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Published on December 15th, 2012 | by Greg


Pure Sensia 200D Connect: Music Streaming Extraordinaire + Giveaway!

Looking for information on how you can win a Pure Contour 200i? Read to the end!

We’re big fans of audio streaming- from early Sonos devices to new AirPlay ones, we have tried many. Each system and setup has strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps the most important question is: what devices do you already have? If you run mostly iOS devices, like the iPhone and iPad and use iTunes for your music, then AirPlay is a solid choice. But if you run a mixed network of Android and iOS devices, or don’t use iTunes, then it’s a bit more difficult. And it’s for environments like this that Pure steps in, offering an option that doesn’t require purchasing a lot of expensive hardware, but can run with both Android and iOS.

Their latest device, the Pure Sensia 200D Connect, takes the form of an oblong oval with a large LCD touchscreen and stereo speakers on each side. It bears a passing resemblance to the Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin, but is more condensed, shaped closer to a rugby ball. First impressions count for a lot, and ours were positive- the device definitely presents itself as a step forward from the Pure line that we’ve checked out before. Where the EVOKE Flow offered retro styling and a limited feature set that we appreciated for it’s simplicity, and the Pure Contour 200i offers a dock for the iPhone along with solid AirPlay functionality, the new Sensia 200D doesn’t include a dock at all but features galore. However, it doesn’t support Spotify, Rdio, Pandora or other music streaming services. What’s the deal?

The promise is simple: easy-to-access internet radio, FM radio, and an app-based solution that works on your Android or iOS devices to stream from their libraries, or from your computer using DLNA. There are some fun added features that you won’t see on many competitor devices, like a Facebook app, and others for using it as a digital picture frame or displaying weather forecasts.  The clear UI and responsive screen make browsing through files and collections fun, though there are some confusing controls. Setup is simple, though, for the most part- read our previous pieces for the ups and downs of the custom Pure Lounge app (available free). Everything is a little faster to navigate, a big improvement from previous models.

Perfect for a nightstand, library, or kitchen, the sound quality is sufficient to satisfy, but isn’t aimed at audiophiles. Whereas iTunes and other services have started offering high-bitrate audio files, Pure’s apps limit streaming to 128kbps, good enough for most folks but a bit strained on occasion. Still, you probably won’t notice, since it’s meant to be a companion unit, not a true 2.1 bookshelf system. Thus, the sound signature is spacious and warm, rather than precise. It didn’t sound quite as deep or detailed as the 200i, but does a few nifty things that the sister model cannot accomplish. We still enjoyed the random sampling of sounds available from the Pure Sounds app- and the remote is cute and easy to use, if a little basic.

If FM radio (lacking in most similar systems) and the usual audio input via a headphone auxiliary jack don’t grab you, maybe two other features will. Surprisingly, this unit can be converted to use battery power, a surprise for a unit of this size and a nifty addition for those who might want to travel with it. Of course, it’s not that portable- we can’t imagine using it anywhere but perhaps briefly at a park, gym, or room where getting power was a problem. It doesn’t have the output of an old-school boombox, and we suspect the battery life would be pretty limited. But that’s not all: the unit can actually record internet radio onto a USB thumb drive. We have tons of these lying around, and though there are PC applications that do a decent job, it’s an interesting inclusion and seemed to work well. Recording them, even via a schedule, was pretty simple- but we weren’t able to record FM radio though.

Available in both black and white, we liked the design of the 200D Connect. The tilt of the screen is convenient for use even on a countertop, and it held up to lots of use even in the rough confines of the kitchen. Available now for around $400, it’ll make a great gift for someone who wants to stream music in a mixed environment, but wants a device that is convenient for non-techies to use as well.

And big news: we have one Pure Contour 200i  to giveaway via sweepstakes! Simply like us on Facebook, or take our marketing survey, for a chance to win- we’ll select the winner randomly from both sources at the end of the month!

Note the terms and conditions that apply to most giveaways:

  • No purchase is necessary.
  • Odds of winning are based on number of entries, between 12/14/2012 and 12/31/2012 at 11:59PM EST.
  • Up to two entries allowed per person (one via Facebook, one via survey).
  • Additional entries are invalidated and may lead to disqualification.
  • Must be a United States resident to enter or win, 18 years of age or older.
  • Retail value of prize is approximately $200.
  • Winners will be notified in early January 2013, and must respond within seven days to claim the prize. Unawarded prizes are forfeit and may be re-awarded to an alternate winner. Prizes will be mailed in late January, and shipping fees are covered by TrulyNet.
  • Note that the contest may be changed, cancelled, or modified at any time.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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