PURE Digital PocketDAB 1500 review: PURE Digital PocketDAB 1500

Review Sections

The 1500 auto-tuned to all the available DAB radio stations straight out of the box -- this took about five seconds. We could then scroll between the available channels using the directional-pad control, finally making our selection by pressing down on the pad. This was without having to consult the manual.

If you move the radio to a new location and you notice the reception becoming unreliable, there's a menu option that instructs the PocketDAB 1500 to retune all its stations.

The PocketDAB 1500 may be small, but it can provide most of the station information a full-size DAB does. You can scroll between stations, and view full broadcast information on the LCD as you're listening to tracks. Depending on the music that's playing you may be given an artist biography, or news about that band's latest gigs.

The LCD is clear and bright. It's backlit with an attractive orange glow and uses a matrix of 16x2 characters to display function icons (volume, battery life, time, equaliser, signal strength, DAB/FM and stereo) and a clock. The key-press activated backlight can be set to 'always on' for optimum visibility or 'always off' for longer battery life.

When you're in an area of good reception, the sound quality on the PocketDAB is excellent. Despite the relatively low bit rate of digital radio at the moment, we were impressed by this radio.

Provided you use the PocketDAB 1500 in an area of good reception -- if you want a radio to jog outdoors with, for example -- this is an excellent machine. But although the build quality is good and the features are impressive, this radio -- like all portable DABs -- can irritate you when the signal inevitably drops out. Unlike FM, which picks up static when the signal is below par, digital radio just stops. This is an inherent part of digital radio listening, and it's hard to blame PURE for the laws of physics.

If you want to listen to DAB on the move, the 1500 makes a viable choice. If reliable reception is more important to you than station choice, you might want to consider a smaller FM receiver instead.

Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide

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