Radio mode also boasts 30 DAB presets but only a less generous ten in FM, though it is RDS and RadioText capable.
There's a full set of controls on board
Forgoing anything as old fashioned as a CD deck, this unit assumes a person’s music collection is primarily kept on an iPod, though there is a 3.5mm jack on the back for other media players and for owners of iPods without dock connectors. iPod compatibility is pretty thorough - the machine comes with its own little box of universal dock adaptors to hold many different models. The bundled adaptors cover - deep breath - the iPod Mini, iPod 2G, iPod 3G, iPod 4G, iPod 5G, iPod Nano, iPod nano 2G, iPod Nano 3G, iPod Nano 4G, iPod Classic, iPod Touch and iPod Touch 2G. They fit into the Avanti nicely and ensure whatever dockable iPod you use will fit straight onto the dock connector smoothly.
Internet connectivity has been given an equal amount of attention and the Avanti provides a full alphanumeric array across just two screens. This makes getting the internet radio up and running easier than some interfaces, where you have to scroll back and forth trying to find the numbers and symbols you want. WEP and WPA 2 encryption methods are supported for secure Wi-Fi links.
And a powerful down-facing sub-woofer
The Avanti's UI allows you to easily find and store the internet radio stations that you want. But it's the machine’s associated website, The Lounge, that takes its online capabilities to a different level. The site lets you store unlimited favourites and set-up profiles for different users or styles of music. Pure has also added some nice little extras like Pure Sounds, a library of over 100 ambient sound effects designed to help you set a mood, drop off to sleep or just work to.
Codecs supported include WMA up to version 9, WAV, AAC, MP3, MP2 and Real Audio.
Internet radio vs DAB quality
After writing 2 paragraphs describing the audio quality on DAB, how come Internet radio only received this measly, rather sneering sentence?:
"Bit rates can be an issue, but the Avanti presented internet radio in perhaps the best quality we've yet heard from this type of unit."
I take it you're not aware that around 95 UK commercial radio stations (i.e. ones on DAB and/or FM), including most of the biggest commercial stations, are using 128 kbps WMA or MP3 for their Internet radio streams, and the BBC has recently launched 96 kbps WMA streams for its national stations that are specifically for Wi-Fi connected devices? Both 96 WMA and 128 kbps WMA or MP3 provide significantly (96k WMA) or far (128k) higher audio quality than 128 kbps DAB due to DAB's use of the 1980s-designed MP2 audio codec? There's also over 4,000 Internet radio stations on Shoutcast that use bit rates of 128 kbps or above with the MP3 or AAC+ audio codecs.
Also, in a previous review of a DAB radio that could also playback MP3 files via SD card, you claimed that DAB sounded better than MP3. Considering that MP3 is a far better audio codec than MP2, could you explain how DAB could sound better than MP3? If DAB really did sound better than MP3 files, your MP3 files must sound absolutely dire, in which case, I suggest you start encoding your MP3 files using the Lame MP3 encoder rather than whichever 1990s-vintage MP3 encoder you seem to be using at the moment, or use a bit rate higher than about 80 kbps, which is the MP3 bit rate that provides approx equivalent audio quality to 128 kbps MP2 used for DAB stations - i.e. at the bit rates that people typically use MP3 at (128 to 192 is typical, but a lot of people use higher than that today) to encode their own files, MP3 absolutely murders DAB in terms of audio quality.
"The Logik IR100 which I have, works great, but after 15 feet it loses the will to chat to my broadband router. Any review for Roberts 201/202 or the Pure Evoke Flow fail to say whats how far removed from the router will the Wi-Fi reception work."
I can vouch for the Pure Evoke Flow and Roberts WM201 and WM202 all working about 20 feet or so from my wireless router, and the signal has to travel through at least 2 walls to get to the Wi-Fi radio.
The Roberts WM201 is probably going to be the best in terms of range, because it uses an external Wi-Fi antenna, whereas the others, including the Pure Avanti no doubt, use an internal antenna.
I wonder how hard this was actually tested?
I bought one of these just before Christmas and my experience was very poor. The DAB radio reception was awful, and if I put a Pure Bug or Pure One next to it, it was obviously not right as they were clear as crystal and the Avanti Flow burbled horribly.
There is no manual in the box, and the enclosed setup guide fails to mention that the password for your router is case sensitive. When it fails authentication, it doesn't say that, it just switches to saying axquiring IP address, which, of course, it can't get. So that times out. The fixed IP address option simply doesn't work as you can't change the settings (the menu is broken).
It refused to talk to any of 3 uPNP servers I offered it, so the wireless streaming didn't work and then to cap it all off, my The Lounge account couldn't be activated because it didn't send me an e-mail. If you don't get that e-mail then you can't do anything. So you can't edit the account (if the entered e-mail address was wrong say? And without that e-mail you can't download the PC streaming software so all in, it just didn't work for me as a digital music device at all.
And downloading the manual didn't help either. So it went back to the place I got it from, and hopefully they will refund me. Pure support were next to useless, and they blamed a backlog of complaints over Christmas for why they failed to respond to any e-mails from teh shop that sold me the unit. That suggests to me I wasn't the only unhappy customer who bought a Pure unit over Christmas.
0/10 from me.
A lot better than the LG FA163 DAB?
Lewis, you also reviewed the LG FA163DAB. Is the sound produced by the Pure Digital Avanti Flow far better than the LG, as in worth the extra £100?
Lack of presets
It it's anything like our Pure DMX hi-fi, the deficit of presets on FM is no big deal. The device scans for FM and DAB stations when initially set up, so it's dead easy to select them with the jog wheel or whatever - and UI behaviour is identical whether DAB or FM from then on. Presets are only really shortcuts to favourites, and it's really not been worth our while setting them up.