on 1 December 2009
When I read about the Pure Sensia the timing couldn't have been better as that week the power supply of my Pinnacle Soundbridge Radio gave up the ghost (a common occurrence) and although I thought the Sensia was overpriced, it made a perfect replacement. I decided on the white one and was delighted that it was available immediately on Amazon via KK Electronics and I duly ordered one.
It arrived a couple of days later and lived up to my visual expectations (the bag it came in was a nice touch). However the first few days were spent deciding whether it should go back as it certainly didn't live up to my "ease of use" expectations. The touch-screen seemed to be difficult to master (I have an Apple itouch so the concept wasn't foreign to me) and although slow, it wasn't as bad as some of the other reviews on Amazon made out. However, I have a lot of music on my computer that I wanted to be able to stream to the Sensia and the scrolling screen just wasn't able to cope - I just couldn't find albums or artists as easily as I would have wanted. Also the internet radio search screen looked clunky and difficult to master. The on-line manual wasn't any help at all and there were a number of on-screen symbols that I didn't understand (nothing in the manual about them). And although the Apps weren't the main reason for buying it, they seemed like fun and a good little extra. So imagine my disappointment when after downloading the latest software up-date, there was an on-screen message saying "App management and more coming soon.." So after a couple of days, I had to either persevere or send it back and I decided to spend some time seeing if it was worth keeping. I decided on the former and with some trial and error on my part and looking at the postings on the AV Forum: [...] and the reviews on Amazon, I started to unravel some of the Sensia's mysteries! I realised that the best way to sort out streaming my music from my computer to the Sensia was to move the albums I thought I would want to play into a separate folder and this would make it easier to manage - not perfect but a good work around. I also spent some time in The Lounge and worked out how to set-up folders for different genres of internet radio station and realised that this is one of the best reasons for getting the Sensia - this works superbly and you can event set-up custom stations for those not found via The Lounge. I even found the two Apps - Twitter and the weather - although I don't tweet!
However, there are still some major bugs that need sorting out - especially the showing of cover art when streaming music from your computer. It's explained on the Pure web-site how to do this but having followed the instructions to the letter, it's incredibly inconsistent and illogical - I can't see the cover art on some albums when I follow the instructions and I can see it when I don't! I contacted Customer Support and contrary to other comments, they came back to me in 24 hours and although they didn't address all the issues (especially the cover art conundrum), at least I have established a dialogue with them.
I'm hoping that some of the problems will be addressed by software up-dates. Customer support in their emailed response said "Software updates are coming thick and fast and a new release should be soon. No list of additions though".
So to sum up:
The design is superb and it looks amazing
Sound is very good although lacks a little bass and the ability to change any sound settings - a small graphic equaliser would be nice
Cover art (if I can get it to work properly!)
Folder organisation of internet radio stations via The Lounge
The ability to stream photos from your computer as a slide show
The facility to access "Listen Again" from the BBC although an iplayer interface would make it so much easier to find specific programmes
Aux input for ipod etc.
Ease of wi-fi set-up
A very poor manual for something that's technologically advanced and expensive (sorry to go on about the price!).
No real apps although it's marketed as a radio for "the Facebook generation"
Scrolling of the touch screen can be a little difficult and slow. It is also a little cramped e.g. for "Listen Again" etc. and it needs to be seen full screen rather than in the small window as it is at the moment.
Strange remote that doesn't do much apart from making it easier to turn the unit on and off. It also has two rocker buttons for volume - one for louder (+) and one for softer (-) which is very confusing as the louder button makes it louder whichever end of the rocker you push - unlike any remote I've ever seen and not very intuitive at all.
on 16 November 2009
I had seen all the reviews and online demo of this product before its launch and could not wait for its release.
I love gadgets and could not wait for its release. On wednesday 11th November I purchased the white sensia in John Lewis. (I would have ordered it on Amazon but I could not wait for delivery)
The radio looks terrific. That was the good point..................
I was at first, very unhappy with it, as it kept switching off and resetting itself. At first I thought it was probably updating itself but It kept happening so on Saturday 14th November I took it back for a replacement. I could not believe my luck when this one turned out to be faulty as well. It would not hold its settings such as my WIFI password and radio favourites. By now I was very disheartened but ever the optimist I took it back on Monday 16th and got another replacement, this time a black sensia. I could have got a refund but as I like the look of it so much, I decided to stick at it.
Now nearly a week a later I'm so glad I did.........
The look is stunning and the screens in my opinion are good once you get used to them. You may feel the search and touch screens are unresponsive at first but once you get a feel for the sensia you get used to them. I will admit it can be annoying that when you want to search the Listen Again programmes, as it only displays part of the title.
