It’s taken a while but now hassle-free music streaming from your iPhone and iPad is available on new iPod docks and hi-fi systems. AirPlay tech is an Apple owned technology – it offers better sound quality than Bluetooth and if you want to stream music, it’s simply the easiest way to do it. Whether you use iTunes or Spotify or want your YouTube audio played through a larger speaker, hit the AirPlay triangle on your iPhone or iPad and your music is transmitted instantly.
The dome shaped Pure Contour 200i Air syncs with your iPhone and Wi-Fi network in seconds – simply dock your iPhone and then press a button on the rear of the dock. After the short process, your iPhone will always remember it’s linked to the Contour 200i Air. Send music to the dock and it instantly wakes up – a very small light is revealed behind the speaker grill to let you know whether you’re playing music or in standby mode.
The dock itself is well built and the charge tray featuring the Pure logo is necessary but after the one-off sync, you’ll wish it wasn’t there, such is the minimalist ‘all speaker’ design. The design is perfect for the bedroom – we tested the Contour Air 200i Air in a large bedroom with a high ceiling and got good results for the £199 price tag. The rival Monitor Audio iDeck 100 dock is now £199 and beats the Contour 200i Air for sound performance but it doesn’t have AirPlay and features a unreliable remote control which instantly relegates it to a home office or lounge system.
We used the free Pure Lounge internet radio iPhone app to listen to some classical high bit-rate stations and found room filling sound impressive. You won’t get the last word in detail but there’s a good soundstage here, enhanced if you can place the Contour 200i Air above waist level – on a high chest of drawers for example. Venturing to more eclectic stations offering spa style music and acoustic jazz, the Contour 200i sound reaches around the room and manages to strike a good balance between vocals and instruments. Only the hardest of rock at high volume causes bass fuzz to overwhelm everything. At £199, it’s a winner and sees Pure hit a new high in terms of style and simplicity.
The Contour 200i Air wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury hotel yet falls into alarm clock price range. A triumph of style and value combined with the simplest AirPlay mode we’ve seen on a dock system.