Reviewed by Kerri Chard
The first thing we noticed about the Jongo S3 when we took it out of the box was the super cool design and the quality of the build. We were sent a bright white unit but there is an array of fabulous colours to choose from to compliment different tastes and surroundings. The frontage of the system is kept clean and simple with only power, volume and mute buttons, everything else is tucked away neatly to the rear. If weight is a sign of quality then the Jongo rates highly because it is most definitely a weighty device. This made us feel confident about using it outdoors and where it can easily be knocked as it is not easily shifted.
Set up was fairly simple with a few button presses. We pretty much breezed through the processes for both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity without any hiccups and in a relatively short space of time. These are as you expect: you need to pair the Jongo with your device for Bluetooth which takes a matter of seconds; or set up the WiFi connectivity and then locate the Jongo on your network, which is a little more complex but still a doddle. If you are new to these processes then following the set up guide provided will ensure you are successful. The light indicator around the power button lets you know when a process is complete – although we did find it quite frustrating watching this flash and thought it quite odd that the on-board LED display had not been put to better use during the setup stages to provide more information.
The LED display positioned on the back of the Jongo is very basic. It shows very little apart from a few controls for the actual system – such as speaker allocation. This isn’t really a stick in the mud because most controlling is done via the connected device. The speaker allocation allows you to choose the right sound distribution for four pre-set conditions. We set our unit to the outdoor mode which produced a rich sound quality and fairly decent bass levels even at the highest volume levels – perfect for large garden parties or any small outdoor event. It did seem that podcasts and radio chatter sounded crisper than complex sounds but it was hardly noticeable. The other settings lend themselves better to a surround sound set-up with multiple systems which of course with only one device we were unable to test.
On to the battery. In addition to mains power the Jongo S3 also runs on its own internal battery – which we believe is replaceable so when the battery output eventually degrades, as is the case with all batteries, you won’t have to replace the whole system. We only tested the battery whilst connected via Bluetooth, so we can’t make claims for the WiFi battery life (it would most likely be less) but the battery life we achieved was around 12 hours from a full charge which is excellent – PURE quotes 10 hours, very likely the happy medium.
The PURE Jongo S3 and indeed all of PURE’s Jongo music system series has the added bonus of the “PURE Connect” smartphone application. The app provides a library of music as well as; on demand shows and podcasts, and access to live radio. It also accesses your device’s music library so you can find everything in one place instead of having to leave the app. Very clever. PURE also boasts its own music subscription service to rival the likes of Google Music.
One of the other selling points of the PURE Jongo is the ability to create a multi-room sound system with a number of the speakers connected together over WiFi. This undoubtedly explains the slightly high price tag as it is heading into the territory of some much more expensive big brand solutions on the market such as the Sonos.
That said, we still rate the Jongo S3 highly as a standalone unit. We think it looks fabulous, has perfectly adequate sound, the flexibility of both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and a whopping battery life.
Almost perfect. The few niggles we have are minor so we still recommend the Jongo S3 as a sound investment.
Available to buy from PURE in black, piano or white here.