The DAB radio works very well and I guess that because of its solid telescopic ariel, it has no trouble in finding stations. It seems to pick up a lot more than my old Pure DAB Radio.
The Lounge WIFI internet radio works well and it was very easy picking up stations by genre and country. For example I like country music so I went into the search function and picked Country in the genre tab and USA in the country tab and hey presto I was listening to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. You can easily store all you favourites by clicking on the heart icon which is displayed by the name of the radio station (this function is the same for DAB and FM radio as well). You then just scroll thru your favourites rather than having to go back and use the search screen for over 1200 stations. In order to create folders for your favourite stations and add stations that you can't find, you need to register the radio with the lounge website and create an account which is directly linked to your radio only. Once this is done you can then view all your stations in different folders and delete favourite stations that you no longer like on your radio itself.
The APPS Icon at the bottom of the screen does not work and keeps on saying that the APPS function is coming soon. That said you can now view APPS for twitter and the weather by scrolling the top right hand screen left to right (or vice versa). Once you see the twitter screen you can scroll up and down to change to the weather app. You will need to change the location to your town by clicking on the bottom of the left hand corner of the screen. A setting icon will appear and then bring up a screen with Kings Langley typed in it as a default. If you press the backspace button and overtype this with your own town, MAKE SURE you PRESS the GREEN TICK ICON before pressing enter. This way it will search for your town. if you DO NOT press the green tick icon before pressing enter - it will search but come back with Kings Langley displayed again.
There is nothing to help you with the alarm function but again by playing around you begin to work it out, although I still can't work out how to wake up to a different WIFI station other than the last one listened to the night before. When setting the radio its asks you to pick the station you would like to wake up to, now if your listening to a different WIFI station when its turned off then that same station is what will wake you up and not what you had selected. For example I was listening to a thunder storm in the Pure Sounds WIFI menu. I wanted to wake up to a WIFI country music station but got the thunderstorm instead even though the alarm menu clearly states the station I had picked. I have not tried this with DAB or FM so do not know if this happens with them. I emailed PURE to find out what I'm doing wrong but as yet a week later still no response. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
The external input is good and plays my IPOD.
I have not used the internet streaming function for music and photo's.
The sensia sound great for its size.
Also being right next to my bed, its good to be able to turn the clock off when in standby so it does not light up the room whilst you are sleeping. If you wake up in your dark room and need to know the time then just touch the screen and the clock appears for about 5 seconds.
Im not sure why theres a remote as most of the buttons don't seem to have any functions except for volume, toggling between DAB/WIFI/FM etc and standby.
The quick starter guide that comes with the Sensia is not a lot of cop, Your are supposed to download the full manual online but it has not been finished!!!! When you try to use it and click on certain pages/icons it just says coming soon - which is not a lot of cop when you are trying to use your sensia to its full potential. Most of the above I have worked out by playing around with it. You would think that for £250 it would come with decent manual. I guess they have tried to rush this out for the Christmas period.
A week ago I would have said do not buy this radio for at least a month or two but now I have got used to it - its great!!!!!
I think that with further updates this radio will be amazing and performance will match is great looks.
on 15 November 2009
When I saw the announcement of the Sensia I was thrilled. As a radio loving tech fan this is what I'd been waiting for for years - a product that integrated a touch screen to allow me to choose freely from Listen Again content. My previous wifi radio only allowed navigation via a two line LCD which wasn't simple to work with.
This touch screen at last understood how technology could be applied to on demand radio.
The radio is expensive but I justified it to myself and ordered.
The radio arrived a couple of days ago. I am so disappointed with it I felt I should warn other people off.
Firstly the radio doesn't allow 'live pausing'. This is an astonishing omission - which even the radio on my iPod nano can do. Why this is the case I don't know - there's even a pause button on the remote. So strange.
Secondly the linux system has been built badly and is very slow to respond. Choosing stations and programmes doesn't intuitively use the full screen - and often only the first 10-15 characters of programme names are visible. ('Afternoon play -...' doesn't really tell me much). Searching for programmes basically doesn't work - my attempt to refine my search to BBC Radio programmes never returns results.
Also the interface between DAB and internet rather than being seamless is very clunky. DAB programmes cut off when you opt to choose to listen to web stations (often leaving a minute of useless silence when I would have liked to carry on listening). I'd ideally like a clever system that allows me to choose BBC Five Live - and then receive the offer to 'listen live' or to an archive programme.
