Pure One Flow review: Pure One Flow

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Easy to use. Attractive design. Improved sound quality. Internet radio and network streaming. Clear, readable screen.

The Bad Streamed music can cause distortion. No lossless support.

The Bottom Line The Pure One Flow is an essential update to to the original Classic, as it brings higher sound quality, greater usability and a raft of new networking features.

CNET Editors' Choice Apr '11

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At the launch of digital radio 18 months ago, conversations about which radio to buy began and ended with Pure. But in the intervening time some strong contenders have sprung up, particularly in the form of Grundig.

With a casual glance at the Pure One Flow, you might surmise that the company has simply taken an old product — the One Classic — and bunged a new screen on it. But no; it's more extensive than that.

Design and features

The Pure One Flow may have a familiar design, but there are some significant improvements on the original DAB+/FM radio. The One Flow boasts two main features over the Classic: a networked media player and internet radio. The One Flow connects to your network using onboard Wi-Fi and supports several streaming formats including MP3, AAC (non-Lossless), WMA (standard V9), MP2 and Real Audio.

The One Flow housing is roughly the same size as the first, but it has a slightly different finish which is silky to the touch instead of rubbery. It feels very chic. But the biggest change is the new 128 x 64 pixel LCD display, which gives four-plus lines of text instead of two.

Below the screen is a selection of five buttons, including Home and Back buttons, which are used to navigate on-screen menus. Compared with the seven small buttons on the Classic, it's much easier to use. Below these are two knobs with a detented, notchy feel that are used for Volume and Select. Due to the provision of context-sensitive buttons, adding favourite stations is easy whether it's internet radio, DAB+ or FM. Using the One Flow is a joy thanks to the sensible arrangement of menus, which comes especially in handy when using the Media Player, where you can quickly navigate the media lists on your networked machines.

The only less successful part of the system is the "search" function, which only allows browsing by genre/country/name when listening to radio. Searching for specific terms when connected to a server in Media Player mode is possible but we found it usually returns zero results.

The Flow boasts a bigger sound driver than the Classic (3.5-inches versus 3-inches) and this should translate to a better bass response. Other improvements appear to include lower power consumption and a more sensitive tuner. With the two radios sitting side-by-side we found that the Flow had five bars of digital radio coverage while the Classic had two. Moving to sit next to the devices demonstrated this further when the Classic cut out completely but the Flow kept receiving.

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Where to Buy

Pure One Flow

Part Number: CNETPure One Flow

Typical Price: $249.00

See manufacturer website for availability.