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DAB radio features and Verdict

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

The DAB radio is the main draw, however. Simply twist the main knob to cycle through available stations, and press in to select. We found reception to be excellent, with lots of stations being picked up in the areas we tested around London and the Home Counties. You can also quite easily store presets using the favourite button on the top. Press once to call up the listing, find an empty slot, then press and hold down to store the current station. Up to 30 presets can be stored, and recalling one merely entails scrolling through the listing and pressing the knob to select.

Pure Highway 300Di

The Highway 300Di has some other tricks up its sleeve, too. The playback controls work with DAB radio as well. You can pause playback, and the unit will buffer up to 15 minutes of audio, depending on the station bitrate - great if you're listening to drama or your favourite track, and need to mute the audio for some reason. You can then rewind and fast forward. If you've been listening to a station long enough, you can rewind even without pausing, too.

These functions will even work for up to 15 minutes without the key in the ignition. So if you stop for petrol, you can lock up your car to pay, then get back to right where you left off. Similar to this is picnic mode. The unit will work for an hour without the keys, so you can leave the main stereo on, leave the Highway 300Di on, open the doors, and enjoy music outside the vehicle. But you can also take the keys away to avoid pesky thieves. One thing we found the Highway 300Di didn't like, however, was removing the control unit without turning it off first, and replacing with the car already started. This made the control unit unresponsive, although leaving the vehicle off for an hour or so returned it to normal.

Verdict

The Pure Highway 300Di is a specific solution for a specific problem. If you have an easily replaced single-DIN head unit, alternatives in this format with similar functionality including DAB radio can be purchased for the same or less, and will be considerably easier to fit. But if your car has a system you don't want to swap out, for a variety of reasons, the Highway 300Di does its job extremely well, and can bring your car's audio capabilities bang up to date.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 8

buhlestnoble

January 31, 2012, 8:35 pm

Just got this fitted. An excellent product. Good value too considering its also an excellent ipod/iphone dock. Whilst docked my iphone charges and can still receive and make calls via my cars bluetooth. The reception quality is much better than with the old style Pure Highway as it uses an active external aerial. I was concerned that this external aerial would big and obtrusive but on the contrary its quite small and I barely notice it from inside or outside the car. It can be unscrewed if you really want too but I won't be doing this often. Also I understand you can use a sticky windscreen mounted internal aerial if you don't want an external aerial but this will mean poorer reception. The new control unit is also neat, small, attractive and the user interface and screen are much improved vs the old Highway. Using an ipod/iphone with the control unit is easy and it is quite fast scrolling through artists/tracks etc. Overall I am very pleased and Halfords did an excellent job with the fitting so that all cables are concealed. What I like about this device is that if you sell your car you can transfer it to your new one without having done any damage/changes to your old car and keep the radio/interior as spec. My only concern is how the external aerial will wear as it is stuck onto the windscreen although it also uses a magnetic strip to connect to the roof to help secure it. This is my 3rd PURE product and all of them are first class, this is the best of the lot and a lot of thought has gone into its design. I recommend looking at the installation instructions if you have any concerns about getting fitted to your car: http://support.pure.com/attach...

Richard Thorne

September 3, 2013, 12:32 pm

My Land Rover Defender has an aluminium body so the magnetic aerial won't work
The car also has a heated windscreen so I cannot use their other option which is a stick on aerial. I bought a VW DAB aerial of high quality, fitted it by drilling a hole in the roof thinking all DAB aerials are the same, but they are not and the Pure isn't man enough to power it so I will have to replace this Pure with something else and sell the 300Di on an auction site. I don't rate the Pure or the similar Apline because they have such a limited accessory backup. Halfords have stopped selling it anyway due to reliabilty issues - I cannot recommend this as a general accessory. Maybe better to get a DAB radio head unit from JVC, Pioneer or Sonachi (Not a Pure Head Unit as their radios also have the same aerial constraints)

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