PURE Digital One review: PURE Digital One

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As you'd guess from the price, the One is completely no-frills. This is not to say that is it under-featured though -- in fact it puts many FM radios to shame. Although the joy of an electronic programme guide (as seen on the Evoke-3) is notably absent, this would have been expensive to implement and there's no recording function to use it with anyway.

Both FM and DAB transmissions can be received on the integrated tuner. Station and programming information is displayed on the One's screen. This includes RadioText, RDS and standard DAB station information, which gives you supplementary information about the current broadcast, for example the name of the artist and a short biography, or news updates.

Firmware updates can be uploaded via the USB port. These are periodically available from PURE and may be used to tweak the interface on the One, correct bugs or add new features. Most users are probably unlikely to ever use this feature, but if a problem is discovered with the software on the One, this offers an easy fix without returning the unit.

As with all the digital radios we've tested, the PURE One sometimes encounters reception problems in difficult environments. This means it's important to bear the unit's placement in mind when you first set up the radio.

Anyone who lives in London is unlikely to have any real difficulty tuning into a reliable signal, but even in built-up regions, with very strong digital broadcasts, the DAB signal can be lost depending on the listening situation.

Unlike analogue broadcasts, which generate interference patterns in areas of poor reception, digital broadcasts simply stop altogether. This gives DAB an all-or-nothing flavour. We didn't have any problems with the One in our London-based tests. It gave crystal-clear, crackle-free reception.

Sound from the internal speaker is good for such a small, ostensibly hollow chassis. PURE has eked a great deal from a tight component budget. The results are easily on a par with most current kitchen radios. Indeed, once kitchen radios get a bit of dried pasta and some cake mixture stuck on them, sophisticated tests for acoustic accuracy become increasingly moot.

If you're looking to venture into the world of digital radio, but aren't sure about local reception, the One lets you dip your feet in the DAB stream without financially crippling you. If it turns out you do have bad reception, you can always revert back to FM without that horrid feeling that you've wasted your money. In short, the One is a great entry-level DAB for the reluctant adopter of new technology, and a fine performer in the kitchen or garden shed.

Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide

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