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Customer Review

on 6 October 2009
I bought the Avanti Flow based on the positive reviews on this page. I sent it back because it didn't work as well as I thought it would. It's not completely bad - it's just not as good as it should be.

On the positive side it looks really good. The piano black finish is great with retro styling and a large, clear screen. The sound was OK too - if not massively loud. It was reasonably straight forward to set up and I did manage to use the internet radio and listen again functions via "The Lounge".

The Flow does work with my 3G iPhone. However, it does suffer from regular, loud interference if you don't put the phone into airplane mode.

This product fell well below my expectations in the following areas:

1) The interference when using with a docked iPhone (although to be fair Pure don't claim iPhone compatibility)
2) The menu system is not intuitive - it's not horrendous but it's not good. For example when going back you sometimes use buttons on the top of the unit and sometimes on the front. It's just not easy and I kept getting it wrong.
3) The Lounge Internet Radio service is complicated and confusing. I also have a Freecom internet radio and the system it uses is much more straight forward.
4) There doesn't sem to be an option to set the Avanti Flow up from a web interface (there is with the Freecom and this is really useful)
5) The Avanti Flow takes ages to buffer internet radio stations - a lot longer than my iPhone or the Freecom on the same network
6) There's no option to plug in a network cable so you have to use wireless (I find a wired connection faster and more robust)
7) The different functions all play at different volumes and I can't find a way to correct this. In fact this is so bad that I had to have the volume on maximum (volume 32) to hear a radio 2 listen again service and then was totally blasted out when I switched to the iPhone (which played comfortably at volume 12).
8) The Avanti Flow did connect to my PnP DLNA music server (a Buffalo NAS Linkstation) but only intermittently and with a confused menu system which often claimed there was no music on the server and then began to play it anyway. Navigating between songs was a bit of a hit and miss affair.

So the Avanti's on the way back to Amazon and I have already found a (much better) alternative. I bought a BOSE Sound Dock Series 1. They are on offer at the moment everywhere (£199 at Comet and on Amazon Bose Sounddock iPod Digital Music System - Black at the time of writing). I think they are being discontinued in favour of the Series 2. The BOSE plays my iPhone with only occasional and almost imperceptible interference. I realised that with Apps like "Radio Box" internet radio and "Media Server Lite" (A DLNA media player) installed directly onto the iPhone (from the Apps store), I don't need anything other than remotely-controlled speakers. So now I'm happily listening to internet radio that buffers quickly at the right volume and I can easily stream music not already on the iPhone directly from my DLNA server. OK even this is not perfect, there's no listen again facility in Radio Box (yet) and Media Server Lite is not the ideal interface but both work better than the Avanti Flow. And the BOSE Sound Dock is great. Really easy to use, awesome sound quality and a much louder maximum volume than the Avanti Flow.

In summary the Avanti Flow is not all bad and works quite well for DAB and FM. But I wanted an internet radio and media server and in these areas there are better options. If you use an iPhone don't buy an Avanti Flow. You don't need one.
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