PURE Oasis Flow
Plays digital, FM and internet radio; streams music from your Mac; waterproof; rechargeable battery
Slightly muffled sound quality
You would never call the PURE Oasis Flow a one-trick pony – it’s a digital, FM and internet radio that can also stream audio from your Mac. And it does everything well.
The radio is a rugged unit housed in a splashproof case with cast-aluminium framework and rubber seals, and has a rechargeable battery with 10 hours playtime so you can take it just about anywhere. Great for campers, tradies and the like.
Regular readers will know that we haven’t had the best of luck testing digital radios – we’ve struggled to get them to work in various parts of Melbourne where FM and AM stations ring out loud and clear. But the Oasis Flow is a pleasant change. I took it out of the box, hit the Power button and it started playing. All the available digital radio stations were already tuned in, so there was no setup to do. Too easy.
The radio is a silver-rimmed white box with a carry handle built in at the rear. An aerial is clipped onto the back – this must be screwed into the top for the radio to work properly. On the side are rubber-covered ports for headphones, Aux in, USB and 12V power. On the front are volume, standby and Select knobs, and a yellow-on-black OLED touchscreen display. You control the Oasis Flow through a combination of the knobs and the touchscreen. It’s a little tricky at first, but soon becomes second nature.
When playing digital and internet radio, the display shows the station name and some other details. What it actually shows depends on the station. The best stations show track and artist names (and even the weather!), while others only show the name of the hosts or the show, or just a slogan.
In FM mode you only see the frequency; it could show more data, but the radio doesn’t seem to support the FM Radio Data System (RDS).
At the time of writing, digital radio was only available in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, with low-power trials underway in Canberra and Darwin. But if you live outside these areas the Oasis Flow’s FM and internet radio capabilities are still useful.
To play internet radio you have to be in range of a Wi-Fi network connected to the internet, so this feature isn’t as well suited to outdoor use. Connecting is simple, as the radio scans for available networks, leaving you to simply enter the Wi-Fi password. You can then browse internet radio stations by name, genre, language or country.
PURE has an internet portal called The Lounge, which lets you save your internet radio favourites and discover new stations. You register online, then enter your registration code in your radio to connect the two.
Once you’re a Lounge member you can also download the FlowServer software that lets you stream audio from your Mac to the Oasis Flow.
Finally, the Oasis Flow has an alarm/timer function, and in standby mode it displays the time and date, so it’s great to use as a bedside clock
Australian Macworld’s buying advice.
Digital radio is definitely worth looking at for its clarity, the track info (when it’s shown) and the fact that you select a station by its name, not its frequency as you do with FM radio.The Oasis Flow is a high-quality, sturdy and good-looking radio that’s relatively easy to operate when compared to its peers.
The only negative is that its sound quality is a little muffled – not enough to make it unpleasant, by any means, but enough to make you want to tweak the bass and treble settings, which don’t exist.