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on 11 August 2013
I originally had quite a cheap i-pod dock which only lasted about a year and didn't sound to brilliant. So i looked around, read some reviews and decided to go for the Pure i-20, well the difference was amazing, the sound quality was fantastic and not only that it looks really cool as well. Thoroughly recommend this product.
Update;.......Well its over a year on and the dock is still performing brilliantly.
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on 19 July 2011
For those not in the know, the iPod (iPhone; iPad) is capable of storing music at essentially the same quality level as CD (or whatever source you use). To achieve this, use either ALAC (Apple Lossless), or WAV. However, regardless of storage quality, the iPod's limitation has been its necessarily compromised DAC - the part that converts the digital recording back to analogue signals we can listen to. Marvel of miniaturisation though it is, there is only so much you can do - with current technology - within a package this small.

The answer came some years ago with Wadia's 170i iPod "transport". This Apple-approved device retrieved the information "bit-perfect" from the iPod, passing it straight out as a digital signal to the DAC of one's choice. Overnight, the iPod became a serious contender as the heart of one's music system, no matter how expensive and exotic might be the following components. Rave reviews followed, helped along by the sheer convenience of being a top-end home system in the evening. Finally, the iPod's potential was fully realised.

Wadia have since released an 'upgraded' iPod transport, the 171i. Unfortunately, both this and the original transport are somewhat expensive. The 170i has had increasing compatibility issues too, as iPod technology advanced. More recently, both Onkyo (NS-D1) and Cambridge Audio (D100) released competing devices at about half the price and, along with the new Wadia, no compatibility issues.

And now we have the PURE i-20, bringing exactly the same bit-perfect digital-retrieval capabilities and up-tod-date compatibility at a bargain price: less than half the price of the Onkyo and Cambridge Audio devices. It manages to do this AND include a much better than iPod-quality DAC (still not a match for most stand-alone DACs though) AND it charges your iPod/iPhone while connected AND it does all this in a versatile, easy to use and relatively attractive and portable package.

How does it perform? Well, bit-perfectly. That is to say, I have found playback from my (lossless), full quality files on my iPod indistinguishable from the same tracks played direct from my CD transport: this with highly resolving, audiophile-grade components following in the rest of the chain, both headphones and speakers. In other words, this bargain-priced transport does exactly what it claims to.

Any flaws? Only the rather tiny, cheap-looking and cheap-feeling remote. Reputedly, the Onkyo remote is much better. This unit functions with a wide range of iPods and iPhones - see PURE's information on their website - but not iPad, which I understand only the Cambridge Audio device happily supports. Some of my fellow owners on Head-Fi lament it's not battery-powered (it runs off a 1.2A 7.5V power pack).

The only other flaw is the risk of compatibility issues over time, as experienced by the first Wadia transport. But all these devices share this problem, something the PURE's much lower price mitigates considerably.

So there we have it: an almost ridiculously cheap source component with the versatility to scale anywhere from a modest travel system (e.g. i-20 and headphones) to any home stereo system regardless of how expensive or esoteric it may be. I love mine, and use it all the time.
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on 7 February 2013
Years ago, I was a bit of an audiophile and spent thousands on pretty high end set up, Audiolab Amps and CD, Castle Harlech speakers and Nordust interconnects and speaker wires. It sounded fab, but as you grow older, move house, get into relationships the ability to house such big equipment is harder, and anyways the other half didn't like such big speakers etc etc.

Fast forward a few years and I am now comfortably in my 40's now living in a smaller flat with no room for such cases so rely on IPOD connected through a high-ish end surround cinema set up. Not pure hifi but pretty good. The whole set up was just under £1200 so modest but not budget. I had been using an Apple passive dock to connect to the amp and was happy with the sound. It cant compare to the Audiolab/Castle set up but was adequate stuff.

I stumbled across the Pure I20 by accident while browsing Amazon and thought for £60 it was worth a punt. It arrived and I dug out the old Nordus Solar Wind interconnect cables (£300 a pair)and powered up. Initial reaction was the Pure I20 delivered much more musical punch than the IPOD alone and the sound was brighter, crisper, with a greater instrument/voice separation. Bass is punchier but not overpowering. Music sounds less cluttered than before and seems not so 'digital' (I know it still is, but it does sound more 'rounder' than before).

