations.

As a companion to another hi-fi, used for casual listening, days out and afternoons in the garden, the Pure One Flow is an absolute winner. It's cheaper than most of its rivals, offers a largely-comprehensive spread of radio features and sounds pretty good too. It doesn't deserve a spotlit position on a mantelpiece like the Evoke Flow - and as that model is available from some retailers for as little as £30 more, consider whether it might be a better bet. If you consider looks to be considerations of shallow folk though, the One Flow is one of the best-value DAB/Internet combos around.

Verdict

DAB veteran Pure has once again come up with the goods. The Pure One Flow doesn't look anywhere near as snazzy as the dashing Evoke Flow, but it has all its key features, at a significantly lower price. Thousands of internet radio stations and podcasts are at your fingertips, while there are DAB and FM tuners on-hand too, should you venture away from a Wi-Fi zone. Pure is gearing-up with its own online features too, letting you buy tracks directly from the device. It doesn't have Spotify streaming like Logitech's internet radios, but the One Flow offers superb all-round flexibility.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 8

Martin Daler

September 27, 2011, 1:24 pm

I can't put my finger on it, but something about the design has me itching to pop a slice of bread in it.

Andrew_TR

September 27, 2011, 1:49 pm

Hah excellent. Have a +1 from me.

Epic

September 28, 2011, 1:38 am

I think you're being a bit generous about the Internet Radio aspect of this - the crummy interface for Internet makes this a DAB/FM radio first and an Internet Radio second.

I also tried the compare feature on the site for the first time with this to compare it with the referenced Squeezebox Radio and the Roberts Stream 105 - you might want get someone to look at that - it wasn't exactly informative.

Andrew_TR

September 28, 2011, 3:47 am

Hi Epic, I make a point of saying that the internet radio nav isn't too hot, and that it's bettered by others on this front. I didn't want to do it down too harshly - it needn't be a deal-breaker with use of favourites.

Thanks for the feedback on the compare function. It's particularly tricky with devices like this, which aren't always so easy to assess with specs alone. Any feedback on exactly what you'd like this to tell you, on the audio device front, would be taken onboard and appreciated!

Premfab

September 28, 2011, 11:22 pm

Not sure what the other comments are about. Pure is one of the few manufacturers who consistently get it right. I have now owned over 5 of their products and each one rocks.

It's almost like someone from Pure sat down and actually tried to use the prodcut before it was released !!!

Well done Pure - you can do no wrong in my book ......

JDunn

October 1, 2011, 3:28 pm

Sorry, this is emperor's new clothes, another expensive DAB radio that eats so much power it has to be plugged in at all times, takes an age to turn on and tune, and if it doesn't break down you will feel relieved.

And this is one of the good designs. DAB is just a technological con we don't need to to fall for.

Ed

October 1, 2011, 3:44 pm

What rot. We even say in this very review that this radio will last 20 hours on its rechargeable battery. And i've yet to encounter a DAB that takes so long to turn on nor one that's failed.

george707

September 17, 2012, 3:40 am

This radio is supposed to stream from an iPhone. Very difficult to get to work and when it does you can only play one song at a time. Cannot play a playlist or album but only individual songs. It also stops playing the moment the iPhone goes to sleep which in my case I have set to 1 minute. Overall streaming is useless. Don't buy this radio if you want to use this feature. I returned mine and got a refund.

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