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Pure One battery/mains DAB digital radio with FM

Pure One portable battery/mains operated DAB digital radio with FM tuner

Pure's neat looking Pure One DAB digital radio is the company's first budget (i.e. under GBP50.00) DAB digital radio. Surprisingly at this price the radio also features FM with RDS station naming, so you can see which station you are tuned to on both FM and DAB Band III.

Setup is simple - already a firmware update is available for the Pure One, which fixes a few minor glitches and this can be downloaded to the radio via a small USB D-shaped connector, of the type commonly supplied with MP3 players. Even on Windows 98, the upgrade from version 1.0 to 1.2 was handled with ease and the Pure One was up and running in no time, even remembering previously saved presets. Take the batteries out, or unplug it from the mains and the Pure One helpfully retains all settings and stations - how many other cheaper DAB radios can stake such a claim?

Styling is neat but purposeful; a central dial controls the volume and doubles up as a context-sensitive control, surrounded by buttons to access preset stations, choose stations from the list, DAB/FM selection, kitchen and sleep timer, menu and multiplex information.

Station selection from the list is a bit more fiddly than the Evoke range, as this requires a press of the stations button and then a turn of the dial to find the one you're looking for, then a further press of the dial. I prefer to use the presets button with the dial to tune to stations and this method of station selection is excellent, as the radio allows you to program DAB and FM stations, in any order, in up to 20 preset memories. The radio helpfully reminds you which waveband the preset is stored on - so for example if you prefer Radio 3 on FM and Radio 2 on DAB selecting between them is a cinch as they can be preset right next door to each other.

Stations can be arranged alphabetically, by multiplex or by active station and the Pure One shows the full station name (instead of the usual eight characters) when scrolling through the long list.
Pure One DAB radio review - view of the display and controls
Shockingly good digital radio : the Pure One is available in pink, black or white

Stations can be arranged alphabetically, by multiplex or by active station and the Pure One shows the full station name (instead of the usual eight characters) when scrolling through the long list. Intellitext is a curious feature that allows you to quckly scroll through a news ticker or the premiership sports table, for example. It sort-of works, though the small screen and single line make for a lot of scrolling.

Without batteries, the Pure One is extremely light and the finger recess for picking up and carrying the radio around works fine. The telescopic aerial does a fine job of picking up stations, but at this price there isn't an F-connector for hooking up an external aerial. A headphone cable allows you to crank the volume and hook the unit up to a hi-fi system and in this configuration the radio sounds great.

Handily, the Pure One takes the company's chargePAK rechargeable battery pack (sold separately), which tops up the charge automatically when the Pure One is connected to the mains. If you want to add in your own "C"-size cells - either alkaline or rechargeables - go ahead, you'll need six of them.

The Pure One doesn't have the low-down presence of the Evoke 1XT, for example, but it produces a big and loud enough sound for most people's needs. The radio cabinet is coloured plastic, not wood like the majority of Pure's DAB range, and there's no bass port like the Evoke, but that doesn't mean the case rattles or vibrates like other cheapo radios at high volume. For the kitchen or shed, the radio is perfect. As a way of adding a DAB receiver to an existing setup, provided you watch the volume level when unplugging the headphone connection, the Pure One also works really well.

Overall, the Pure One is outstanding value for money. Coupled with Pure's legendary support, two year warranty and regular upgrades, the Pure One should sew up the budget end of the DAB radio market.
Pure One DAB/FM portable DAB digital radio
Pure One DAB/FM portable

Find out where to buy the Pure One DAB/FM radio online.

For: DAB and FM in one unit; high feature count for the money
Against: display is difficult to read at long distances; station selection is fiddly; alarm function would be nice
Verdict: At this price, another sure fire winner from Pure
Price: GBP50.00 or less


Find out where to buy the Pure One DAB/FM radio online.

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Pure One DAB radio - view of connectors
Pure One DAB/FM digital radio portable
Pure Digital One Tech Spec

Specifications: DAB digital and FM radio with full Band III DAB reception capability, for reception of all UK DAB broadcasts. Compliant with ETS 300 401 and capable of decoding all DAB transmission modes 1-4 up to and including 192 kbps.

Frequency ranges: DAB Band III 174-240 MHz, FM 87.5-108 MHz.

Timers: Sleep and kitchen timers.

Speaker: Full-range 3" drive unit.

Input connectors: 9V DC power adapter socket (230V adapter supplied). Mini USB connector for software upgrades.

Output connectors: 3.5 mm headphone socket.

Controls: Standby; volume, browse and select dial; volume/mute; timer; presets; info; DAB/FM; menu and stations.

Presets: 20 DAB or FM presets in a combined list.

LCD display: Custom, easy to read LCD with 16 x 2 character display plus status icons.

Mains power supply: 230V AC to 9V (0.8A) DC external power adapter.

Battery power supply: Six C (R14) batteries or ChargePAK (not supplied). At normal listening levels alkaline batteries provide approximately 35 hours, and ChargePAK provides approximately 20 hours of portable DAB listening.

Dimensions: 210 wide x 145 high x 72mm deep (excluding controls).

Aerial: Integral telescopic aerial.

Warranty: Comprehensive two year warranty.

Related links:
Find out where to buy the Pure One DAB/FM radio online.
Buy Pure Digital's range of DAB tuners, portables and receivers, via this website.

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
where to buy DAB digital radio, on this website.
what to buy - a DAB Buyers Guide, on this website.
more DAB radio receiver, system and tuner reviews, on this website.