Pure Oasis Flow weatherproof DAB and Internet radio
Waterproof streams, anyone?
Review Pure’s range of digital radios has typically included portable DAB models and several Wi-Fi equipped versions for streaming audio from your computer and access to Internet stations. Many are designed with portability in mind if you’re inclined to splash out on the optional rechargeable battery packs. While the Oasis Flow might sound like some new kind of soft drink, it goes further than its predecessors by including a rechargeable battery as standard and cladding everything in a weatherproof casing.
Batteries included: Pure's Oasis Flow
The modern looking, curvy cast-aluminium frame has rubber seals to withstand splashes or sprays. And, yes, I tested this with a handy watering can and it survived safe and sound. Weighing a fairly hefty 2.2kg it’s not quite a go-anywhere radio but it makes a good sonic companion for the bathroom, garden, beach, etc. Sockets are sealable and include a headphone output and 3.5mm input for any audio gadget. There’s no Ethernet port as it’s made to be mobile.
Costing around £170, it’s not cheap, though it’s slightly less than Pure’s non-weatherproof but otherwise similar Evoke Flow when you add the extra price of the Evoke’s battery. Compared to Pure’s older Oasis portable, this new incarnation adds network connectivity, an FM tuner and OLED display with vivid yellow-on-black text.
Parts of the display are touch sensitive, while responsive rotary controls handle volume and menu navigation. It’s a good no-nonsense combination, though some aspects feel counter intuitive and I sometimes found myself jumping all the way back to the main menu instead of the list of albums or stations.
The detachable antenna tucks away neatly into the body
In line with most Pure radios the DAB reception is above average, helped by the generous 76cm telescopic antenna. For overseas use it adds DAB+ and DMB compatibility. There are 30 digital presets, 10 for FM and a roster of 16,000 Internet radio stations to choose from. To get the most out of the streaming capabilities, you need to register at the Pure Lounge online portal.
another box DAB
Is it compulsory for all DAB devices to be hideous boxy?
Still, they skipped the faux wood panel look 99% of them use. So slightly less hideous than normal.
Slightly pricey but built for the Tropics
Many parts of the Tropics don't have rain showers, they have, appropriately, soaking deluges which penetrate almost anything even though they might last only an hour or two,
In fact, as I post this I have been getting soaked for about 35 minutes and it would be on occasions like these that the water resistant features would prove their worth, The DAB features aren't of much use out here, we have acres of unused FM spectrum, but the the manufacturers thoughts are in the right place - the potential international market.
Maybe it's Mono because when the signal breaks up, or gets delayed, the irritating noises are less so when experienced in mono whereas stereo really tends to emphasise all signal quality shortcomings.
Pure Evoke - not that brilliant
I've bought an Evoke Flow and it is a pain to use:
1. To turn it on press a virtual button and wait four seconds.
2. To turn it off press Off and then press OK (WHY?????) and wait four seconds.
3. To navigate the UI guess whether you need to hit the bent arrow, turn the wheel or press the wheel as there's no obvious consistency in use between sections.
4. To listen to something from the internet be patient - as it takes an age to buffer. If you skip ahead a section be prepared to listed, for a few seconds, to the start of the recording before the radio catches up and then plays the right part.
5. Sometimes the internet radio part will go quiet and stop. Then, hours later, it will burst into life causing mild panic in the kitchen as a result.
6. When Pure decide to make an update available (and one week we had at least 2) don't expect to be able to do anything until the download is done. The radio will fire up and tune to whatever it was last doing but the UI goes into a modal "You WILL do a download and nothing else - not even the bloody volume will work". What idiot thought that was a good idea?
7. Finally - instead of fixing any of the above - the big news with the last download was the ability to use Pure as a middleman in buying songs based on what you're listening to.
So, in summary, nice looking raio that's slow to turn on, slower to turn off, confusing to navigate, unreliable on internet based services (and I'm on 20MBs Virgin cable) and appears to update infrequently but with features I really didn't want.
Would I buy one again? Nope.
Volume knob change?
I've returned 3 Pure DAB radios after being unable to live with them for more than a week. My main gripe is the UI and volume control.
I like to listen to a bit of FiveLive at bedtime and I want to be able to control the volume at low levels. Every Pure I've bought has a gradiated volume control to so instead of an analogue dial allowing me to set this precisely I get a '1' which is way too loud and a '0' which is off. That's no good.
I picked up a £20 generic portable radio/cd from Currys which does the job fine (plus jack inputs for mp3 player). I may get R5 on AM but at least I can set the volume how I like.
For the money that Pure charge you would have thought that they would have come up with the perfect DAB product by now, rather than these expensive almost-theres.
portable (giggle, guffaw) radios (bwaahahhaaahha, please stop, it hurts!)
Is this DAB's version of "portable"? Something else the jackasses who are trying to force this tech on everyone don't seem to consider. A portable FM radio these days can made so small that it is can be lost in your small change - it's limiting factor is the speaker, the jack to put headphones into, or the interface to select a channel.
I am still waiting for a credible answer to why would anyone want this version of DAB? It requires more power, larger form factor, and a lot more expense than an equivalent FM receiver. That's if I wanted to get a new device. And as far as having to replace all my old FM sets if they ever switch them off - don't think I would be bothering.
Gah, mumble grumble get offa my lawn, dam' youngsters...