Pure Digital Highway review

Unlike standard in-car DAB radios, the Highway is an add-on to the FM radio already fitted to most cars Tested at £70.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A great idea well executed at a reasonable price


  • +

    Great idea

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    impressive sound

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    easy to use

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    stable performance on the move

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    excellent value for money


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    Involves too many cables

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    not recommended if you already use sat-nav

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Pure seems to have an endless supply of DAB radios covering every eventuality from home listening to summer picnics. The Highway is its latest offering and, as the name suggests, it's an in-car device.

Unlike standard in-car DAB radios, however, the Highway is an add-on to the FM radio already fitted to most cars. It receives the DAB signal via a strip aerial you stick to your windscreen, and then, like an iPod FM transmitter, it broadcasts that signal via FM.

Once in situ, the Highway quickly searches for available DAB stations, and scans for a free FM slot. It then tells you what frequency to tune your radio to, and even appears in RDS text as ‘PURE DAB'. The DAB signal locks on quickly and keeps a firm grasp of the station.

FM not so strong
The FM is slightly less reliable; when you're driving around, broadcast stations occasionally muscle in. But a press of the ‘QuickScan' button finds the next available FM slot. We drove from our Teddington offices to Bournemouth and back with only the occasional re-scan called for, and no loss of DAB.

The sound quality is very good too, at least as good as the FM our car is capable of anyway, plus of course you get all those extra stations – and crystal-clear Radio Five Live. Extra features such as pause and rewind and a socket for you to plug an MP3 player into are real winners.

The only downside is that quite a few wires trail over the dashboard. If you use portable sat-nav we wouldn't recommend having both boxes taking up windscreen space. That aside, the next time we travel, we'll be heading for the Highway...

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