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Verdict

A likable, warm-sounding all-in-one system with pleasing aesthetics, the Pure Classic Stereo serves as a solid entry point into hi-fi for less demanding music fans.

Pros

  • Warm, enjoyable sound
  • Plays nice with vinyl and CD libraries
  • Easy to use
  • Appealing looks

Cons

  • Takes up a big footprint
  • Not the most detailed performance
  • No AirPlay 2, Google Cast streaming
  • Not the best display

Key Features

  • Wired and wireless connectivityConnect a headphone or to a turntable, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support
  • FinishesChoice of cotton white or coffee black
  • RadioDAB, DAB+ and FM tuner

Introduction

Best known for its radios, Pure Audio has been branching into other product areas of late, courting more of a lifestyle hi-fi audience, with the Pure Classic Radio being the latest example of this trend.

Recently there’s been the Woodland outdoor speaker, but before that it tried its hand at the more lifestyle hi-fi market with its Evoke Play series, which wasn’t too well received on this site. It’s trying its luck again with an upgrade of its Classic series, with the Classic Stereo being the priciest model in the revamped range.

Has Pure made a better fist of it this time around? Let’s find out.

Design

  • Stylish wooden finish
  • Colour display
  • Wired speakers

As far as appearances go, the Pure Classic Stereo is a classy looking music system, a mix of retro and modern sensibilities, the type of product that blends into an environment without being ostentatious. There’s a choice of cotton white or coffee black colours to match a living space while its rounded curves and wooden finish gives it a warmer, more inviting feel than the stark metal finishes often seen on traditional hi-fi products.

Pure Classic Stereo wooden finish
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Consisting of a main receiver and two passive speakers, the Classic Stereo carries a big footprint on any shelf space or table. The receiver is large by itself (though if you have an AV rack or shelves you could slot it in there) but the speakers are enormous and need space.

They connect to the receiver through cables so this isn’t a fully wireless system but the cables can be concealed behind a table or AV rack. The baffles on the speakers can be pried off but from an aesthetic point of view I prefer them on.

Pure Classic Stereo receiver
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Pure seems to have taken cues from Cambridge Audio as the labels on the rear panel can be read upside down so you won’t have to turn the system round to view the port you’re plugging into. You’ve got buttons on the front panel that cover playback, presets, sources and navigation, as well as a dial for moving through the menus and changing the volume.

I’m not fond of the 2.4-inch TFT colour display. It’s not the biggest and it’s only best read when viewed head on. Once you go off axis, viewing angles are poor.

I’m also not loving the remote, which sits in the category of “it’ll do”. While the clicky feedback from presses is welcome, it doesn’t feel as expensive as the rest of the system. In terms of operation it covers everything you’ll need to get the Classic Stereo running.

Pure Classic Stereo colour display
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Features

  • Up to 20 presets
  • CD player
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming

The Classic Stereo offers several ways to pump music into it but it also caters to other hi-fi devices around the home.

It comes with a built-in CD player: there’s a headphone output to connect wired headphones, a phono port for a record player, a USB input for audio files on a thumb or hard drive, optical for connecting to a TV, as well as wireless options in Bluetooth 5.2 (SBC, AAC streaming) and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Pure Classic Stereo ports
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s a disappointment that Wi-Fi only extends to Spotify Connect. It’s a missed opportunity not to at least cover AirPlay 2 for iOS devices. Still, you’ve got DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations, along with access to podcasts and Internet radio as other digital sources.

Pure mentions 20 presets for each source but that’s not strictly true. It’s as much as 20 presets for some such as the DAB, Internet Radio and podcasts, while with Spotify I found only 10 and Bluetooth and CD sources have none. Saving presets is done by holding the preset button while a press on the same button is what’s needed to recall them.

Pure Classic Stereo onboard controls
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Like the Revo SuperConnect Stereo, the Classic Stereo encounters the same problem whereby there are only four preset buttons on the remote which means that if you have more than four saved you’ll need to scroll through on the receiver itself. Hardly the most convenient of methods.

