Review: Pure Jongo A2 and S3

The promise of multi-room audio is a bit like what goes unsaid in a political stump speech. “I promise to improve your life, even if I have to gloss over occasional problems.” We all keep listening, though, because who doesn’t want a better life — not to mention multi-room audio? Whether you pledge allegiance to Alt-J or Mary J Blige, you just want to press a button and hear them in every room.

As in politics, sometimes an upstart comes along to challenge the status quo. Sonos has recently held office in multi-room audio because its speakers pump out rich sound and offer super-slick setup.

Enter the upstart: the Jongo S3 ($200) wireless speaker and Jongo A2 ($130) adapter from UK-based Pure.

Together, both let you connect to your existing Wi-Fi router without adding a secondary bridge (which is the Sonos method). They also let you connect directly over Bluetooth audio.

That flexibility sounds great in theory, but the overall experience killed our enthusiasm. Setting up the speakers required far too much hoop jumping (even for a dedicated audiophile), and both units tended to disconnect from the network without warning. To top it off, the S3’s sound quality falls flat.

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