Now as this is a linux system all of these things should be very simple - creating bookmarks on the desk top could have been one simple way to store favourites. Instead the process requires you logging onto a website and building a folder of favourite programmes. Want to listen to something factual from the last week? Then searching on the Sensia is pretty much useless - so you need to log on to a PC select the programme, then go back to the Sensia where the programme will be sitting in a folder of bookmarks. Its not the breezy browsing I'd imagined.
Oh dear - who built this? There are two brilliant real world starting places for building a system like this - the iPlayer and Sky+. Instead this looks like it was built by a very poorly qualified software engineer on a wet weekend.
The trumpeted applications don't yet work and my attempt to turn the screen off in standby meant that the unit signalled its ongoing electricity consumption with a distressing (but very quiet) whine.
Flicking through programmes is anything but iPod like - the demo video shows a finger casually dragging the list of programmes up the page. In fact they don't respond half the time or accidentally choose one of the programmes and you end up listening to something beginning with A (because that's all you ever get to see on the cramped programme list box).
Hey... on the plus side I have now listened to 'Annie Mac', '1Xtra drive show' and 'Any Questions'. It'd be nice to get past A soon.
Strangely when you're choosing from this cramped list of stations half of the screen is filled with a logo for 'The Lounge'.
Ever the optimist I am hoping that the firmware will be updated soon - and that in the meantime a team of high quality engineers are working on it.
I hope they are. Otherwise I will regret the strong urge that I am supressing to return this overpriced, underspecced waste of money.
My advice - hangback till Christmas at the very least. I would recommend a netbook over this. And it makes me very very sad to say so.
(addendum: Two days in I sent it back. It just got too much. I'm now contemplating the Logitech Squeezebox - which has much better reviews)
on 17 April 2010
Having read the previous reviews I was half expecting this would be full of bugs but the specification was good enough for me to take a punt...now after 1 weeks worth of use I couldn't recommend more, ok the interface can be a little slow but there again we've all be spolit by the iphone interface. Setup was automatic and I was listening to wifi within 4 minutes of getting it out the box - wifi range is very good - I'm running from one side of house to the other.
To sum I wouls say the positives are:
- Great sound quality for such a small device, fills my kitchen without effort
- Seemless use of the lounge service with thousands of internetradio stations
- Great DAB reception
- Good wifi range
- Seemless updates over wifi - automatically found and update me to o/s 1.6
- the 'wow' factor great talking point for everyone coming to the house
- Don't seem to have much luck with FM but why would you bother when you get DAB and WiFi reception ?
- You really need a 'always on' wifi network to make justice of it - but that's that true of so many things these days
- Where's the news app ??
on 18 May 2010
I've had my Sensia for a week now, and I'm very pleased I finally bought myself a decent music player for my bedroom. I've previously struggled with wireless music streamers from Creative and Logitech, and searching for tracks and artists using remote control keypads is a nightmare compared to the touchscreen on this Sensia. If it's just for the ease of searching via the touchscreen I'd recommend buying one of these, but it has more benefits as well:
- the FM radio works perfectly for me, and it's very easy to tune and store favourite stations;
- the DAB radio is excellent, and once again searching through stations and storing them is easy to do and it's easy to find your favourites again aferwards;
- the Internet radio stations offer an amazing array of musical taste, and once again searching and storing is simple;
- the Lounge, which is Pure's online site giving you access to all those Internet radio stations is perfectly usable, and when you register you're device with the Lounge then all your favourite stations are uploaded from the Sensia so that you can listen to them from a PC if you want to;
- the Lounge also offers some nice ambient sounds which I never thought I'd use, but now I use their Ocean Ambience to get to sleep - and it really works. I'm not sure who would use the sound of a Honda CBR or a Motorcross circuit as ambient sounds, though;
- the Apps work, and give you Facebook and Twitter updates, if you are really that desperate to keep up with your social network. I do use the Weather app every morning though, and it is nicely presented giving you just today's forecast when minimised and a full 5 day forecast when fullscreen;
- Pure's FlowServer is a simple, lightweight, DLNA compatable music server which streams all your music, with album art, to the Sensia without any problems; Once again searching, via the touchscreen, is no easy that it makes me start looking for those old, forgotten albums rather than relying on some tired playlists;
- FlowServer will also serve your photo collections, which makes the Sensia a very attractive wirelss photoframe. Something I didn't expect, and wouldn't have considered when looking for a music streamer - but now it's built in I always have my holiday photos in a slideshow once I've chosen my music.
There are some small niggles with the Sensia:
- the touchscreen is sometimes a little unresponsive, although this improved dramatically with the first update I did to version 1.7 of the software;
- the screen is sometimes slow to update and slightly juddery when displaying photos or apps.