My test files were Dark Side of Moon by Floyd, which blew me away totally, the bells at the start of Time and the searing guitar solo during Money leapt from the speakers in a very punchy in-your-face-way. Much, much better than before. Gilmour's vocals were bright in the mix and separated from the rest of the mix very well. Next up, Metallica's Black Album to test the old eardrums. The Sony Cinema system delivers the snarl and attack of the album, the bass a satisfying but not muddy thump, the cymbals pristine and Hetfield's voice high in the mix and snarly, just the way we like it.
Softer music stands up just as well, Kate Bush's 50 words for snow as luxurious and as wistful as you could want. There seems a natural airy space between the instrumentation which the Pure i20 delivers well.

For 60 quid this is a real steal, and for anyone using the IPOD as part of thier hi fi this is a must buy.
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on 4 June 2013
I'd bought a Pure i10 to connect to a Technic mini system in the kitchen & if you read my review for that, you see how disappointed I was with it. So when I needed another dock, my first though was to buy a second ProJect Dock Box with variable output. However, they're no longer made. I'd seen this item & after reading a few reviews, thought I'd give it a whirl - working on the basis of "if it's no good, it goes back"

WOW - there is absolutely no comparison between the two units!! Whereas the system would have to be cranked up to 28 - 24 db, on this one you have the same volume level at around 38 - 40 db. So it's a lot louder. It's also a lot clearer - tracks don't sound as though they're being played through a towel. I am not a Hi-Fi expert - in fact, I don't really understand how this works compared to the i10, but I can tell you to spend a little over twice what you'd pay for the i10 & buy this instead.

29.07.13 - UPDATE - Before you make a decision, I suggest you also consider the Logic3 LCD Pro Dock with Remote for iPhone/iPod - read my review, & make a decision between the two
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on 29 September 2011
Roy Gandy from Rega probably wouldn't be very happy to hear I've hooked one of these Pure i20 docks up to one of his Brio-R amplifiers as he hates all things digital. However, I have to say that for anyone looking for a decent dock to connect their ipod to audiophile equipment, the i20 does the job beautifully!

ipod Classic >>> Pure i20 >>> Rega Brio-R >>> Dynaudio 2/6s

**** simply amazing ****

Just bear in mind though that for Amps that don't have a convenient 35mm rack socket (like the Rega) a purchase of some x2 phone to 2x phono connector leads will have to be purchsed as well.

Some reviews mention an excessive Bass. While I agree, I do detect more bass than normal, for me it's not something that's too much of a big deal. By all means spend £125 on an Arcam irDock if that improves things, but for the money the Pure i20 is the business.

Happy Days!
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on 6 March 2012
wasn't sure how much difference this would make to playing my iPod through my hifi, but actually it's startling.
i had no idea how muddy the ipod sound was till comparing it to this. with lossless compression this is pretty close to cd level sound.

there have been a few adverse comments about the build quality of the remote that comes with this: just found out by accident that apple's own (immaculately designed) aluminium remote works fine with this.
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on 24 May 2011
I previously owned the Wadia iTransport 170i before the Pure i-20, and I have no problem saying that the Pure i-20 is better. It offers both an internal DAC, and both coxial and Toslink outputs. It has a smaller footprint and it's much easier to place different iPods in the dock without worrying about those stupid adapters. It's a fraction of the price of the Wadia, and it sounds just as fantastic.

I've had a strange problem with the volume mysteriously decreasing on it's own. I'm suspicious that one of my other remote controls (I have a lot) might be somehow triggering the Pure as well. Since I haven't heard anyone else complain about this problem, I'm going to assume it's something in my own household. Other than that minor annoyance, I couldn't be more pleased. An excellent product.
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on 25 January 2012
I won't make this review overly complicated-in a nutshell music stored on an ipod must be converted from digital to analogue in order to play it. The iPod has an inbuilt digital-analogue converter of poor quality which this Pure dock bypasses. When used with a good quality audio system the results are excellent. No more huge collection of CD's...just a trusty iPod and my old B&W speaker system.
I've had mine for nearly a year without any problems, like all highly sensitive electrical kit there will be the odd dud but I'm sure Amazon or Pure will sort out a replacement if you're unlucky. Mine worked brilliantly out of the box. The only issue for me is it won't allow me to dock the iPod when in a case due to the nature of the connection-this is common to a lot of docking stations and iPod speakers. Unlike other reviewers I find the remote perfectly adequate. Of course it could be better but the unit is a bargain for the price so it's only a small quibble. If you love your music it offers an affordable method for using your existing audio system without compromising on quality when plugging an iPod directly into the system.
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on 4 December 2013
The PureI20 sounds brilliant when connected to moderate quality hi-fi - such as my Denon DM38 micro system. It really is a pleasure to listen to this system in my studio when i write reports etc. The bass sounds rich, and the treble sweet for both classical and jazz on my iPhone 4S. All my music is recorded on the top iPhone quality lossless.

