PURE Digital Bug Too: Look into my eyes!

Despite an instruction manual that eerily reads like the guidebook of some brutal dictatorship, the Bug Too is a worthy successor to the world's wierdest DAB

Chris Stevens
2 min read

As instructional literature goes, the leaflet bundled with the Bug Too is alarming stuff. A cartoon on the first two pages shows Wayne Hemingway, designer of the PURE Digital Bug radio, kidnapped, bound tightly with rope and taken to a Guantanamo-style detention centre. Here he is tortured. First his fingers are squashed in a woodworking vice, then his captors, unmoved by Hemingway's pleas for mercy, put him on a rack and stretch his body.

All this is an attempt to persuade Hemingway to design a new revision of the Bug. Capitalism has always been a ruthless game, but is the subtext of PURE's fiction one of whimsy or chilling threat? We're reminded of Russia's forcible acquisition of German scientists to aid them in the Cold War arms race. Luckily this is a cartoon.

The Bug Too improves on its predecessor, adding among other things an electronic programme guide (EPG) and 20 alarms (ideal for those who have trouble getting up unless at least 20 alarms are set at consecutive five-minute intervals in the morning).

Our Bug Too (£100) arrived last week and we've been fairly impressed by its EPG. This feature is invaluable if you want to listen to specific radio shows without throwing yourself at the mercy of schedulers. The Bug Too will quietly record the shows you like to SD card and let you listen back to them when you've got time. It's essentially the TiVo or Sky+ system for DAB radio.

Some critics insist that the oddly shaped Bug is no design classic, and that Hemingway is a celebrity charlatan, but such sceptics would do well to look at Tracey Emin's bed or Duchamp's urinal, both derided in their time, but enduring classics in retrospect. Expect a full review soon. -CS

Update: a full review of the PURE Digital Bug Too is now live.