(Pocket-lint) - DAB radio has been growing in popularity and Pure have always been at the forefront with their range of portable radios. The ONE Mini comes in a good compact unit whilst still offering a respectable sized speaker. But how does it fare? We get listening to find out.
Measuring 130 x 135 x 60mm the ONE Mini is certainly small, not so small as to be a pocketable device, but the sort of size that would suit bedroom, small kitchen or the back of your VW camper van. We tested the white version, but it is also available in black and a soft pink to fit a range of decors, mimicking the styling of is bigger sibling, the Pure ONE.
The radio is dominated by the 3-inch driver that sits at the bottom, whilst the top is given over to the two-line scrolling text LCD display, which also features a range of status icons to let you know the signal strength, battery life and so on.
Control of the radio is split between the top five buttons and the clickable dial on the side. There is also an on/off button on the top. The clickable knob on the side has a good smooth rotating action, and a feeling of quality to it, providing nice accurate selection of stations and volume.
Amongst those top controls is Autotune which will seek out all the DAB stations the radio can find. We found reception was generally good, but the radio needed the aerial extended and liked to be closer to the windows to have a solid signal – closer to the centre of the house it did tend to drop the signal, although this is fairly typical of DAB radios we have tested.
You also get a range of presets, eight on FM and eight on DAB, which should suffice for most listeners. The details on the box claims 20 presets, but we found this not to be the case. The display is nice and clear and gives your 16 characters which is fine for the scrolling information you get. An Info button allows you to select the display information you want.
On the FM radio front, the Autotune unfortunately doesn’t apply, so you have to manually scan for stations, which is time consuming, but the chances are that you are buying a DAB radio for the DAB radio functions.
A nice feature in Pure’s radios is the development they have put into their power packs. Rather than a dirty great box to plug into the wall you get a more compact unit that not only looks great but is more power efficient. This backs up the eco credentials that Pure are proud of: their EcoPlus programme ensures that the ONE Mini is the most power efficient it can be and has the lowest environmental impact at the end of its life. To back up this ethos, you’ll find that the ONE Mini is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust.
The eco efforts extend to batteries too, and around the back of the unit you’ll find a bay for a rechargeable ChargePAK (B1) which you’ll have to buy at additional cost (£19.99). This is perhaps the downside of a radio like this – you can’t use standard batteries, although Pure remind us that this is again to avoid dead batteries ending up in a landfill site after use.
The sound quality is actually very good. It is always a pleasure to turn on a radio and immediately like the quality of the sound. This is one of those radios where maximum volume is still listenable with only a hint of distortion. The bass is also fairly well represented – we have heard worse from larger stereo radios – and again, bassy pop music fares well at maximum volume, which is a credit to Pure’s focus on sound quality.
On the side of the radio you also get a 3.5mm aux-in for your MP3 player and a headphone socket. There is also a USB socket, which allows you to update the radio’s firmware via the Pure website.
Overall, the Pure ONE Mini is a very likable little radio with a good quality sound. The attention to detail put into this radio, such as the two rubber feet on the bottom to reduce vibration, justifies the slightly higher price. The downside is the lack of regular battery support.
Despite its small size, the Pure ONE Mini has all the features you need on a small radio and with its consideration for the environment, comes highly recommended indeed.