No mere digital radio, the One Flow gives you the latest iteration of Pure’s ‘Flow’ technology in a marvellously compact package at what constitutes a bargain price. You get digital radio, internet radio, FM radio, podcasts, BBC Listen Again content, music streaming from PC or Mac, and Pure’s ‘The Lounge’ portal, this last offering soothing background sounds in addition to organising all that online content for you.
Will we make the usual complaints about so much tech being hard to control in such a small unit (just 21cm wide)? No, we won’t — the One Flow has condensed its minimal controls into an excellent navigation structure. The usual overwhelming number of internet radio stations, for example, can be filtered by several fields at once — so you can search for, say, Australian stations with ABC in their titles. This makes it quick to find a particular fave, or to browse effectively through a usefully narrowed genre.
Meanwhile ‘favourites’ folders keep the cream of content at your fingertips. These folders are limited to 10 items until you register your One Flow with Pure’s ‘The Lounge’ online portal; this is a free process and subsequently lets you use, browse and define favourites through the website on your computer (faster and more convenient)
as well as your digital radio. The Lounge also displays the quality of internet radio stations, so you can easily avoid the grungiest bitrates, although the One Flow’s punchy but compact sound smooths down the worst offenders anyway. Its output is rounded and radio-like, with enough level on tap for a medium-sized room; it’s perfect kitchen/ bedroom/office fare. You’ll need Wi-Fi to connect, since there’s no Ethernet socket (Pure does have an adapter available).
When you join The Lounge, Pure invites you to create an account, which may soon also give you a 90-day trial subscription to the innovative ‘Flow Songs’; we couldn’t test this, as it doesn’t launch in Australia until April, but the idea is that when you hear a song you like on any radio source, you can press a button and Pure will identify the song and allow you to purchase an MP3 version. It’s another indication of Pure’s innovative approach to providing an everexpanding range of material.
You can add one of Pure’s eco-friendly ChargePaks ($99) for portability; there are two alarms, kitchen and sleep timers, headphone output and a minijack input for your iPod. This is a world of music in a bargain package. Recommended.