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Digital radio has been a part of the Australian media landscape for a, but the hardware has been very slow to catch up. While many radio stations have been broadcasting images and slideshows digitally since launch, to our knowledge only two out of the dozens of available devices are capable of displaying them. One is the and the other is the Pure Sensia. It's a digital radio with a twist — a large touchscreen, internet radio and even Facebook integration!
Design and features
Pure has taken a number of cues from Bowers & Wilkins, with the design of the Sensia not only shaped likebut it also uses side-firing woofers as well. While this means you lose a “stereo” image it also means the audio is more evenly distributed throughout the room. It seems the Sensia is designed to provide ambient listening rather than be used for intensive hi-fi sessions.
The main focus of the Sensia is the large, bright 5.7-inch touchscreen. It features a resolution of 640x480 and is the main method of interacting with the device. The Pure also features a power button on top, but we found it sits in quite a poor position as you naturally rest your hand there to navigate the screen meaning that you can accidentally turn it off.
As we alluded to in our introduction, one of digital radio's main benefits is the wealth of information not available via traditional FM. Artist and track details are just the start with weather, news and sports results able be pumped over the waves and displayed on the Sensia's large screen. But that's not all, the radio gives you access to Twitter, Facebook, Picasa, DLNA content and internet radio via the large screen.
Connectivity is ample, with 802.11b wireless (but no Ethernet), radio antenna (naturally), USB, 3.5mm auxiliary input and a headphone jack. While the Sensia is ostensibly designed for use indoors, Pure has provided a ChargePak slot for the optional rechargeable battery.
Despite the Sensia letting you listen to internet radio and FM, this is a digital radio first and foremost. Even though you may live in a metro area you may find that you can't pick up digital radio, and while the Sensia has a telescopic antenna the tuner isn't particularly sensitive. CNET Australia's office is in the heart of the Sydney CBD and we were only able to get reception once we moved the radio to the corner of the office so that the antenna was pointing straight up George St.