When Sonos hit us with their WiFi audio system, it shook the market and changed the way we listen to music forever. Major players in the tech market have tried to break through and produce a rival…is Pure one of them?
We got the Pure Jongo S3X and our initial thoughts were it’s around £70 cheaper than the Sonos Play 1, it looks good and comes with a built in rechargeable battery for portability. Things are looking good.
The Jongo S3X is a wireless speaker, with 360 degree sound and a 20 hour battery life. Music can be streamed via Bluetooth and WiFi, with most items found on your network including NAS storage solutions. Multiple speakers can be paired to produce a multi room or stereo experience. This unit includes four high frequency drivers and one upward firing mid/bass driver. It supports codecs such as WMA, AAC and MP3 and also includes a 3.5mm auxiliary line in for other devices not found on the network.
I got the speaker with a black base and grey speaker grills and it looks great. The build quality is good, it feels solid and has a decent weight to it coming in at 1.25kg. The speaker is smaller than expected but this doesn’t effect sound quality and only improves its portability. The grills are actually interchangeable at an additional cost which is a nice feature. On the front of the speaker is the on/off button, volume up/down and a mute button. To the rear is a small display, WiFi and audio buttons, aux in, power in and a USB port for Bluetooth dongle. The audio button lets you adjust how you want the speakers to perform. There are different options depending on the speaker’s location and the WiFi button is used to connect to your home network, all of which can be monitored on the display.
Its performance is superb. The speaker creates a rich and vibrant sound in any environment. The sound quality is excellent when tested with high quality sound files and its volume can go very loud, filling large rooms with enough music to cater any party. Unfortunately the speaker doesn’t come with equalizer options which would have been nice.
Connecting to the speaker via Bluetooth was very easy. Ensure the speaker is on, turn the Bluetooth on your device on which is an iPhone in our case and pair the two, simple! I played a variety of music and videos over a long period of time and there was no loss or cutting out at any point, or a reduction in quality. With any Bluetooth device we noticed the sound would cut out if the two devices were too far apart but were talking 10m plus.
Connecting to the speaker via WiFi was a different story. First you need to use the Pure Connect app, it’s free but this is the only app you can use with the Jongo range of speakers. Once installed, the app runs through how to set up your speaker. You need to hit the WiFi button on the speaker, wait for the on/off button to start pulsing green and then follow the steps given in the app. After several attempts the speaker failed to connect and seemed to time out. After researching this, it seems the real flaw in Pure’s arsenal of speakers is the app. There are reports that the speakers/app doesn’t work with a variety of routers, such as BT and Virgin, or at least without manually configuring your router settings, which you don’t expect to have to do. After much frustration, I reset my router, it connected. I think I got lucky.
The app allows you to access your items on your network and for me I accessed my NAS storage and easily streamed a playlist. The app allows you to control the volume of your speaker(s), together or independently. Unfortunately we couldn’t get another speaker to see how they performed together in different rooms but I’m sure after the initial set up, it would be great. You can also use the multiple speaker feature via Bluetooth. It should also be noted that the app is a music store itself so you can purchase songs directly from Pure.
Overall the speaker is excellent, the sound is sharp and the fact that you can take it outside or move it around the house is one of my favorite features. The only problem is the Pure Connect app and/or the network connectivity issues which I found to be a major problem with my current set up. Fortunately the app is being developed and hopefully updated versions will iron out the kinks.