Five years ago the wooden veneer of a solid, well built Pure DAB radio was de rigueur in middle-class homes, but as the appeal of digital radio has widened, the British brand has headed down market.
But only slightly. The latest addition to its DAB arsenal is the second incarnation of perhaps the best-selling DAB radio of all, the Pure Mini. It’s far from the most solidly made; a plastic façade makes sure of that, though the soft-touch finish puts the Mini II at least a few rungs above the competition – as well as its predecessor, the Mini I.
Available in black and white, the Mini II isn’t just a DAB radio, either. For the people of West Wales, among the many others who simply can’t get a decent digital radio signal, this small 130x135x60mm product also has an FM tuner.
Fine, but surely the main attraction of DAB in the first place is the otherwise MW-only cricket and football commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live?
As if to make up for its lack of medium wave, the Mini II pushes its sports credentials in a different way by being portable, though it’s hardly pocket-sized. It’s theoretically able to run for 20 hours at a time away from mains power, though that means buying as Pure-made ChargePAK B1 rechargeable battery that itself costs a further £28. That’s all well and good, but it should at least have an option to use normal batteries – we’re pretty sure that most buyers will never utilise the Mini II’s portability option.
Ins and outs impress, with an aux input for hooking up an iPhone and a headphone socket that also works as an aux out, though a mini-USB slot turns out to be for manual software updates only.
The radio’s interface is basic, but good, with the two-line LCD screen hosting the time, signal quality and source details above the name of the current station and the scrolling text from broadcasters below. Stations can be toggled through using the controller on the radio’s side, which also controls volume and asks as the confirmation button. For those making the jump from an analogue radio it will take a little getting used to, but only a little.
Back-to-basics it may be, but the lack of any low frequency abilities aside, the Mini II delivers decent enough sound for speech stations. It doesn’t go very loud without distorting, but in a kitchen, bedroom or desktop that won’t be a factor – and its tiny size makes it ideal for all three destinations.
Contact: Pure on 0845 1489001
- Tiny size, simplicity, speech radio, aux input.
- Extra cost of rechargeable battery, plastic finish.
A reasonable sound is guaranteed from speech-heavy radio stations, though music sounds a little too thin to make this good enough to use as an iPhone speaker. Still, despite the plastic finish it's a great value DAB radio that's an improvement on Pure's previous Mini, and will serve a kitchen side, bedside table or desktop very well indeed.