As long as there's Chris Moyles, there will always be a BBC Radio 1, and, for that reason, there will always be a PURE Digital radio. A recent offering from the British manufacturer's production line is the One Elite -- the 'radio for everyone'.
This DAB radio, available for around £70, is by no means going to rip out your wallet and beat it to a bloody pulp, but it seems to offer a solid feature set. Has it a place in your kitchen? Let's break it down.
Unlike the majority of PURE's radios, the One Elite -- available in black, white or cream -- has a soft, rubbery finish that surrounds the entire enclosure. An array of silver buttons provides a pleasant contrast, and all sit between the two stereo speakers on the front.
Above them is a three-line LCD display, backlit with a gentle blue. We're not as fond of this screen as we are of the terrific LCD on PURE's gorgeous Tempus-1S, but it does its job well enough.
The radio's got a solid build, and feels more rugged than we'd expect a household set-up to feel. Unlike other PURE models, it seems more suited to conservatories, kitchens and even the garden than the bedroom -- but that's just our opinion, of course.
The One Elite features PURE's ReVu technology -- a one-touch button lets you pause, rewind and fast-forward live radio. It's ideal if you're enjoying a broadcast, but need a bathroom break. Hit ReVu, visit the john, come back, hit ReVu again, and the broadcast continues where it left off. Smashing.
If you'd rather take the radio into the bathroom with you, you can power it with six size-C batteries or a PURE ChargePAK. Six C batteries will give you about 70 hours of portable radio time.
Sound is driven by two stereo speakers, offering 5W of RMS output combined. And, if DAB's broadcast schedule doesn't excite you, a 2.5mm line-in socket allows you to use these speakers with your MP3 player. There are also a total of 50 presets (25 for DAB and 25 for FM) for saving your favourite stations. Also, various different alarms can be programmed.
PURE's radios have always been remarkably easy to use, and the One Elite lives up to the impressive standards already set. Each button is clearly labelled and, while the main knob is used for volume by default, pressing the 'presets' or 'station' buttons allows the knob to cycle through, well, presets and stations.
ReVu allows up to 15 minutes of live radio recording -- or 'buffering', as it's better referred to as. That's very useful, but we feel 30 minutes would be even more useful. We're told by PURE that having a shorter recording time helps to keep the One Elite inside its relatively low price bracket.
After an initial start-up time of a minute or so while the radio conducts a one-off auto-tune, you're presented with an easy-to-read list of stations in alphabetical order. Setting presets and alarms needs little to no instruction, but the quick-start guide easily explains the simple process, with clear images.
As a music system, the One Elite is clearly on the entry-level side. Its strength lies in reproducing the spoken word, but its handling of music is uninspiring. General pop sounds okay, but, when you turn the volume up, although there's no distortion, it's clear that the One Elite's no match for its older, more acoustically capable siblings.
You can safely ignore the above paragraph, simply because the PURE Digital One Elite is on the budget end of the DAB-radio spectrum -- so to speak -- and isn't trying to impress you sonically.
It offers a good selection of useful features, decent design and acceptable performance for the cash. If you want better sound, cough up for something like the PURE's Evoke-3, or even Tangent's Cinque.
Edited by Charles Kloet