Review Price £179.99
Installation and basic controls
The third part of the package is the most unusual. Acknowledging that DAB radio, like digital TV, can be fraught with dire reception, Pure has chosen to turn your entire car into an aerial. The antenna connection from the main circuitry unit is fed up to your windscreen, and then passed through to a unit which is stuck onto it at the top corner. This then attaches to the car roof magnetically. The aerial unit sits in a frame, and can be removed relatively easily with a special tool, as automatic car washes may damage it. If your car has an aluminium body, this obviously won't work, so there's an alternative film antenna.
Obviously, this is a pretty complicated arrangement of different parts, and only the very adept would be advised to install it themselves. Fortunately, Halfords will also fit the device for free, so long as you bring your car to the store for the procedure, which takes about half an hour. Mobile fitting is extra. The end result is a unit that's integrated seamlessly into your existing stereo. We tested the Highway 300Di hooked into the auxiliary line- in of a ten-year-old head unit, with the circuitry inside the glove compartment. The only evidence of its existence was the two leads - one for the line-in pass through, the other a USB connection.
Controlling the Highway 300Di is pretty simple, and will be familiar if you own one of Pure's other DAB radio products. Most functions are operated with a knob on the front, which cycles through options, with a push to select the current one. There are some playback controls ranged around this and a couple more buttons on the top. Your first task is to choose one of the four input options. Aside from the auxiliary pass through we already mentioned, the USB connection supplies two more choices. You can plug in a USB memory key, stocked with MP3 audio and playlists, and play its contents. All the usual tagging is supported, and shuffle mode is available.
Similar functionality can be had for iPods, iPhones and iPads. You will need to supply the appropriate USB cable yourself, but support for i-devices is essentially universal. Your device will be charged whether the Highway 300Di is in iPod mode or not, but when it is all your track, album and playlist information will be loaded and you can control playback with the Highway's dial. We found that it was even possible to control videos, although obviously only the audio comes through the Highway 300Di to your hi-fi. So you could, in theory, rig up an iPad for your passengers to watch movies.