PURE Digital Chronos iDock review: PURE Digital Chronos iDock

The Good General design; easy to use; intuitive controls; good iPod integration; energy efficiency; decent reception.

The Bad Very poor sound quality.

The Bottom Line This promising and very easy to use system is seriously let down by its poor sound quality. As a DAB radio alarm clock it's great, and if that's what you're after then it won't disappoint. It's just not a capable audio system, even in the bedside category

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6.5 Overall

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Until recently, DAB radios never consorted with iPods -- they were two entities, two non-converging markets. But as the iPod still doesn't boast radio reception, it makes sense for these two parties to hook up and become greater than the sum of their respective parts. We saw it last with Intempo's £130 RDI system and now we're looking at the Chronos iDock -- a £90 offering from DAB aficionado PURE Digital.

PURE's traditional silver plastic buttons sit on the face of the iDock below a blue-ish LCD display and a big fat snooze button. Metallic mesh-covered speakers sit either side of said face, resulting in true stereo -- not a common feature of PURE's bedside contraptions. Headphone and line-in sockets sit conveniently below the collection of silver buttons.

Build quality is good, but there's a lack of weight to the system. Almost the whole of the iDock is free of glossy finishes, bar the front face. Matte finishes mean fingers don't leave prints all over your new toys and, thanks to an almost completely matte-finished body, very few prints should ever be seen on this triangular waker-upper.

iPods sit in a crevice on the system's top. A variety of dock adapters are included for more seamless integration with the whole iPod range.

iPod integration, as the product's name suggests, is a main feature. Sit your iPod in the dock and your tunes will be pumped through the stereo speakers. Sound is decoded by the iPod itself, so bunging some decent headphones into the system's headphone socket will give you iPod-quality sound, if that floats your MP3 or Apple Lossless boat.

As well as having multiple alarms wake you to DAB, FM, iPod or the standard annoying alarm clock screeching, the iDock lets you browse your iPod's library, hook up external audio sources with a stereo cable and it does it with the promise that it's being a good boy to Mother Earth -- PURE claims the iDock will only use 2.5W when in use, and a measly 0.7W on standby.

But as a DAB radio it's also very capable. It'll receive broadcasts up to the high-end 192kbps bit rate, and display any RDS information available when using FM. Two speakers sit on either side of the front panel, and make use of a 38mm driver. But as with all systems, the proof is in the pudding performance.

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