Gadgets Contour_i1Air_front

Published on December 19th, 2013 | by Greg


PURE Contour i1 Air Speaker Dock: 30-Pin And Lightning Co-Exist

It’s inevitable- you have a sleek new iPhone 5 or 5S, but your partner, guests, visitors, and friends are all still using earlier iPhone models. Apple had to do it- make a clean break to the new Lightning adapter- but it left the 30-pin world in a bit of a tough spot. And the ecosystem split has resulted in serious divisions, with moms and dads facing off against one another, smartphone loyalties tearing entire families apart.

OK, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But the PURE Contour i1 Air is a speaker dock that ensures we can all play nice together. The big selling point here is the unique dual-nature of the device, with support for both types of adapters, via a slick flip-out dock that can even hold and support iPads. And the Air in the name indicates Airplay support, which means you can use the speaker wirelessly when you want to move around or share music from your computer.

We’ve tested out a lot of Airplay speakers, including portable models and high-end ones that look like docks but offer Bluetooth support as well. And we’ve seen quite a few nifty models from PURE before, including a hybrid of a different sort, with Bluetooth and a custom wireless system, plus a kitchen-friendly egg-shaped touchscreen audio system. The Contour i1 Air, though, is closest in appearance to the Contour 200i Air, a similarly-arced device with a dock. They added a feature we were specifically requesting- added is an LCD clock and alarm, making this an even better bedside companion- plus it automatically adjusts brightness. Still absent, though, is a radio, which might be a little sad for some folks though we didn’t miss it. The output has dropped from 36W to 20W, but the controls are still handy.

One thing we liked was the remote and it’s cute magnetic holder on the rear of the unit, though it made it a bit hard to find for unless you knew it was there. And PURE’s Connect app has only gotten better over time- it’s still not Spotify or Pandora, perhaps, but offers easy access to internet radio stations and plenty more besides. Especially for nightstand use, the custom sleep programs can help you get snoozing peacefully. Audio quality as well was solid- somewhat flat, and not enough for a party, but more than adequate for use in your bedroom. If you’re like us, you have both older 30-pin devices and Lightning ones, and can use an Airplay system for multi-room playback and wireless convenience. You’ll still face some Airplay instability- occasional drop-outs and the like- but that appears to be pretty much universal across Airplay gear we’ve tested. The antenna feels a bit weird and unnecessary, but at least there can be peaceful music on earth and goodwill across Apple generations this year.

The Contour i1 Air is available now, online and in stores, for around $220.

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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 Appleā€™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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