Pure ONE Elite DAB radio review

4 out of 5
£69.99

For

ReVu feature, stereo, auto tuning feature

Against

Despite the eco effort some superfluous packaging, sound gets distorted at higher levels

So you want to listen to digital radio but be green at the same time? Pure are hoping you will opt for its Energy Saving Trust approved DAB radio, the Pure ONE Elite.

The largish DAB radio comes in a matt white or matt black, features stereo speakers rather than just the one, as in the original Pure ONE, and a central console with all the relevant dials, buttons and knobs that you'll need to operate it.

On the eco front Pure say it's an eco friendly product, carrying the company's EcoPlus logo, however on further investigation this claim only really refers to packaging materials and the ethos that the company hopes to adhere to, rather than the materials used to manufacture the radio itself.

However, whilst the box and internal packaging is all cardboard, for some reason Pure has used an ever-redundant plastic bag for the charger and to contain the instruction booklet and additional sales pamphlet. It's a small detail, but one that we were surprised to see given the strong "eco" branding.

Power is provided by plug or battery and the Pure One Elite will take 6 C-cell batteries giving you 70 hours of power from regular alkaline batteries or 35 hours from the company's rechargeable ChargePAK offering.

That long battery life is partly thanks to the criteria from the Energy Saving Trust. To get that important "Recommended" badge, the radio has to be sub-1W in standby and sub-3.5W when running.

According to Pure, the ONE Elite is 0.67W in standby and 2.46W when running. This has been achieved by reducing the power consumption including more efficient components, changing from a linear to a switch mode power supply and improved hardware and software.

On the software front, an energy saving option can be selected. While it’s unlikely to be noticed by most people, the Intellitext feature that provides on-demand text information such as sports headlines, weather forecasts and news from DAB stations like Virgin and the BBC, uses power. Disabling this means you save energy.

Out of the box and the Pure stands firm on your desk, shelf, or counter and there is a large aerial to pick up all those digital channels. In our tests around the house and office we had little difficulty picking up a full range of signals although it would be best to check your digital coverage in your house before investing.

Around the side there is a USB socket for firmware upgrades, line-in for using the speakers with an MP3 player and a headphone socket so you can keep the noise to yourself.

The front is where it's at though, and here Pure has used virtually the same interface found on the original Pure ONE, although there are a couple of new buttons. Situated in a semi circle around a central knob, you get access to things like volume, presets, stations, the ability to switch from DAB to FM and ReVu, Pure's live radio pause function.

The ReVu button is the most exciting of them all as this gives you Sky+ like features on your DAB radio allowing you to pause rewind or fast-forward (once paused).

The ONE Elite automatically stores the last 15 minutes at all times for you to rewind and control is all via the main knob in the centre of the unit. Pressing and holding the ReVu button returns you to "live" radio.

Those who've used Sky+ will know the joy of the feature and it means you can rewind the radio if you've missed a bit or merely want to hear that favourite song again. We can also see it being popular with fans of those "what's that sound" competitions radio stations always run.

On the audio front you have control over the treble and bass levels but little else and the radio coped well at full volume with spoken word channels however music channels did cause the speakers to struggle. That said the overall sound is well rounded: you won’t be disappointed.

Verdict

On a sound front the radio is a great performer offering a clear, crisp sound for music and spoken world.

On a features front the radio is great with the ReVu and alarm clock being the two features you'll use the most. However we would have liked to see both options being more predominantly displayed on the casing. They are great features so why hide them?

As for the energy saving feature of being able to turn off Intellitext, you'll find that doing so won't make much of a difference to your overall use. How many times have you stared at your radio looking for the weather report to scroll past? Probably never.

Additional eco steps could be taking on the packaging and we felt that the blurb on the box was perhaps milking the "green" card a little more than it should.

Still, if you're after a good DAB radio, this will offer all that you need.