The Jongo S3 is the first of several speakers in a new wireless range from Pure. It's a fairly compact unit and comes in a range of colours.
It's more versatile than a lot of wireless speakers because you can stream to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also has a built-in 10-hour battery which means you can take it outside, use it in the bathroom or anywhere really.
The Jongo can also form part of a multiroom system, where two or more Jongos play perfectly synchronised music. Currently, you can't use a pair of Jongos as a left and right stereo pair, but that might come in a firmware update.
There's a 3/4in tweeter on each of the Jongo S3's four sides, and a 3.5in driver pointing upwards in the middle. You can choose various setups, including 360-degree stereo, 360-degree mono, forward-facing stereo and outdoor boost using a small LCD panel on the rear.
Awkwardly, Bluetooth is provided by a tiny USB dongle which sticks out of the rear, but it's not a problem unless you happen to want to use the USB port for the optional Ethernet adapter instead.
If you're connecting via Bluetooth, the Jongo S3 is simple to use. There's no aptX support, but quality is more than acceptable.
You can connect the Jongo S3 to your Wi-Fi network using WPS if your router supports it, but if it doesn't you have to establish a direct Wi-Fi connection with your smartphone or tablet. Then you have to browse to the Jongo's web-based management page in your device's browser, select your network and enter the password.
To control the Jongo via Wi-Fi you'll need the Pure Connect app (for iOS or Android only at the moment). The app is reasonably well designed and lets you play music that's already on your device as well as internet radio and on-demand content (such as podcasts). It also ties in with Pure's own music streaming service which is much like Spotify. It costs £4.99 per month and has a big catalogue on offer.
The apps need a bit of spit and polish, though. For example, you can't lock the volume controls of two Jongos so they're always the same level, and the volume control itself isn't on the main playback screen, which it should be.
Considering the size of the S3, it produces impressive volume and sound quality. Unsurprisingly, bass is lacking, but the overall sound is well-balanced, detailed and rich. Even at maximum volume, there's no distortion
Using a pair of S3's in multiroom mode, audio was perfectly synchronised. This is where the Jongo really comes into its own and, thanks to the long-lasting batteries and 360-degree sound, they're perfect for parties, particularly outdoors.
That's something that Sonos kit just can't do.
There is one small problem though, and that's the few-second delay between starting a track and it actually playing through the Jongo. Hopefully that's something Pure can work on for the next firmware update.
For a compact wireless speaker, the Jongo sounds great and is really flexible. You can quickly play audio from a Bluetooth source, or use the Pure Connect app to stream a multitude of content via Wi-Fi. It's a shame you can't use an existing Spotify account, though.
The S3 is a considerably cheaper way to build a multiroom system than going down the Sonos route, so it really is a great alternative.