In opting for the Pure One Classic, you miss out on the connected features of the Pure One Flow, its internet radio brother that costs around £20 extra. That little addition of Wi-Fi unlocks access to thousands of extra radio stations, podcasts, the BBC’s Listen Again content, music streaming, the Pure Songs music store and Pure’s library of relaxing (and often entirely not-relaxing) sound loops. It’s a lot to miss out on, but not everyone wants this extra functionality – especially those looking for a DAB radio to wake up to.
The relative paucity of what’s on offer here also helps to keep the interface dead simple – and means the basic 2-line display is perfectly adequate. Pure’s connected units use more advanced AMOLED screens, but the monochrome display here is perfectly clear.
In use, the Pure One Classic benefits from the fairly high number of buttons on its front. This means that apart from tertiary features, like EQ, Intellitext and the alarm clock, functions can be accessed without flicking through layers of menus. It helps make the One Classic feel friendlier and more accessible than the One Flow. It’s a device even technophobes should be able to get on with.
The one slightly fiddly element is Listen Later, new to this second-generation Classic model. This allows you to record a programme to listen to at a later date, but the execution of this feature is deliberately limiting – and pretty old-school in its approach. Only one recording can be stored and the timing of it has to be set manually. There’s no EPG-like functionality here, although you can set a regular time to record each day or week.
A tap on the Listen Later button brings up a menu, where you set the time, recording duration, the frequency (once only, daily, all week days, weekends only and once a week) and the station to record. If you have a programme you listen to all the time – the Archers, or Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone perhaps – this will come in very handy, but it’s very constrained compared with what the old Pure Evoke 3 offers. That top-end model features a card slot, letting you archive recordings rather than just wipe them instantly.
It’s in-keeping with the personality of the radio, though. The One Classic isn’t really a power user set. The maximum recording length is 180 minutes, although due to limited internal memory it won’t be able to hold the full length – Pure says that at the worst you should get 45 mins. When the full 180 minutes wouldn’t require more than a couple of hundred megabytes of data, this is a bit disappointing. It all depends on the bitrate of the station, and unfortunately as several of the best use higher bitrates, this limit is more likely to pop up when listening to a BBC station than Urban Cool Hits XXL Manchester.
Like the original One Classic, you can also use this internal memory to pause live radio – nothing new but brilliantly useful nevertheless. If you already download some of your favourite shows as podcasts, pausing could come in handier than all-out recording. However, if that sounds like you, it’s worth hunting around for a bargain basement one of the old generation One Classics as they have this feature to. We’ve found the older One Classic for under £50, which is a £20 saving not to be sniffed.