- Well built, and styish
- Auto dimming multicoloured lamp
- Decent sound quality
- Slightly fiddly controls
- Temperamental auto-dimming feature
- Flimsy aerial
- Review Price: £129.00
- DAB and FM radio
- Auto dimming multicoloured lamp
- Bright multiline OLED display
As we have come to expect of Pure devices, the Twilight is an attractive and well built machine. The lights are housed in a domed sand-blasted glass section that sits atop a black plastic body with the speakers for the radio sitting behind the fabric covered side sections. The light section is made of thick glass that generally feels very solid yet smooth and rather satisfyingly tactile. The other plastic sections again feel well finished and put together, and the curves of the whole machine are maintained throughout, with no flat surfaces letting the side down.
What do let things down, though are the cables. The aerial for the radio is a piddling thin wire that protrudes from the back. Compared to a screw-in telescopic aerial it’s easier to break, not easily replaceable, annoying to setup, potentially ugly if you have to Blu-Tack it to a wall, and generally less effective at finding a signal. Not that we actually had any problems in finding stations but those in poorer reception areas may struggle. The other issue is the somewhat short (1.5m) power cable, which will struggle to stretch the width of a double bed.
With dimensions of 36 x 18 x 12cm the Twilight has a footprint that will fill about a third of most bedside tables and, weighing 1.65kg, it’s a fairly hefty device but once in situ bulk is hardly a concern. What’s more, the unit’s weight is a sign as to its audio capabilities, as the old adage “the heavier the better” still often holds water nowadays.
An array of rubber buttons flank a high quality yellow-on-black OLED screen. They consist of, from top left to bottom right, four dedicated alarm buttons, Sleep, Source, Vol+, Vol-, Moveup, Select, Movedown, Daylight, Mood, and Power. Explaining a few of these, Moveup, Select and Movedown are for navigating through the menus, Daylight puts the lamp to white light mode at full brightness, and Mood selects a choice of Mood lights, which we’ll come back to in a minute.
The screen itself is as good as we’ve come to expect from Pure. It’s bright, sharp and generally easy to read from any angle. As well as a large and clear clock display it can show up to five lines of detailed information for when you’re scrolling through radio stations and such like. Some might struggle with the smaller text without popping their reading glasses on but such is the compromise for extra features.
Four more touch sensitive buttons sit below the screen. These are dynamic buttons, whose role changes depending on what’s on screen (except for the arrow-shaped one which always takes you back a level in the menu). Thankfully, they don’t suffer the all too regular problem of being unresponsive and laggy.
However, all told the control system is a bit schizophrenic – are both touch buttons and physical ones needed, are four dedicated buttons for alarms required, wouldn’t a volume knob be easier, where’s the remote? It’s not difficult to use per se but we think Pure could have refined it a little more.
It’s a shame as there’s one aspect of the control system that we love. Simply place your hand on the glass dome and the light will turn on. Conversely, a gentle caress will turn the light off when you feel you’re ready to slumber. You can also hold your hand on the lamp to dim it, or remove and replace your hand to brighten it. Incidentally, the light is plenty bright enough to read by so forgoes the need for a separate bedside lamp. The company has also implemented its signature touch-to-snooze feature whereby a gentle tap of the lamp sets it into snooze mode.
As well as simply lighting up the room in pure white, the lamp can show all manner of colours as well. From gentle undulating themes like ‘Ocean’, where calming blues flitter back and forth with gentle greens, and Fire, which flickers between various shades or red, orange and yellow, to more esoteric and party-oriented fare such as ‘Rainbow’ and simply solid colours, there’s plenty to choose from. Frankly, we didn’t find ourselves using these much at all beyond flicking through them to test. We see them almost being more useful as mood lighting for a themed party, which is hardly what we’d call a priority for a bedside lamp.
A more pressing concern with the lamp, though, was that the purported dimming modes didn’t seem to work. Supposedly, setting the Sleep mode will cause the lights to dim, gently lulling you to sleep while the reverse will happen in the morning prior to an alarm going off. With regards the Sleep mode, while the light did fade, it didn’t seem entirely smooth and eventually turned off rather abruptly. The radio also failed to drop in volume and just stopped at the allotted time. Conversely, more often than not (some settings seemed to work while others not) the alarm mode seemed to turn the light onto full brightness and radio at high volume, shocking us from slumber rather than gently rousing us. Maybe we were more susceptible than other people but to our minds Pure didn’t seem to have got this key factor quite right.
Thankfully, when it comes to audio, the Twilight delivers a more convincing performance. That size and weight we mentioned earlier comes through sonically with plenty of volume on tap and a surprisingly full sound. It’s not up to the levels of a high quality bedside radio such as the Vita Audio R1 but it’s definitely a stronger performer than Pure’s more compact radios such as the Pure Evoke Flow or Evoke-1S Marshall.
This comes across most when listening to traditionally bass heavy music such as dance and rock. Here you get a bit more oomph than its aforementioned siblings can deliver, making this a radio you can more happily turn up and rock out to.
As ever, you’re only going to get a certain level of audio quality when listening to DAB radio but we did find that listening closely revealed this radio to be a little less forgiving of poor quality signals than some rivals. FM sounded fine though. Incidentally, this is another example of the slightly peculiar control layout as there are no one-touch preset buttons for quickly recalling stations.
If you want to pipe your own music through the Twilight you can do so via the Aux input on the back. You can also charge any portable devices you may have via the USB socket or plug in headphones to listen without disturbing others. There’s no provision for batteries though.
When it comes to pricing, the Twilight certainly looks like a premium device compared to your average bedside radio/clock but, considering Pure’s pedigree, this unit’s build quality and its extra features, £129 seems like a very reasonable price. In fact, we’d argue that Pure could do with producing an even more expensive version that fixes a few issues we have, like the aerial and lack of volume knob, ups the sound quality another notch, adds a remote and of course gets the light-dimming right. Then you’d have a real top-class all rounder.
The Pure Twilight is an innovative product that combines almost all the features we’d want in a bedside radio/lamp. There’s the decent sound quality, relative ease of use, high build quality, nice styling, DAB radio, and the powerful and versatile lamp. However, it doesn’t quite get it spot on. There are a few silly mistakes, like the flimsy aerial and a slightly complicated control system, but most importantly the supposed gentle awakening system simply didn’t seem to work all that well.
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