Both these issues are probably due to lack of processing power available to scale photos and continue to maintain network connection and music processing. This reminds me of a touchscreen mobile phone of a couple of years ago. It's worth pointing out that the music never stutters, just the screen, so Pure have their priorities right in this regard.
All in all, I'm very glad to have bought the Sensia, since it gives me an FM radio, a DAB radio, an Internet radio, a music streamer and a wireless photo frame - all wrapped in a well put together and pretty design. I'd defintitely recommend one and my mates are jealous ;-)
on 8 September 2011
I read all the reviews of the Pure Sensia and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. Big mistake. It was a disaster from start to finish and the only reason I have given it one star is because it does actually look good and the tone was not dreadful. If only the performance lived up to the appearance.
The quick user guide is brief to the point of being completely useless and there is no printed manual. The downloadable user manual is enormously long and not particularly good. From the start the Sensia was difficult to set up, when attemptimg to upgrade leads to the dreaded error sign you can read about in all the forums, which sits frozen on the screen. The Pure website is no help, just keeps referring you back to the same useless guidelines. Eventually I did manage to get the upgrade sorted (heavens knows how) though my pc told me it had not installed correctly (it had) but the upgraded radio proved to be clunky, unintuitive and downright poor.
The FM signal I never received, the DAB signal was worse than I receive on my Pure One Mi and my Roberts radio, and broke down every time I walked near the radio. The wi-fi signal was half as strong as that I receive on my mobile phone. When I tried to listen again to a programme I came across the problem others had encountered, that you can't pause to start again in the same place, fast forward or wind back, and it keeps breaking down completely then starting again from the beginning of the recording. I tried to get the Facebook App working and was told to log in to FB on the pc, and did so, but the radio could not find the URL so that didn't work either. The remote control is next to useless. The power button on the radio is unresponsive and needs very hard pressing and then takes an age to activate.
After days of struggling with the basic functions of the radio I was so fed up I didn't even attempt to stream music from the pc (which was why I had bought it in the first place) and sent the radio back to Amazon, also giving Pure the benefit of my extremely negative feedback.
I cannot speak highly enough of Amazon's customer service however, but ironically received an email recently suggesting I might be interested in purchasing the Pure Sensia in which I had demonstrated an interest. I should coco. I believe this radio is nowhere near ready to be put on the market, Pure need to do a massive amount of work on it to make it user friendly and a good buy for the money.
My advice? Read the reviews and believe the bad ones!
on 22 November 2009
I was very excited about the release of this product as on paper (and appearance) at least it seems like the perfect combination of good looks, usability and innovation. However the reality is very different indeed - the touch screen is one of the worst I have ever used with a huge delay sometimes between pressing a "button" and the unit responding, the menu system is not intuitive at all, and currently there are no online extras (such as Facebook or Twitter integration) as advertised. They're apparently coming soon and you do get the idea that if they'd held back and released this 3 months later, once they've got the software sorted, it'd be a much more impressive product. As it stands, it's hard to recommend an item which clearly isn't ready for market.
on 6 February 2010
I've had the radio a couple of months now, it lives in our Kitchen. It's used every day, often connected to the Pure iPod dock.
It takes a little getting used to, at first it seems a little slow to react and even slightly tricky to navigate. I was actually thinking of sending it back.. but you get used to it quickly, learn it's ways, and before long you have no problem at all. The v1.5 update it downloaded and installed for itself really improved it. Even my partner who normally goes ballistic at anything even slightly dificult to use and thought I was crazy to spend this much on a radio loves it and uses it every day.
Setup was just a matter of giving it our wireless key. The media streaming from our laptops was easy to setup and great to use. It's wonderful having all the music on your computer just there and ready to use. The BBC listen again functionality is perfect, DAB reception top notch.
But the thing that really blows you away is the sound. You really can't believe that a little radio the size and shape of a rugby ball could sound like this. Even a room away it's amazing (and the remote works from a couple of rooms away as well!).
It's expensive but having had it a little while I really think it was worth it. I love it.
Quality seems good but I know from past experience that if a Pure product does develop a fault they sort it out no fuss no problems. I sent a 3 month old Evoke 2s radio back to them and got the replacement 2 days later. Well done Pure!
on 14 December 2009
We have been looking for some time for something which would 'empower' us to play all our music and get more from web radio.
Well the Sensia is certainly bringing us closer to that reality.
I have read many reviews and both sides of the coin are given.
