They say that form is temporary but class never stays hidden for long. Others may make DAB radios but none can really make them with the consistency of quality of Pure. Pure is an example of that rare breed, a great British company. A logo on the back of the Tempus-1 S says ‘Powered by Imagination Technologies', who before moving into DAB, was known for the Videologic brand that produced the classic tile based rendering Kyro graphics chips, as well as sound cards and some excellent speakers. Those, as they say, were the days.
In the here and now though Pure has carved out more than a niche in DAB radios and is the number one in the UK and gorgeous little radios such as the Tempus-1 S are going to do little to change that.
The Tempus-1 is a smaller unit than the Evoke 3 I looked at over 18 months ago and as such is perhaps more suited to a bedroom than it's larger brother, though it would do an equally fine job in, say, the kitchen. Note that it only has a single 3in speaker, though if you feel as though you want stereo you can add a second designed to match speaker, available separately from the Pure Online shop for £29.99. Also, it doesn't feature Pure's 'Revu' function, which enables you to pause and rewind radio - for that you'll need to look at something like Pure's Élan RV40.
The Tempus-1 has the usual Pure retro look to it with the radio housed in a upmarket looking cherry wood veneer. The array of buttons and the OLED screen, underneath giving it that cool mix of old and new. The OLED display is small but it is probably the best looking readout I've ever seen. The high contrast yellow on black lettering is so bright and clear, your eyes are drawn to it, and the viewing angle is just perfect, being completely readable from any angle that you can actually still see the display from. No wonder the large manufacturers want to make TVs using this technology.
Underneath the screen are two dials with a shiny machined silver finish, the left one is a volume control that's mutes the audio when pressed in, while the right one is for tuning and is used to confirm selections when pressed in. A quick press of the Standby button turns the radio on, notably quicker than the Evoke 3, which at times take a while to react. The first time you power it up, the radio invites you to Autotune, and scans for nearby multiplexes impressively fast. If it stores stations and later the radio is moved and it can't pick them up, these are indicated by a question mark in front of the station name. The Source button scrolls between DAB, FM, Natural Sounds and Aux.
The FM tuner is there, naturally, as a back up in case you can't pick up DAB. One issue I found though was that to scroll through the FM frequencies you have to constantly turn the small dial to get anywhere, making tuning into FM stations are real chore. However, if you are using this mainly for FM then really there's no need to spend £90 on a luxury DAB radio. Also once you have reached your FM station you can programme it into one of the 99 presets, which will happily switch between DAB and FM. There are only five direct buttons on the front. Once you hit the sixth, you can either press the tune button to go to that sixth preset, or spin the right dial to go any of the other presets, a solution that works well.