However I upgraded to an iPhone 5S recently, and even though I use a proper Apple adaptor socket the Pure i20 now only connects intermittently - usually for no more than 10 minutes and then disconnects. So the lovely music I enjoyed before is no longer possible with my new iPhone. So the Pure i20 is therefore PURE i-20, Digital Dock for iPod/iPhone with Hi-Fi Quality Audio and Video Outputnot recommended for the latest iPhones. Hope Pure bring out an upgrade to match.PURE i-20, Digital Dock for iPod/iPhone with Hi-Fi Quality Audio and Video Output
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on 25 February 2011
The product I've been waiting for them to make* arrived a couple of days ago so here is my review of it.
(* Digital iPod dock with optional inbuilt DAC for under a hundred pounds).

System: Audiolab 8000a Amp (classic model) Quad 12L2 Speakers (on Soundstyle stands) IPod Classic 160GB using Apple Lossless Codecs

Background: Prior to the Pure i-20 I was using the basic Apple universal dock which of course uses the iPods' internal DAC and line out. The sound from the Universal dock was fine, a little compressed and lifeless but adequate for general background listening. Comparing the iPod's lossless tracks to the original CD via my ARCAM CD72T showed that the iPod/Apple dock combo was lacking some clarity..

Build: So, back to the product in question. I'm mainly going to focus on the sound quality of the Pure i-20 since this is often the hardest thing to find information on when searching for reviews. But suffice to say that the build quality and overall feel of this product is fantastic and looks like a £200 product not one costing less than half that. My only gripe is the remote feels a little light and the buttons are hard to press. It's also not as responsive as the Apple remote was, but on the Pure all the functions work such as shuffle and navigating the menus - not the case on the Apple dock.

Sound: This review focuses on the analogue outputs from the i-20, i.e. no external DAC was used. The first thing I noticed was that the Pure's output is much louder than the apple dock's, both in a literal sense and also in as much as the sound feels much more active and alive. Even when the volume is turned down, the sound still jumps out at you and it's hard to ignore the music. This isn't necessarily a positive observation; this dock may not suit a laid back listener.

On the other hand, the sound is extremely clear and there is lots more detail to all the individual instruments. You really get the feeling that the Pure is really extracting all possible information from the Apple Lossless files. This sound information is presented right in front of the listener with outstanding Stereo imagery, possibly better than the Arcam can manage with the original CD.

Vocals appear right in the centre of the soundstage and you can make out any hoarseness in the musicians voice or even slight limitations of the recording microphone. Bass is noticeably much more pronounced, again not necessarily a positive comment, I certainly feel that the bass is a little artificially accentuated. However, the bass is never muddled, slow or distorted and really adds to the music. If your system is a little bass light or you like your music to have fast, clear, weighty bass, then you will like the Pure dock.

On the flip-side, I could imagine that in a less than perfect set-up, the pronounced bass might sound a tad messy or overpowering. Treble is clear and dry, with no harshness, aside from the earlier comments about this being a very forward and exciting sounding dock.

Overall: Compared to the Apple dock, the Pure is much more alive, excited and has great bass and first class stereo imagery. If you like your tunes subtle and laid back then maybe try something like the Arcam ir-dock which is an analogue dock and supposedly very "musical", or even a Fat Man valve dock. However, in terms of true high fidelity, this dock is a clear 5/5, all the information is carefully gleaned from the source and presented to the listener in a very punchy manner. Add to the above the fact that this is a mid-range product compared to the Arcam dock and Onkyo digital transport (which is twice the price and has no internal DAC) and throw in a fully featured remote and fabulous build and finish and you are left with a stunning product.

Well done Pure!
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