This is what I enjoy most about it:
1- Portable (especially with its battery mode) , small , compact but packed with featues. Sits conveniently on our breakfast table, it's a new member to our family ;)
2- Good sound with 15W RMS per channel
3- RF remote control. Yes many commented on the lack of facility to control the many features of the Sensia but I enjoy its simplicity and the fact it's RF so you don't have to be pointing to the unit!
4- Audio Streaming (AAC/... compatible)
5- Choice of full screen to present the applications (weather/twitter/...)
6- Easy to configure. It's true that there are a few oddities in getting things configured, but pretty much everything was up and going in a couple of hours. (admittedly probably takes a gadget-minded person to get through some of its settings)
Some of the ++ that weren't initially sought out but now we are very fond of:
1- Photo streaming. Easily configured their XP FlowServer which had no problem scanning the directories for all our photos despite their note about 'applies only to PURE products with photo viewer support' which didn't seem to be an issue.
2- Egg timer as part of the alarm functions. Convenient for us because we are using the unit in the kitchen.
3- Weather application giving my local area weather report with up to 4 day forcast.
4- Date/time display in standby which is large and clear.
They are few things to improve:
* How lists are presented. Why isn't there a full screen mode to display the info.
* User interface for searching is slow. A bit of patience and getting used to is required here.
* Easier text entry input would be a big plus. Why isn't it using the whole screen for entering the text? (couldn't find anywhere on their Pure/thelounge to feedback comments!)
* Many small oddities (e.g. windows not refreshing some dialogs, search entry dialog looks disabled!) which I am hoping to see fixed/enhanced in future updates
No lock ups so far (Only has been 2days!).
But hell what a joy to carry this rugby ball shaped unit around the house with no wires attached!
My son spotted this on The Gadget Show and thought it was something I would like. Well he was so right, though after reading reviews the comments were certainly mixed and I was expecting a beautiful looking radio with an extremely slow interface and a rubbish instruction book.
Out of the box it does look beautiful and every bit as exciting as it looks in the photos. It comes with remote, batteries, stand and two types of plugs. It just rests on the stand and is easily swivelled up and down for your viewing angle.
Switching on, it displays a Sensia logo screen before going on to the main screen. Here there are widgets at the bottom of the screen where you can select clock, input, app, settings, check on signal strength and see what power source you are using. A battery pack is available separately.
Hitting dab radio function immediately set it off downloading the available stations which were more than my little adapter unit for my main hifi is able to get.
Once I inputted the key for my wireless network it told me there was an up date (1.4) and I proceeded to download this which didn't take long. It was able to pick up my main computer and stream the photos/music from it very easily, with no other programs. I have installed the recommended Flow media server on it as well and it works just as good. Very easy to do and fantastic to be able to listen to all my music and see all my pictures from my main computer. A tap on the screen made the top right screen either full screen or its standard size.
The next thing I wanted to do was to see Twitter and the Weather apps working but the Apps screen was dulled out whereas all the others were in colour and as suspected the enclosed instructions or online instructions did not help. Hitting the app button on the main screen just pulled up a standard message. I am not sure which of these worked but I did both and then I had Twitter and the Weather visible. First I registered with Pure.com the radio serial number, I had already done this with the Lounge and thought that meant I was registered, and did a factory reset. The factory reset just meant I had to re input my key for the wireless network and still kept version 1.4 on the machine. Anyway both apps were visible.
The serial number for the radio is found where the battery would go.
Logging in to Twitter was easy and very quickly I was seeing my Twitter stream. Scrolling down the screen produced the Weather app and again it was easy to input the nearest town to me to pull up the weather for the next five days in full colour. This app shows the current weather in the small screen format and the full screen shows the 5 day weather. I was well impressed.
The Lounge is where you can organise your internet radio which will automatically sync to your radio this makes it a bit easier to navigate through the thousands of channels available. On the radio itself you can jump through the alphabet and search for a particular channel if you know its name. It also has the Pure sounds options here and currently a special selection of Christmas channels.
When in standby mode a digital clock appears which is quite cool. The clock can also be used as an radio alarm, kitchen timer etc.
The touch screen was perfectly fine it just takes a little bit of getting used to as you need to touch the screen in certain places for it to respond, if you are a little bit out it doesn't respond. I was expecting it to be really slow but it isn't at all (though not as good as the iPod Touch) it is perfectly okay. It is just a case of getting used to new touch controls which is very easy to do.
I have not tried using my iPod Touch through it yet as I was more than impressed just streaming the music from my computer and the sound quality was excellent, both streaming from computer, internet radio, dab radio and fm radio.
I love it.