LAS VEGAS--Pure is a British company trying to crack the streaming-audio market with a set of cheap, colorful Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers that offer some of the functions of a Sonos. Today it's adding a higher-end speaker to the midrange model that it announced last year.
Called the Jongo T640B, Pure says it's designed to act as the main hi-fi in a living room. With 100 watts of power produced by two 5-inch drivers, it may well have a point. Stands are available from Pure so the Jongo can sit upright rather than lying down, or be mounted on the wall.
Jongo products are designed to be used with smartphones and tablets. Download Pure's app and you can stream the music on your device to the speaker using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
If you have more than one Jongo, they can all be set up to play the same piece of music simultaneously, but you can't send different tracks to be played on two or more Jongos from the same phone or tablet. Pure says its app works with iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches running at least iOS 5 and Android version 2.2.
The Jongo T640B will sell for $329 in the U.S. and £250 in the U.K., which makes it cheaper than Sonos' Play:5, but more expensive than the Play:3. Given the superior features the Sonos products offer, it's going to have to sound amazing to justify that price tag. It'll ship in the first half of the year.
Pure is also announcing a new hi-fi adapter today that adds the same streaming-audio functions to an existing hi-fi. Called the Jongo A140B, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with analogue audio outputs plus optical and coaxial digital ports. Plug one of those into an old hi-fi you have knocking around, and you can use the Pure app to stream music in the same way as the other Jongo speakers.
It will sell for $119 in the U.S. and 99 pounds in the U.K. when it ships this year, which is slightly more than Apple's AirPort Express. Apple's product doesn't have Bluetooth, but even so that seems on the expensive side to me.
Pure's colorful Jongo T640B Bluetooth speakers
Story updated on January 16 to clarify the comparison with Sonos products