The Listen Later function of the Pure Elite Series II is being marketed as a big deal because it’s the newest arrival within the range. But the real reason to buy this unit is that, unlike the majority of Pure DAB radios, it has two speaker units rather than one.
The second 3in speaker cone naturally allows the radio to play proper 2-channel stereo, but it also has a huge effect on sound quality. This box is much louder and much more powerful than its smaller cousin, the One Classic Series II.
Pure’s single-driver radios sound pretty good considering all of their mojo is pumped out through a single 3in cone, but they still sound distinctly small. In comparison, the Elite sounds huge – more like the sound scale you’d expect from a mini system than what this still effectively is, a kitchentop radio.
The sound signature is classic Pure – it’s warm, bassy and forgiving of the limitations of the DAB signal. As many DAB radio stations are broadcast at appalling quality, digital artefacts are often clearly audible, especially when listening to music, as opposed to spoken-word programmes. This isn’t down to the quality of reception, but the quality stations are broadcast at – so there’s no getting around it.
Stick to higher-quality stations like the BBCs (even these are broadcast at a depressingly low 128kbps) and the Elite Series II sounds pretty great. It’s powerful, loud and bassy. There are basic customisable settings for the bass and treble too, useful if you find the bassy sound signature a little too warm.
If you have the extra room the Elite demands, and don’t mind the £20 premium it commands over the Classic, this is well worth the upgrade. Bigger, louder and more satisfying than the dinky mono radios in Pure’s various ranges, it’s one of the best-sounding portable DAB radios money can buy.
That £20 premium could also get you a different kind of upgrade, though – to the Pure One Flow. The Flow offers oodles more features, including thousands of online stations, podcasts, music streaming from your computer and – in time – Pure’s own music streaming service. It’s a lot to lose out on, but if all you’re after is a simple unit to play UK radio stations on, we think the sound quality upgrade is a worthy alternative.
The Pure One Elite Series II is not a cutting edge radio. It doesn’t offer connected features, won’t give you access to Pure’s upcoming music streaming service, and the recording feature is very basic. What it does bring is supreme ease of use, cracking sound quality and plenty of portable potential. If you care more about sound than having thousands of hours of content on tap, this is one of the very best sub-£100 radios.
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Score in detail
Sound Quality 9