Review: Pure Jongo S3

Last week on CyberShack TV we tested out the latest speakers from Pure, the Jongos. For a long time Sonos has been the dominant player in the market of wireless home speakers – finally we have a competitive offering from emerging sound engineering firm, Pure. 

We took a look at their most portable speaker, the S3. 

By Eryk Bagshaw

Last week on CyberShack TV we tested out the latest speakers from Pure, the Jongos. For a long time Sonos has been the dominant player in the market of wireless home speakers – finally we have a competitive offering from emerging sound engineering firm, Pure. 

 

We took a look at their most portable speaker, the S3. 

 

Build & Design

 

The S3 is the smallest speaker in the Jongo range – and with good reason, it’s completely portable. It’s got a minimal, clean design with the only visible buttons being the volume, mute and power options. It’s got the added bonus of a small LCD screen that allows you to monitor the speaker’s settings between Aux, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and sound characteristics.  

 

Whilst heavier than your typical portable speaker it actually feels like it’s well built with 1.25 kilograms of hard composite polycarbonate inside an interchangeable coloured grill. It’s solid enough to withstand the rigours of any picnic, BBQ or children’s playroom but small enough to fit comfortably in any backpack.

 

For the style orientated – the speaker has the option of several pastel grill replacements with burnt orange, mango and green covers available. It’s also got your standard black & white piano finish for the more conservative speaker stylist. It’s always good to see a bit of visual funk being added to audio concentrated domains so this is a handy addition to the pure speaker range.

 

The most impressive element of this portable speaker is found in its bottom compartment – where its beefy 8800mAh lithium-ion battery resides. This packs in an awesome 10 hours of portable battery time after charging through a standard AC socket for only 3 hours.  If the battery can maintain this kind of performance over the lifetime of the speaker Pure would have successfully eliminated one of the biggest bug bears of outdoor listeners – long term listening time.

 

Sound

 

Despite its small size the Jongo packs in four 19mm tweeters and a 9cm upward facing subwoofer that deals adequately, if not outstandingly, with low end frequencies. That being said only so much ‘thump’ can truly be expected of a portable speaker.

 

The speaker houses an Omni-directional setup that is designed to be centred for listening, that means you can put it in the middle of the table, picnic rug or a group of towels and everyone should be equally happy with the sound they are receiving. This option can also be disabled if you fancy a more conventional stereo set up (with the audience sitting in front, as opposed to around the speakers) which will utilise only two of the available four tweeters. Whilst the Omni-directional sound setup sounds great, the stereo setup is less convincing with both the low and high frequencies lacking a bit of clear bass and treble.  

 

Despite that – it’s the best sounding portable speaker I’ve come across to date with more than enough battery time to last a lazy day at the pool, beach or park. Part of the beauty of its design is its fairly seamless integration with the Pure Connect app.

 

The App

 

The Pure Connect App offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with your Jongo speaker. It functions more or less like an expanded personal remote – with full access to your whole music library as well as Pure’s streaming services, Pure Music, Pure Sounds and internet radio. From here you can select any track you already own on your smart device or browse for new artists and genres and play them wirelessly through your portable speaker. As an app its slick and well designed with fluid music playback integration.

 

The one major drawback is its lack of Spotify, Pandora, Rdio integration – if you’re dependent on these streaming services for your music then this will be a deal breaker. We can only hope that a firmware upgrade may cure this crippling element of the app.

 

Conclusion

 

If you’re after a truly portable speaker that boasts remarkably decent sound quality then this is a top pick. It’s well designed, flexible and most importantly has outstanding battery life. While the app is more than adequate if you already own your entire music collection, the addition of a mainstream streaming service would only help its popularity. Nonetheless, it’s a solid debut from Pure in the portable wireless speaker category; we’ll be looking forward to seeing what they come out with next.

 

4/5 Shacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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