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Review: PURE ONE Classic DAB radio: evolution of a winner

by Tarinder Sandhu on 21 October 2008, 00:13 3.5

Tags: PURE ONE classic, PUREDigital

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Evolution of a winner


DAB is the acronym for Digital Audio Broadcasting. It's been around for a while now and, technically, is reckoned to be better than analogue-based FM radio. The problem for DAB is that most UK stations broadcast their output with a bit-rate of only 128kbit/s, which is lower than FM. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that current DAB compression is based on the inefficient MP2 codec. As such, many DAB purchasers have noted that the new-fangled digital technology produces audio that's inferior to FM.

But DAB does bring some nifty features, including radiotext that provides the song title (kind of analogous to RDS on FM), a greater number of stations, and less interference when tuned in. However, knowing the inherent weaknesses in first-generation DAB, most purveyors of radios tend to ship with both DAB and FM support.

So whilst DAB isn't the panacea to analogue radio's shortcomings, we see it as a complementing technology until the next iteration, DAB+, comes in.

PURE ONE Classic

PURE launched the ONE model in 2006 to general acclaim and, according to research, it was the UK's best-selling radio between May 2006 and June 2007. The ONE is still available to buy, from £25-£50 depending upon where you shop, but PURE has fleshed out the line with the ONE Elite (£70) - an upgraded, stereo version of the ONE - and the even-more-portable ONE Mini (£40).

Sandwiched between the ONE and ONE Elite is the £50 ONE Classic (enough ONEs already!), and it takes features from both models.

Presented in retail packaging the ONE Classic is advertised as the radio for everyone, with ease-of-use high on the list of criteria.

Open up the box and there's a multi-language instruction booklet that devotes 12 pages to the English section. Further, there's a registration guide that, if filled, enters you into a draw to win a top-of-the-range PURE product.

An AC adapter is bundled, of course, but this hack was too eager to try it out, hence its conspicuousness from the above picture.

PURE's products ship with a standard two-year warranty, by the way, and the product's full specifications can be found here.