When we reviewed the original Pure Sensia in 2010, we applauded Pure’s ambition. There was nothing quite like it on the market. And in many ways, there still isn’t.
The Sensia 200D Connect still combines FM, DAB, internet radio and streaming from uPnP (Universal Plug And Play) servers or computers. And it still has a large, 5.7in touchscreen display.
The rugby ball-like design is nigh-on identical too – black or white models are available at launch, with more colourful options in the pipeline. Power remains at 30W, and there’s a new remote control – or you can use the free Pure Lounge app, which also brings with it a wealth of streaming features.
Pure has addressed many of our criticisms of the original. The touch-sensitive power button that was prone to accidental touches has been swapped out for a traditional button, and the touch-sensitive volume control has been replaced by up and down buttons.
Pure 200D Connect: Touchy touchscreen
Our main concern, though, was the lack of responsiveness on the awkward touchscreen. The 200D’s is smoother, more responsive and less frustrating – but only marginally.
The game has moved on so far since the Sensia was originally launched that touchscreens are now ten-a-penny, and a product will live or die by how satisfying the screen is to use.
Pure’s reacts less confidently and definitively than the best. You almost have to be too deliberate in your prods to make sure the radio executes your commands, while the speed of your swipes isn’t sufficiently reflected in how the screen reacts. Even those who have patience might want to look elsewhere.
Pure 200D Connect: Lounge app
However, if you don't get along with the Sensia's touchscreen, you can console yourself with Pure's well-worked (and free) smartphone tablet app.
The Pure Lounge app works in conjunction with an online Lounge account and incorporates live radio streaming, on-demand podcasts, and the ability to stream (for £4.99 a month) or buy music from an impressive catalogue provided by 7Digital.
You can even tag tracks that take your fancy, and stream or buy them if you wish. The interface is simple enought to use, and Pure Stream is a competent alternative to Apple AirPlay.
Pure 200D Connect: Sound quality
Operational niggles aside, the Sensia doesn’t sound bad at all. The soundstage isn’t the most focused, but it’s more expansive than most and its insight is as good as we’ve heard at this price.
Products such as these can easily sound tinny or bass-heavy, but the Pure displays fine balance.
There isn’t a ton of bass, but what you do get is taut and agile enough, treble doesn’t sound reedy, and vocals and speech are delivered clearly.
Pure 200D Connect: Verdict
The Sensia has undoubtedly upped its game, but the market hasn’t stood still.
We gave the first generation the benefit of the doubt, but consumers now expect a product to work with the intuitive ease of the latest smartphone or tablet. And in this regard, the Sensio 200D falls short.