The USB input only accepts MP3 files as the system didn’t recognise any of the FLAC files I had. The CD is a slot-based mechanism that’s pretty silent during operation.

Sound Quality

  • Warm sound signature
  • Not the clearest performance
  • Solid stereo image

Pure has aimed for a warm and rich audio performance and it nails that brief, though it comes at the cost of not being the clearest or most detailed sound.

With that said, I’ve found that the Classic Stereo offers an enjoyable listening experience on the whole. It’s good at describing voices with clarity and providing space for vocal talents to strut their stuff unimpeded. There’s depth to the soundstage, and the stereo image provides solid sense of left and right channels as well as movement from one speaker to another.

Pure Classic Stereo with without baffle
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s power and slam to the bass when listening to Kanye West’s Power, though not as much depth or rumble as I’d expect from speakers of this size. With some hip-hop and R&B tracks the Classic Stereo’s bass performance hollows out and sounds a little hard. However, that power does ensure it has a big, room-filling presence.

It’s not the most dynamic of listens, either on a small or large scale. You can play with the EQ presets and ‘Dynamic’ gives music a boost, Supertramp’s The Logical Song is provided with a little more of a dynamic flourish.

Wi-Fi offers the clearest performance, providing a firmer thump to low frequencies, as well as an uptick in energy. I do like the smoothness of its Bluetooth performance though – there’s good clarity to vocals, and though like Wi-Fi streaming it’s short of overall detail, Bluetooth streaming feels slightly better balanced with bass. With Wi-Fi sources I always feel as if I need to turn the volume down a little compared to Bluetooth streaming at the same volume.

Pure Classic Stereo CD player
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The system’s warmth and richness is present across all sources and inputs but it’s lacking presence at the top end of the frequency range. It’s not the most defined performance – it feels as if the treble has its wings clipped by the Classic Stereo’s warm signature.

The headphone output offers a similar performance with a Sennheiser HD600 connected. Smooth and rich but lacking outright detail and clarity. With all that said, the Classic Stereo is an enjoyable music system but one that’s less for audiophiles and more for casual music fans.

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Should you buy it?

You should buy it if you’ve got vinyl and CDs

You can connect the Classic Stereo to a turntable and play CDs. If you’re still hanging onto your vinyl and CDs, this Pure music system plays nice with them

You should not but it if you’re an audiophile purist

For this money there are more talented sounding streaming systems such as the Bluesound Pulse M, Sonos Era 300, and Q Acoustics M20 HD

Final Thoughts

It’s worth taking into account the type of hi-fi fan you are if you’re eyeing up the Pure Classic Stereo. The rich, warm sound has appeal to more casual and less demanding users, but if you’re an audiophile then I’m afraid there’s not enough fidelity to the Classic Stereo’s performance.

It covers the bases in terms of connectivity, though it could cover more with its wireless specification. Only having Spotify Connect feels limited in scope.

The receiver and speakers take up space with the speakers especially on the large side. And though it’s not an audiophile system, its price puts it up against talented alternatives in the Bluesound Pulse M, Sonos Era 300, the Q Acoustics M20 HD and the Revo SuperConnect Stereo.

The Revo feels like its closest rival and the Pure does offer functionality that the Revo doesn’t (CD playback, phono/turntable integration). For those with vinyl or CDs to hand, that may sway you to the Pure camp.

The Classic Stereo is an enjoyable music system for the audience it’s intended for. If you’re looking for a gateway into hi-fi, the Classic Stereo is a solid entry-point.

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Tested across two weeks

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FAQs

Does the Pure Classic Stereo support AirPlay 2?

The Classic Stereo system has Wi-Fi support but isn’t compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 streaming.

Full specs

UK RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Release Date
Driver (s)
Audio (Power output)
Connectivity
Colours
Frequency Range
Audio Formats
Amplification
Remote Control
Tuner
Inputs
Alarm

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