Despite its size, I wasn’t blown away by the build quality. It all feels a bit plasticky, with the volume control on the unit itself being particularly unpleasant. The supplied earphones are also rather cheap though they do have an integrated volume control.
The unit is activated by holding down the power button on the right presenting a ‘Powered by Imagination Technology’ splash screen. That was about it though as indoors in the TrustedReviews office I could get no DAB reception whatsoever. I could get some FM reception though it was very poor.
Outside it fared better. The headphones act as the aerial and a quick auto tune later I had a list of stations. The mode button brings up a choice of FM, DAB and MP3 modes. You move between them using the central rocker switch and select by pressing it in though sometimes it had a mind of its own and switched without pressing. Odd. The problem was that while I had reception outside it wasn’t great, with signal strength varying widely between 20 and around 70 per cent with 85 per cent needed for good reception. In my home, things were an improvement with 80 per cent and above achievable, though in some rooms I did have to hold it up in one hand, bend over backwards and stand on one leg and hop. But that’s fine, I do that anyway sometimes.
At first I thought sounds quality was awful but that was because I was using the supplied headphones, which sound as bad as they look. With my cherished Koss Porto Pros however, the sound was really excellent, being as fat (phat?) and as fulsome as the unit itself and noticeably better than that of the MPIO PD100. One of the buttons on the front is an EQ button, which scrolls though the various settings and helps to shape the sound for the type of audio you’re listening to.
Moving between DAB stations, FM frequencies and MP3 tracks is done by pushing the central rocker up and down. The player was quite happy with both regular and VBR MP3s and didn’t have a problem navigating folders either. ID3 tag information scrolls across the screen while tracks are playing and if you go out of the MP3 mode it carries on from where you left off, when you go back in. Tracks can be transferred over to the player either by putting the card into a reader or by plugging player into your PC using the mini USB port on the right using the supplied cable.
On the left hand side of the player is a slot for an SD card, and Pure supplies a 64MB one in the box. You can use this to record DAB but not FM. This is done by pressing the ‘Rec’ button. The SD card isn’t required for the Revu function, which uses built-in memory instead and can capture between ten and twenty minutes depending on the data rate of the station. You can also capture the broadcast text messages by pressing the ‘Text Store’ button.