A decade or so ago, car stereos were a commodity item. You could specify your vehicle with a decent one, but fitting something better aftermarket could improve features considerably, particularly when CD players replaced tape. But now many cars use highly integrated hi-fi systems, which might incorporate the feed from the trip computer or even a built-in satellite navigation system. Upgrading something like this with a standard single- or double-DIN unit could lose you some important functions. So how do you add the latest audio features, such as DAB radio and iPod connectivity? Look no further than Pure's Highway 300Di, which can add a host of useful functions to your existing hi-fi.
The Highway 300Di is not a single- or double-DIN unit. The package comes in three parts. The control unit is designed to sit at a convenient place on your dashboard. It fits into a cradle, and can be removed and stowed away if you're worried someone will break into your car and try to steal it, thinking it's a sat-nav. The main circuitry, however, is hidden inside another unit which is meant to be permanently installed somewhere invisible, usually behind your glove compartment.
The Highway 300Di can connect to your existing stereo in a variety of ways. The simplest is via an auxiliary line in, if your current hi-fi has one. You don't lose this in the process, though, as this is simply passed through. The other alternative is via FM radio, with two different options. One involves transmitting a local FM radio signal, which you then tune into on your main stereo. The other involves connecting the Highway 300Di directly to your FM radio aerial, called FM direct injection. This might prevent you using the radio to pick up other FM channels, but in most cases simply ensures a clean signal for the Highway 300Di that is devoid of interference. With the FM radio method, you can choose the frequency the Highway 300Di transmits on, to avoid existing channels in your area.